London can be hard work. Its vibrant atmosphere, and the bustling liveliness that draws people in, can become exhausting at times. While the energetic nature of the city is all part of its charm, it can make even leisurely activities like a Sunday afternoon wandering around a museum a test of both your endurance and your ability to navigate a crowd.
Every now and then everyone needs a bolt hole, and a bit of quiet. Here are some of the places you can visit to find exactly that.
Greenwich can get packed on a sunny day, but it's always attractive and at 13 acres, you are bound to find a corner of Greenwich park that you'll have all to yourself. With a designated wilderness where red and fallow deer wander around and beautiful gardens, it's a great place to relax surrounded by extraordinary architecture and beautiful green.
Geffrye Museum Herb Garden
The Geffrye Museum, a museum exploring the home and how people live, is often described as an oasis in the heart of the city. A lovely building located in Hoxton, it used to be a centre for furniture making and market gardens, and it now features a walled herb garden which is perfect for escaping the city.
The garden, which was made from a derelict area next to the museum, has a hundred and seventy varieties of herbs sorted into beds of different usage, such as medicinal and dyes. This means it's possible to learn a little bit about the plants while you visit, as you enjoy the experience of spending the afternoon in a place that looks like it's been lifted from a period drama.
When the world outside is hectic you can always find some inner calm. By providing meditation courses that allows you to do exactly that, Will Williams Meditation offers the chance to truly take some time out. This not only transforms a small part of your day with tranquillity, it offers a feeling of calm that you can carry out into the world.
A trip to Daunt Books is one way to get a bibliophile fix while also unwinding in a tranquil place. Set in an amazing Edwardian building on Marylebone High Street, and it has the atmosphere of the sort of grand and rickety bookshop that usually exists in novels. Oak panelled and with a large stained-glass window at one end, it invites the kind of unhurried browsing that means you'll always discover something interesting and new.
London Wetland Centre
A good place if you like to do a bit of wildlife-spotting, the London Wetland Centre is delightfully peaceful and enjoyed by all sorts of other creatures, such as frogs, birds and lizards. With wildflowers, meadows, marshes and gardens it's a brilliant way to enjoy the feeling of the countryside without travelling more than ten minutes from Hammersmith.
The Thames Barrier
If you fancy a walk along the river, the stark industrial nature of the Thames Barrier can be a place to head to. While providing the invaluable service of stopping London from becoming a soggy mess, it also can be oddly serene to retreat to this quiet area and watch it carry out it's work.
Finding moments of calm in the constant buzz of the city is vital for your peace of mind, and these places can offer the perfect opportunity to de-stress and return refreshed, ready to love the liveliness of London once again.