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Holland Park

Home > London > Parks | Picnic Spots
Published December 20th 2010
One of the great things about London is that it's packed with parks, offering welcome respite from the pressures and demands of city life.

In terms of size, Holland Park hardly matches up to the likes of Hyde Park, Regent's Park and the big daddy of all London green spaces, Richmond Park – but what it lacks in acreage it more than makes up for in facilities and charm. See, size isn't everything.

Situated in the well-to-do borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Holland Park covers just over 50 acres and comprises woodland as well as open land.

The park forms the grounds of Holland House, formerly Cope Castle, a mansion built in the 17th century. Part of the mansion is now a youth hostel, a superb location for a stay in the capital.

Another part of Holland House is used as a backdrop for grand open-air operatic, classical and theatrical productions during the summer months. Details of the 2011 season can be found here.

There's plenty of space where you can plonk yourself down and enjoy watching the clouds drift by, such as the sports field or North Lawn. Alternatively, you can view the pretty garden areas, which include the impressive Kyoto Garden, designed and landscaped in 1991 by a green-fingered team from Japan.

For the energetic types among you, a myriad of sports are catered for, including football, tennis, netball, golf (practice nets), and cricket (practice nets). If none of those appeal, just slip on your running shoes and leg it around the park instead. To book a sports facility, call 020 7602 2226.

For children there's an adventure playground, and for exhausted parents in dire need of a cuppa, the park's cafe will be happy to oblige.

What makes Holland Park really special is its wooded area, a peaceful enclave bang in the heart of the capital. A number of paths criss-cross the woodland, which can be enjoyed throughout the year.

Have I forgotten anything? Probably, for this is a park full of surprises.
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Why? Though it may exist in the shadows of London's larger parks, it's without doubt one of the capital's hidden gems.
Where: Closest tube: Holland Park; High Street Kensington
Cost: Free
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