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Open Garden Squares Weekend

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by Bastion Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
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Attend No 10's Garden Party
royal crescent garden
Royal Crescent Garden

Which are your favourite parks in London? The most well known are the royal parks, each of which have special attractions that bring thousands of tourists every year. Kensington Garden is the home of Peter Pan, Regent's Park has London Zoo, and refusing to be out done, the oldest, St James's Park, used to have exotic animals including camels, crocodiles, and an elephant by order of James I. Any of these parks would make a fantastic day out, but we should not forget the dozens of other gardens and parks around London. They may not be as famous or as regal, but they all have a strong history and beautiful surroundings.

In an aim to increase our knowledge and appreciation of these landscapes, The London Parks & Gardens Trust have organised an Open Garden Squares Weekend between the 8th-9th June. It is the chance to visit the A-Z of London's parks from Arlington Square to Zander Court Club House. Children go free, while adult tickets are 10 if you book in advance or 12 on the day. One ticket will give you access to all the parks, as well as any planned activities, such as communal cycle rides, and guided & self-guided tours.

Guided tours include walks around Bloomsbury, the Middle & Inner Temple, and the City of London. You can also explore by yourself on a self-guided tour of Jubilee Walkway, Kensington Square, and many others. Cycle routes include visits to the gardens in Camden, Islington, Hackney, and Tower Hamlets. You will start at the Covent Gardens Piazza at 10am, and finish off at St. Paul's Church.

This year there is a chance to visit a very special garden indeed. Rarely open to the public, it is a place of the great Obama burgers and the Freddie Flintoff pee tree. Yep, it is the garden of Number 10 Downing Street, where the annual Garden Party Conference will be taking place. Enter the public ballot and you could be one of the forty lucky winners who will get a secret sneak peek behind the doors of Number 10.
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Why? Beautiful scenery
When: 8th-9th June
Where: Around London
Cost: 10-12
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