Paddington Street Gardens is a small green space a short distance from the much larger Regent's Park. Access is easy; from Baker Street tube station it's a simple case of crossing Marylebone Road and walking south for a couple of minutes.
Paddington Street Gardens' abundance of trees and shrubbery provide plenty of shade in the spring and summer, as well as a tranquil atmosphere that can, for a moment or two, take you away from the intensity and never-ending hullabaloo that city life brings with it.
The gardens are actually sliced in two by Paddington Street, with the larger section located on the southern side of the road.
Paddington Street Gardens is well maintained and looked after, so it comes as little surprise to learn that it won its first Green Flag in 2008.
The gardens comprise a number of landscaped areas with flower and rose beds, various statues and monuments, a children's playground, and lawns where you can relax with friends or family.
According to the information board found at the entrance to the gardens, the space was formed in the 18th century to provide more burial space for the old St. Marylebone Parish Church. It's estimated that there are around 80,000 graves here - that's a lot considering the size of the place. Hopefully that little piece of information won't spook you out and prevent you visiting.
By the way, burials ceased here in 1814 when the St. John's Wood burial ground opened.
The gardens began a new life as a recreation area in 1885. Most of the tombstones have been taken away, although a mausoleum in the south garden was left in place and remains to this day.
Interestingly, among the various species of tree growing in Paddington Street Gardens, you'll find the London Plane, a tree planted widely by the Victorians because of its ability to thrive in polluted areas.