Ravenscourt Park is a lovely open space near Hammersmith in West London. It may not be as vast or as popular as some of the other parks in the capital, but it certainly has a lot to offer. It's home to, among other things, many types of trees and plants, a big expanse of grassland, a picturesque duck pond, various sports courts, a few kids' playgrounds and - as if all that wasn't enough - a little hidden gem.
In the far corner there is a large ornate gate, which is the entrance to the small walled garden. As you walk through, a stone pathway winds its way around the edge, past several benches where you can lose yourself in a good book or simply relax in quiet contemplation. Some of the seats are under wooden shelters, perfect for the shade-seekers among us, or if in the more likely event, it's raining. The benches look onto a pretty selection of flowerbeds; some are well-kept and home to perfectly preened rose bushes, where others have been purposefully left uncultivated with an attractive mix of wild flowers, shrubs and thistles. Beyond the flowerbeds, forming a ring around the centre, there are a number of tall brick columns. Up these, thick rose stems have entwined themselves and spread out along the narrow wooden beams above. A small concrete pedestal, still awaiting a statue, marks the central point of the garden. All around it, lashings of sweet-scented lavender play host to an array of bumblebees and butterflies.
Apart from the distant purr of children playing in the main park, it's very peaceful in the walled garden. Tucked away from the main through-fare, it never seems to get too crowded, so it's an ideal spot to sit and enjoy some seclusion. I have a picnic on a sunny day, or just stroll around and enjoy the beautiful scenery. If enjoying it passively isn't enough and you want to take a more active role in the garden's upkeep, you can volunteer here.