In the summertime, having picnics at the parks only comes second to attending festivals in London. With a blanket from Primark and a few snacks like crisps, hummus, sandwiches and fruits, people lie down, eat, talk, sunbathe or just enjoy the outdoors.
Fortunately, the city offers parks that cater to every taste and every whim to eat outdoors. Thus, get your iPod, fill your picnic basket and get some sunscreen; here's a list of London's top parks for picnics.
Regent's Park This is probably the most beautiful park in London. With its dreamy lakes, fairytale-like forests, an exquisite royal park blossoming with an infinite medley of roses, a hidden waterfall and surreal bridges, Regent's Park is a sublime place to have a picnic.
Whether you choose to relax next to the lake while watching the ducks and boats, sit up against an ancient tree and read, sunbathe in the evergreen grassland and then take a stroll along the numberless pathways surrounded by majestic trees or watch the canals, The Regent's Park won't disappoint.
If you are going to the park with children or you are an animal lover yourself, you can always visit the London Zoo, and be prepared to be fascinated by exotic and endearing animals alike. The park's location is also ideal. Conveniently situated in the city centre, it is still away from the maddening, crowded and noisy shopping street Oxford, but you can still visit The Sherlock Holmes Museum and cool stores like The Beatles and Rock 'n' Roll which are next to the park.
Hyde Park If there is a park London is known for, then that is Hyde Park, which also hosts numerous events throughout the year. This is where the famous music festival Barclaycard British Summertime Hyde Park takes place, which brings the city to life every summer.
Every season, however, there is something happening in Hyde Park. Over the colder months, Winter Wonderland transforms the park into a magical Christmas dreamworld bursting with fairground rides, festive decorations, ice rink, and all that a fair can afford. Here you can still have a picnic at this North Pole World and keep warm while sipping on a alluring cherry mulled wine and feasting on bratwurst, churros, roast turkey with cranberry sauce burger, eggnog and why not? fish and chips.
Alternatively, during summer, camp outside the festival grounds to listen to the legendary bands playing at BST Hyde Park or attend the festival and have a picnic anyway while you wait for the performances. Home to a number of famous landmarks including The Serpertine Lake and the Diana, Princes of Wales Memorial Fountain, there are endless places to have a picnic in Hyde Park, the largest royal park in the city. Enjoy snacks in front of the glorious Italian Gardens or along the dreamy Serpentine Lake, Londoners' favourite spot. You can also enjoy other popular activities such as open water swimming, boating, cycling, jogging and horse riding.
Kensington Gardens One of the most beautiful royal parks there are, there's more to Kensington Gardens that meets the eye. Indeed, this park has been immortalised by J.M. Barrie as the setting of Peter Pan in Kensington Garden, a prelude to the classic adventures in Neverland. As a tribute to the book and character, there is a Peter Pan statue by George Frampton located in the park. With its Italian Gardens, the Kensington Palace, its lakes and statues, Kensington Gardens offers superb views to visitors.
Green Park Although Green Park has no lakes nor buildings and a few monuments, its mature trees, green grass, benches and chairs offer Londoners a great spot to have a picnic or a quick lunch on their break from work.
St James's Park Famous for being surrounded by the country's top landmarks Buckingham Palace, Westminster, St James's Palace, Horse Guards and the Birdcage Walk, St James's Park lies at the very heart of the city and it's the oldest of the eight royal parks in London.
As the setting for spectacular pageants like Trooping the Colour and its proximity to these famous landmarks, there are always tourists coming and going to watch the ceremonies or buildings. However, if you prefer the quite, there's a tranquil side to St James's Park where you can relax on a deckchair or lie on your blanket on the floor, feast on delicious snacks and watch the world go by. Don't miss the flower beds and shrubberies.