The Eight Royal Parks In London

The eight Royal Parks in London are visited by millions of Londoners and visitors for free each year. The 5,000 acres of parkland provide exceptional recreational facilities for enjoyment, exploration and healthy living in the heart of London.

The Royal Parks provide opportunities for family and friends to socialise by having picnics in the parks, listening to live music and enjoying live concerts and open air theatres.

The Parks have hundreds of buildings, statues, and memorials, giving a fascinating insight into London's heritage.

The Royal Parks manages these spaces and almost everything in them. They also conserve the Parks to ensure future generations can enjoy them too. They look after:

Bushy Park (with the Longford River) Bushy Park is located north of Hampton Court Palace. It has been settled for at least the past 4,000 years. Bronze age artefacts from burial grounds have been found on the site and are now housed in the British Museum.

There is also evidence that the area was used in the medieval period for agricultural purposes.

When Henry VIII took over Hampton Court Palace from Thomas Cardinal Wolsey in 1529, he also took over the three parks that make up present Bushy Park - Hare Warren, Middle Park and Bushy Park.

A keen hunter, Henry VIII established them as deer-hunting grounds, tree plantations and conservation areas.

Bushy Park is the second largest of the Royal Parks with over 1,000 acres of land. It has well over 300 deer that graze on the tall grasslands. The woodland garden is on a much more intimate scale, with secluded walks and glades, it is a haven for a variety of wildlife.

Hotels in the Hampton Court area

Green Park It is said that Green Park was originally a swampy burial ground for lepers from the nearby hospital at St James's. It is also said that this is the haunt of highwaymen and thieves during the 18th century. Horace Walpole was one of several to be robbed there.

The Green Park is a peaceful refuge for people living, working or visiting central London, and is particularly popular for sunbathing and picnics in fine weather. It is also popular as a healthy walking route to work for commuters. The paths are used extensively by joggers and runners.

With some of the most recognisable buildings in the locality like The Ritz Hotel, Green Park gets lots of attention from movie-makers.

Hotels in Knightsbridge Area

Greenwich Park Greenwich is the oldest of Royal Parks and one of the largest single green spaces in south east London. It is the first park to be enclosed with a brick wall, 12 feet high and 2 miles long in 1433 during the reign of James I, at a cost of £2,000.

This beautiful 163 acre park, set on a hill between Blackheath and the River Thames, is also home to a small herd of Fallow and Red deer. There is a large grassland enclosure, covering almost 13 acres which serves as a sanctuary for deer, foxes and birds.

Greenwich Park is famous for being bisected by the Greenwich meridian and is part of the Greenwich World Heritage Site

Hotels in Docklands, Excel and Greenwich Areas

Hyde Park Hyde Park – One of London’s finest historic landscapes covering 350 acres. There is something for everyone in Hyde Park. With over 4,000 trees , a lake (the Serpentine), a meadow, horse rides and more, it is easy to forget you are in the middle of London. Hyde Park, has been the most famous equestrian venue in England for 300 years.

The park has become a noted location for mass demonstrations and famous for its Speakers' Corner, the cradle of free speech

Hyde Park has been a venue for famous Rock Concerts and is also noted for the annual Party In The Park.

Hotels in Bayswater Area

Kensington Gardens Kensington Gardens covering 275 acres and were originally part of Hyde Park. Kensington Gardens has been technically separate since 1728, when Queen Caroline made a division between the two. The two parks merge seamlessly into each other.

Kensington Gardens has magnificent tree-lined avenues and is the setting for Kensington Palace. You can also see the Peter Pan statue and the kids will love The Diana, Princess of Wales, Memorial Playground.

The Albert Memorial is located at the south-east corner of Kensington Gardens, opposite the Royal Albert Hall.

Hotels in Bayswater Area

Regent's Park (and Primrose Hill) The Regent’s Park, covering 410 acres, was designed in 1811 by renowned architect John Nash. It includes stunning rose gardens, the largest outdoor sports area in London with facilities for football, softball and rugby, and a cricket pitch. It also offers a wide variety of activities.

It is noted for the wildlife including wild bird species and waterfowl.

Regent’s Park hosts the London Zoo, the Open Air Theatre, bandstands and a boating lake.

Refreshments are served at the Garden Café, the Honest Sausage, the Boathouse Café, and the Tennis Centre Café.

The panoramic view from the top of Primrose Hill is one of London’s best, affording a fantastic sight across the city.

Hotels in Regents Park and Hampstead Areas

Richmond Park Richmond Park is a 3.7 square miles urban park within London. It is nearly 3 times as large as Central Park in New York. It is the largest of the Royal Parks in London.

The royal connections to this park probably began with Edward (1272-1307), when the area was known as the Manor of Sheen. The name was changed to Richmond during Henry VII's reign.

It is an important refuge for wildlife, including woodpeckers, squirrels, rabbits, stag beetles, insects plus numerous ancient trees, and varieties of fungi.

The park is also famous for its red and fallow deer, which number over six hundred.

The Isabella Plantation is home to national collections of azaleas and rhododendrons and has a different character to the main park.

Hotels in the Richmond Park area

St James's Park St. James's Park, covering 58 acres in Westminster, is one of the oldest of the Royal Parks of London.

St. James's Park is surrounded by Buckingham Palace to the west, The Mall and St. James's Palace to the North, Horse Guards to the east, and Birdcage Walk to the south.

St. James's Park Lake has two islands, the Duck Island and West Island. Duck Island is the home to many wild breeds of beautiful ducks and bird life. A bridge across the lake affords a view of Buckingham Palace framed by trees and fountains.

Three royal palaces border St James's Park - The ancient palace of Westminster (now known as the Houses of Parliament), St James's Palace and Buckingham Palace.

St James's Park is at the very heart of London. Being often used for ceremonial and state occasions, the Park is a fantastic setting for pomp and splendour.

Hotels in Victoria Area

Supporting a tree in the Royal Parks is a wonderful way

  • to celebrate a wedding or important anniversary
  • to commemorate a life departed
  • or the arrival of someone newly born.

And by dedicating a tree, you have the satisfaction of knowing you are joining the team caring for the historic avenues and woodlands that lie at the heart of all - The Royal Parks.

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