Shhhhh… Do you want to know a secret? London is full of extraordinary secrets gardens just begging to be explored. It may be surprising to discover that (although London is an urban metropolis comprising of malls upon malls, skyscrapers flirting with the clouds, countless concrete office blocks – and more) London has a rather impressive green thumb. The juxtaposition of nature and man-made wonder is one of the many aspects that makes London such an interesting city to explore. Magical gardens are hidden behind tube stations, discretely tucked away at the far end of a park, and nestled quietly in between high rises…. They may be tricky to find, but you just need to know where to look.
From quaint botanical wonders, to mysterious green cemeteries, to otherworldly tropical paradises – it’s safe to say that London has an incredible selection of gardens to rest and relax in. During your next stay in London take a break from the hectic nature of city life and find solitude in one of these gorgeous secret gardens. But where to do you find them? Don’t worry, we’re here to let you in on the secret location of these hidden bucolic wonders.
So, without further ado, here is our quick and handy list on some of the best secret garden locations in London. Get exploring!
1. Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew
This tropical series of gardens are hidden away in West London. You won’t believe you’re in England anymore upon entering this lush green reserve. Expect palm trees, orchid gardens, exotic flora, glass houses, historical landmarks and more at Kew Gardens!
Features of the Royal Botanical Gardens include the Treetop Walkway, which lets you walk on an elevated platform above the trees, giving you a bird’s eye view of the beautiful flora below. Kew gardens also have a famous arboretum which provides a living catalogue of over 14,000 botanical species that will add colour to your life. During your trip to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew, relax at the onsite café and have a gentle stroll through the flourishes of green and floral wonder that surround you.
2. Phoenix Garden
Hidden away behind Charing Cross Road is a fresh green paradise unlike any other. Peruse through the vast array of wild flowers, hopping sparrows and curious critters that animate the whimsical realms of Phoenix Garden into a thriving green habitat. You’ll find Phoenix Garden (if you look hard enough) located inconspicuously at the end of an unassuming alley-way. Backdropped with the marvellous vision of the city skyline, you are reminded that this secret garden is an oasis amidst the hustle-bustle of busy urban life. Get away from it all and escape to Phoenix Garden during your next London visit!
3. Red Cross Garden
The Red Cross Garden is tucked away in North London near Borough tube station. This garden was originally constructed during the late Victorian period to provide nearby residents a patch of tranquillity amidst the mayhem of North London life. Although this area is an attractive part of town these days, during the Victorian era it was a slum dwelling surrounded by workhouses and immersed in factory smog. The Red Cross Garden was a lush green symbol of hope during a time of industrial over-load. The garden hasn’t changed a lot since it’s conception in the 1880s. It has recently been restored to its original design and is home to a little pond, a bandstand and a cottage. Take a break from it all and soak in the lush green views of English foliage at Red Cross Garden.
Looking for a place to stay during your time in North London? We’d recommend staying somewhere equally as tranquil and relaxing as the Red Cross Garden – like The Montcalm Brewery Hotel on Chiswell Street located in Shoreditch, North London. This hotel has everything you need, including a close proximity to some of London’s most quaint and attractive secret gardens.
4. Abney Park Cemetery
This overgrown cemetery is a calm and soothing destination boasting some of the most gorgeous foliage in London. The cemetery is adorned with weather worn statues of timeless beauties and legendary heroes, making Abney Park Cemetery feel mythical and otherworldly. There an eerie allure, mysticism and atmosphere to this cemetery that you won’t find anywhere else. Venture through thickets and explore the Gothic chapel that stands proud and domineering at the centre of the site. A beautiful secret garden located near Stoke Newington in North London, a must visit destination during your next trip to London.
5. Crystal Palace Park Maze
The Crystal Palace park is an incredible place filled with lakes, a children’s farm, unusual dinosaur statues and more. But many people don’t know that the Crystal Palace is home to an intricate maze made of hedgerows. The maze was first constructed in 1870, after years of neglect it was later revamped in 2009. Nowadays, the maze is an entertaining quest for those looking for a challenge. The maze is surrounded by gorgeous flora and fauna that encapsulate all the beautiful colours of nature.
6. Lavender Garden
There is a field entirely dominated by lavender flowers located in Vauxhall Park. Cascades of purple transform this space into a vision of lilac, mauve and indigo. Sit down on a nearby bench and smell the gorgeous lavender scent that perfumes the air, or take a bit home to make you room smell nice. It is truly a beautiful sight to behold, and not one to be missed during your next trip to the city of London. Vauxhall Park is just south of the River Thames and only moments away from Vauxhall Train station. Get yourself down there asap!
7. London Fields Wild Flower Garden
Run through a field of wild flowers in South Hackney. This square of pastoral paradise is made up of long unruly grass, wild flowers of all shapes and sizes swaying in the summer breeze, and enchanting birdsong. You would never guess that a bucolic wonder like this would be found tucked away in the city of London! This secret garden is only moments away from London Fields Train Station and a quick walk away from Bethnal Green Tube Station.