We all need a moment to ourselves sometimes, especially when visiting a busy city like London.
Whilst the Montcalm at the Brewery London offers well-earned respite for its guests, it’s still difficult to find space to breathe when out and about in London. Locals – having been here a while – have their own hideaway havens to help them recoup after a long day, but where do visitors who are new to the city go to escape the hectic hubbub?
We’ve compiled a list of the best city spots for relaxing, gifting you with a taste of London culture away from the crazy, and some serenity away from high streets.
The North London borough of Hampstead is perhaps best known for its beautiful nature reserve.
Hampstead Heath is a wooded area filled to the brim with serene swimming ponds, natural forested areas and leafy green pastures. With added views from the 98-metre high Parliament View, Hampstead Heath provides a 320-hectare escape from the city.
The once expansive Epping Forest is an ancient pocket of woodland found on the fringes of East London. Made of pre 16th-century trees and dense wilderness, this 2400-hectare woodland is a haven for hikers and ramblers looking for a real breath of fresh air.
Epping Forest is proof that, while London can feel built-up and overcrowded, natural beauty is surprisingly close by.
This Regent’s Park based hill offers up some of the best views over London and is famous for being one of the best picnic spots in the city. With the glittering skyline in sight, this is the perfect spot for a moment to yourself or with a loved one.
Nunhead’s very own garden square park gives locals in the South East London Peckham and New Cross area flower beds and beautiful views over London. This slice of suburban tranquility isn’t just for locals though, if tourists are looking to visit, it’s a simple half hour Overground journey from the city centre to Queen’s Road Peckham or New Cross Gate.
Another South East spot serving of serenity, Nunhead Cemetery makes up one of the Magnificent Seven city cemeteries. With lush woodland and secret paths throughout, these often-ancient tombstones provide a peaceful spot for reflection.
This royal park is bursting with swathes of woodland and plush fields, making it a bracing spot for fresh air and great rambling routes. With semi-wild deer having inhabited the park since the 17th Century, this park is the perfect spot for a sunny Sunday in West London. If you have time, take a moment in the Isabella Plantation, a closed off section of the park overrun with rhododendrons and trickling streams.
SOAS Japanese Roof Garden
Based on top of the SOAS University building, the SOAS Japanese Rooftop Garden was built in 2001 and is dedicated to the concept of forgiveness. With its minimalist aesthetic, this garden is designed to be as peaceful as possible.
The Barbican Centre
For guests staying at accommodation near Brewery Road, the Barbican Centre’s grounds are the closest spot for a moment to yourself.
With its brutalist architecture, there are pockets of green hidden within the concrete, offering visitors waterfalls, ponds and scenic views across East London. If the weather gets the better of your moment of Zen, there are plenty of art installations and exhibits to explore inside and spark your creativity.