15 London Gardens That Will Stir Your Senses

January 18, 2019

There is something enchanting about a garden, isn’t there? Parks seem to be busy and crowded, yet a garden is more serene and secluded. Poets, authors, and composers have long felt inspiration while in nature. Artists and photographers have captured the beauty and allowed us to see a glimpse of what they personally viewed. English gardens are known as some of the most beautiful; isn’t that the definition of elegance and fine taste — AN ENGLISH GARDEN.

London Connection chooses vacation apartments based on location, including the proximity to these lovely gardens. Check where you will be staying in your London vacation rental, and see how many of these gardens listed below are within walking distance of your flat. Some gardens are well-known and others are off the beaten path.

City Gardens

  • Inner Temple Garden
  • Chelsea Physic Garden
  • Red Cross Garden & Cottages
  • Hyde Park Rose Garden
  • Brown Hart Rooftop Garden

Royal Gardens

  • Kew Botanical Gardens
  • Clarence House Gardens
  • Buckingham Palace Gardens
  • Kensington Palace Gardens

Secret Gardens

  • Queen Mary’s Rose Garden
  • St. John’s Lodge
  • Kyoto Gardens

Historic Gardens

  • Chiswick House & Gardens
  • Hampton Court Gardens
  • Syon House & Gardens

Remember, the Brits are gardeners by heart. They have the climate, they have the moisture, they have the soil. They have established gardens for centuries. The English setting of “The Secret Garden” seems like a dream location to stroll and reflect. While you are in London, you are moments from some of the most thrilling green spaces you can find on the planet. Take this opportunity to see these gifts of nature with your own eyes, and let the rest of your senses come to life.

Inner Temple Garden

If you are coming to London to enjoy history, this is a perfect place to begin. Located just south of Covent Garden, this three-acre green space has been known for its garden since the 12th century. You will notice bees, butterflies, and birds as you overlook the Thames. Inner Temple Garden is usually open weekday afternoons.

Chelsea Physic Garden

Also beside the Thames, the Chelsea Physic Garden is the oldest botanical garden in London. Founded in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries, the garden now includes 5000 edible, medicinal, and useful plants. The first pineapple in England was grown here in 1723. Further studies and development throughout the centuries have included rubber, quinine, cork, cinnamon, ginger, tobacco, chocolate, and coffee. Workshops cover subjects such as: compost, beekeeping, photography, and medicinal plants. Reconnect to nature within this jewel in the heart of London. More info here: Chelsea Video

Red Cross Garden and Cottages

Tucked away on the Southbank, the Red Cross Garden has a fantastic view of the Shard. Just a short distance from Globe Theatre you can enjoy this green space with some of the local residents that gather to this haven during their lunch hour. Built in 1886 with the neighboring cottages, you can feel like a Londoner from the past in this serene setting.

Hyde Park Rose Garden

Located at the southeast corner of Hyde Park, this beautiful garden is filled with flowers throughout the year. Although the roses are the feature during the summer, the fountains and pergola and other plantings are enjoyed by visitors and local residents. Hyde Park Rose Garden is open year round from 5am to midnight.

Brown Hart Rooftop Gardens

Just minutes from Oxford Street, this cozy place is a perfect way to take a break. There are nice benches and plants surrounded by classic Mayfair buildings. The water feature and stone seats add to the charm of this raised and terraced garden. The Brown Hart Gardens may be a nice oasis and its covered area could be a welcoming shelter during a rainy day.

Kew Gardens

This Royal Botanic Garden with its vast 320 acres is worth the 30 minute tube ride and short walk to the west of South Kensington. You could easily spend all day enjoying the many outdoor and indoor displays of flowers, palms, cafe, gift shop, and tours. You can walk at your own pace, or enjoy the land train with guided tour to save your feet and energy.

Clarence House Gardens

Open to the public only in August, the Clarence House Gardens is a must if you are here that month. As the residence of Prince Charles and former residence of the Queen Mother, the peek into how the royals really live is a rare treat.

Buckingham Palace Gardens

Like Clarence House, the Buckingham Palace Gardens are only open in the summer while the Queen is at Balmoral. Included on the tour with the State Rooms & Garden Highlights is the 39 acres with roses, lake, tennis court, and other remarkable features. The Garden Tour will be available in 2019 from 22 July to 29 September. 

Kensington Palace Gardens

On the west end of Hyde Park is the residence of many of the Royal Family. The palace is open for tours, but the Kensington Palace Gardens are the real treat. Don’t miss the elaborate Italian Gardens as you stroll through with your camera. You will be taking photos galore!

Queen Mary’s Rose Garden

Queen Mary’s Garden in Regent’s Park, which opened in 1932 to the public, is named after Queen Elizabeth’s grandmother — Mary of Teck. With about 12,000 roses, this is the largest collection of this flower in London. With its shrubberies, begonias, delphiniums, and benches,  the garden can be enjoyed all year long. However, the best rose blooms are the first two weeks of June.

St. John’s Lodge

St. John’s Lodge, also in Regent’s Park, is a “secret” garden inside the very busy park. Designed as a meditation garden in 1889, you will love the solitude you will find here. A perfect place to write a poem about your London experience.

Kyoto Garden in Holland Park

Holland Park that used to surround Cope Castle has been there since the 17th century. Located less than two miles west of Kensington Palace, the house was heavily damaged in World War II. A newer Japanese garden inside the 22 acre park was added in 1991 and has been widely visited since then. It is a secret garden that features tiered waterfalls, and paths where peacocks freely roam. You may find yourself with a moment of quiet and a place to reflect.

Chiswick House & Gardens

If you are ready to spend part of a day outside of London, Chiswick House may be the perfect spot for you. The gardens were the first known location of the English Landscape Movement, and are included in the tour. Cared for by the English Heritage Foundation, it is worth the one hour tube ride to the west of London.

Syon House and Gardens

Every Wednesday at 2:00 pm there is a free tour or this grand house and gardens that includes 40 acres of rare trees and plants. The estate has been owned by the same family for over 400 years, so prepare to see history come to life at Syon Park. Located just 9 miles from Charing Cross, you will be surprised how you will feel you are deep in the countryside. The Great Conservatory inside the home has been used for filming many recent scenes that you might recognize.

Hampton Court Palace Gardens

Henry VIII’s royal palace and gardens was planned as a display of opulence, and they surely are! The Gardens at Hampton Court Palace is about an hour tube ride southwest of London. The vast estate covering 60 acres dazzles the eyes! Find one of the benches and pull out your sketchbook for a memorable afternoon.

After your day of inspiration in nature, gather your camera and sketchbook and enjoy a relaxing evening back at your London flat. If you are a lucky one that has chosen London Connection Vacation rental 2-34 Egerton Gardens or 2-43 Bramham Gardens as your accommodation, you won’t even need to leave there! You will be able to visit the gardens attached to your London home!

The musical “The Secret Garden” reminds us to stop and feel it, stop and hear it. The change of seasons just adds to the charm of a garden. You could visit a garden or park each day for a year, and then you could start over. Take a time-out from your busy life and reconnect with nature; you will be thankful that you did.