Five of the most tranquil secret (and not so secret) gardens in the west

If ever there was a time to escape your desk, this is it… and if your boss finds you lying about the park, you can always claim Vit D deprivation…


Hence, we’ve compiled a list of five of the best green corners the west has to offer for you to soak up all the sun your skin desires.


Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace. Planted 106 years ago, these gardens were modelled on another plot at Hampton Court Palace. Around the terraces and ponds you can expect to find all the English classics prettily festooned: tulips, pansies, geraniums, cannas and begonias.

Image courtesy of Royal Parks.


Kensington Gardens, W8 4PX,








Kyoto Garden in Holland Park. Donated by the Chamber of Commerce of Kyoto back in 1991, this Japanese garden features mini waterfalls and an abundance of wildlife. We love teetering across the concrete bridge and finding our inner peace in this most tranquil of settings. It’s so perfect we almost don’t want to touch anything… 

Image courtesy of David Hagwood.


Holland Park, Ilchester Place, W8 6SU,







St Mary Abbots Garden. A short distance from the bustle of Kensington High Street, this garden offers some much-needed R&R for visitors. If you can muster the energy, do take a look around St Mary Abbots Church, which was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, architect of the Midland Grand Hotel at St Pancras and, even closer to home, the Albert Memorial. And breathe… 

Image Courtesy of Duncan Harris.


St Mary Abbot Garden, Kensington Church Street, W8 4LA,







Serpentine in Hyde Park. Feed swans and ducks from the bridge or just amble along the river. Visiting between June and September? Don’t forget your bathers… 

Image courtesy of Phil Russel


Hyde Park, W2 2UH,








Kensington Gardens. If it’s sunbathing or picnicking you’re after, this is the spot. And with the extensive pathways throughout the gardens, a post-feast cycle is within your gift. Or you could just take a snooze under the shade of a tree… 

Image courtesy of Giles Barnard

Kensington Gardens, W2 2UH,

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