When the sun is shining, there are fewer more pleasant ways to relax than by having a picnic in one of London’s public spaces. We’ve rounded up 10 of our favourite spots below – grab a blanket, pack a hamper and stretch out on the grass for an afternoon to remember.
Hyde Park has many attractions that make it a perfect picnic spot – not only is there oodles of space in which you can stretch out to enjoy some nosh, but you can also go roller-blading, play numerous sports and go boating on the Serpentine. Hyde Park is also the venue for fantastic events at which picnics are welcome – September’s Proms in the Park is just one of the great options. The wonderful Kensington Gardens is just a short stroll away, why not spend a day exploring both?
Ham Polo Club
Serve up some high-octane sporting action with your picnic on Sundays at Ham Polo Club, when spectators can lounge by the side of the pitch and watch London’s only polo team compete, whilst munching on sandwiches and scotch eggs. Entry to matches, which take place until 29 September, is £5 per person, or £20 for a car of up to four people.
If you like your picnics sizzling, head to Highbury Fields where you can BBQ in the park. As well as a warm welcome for your disposable barbecues, the park offers a children’s playground, sports facilities and a dog-free picnic area.
St James’s Park
Situated next to Buckingham Palace, St James’s is one of London’s prettiest parks. Not only can you have a picnic whilst admiring the surrounding architecture, the park’s foliage and the stunning expanse of water, but you can also see the park’s famous pelicans when they’re fed every day at 2.30pm.
Lincoln’s Inn Fields
Lincoln’s Inn Fields, which adjoins one of the four Inns of Court at which all barristers are members, is the largest public square in London. It’s a peaceful place for a picnic in between seeing the sights of central London – both Covent Garden and the British Museum are less than 10 minutes away.
At 790 acres, you’re truly spoiled for choice as to where to picnic on Hampstead Heath. You could head to Parliament Hill, from which you can get an unrivalled view over London, sit in the grounds of historic Kenwood House or picnic next to the lido if you feel like an afternoon swim.
It’s not often you can picnic in a World Heritage Site, but London’s Greenwich Park allows you to do just that. Situated by the river Thames, the park offers stunning views of both the water and central London. Closer at hand are the magnificent Royal Maritime Museum and the old Royal Observatory, which provide a dramatic backdrop as well as the perfect post-picnic activity.
Victoria Tower Gardens
Picnic next to the Houses of Parliament in this riverside park, which gives you a chance to study the historical palace of Westminster up close. The park itself also contains a range of interesting features, including a replica of Rodin’s The Burghers of Calais and the Buxton Memorial Fountain, commemorating the emancipation of slaves.
The Regent’s Park
The stunning Regent’s Park is a wonderful place to have a picnic, especially if you’re having a relaxed meal before you see a production at the park’s Open Air Theatre. Picnic-ers can enjoy views over the lake, the glorious expanse of roses in Queen Mary’s Gardens or even the entire city of London from the heights of the park’s Primrose Hill.
South London’s Battersea Park is full of picturesque picnic spots, as well as a host of attractions. Explore the children’s zoo, float on the boating lake or see an exhibition at the striking Pump House Gallery.
Where’s your favourite place to have a picnic in London?