Lifestyle Travel

Staycation in London

Today I am linking up with Emma for the topic of Β “staycations”. Now that I’ve lived in London for almost 3 years (although not consecutively, most noticeably withΒ brief interlude in Stratford-upon-Avon for 8 months) I have a pretty firm idea of what I like to do in London. But if I was Β specifically planing a “staycation” otherwise known as a vacation at home, I’d plan a weekend to avoid the things about London that bum me out. Mainly the crowds. I hate feeling like a human sardine, and when all your wage goes towards a rental flat you begin to question if London is worth it. Β  So my vacation at home would be filled with fresh air and limited contact with crowds.

I’ve blogged at length about places like Richmond Park, Kew Gardens and Hampstead Heath. No matter how busy those places are at the gates, you can always find bits where you are isolated in a world of your own. Of course, I am blatantly operating under the assumption that if I plan an outdoor day the weather will cooperate.

palm house and pond
Outside the Palm House at Kew Gardens in early April.
view from king henry's mount
View from King Henry’s Mount in Richmond Park.

I would leave the house early in the morning loaded down with things; picnic food, drinks, camera, blankets, books, extra clothing layers. Enough things to stay in the park or gardens all day long and not want for anything.
hot dogs and hamburgers

That silver duffle bag was filled with food from the latest dinner picnic. Although pictured you can only see Sour Patch Kids, French’s Mustard and a jar of salsa. I am clearly a woman with her priorities on display.

Here’s a list of my Top Ten Green Spaces in London:

10. Hyde Park
9. Wimbledon Common / Putney Heath
8. Greenwich Park
7. Peckham Rye Common
6. Crystal Palace Park
5. Hampton Court gardens / Bushy Park
4. Kew Gardens
3. Eltham Palace grounds
2. Hampstead Heath / Highgate Wood
1. Richmond Park

You Might Also Like

  • Claudz

    Lovely photos! this makes me miss London so much. I used to love Hampstead Heath and Hyde Park

    • Did you ever go swimming in the Heath? That’s one of my favourite things to do! x

      • Claudz

        No πŸ™ it was always too cold.

        • Darn! Well if it makes you feel better, even at the height of summer the water is still frigid! x

  • Great photos! Make me want to go outdoors πŸ™‚ I will bookmark this in case I’ll visit London.


  • Lovely post. I love visiting London and discovering more if it’s outdoor spaces. Last time I went I just spent the day walking round Richmond park. It was just lovely. I really want to go to Kew Gardens, I think that will be my next trip.

    • Kew Gardens is the most expensive thing on this list but it’s really worth it! (In my opinion – plus they were hit by funding cuts!) I hope you get a chance! x

  • Love the picnic supplies, and agree that whole sardine feeling is not good at all.

  • I, for one, would love to read about a staycation you’d plan in Rome! I think it would be an incredibly interesting post! x

  • They are just so incredible. The sweet pads is my favourite perk of being royalty. Darn Sam for being a commoner! x

  • Gracey

    Looks like a great place to just sit and be……and maybe people watch…people watching is a fun activity…..

  • A day out at the park sounds like the perfect way to spend a staycation. I will admit when I was in London (for a very short one day) I was so overwhelmed with the crowds, especially coming from the quiet Iceland. H and I found a park to enjoy though, London has some beautiful green spaces!

    • Summer and Christmastime are the busiest for Central London (in my opinion!) Which park did you stumble across? x

  • Angie SilverSpoon

    So nice to find a patch of green in busy London πŸ™‚

  • Ashley Angle

    Love this post and love your blog!
    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle

  • If you’re going to have a staycation, London isn’t a bad place to be πŸ˜€ And a day in the park seems like the perfect way to spend it. Love reading these posts even more, because while I haven’t been to them all, I can plan to visit in the very near future!

  • I love that London is such a big busy city yet there are lots of lovely parks to wander around!

    • I completely agree! I think that at heart, I’m meant to live in the country, but for my profession I need to be in the city. Luckily in London, I can get a bit of nature πŸ™‚ x

  • I would kill to visit London someday, but alas, I am across the pond in Washington DC! Staycations are the best, though! I’ll have to work on having my own before classes start up again!

  • There are definitely worse places to stay than in London!

  • I completely agree, a staycation is definitely a moment to either be a tourist in your own home or avoid all things that repel you haha. I’m definitely never up to be a sardine and queue, etc. I think picnics are such a good idea to go spend the day outside and enjoy the nice weather!

    • Haha some days being on the tube makes me feel a bit murderous so being outside in my free time definitely mellows me out πŸ™‚ x

  • Love your blog and this post πŸ™‚
    Beautiful pictures!

  • Love this list – I haven’t been to half of these yet! Can’t wait to try them out. And I must say, well done on the salsa and sour patch kids. We’re going to get on like a house on fire πŸ˜‰

    • I hope you get a chance before the weather turns! Though they are all beautiful in the Autumn as well. And brilliant! I’m glad we have our food priorities in line πŸ˜‰ x

  • Ahhh… one of the things that really makes living in London amazing are all the beautiful green spaces you can relax in. I would also add Queens Park, Regents Park and Battersea Park to your list.
    Claire xx

    • So many lovely parks! Out of the 3 you mentioned Battersea Park is the closest to making it into my 10 ten list, but I think Regents Park would be closer to Sam’s. πŸ™‚ x

  • Such a good idea to pre-plan so you can really have an adventure. You’ll make a great mom one day because MY GOODNESS.. that is all you do when you go out for the day. There must be food, drink, toys, change of clothes.. etc etc etc ! ! !

    • Hehe thanks. It’s probably from working with kids and having spare clothing and a snack (both for them, not me) is essential just for a 10 minute trip to the library. And it will always take wayyyyy longer than necessary. Although: here’s a secret – I’m not sure I want to have kids… not any time soon anyways. πŸ™‚ x

  • Elle

    I’ve only been to one of those (Hyde Park, which I loved!) but hope to one day see the rest of them!!

  • I love how London has so many beautiful green spaces, it’s one of the things that makes it one of my favourite cities, it’s just got a little bit of everything!

    • So true! I love that you can be in a park that’s so big that you don’t even know you are inside of London. Magic, that. x

  • I think I am going to Richmond Park this weekend! I have never been and need to before the summer ends!

    • I hope you get to see loads of deer! (And I hope the weather stays nice.) Have a great time! x

  • It’s so tough to even narrow a list like this to 10 – how do you pick just a few of London’s multitude? A picnic is definitely a must!

    • Haha I’m picky enough that I can definitely narrow it down to 10 – if I cheat slightly – by having ties in certain places. πŸ™‚ x

  • Great list!!! I really want to check out Kew Gardens on our next visit to London, I keep hearing amazing things about that area!

    • You’ll love it! It’s gorgeous. If you haven’t been out to Richmond Park I’d really recommend it as well! x

  • Molly S

    I love Crystal Palace Park – it’s one of my favourites! I’ve never been to Eltham Palace grounds, though. Great list!

    • Crystal Palace Park is my local so I’m particularly partial to it- especially the dinosaurs πŸ™‚ x

  • Chelsee

    I love all the pics! I seriously had a moment last week where i had the thoughts about moving to london lol I immediately thought of you! Thanks for linking up for the Let’s Be Friends blog hop!

  • I remember on my days off from work, packing my bag with essentials and heading to Hampstead Heath. I would find a somewhat isolated spot and spend the day reading, thinking…wondering. Those days would be my saving grace as it provided me with some quiet and stillness. Two words that are seldom used in the same sentence with London!

  • Anna Parker

    I love how much choice of parks there is in london – my own favourite is regents park, but it has been far too long since i’ve been!

  • Kelly Michelle

    I used to live in Richmond and went for a walk each night through Richmond Park – it’s one of London’s best kept secrets. xx

  • I’m a sucker for lists like these. If you look on Time Out they have some great lists of 100 Best things to do in London divided into different categories. I, obviously, plan to do each and every thing on this particular list (this should be no surprise to you):

  • Rosie @Eco-Gites of Lenault

    I used to live on the edge of London and I think you can tell that I am a country girl at heart as I have visited 7 of your 10 open spaces – many more than once πŸ™‚

    • It seems like you have great taste in open spaces then:) Do you have a favourite? x

      • Rosie @Eco-Gites of Lenault

        Possibly Greenwich.

        • Great choice! x

          • Rosie @Eco-Gites of Lenault

            Thank you – we lived not too far away so did go quite often. Never made it into the Observatory though!

  • When I was at school if we were lucky the teachers would bundle us into the minibus and let us run round Richmond Park. We had our wedding reception opposite Bushy Park and had photos taken in Hampton Court Palace Gardens. On the last Sunday before school restarted we would take a picnic up to Wimbledon Common and pick blackberries.

    • If I was a teacher, I’d be terrified that I’d lose a child in Richmond Park, but it must have been so fun for you. And I bet your wedding photos are all gorgeous! x

      • I think the teachers had realised by then we were quite a well behaved bunch. Also there was the possibility of being left in Richmond Park in just our PE kits! We were married at Easter so all the daffodils were out in the gardens.

        • Is it really weird to say that if you were married at Easter this year, I might have walked by your wedding?! x

  • Alliha Jonson

    I have visited almost all
    the gardens of London except Kew Gardens. I have heard a lot about its beauty
    but could not have a chance to visits it. My friend visit it after coming from boston
    to dc bus tours
    . He told me his experience about this park and showed
    me the pictures that he has captured. I am very excited to go there. I hope I will
    be visiting it next month.