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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For London as a whole, see the main article London.

London is well endowed with open spaces. Green space in central London consists of five Royal Parks, supplemented by a number of small garden squares scattered throughout the city centre. Open space in the rest of the city is dominated by the remaining three Royal Parks and many other parks and open spaces of a range of sizes, run mainly by the local London boroughs, although other owners include the National Trust and the City of London Corporation.


Royal parks

St James's Park Lake in Westminster, looking east towards the London Eye

The centrepieces of London's park system are the eight Royal Parks of London. Covering 1976 hectares,[1] they are former royal hunting grounds which are now open to the public. Four of these — Green Park (16 ha), St. James's Park (34 ha), Hyde Park (140 ha), and Kensington Gardens (111 ha) — form a green strand through the western side of the city centre, whilst a fifth, Regent's Park (197 ha) is just to the north. The remaining three Royal Parks are in the suburbs — Greenwich Park (73 ha) to the south east, and Bushy Park (450 ha) and Richmond Park (955 ha) to the south west.

Garden squares

Many of the smaller green spaces in central London are garden squares which were built for the private use of the residents of the fashionable districts, but in some cases are now open to the public. Notable examples open to the public are Russell Square in Bloomsbury, Lincoln's Inn Fields in Holborn and Soho Square in Soho.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea contains over 100 garden squares whose use is restricted to residents. The upkeep of these squares is paid for through a levy on top of residents' council tax.[2]

Council parks

In addition to these spaces, a large number of council-owned parks were developed between the mid 19th century and the Second World War, including Victoria Park (86 ha), Alexandra Park (80 ha) and Battersea Park (83 ha).

Other green spaces

Other major open spaces in the suburbs include:

They have a more informal and semi-natural character, having originally been countryside areas protected against surrounding urbanisation. Some cemeteries provide extensive green land within the city — notably Highgate Cemetery, burial place of Karl Marx and Michael Faraday amongst others. Completing London's array of green spaces are two paid entrance gardens — the leader is the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew, whilst the royal residence of Hampton Court Palace also has a celebrated garden. All Outer London boroughs contain sections of the metropolitan green belt.[14] Furthermore one of the great legacies of the 2012 Olympic Games in London will be the development of the largest urban park in Europe at Stratford in East London.[15]


There are several types of London greenways including The Greenway and the Thames Path.

By location

  1. City of London
  2. Westminster
  3. Kensington and Chelsea
  4. Hammersmith and Fulham
  5. Wandsworth
  6. Lambeth
  7. Southwark
  8. Tower Hamlets
  9. Hackney
  10. Islington
  11. Camden
  12. Brent
  13. Ealing
  14. Hounslow
  15. Richmond
  16. Kingston upon Thames
  17. Merton
City of London City of Westminster Kensington and Chelsea Hammersmith and Fulham Wandsworth Lambeth Southwark Tower Hamlets Hackney Islington Camden Brent Ealing Hounslow Richmond upon Thames Kingston Merton Sutton Croydon Bromley Lewisham Greenwich Bexley Havering Barking and Dagenham Redbridge Newham Waltham Forest Haringey Enfield Barnet Harrow Hillingdon London-boroughs.svg
About this image
  1. Sutton
  2. Croydon
  3. Bromley
  4. Lewisham
  5. Greenwich
  6. Bexley
  7. Havering
  8. Barking and Dagenham
  9. Redbridge
  10. Newham
  11. Waltham Forest
  12. Haringey
  13. Enfield
  14. Barnet
  15. Harrow
  16. Hillingdon


  1. ^, Hansard. Written answers for 7 Feb 2002. URL accessed on 17 July 2009.
  2. ^ "Your garden square and you", Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. URL accessed 20 June 2006.
  3. ^ "City of London Hampstead Heath". City of London. Last modified: 12 February 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2010. 
  4. ^ "London's heaths and commons". Retrieved 13 March 2010. 
  5. ^ "Wimbledon & Putney Commons facts and figures". 2007. Retrieved 13 March 2010. 
  6. ^ "Epping Forest You & Your Dog". brichure. City of London. Retrieved 2010-03-13. 
  7. ^ "Parks & Gardens UK, Trent Park, Enfield, England". web page. Parks & Gardens Data Services Ltd. 15 August 2009.,com_parksandgardens/task,site/id,3305/Itemid,292/. Retrieved 2010-03-13. 
  8. ^ "Essex/Greater London Site Name: Hainault Forest". Natural England. Retrieved 13 March 2010. 
  9. ^ "Mitcham Common". Mitcham Common Conservators. Retrieved 13 March 2010. 
  10. ^ "South Norwood Country Park - Children's Play Area Design and Access Statement". Croydon Council. 27 February 2008. Retrieved 13 March 2010. 
  11. ^ "LTGDC launches vision for London Riverside". Invest Britain UK regional development and inward investment. 19 April 2008. Retrieved 13 March 2010. 
  12. ^ "Watling Chase Community Forest A Guide for Landowners, Developers and Users". Hertsmere Borough Council. Retrieved 13 March 2010. 
  13. ^ "Forestry Commission News Release No. 1656, 1.6 MILLION MORE TREES PROMISED FOR THE EAST OF LONDON". Forestry Commission. 28 October 1998. Retrieved 13 March 2010. 
  14. ^ Greater London Authority - London's strategic open space network
  15. ^ Olympics will leave east London an open space to rival Hyde Park - The Guardian - March 17th 2008

External links



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