As the days flash past with the hustle and bustle of the lead up to Christmas, it might be easy to forget to take a break from work.
However, it’s more important than ever to get away from your desk and take some time for yourself. So, if you live in the capital, don a warm coat, step outside and breathe in the crisp air.
Here we pick out some of the best parks for a winter walk in London.
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Best park for dog walking: Crystal Palace Park
There are many green spaces across London that are canine friendly, but Crystal Palace Park, found in the south east of the city, is one of the top spots for a dog walk. So-named for being the former home of the Crystal Palace structure built in 1851, the park is now full of beautiful trees, the odd dinosaur sculpture and on a weekend, plenty of walkers with their furry friends.
Best park for breathtaking views: Hampstead Heath
Hampstead Heath is no doubt one of the best places for views of the city. Take a walk up to the top of the hill in the centre of the park and admire the contrast of greenery with the skyline of the urban jungle. Its woodlands and meadows are perfect for a misty morning stroll and while it may be a bit chilly for open-water swimming, Hampstead Heath’s ponds provide the ideal spot for some quiet reflection.
Best park for hiking: Primrose Hill
While hard-core hikers may not find thrilling or dangerous inclines in the centre of London, Primrose Hill offers one of the best uphill workouts in the city. Surrounded by pastel-coloured houses, boutiques and delis, this small green space off Regent’s Park boasts a height of 64 metres. You’ll be rewarded when you reach the summit, as this is another place to spy London’s famous skyscrapers.
Best park for coffee and a sit-down: Hyde Park
This year, in the absence of Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park may see a downturn in visitors during the colder months. However, as one of the most popular and biggest green spaces across the whole city, it is still a must-visit. This is the perfect place to grab a takeaway coffee and meander with the swans along the banks of the Serpentine or to read a book under a favourite tree.
Best park for cycling: Victoria Park
For those who are still resolutely maintaining their fitness, Victoria Park in Stratford is a great place for a pedal. To the east of London, this enormous stretch of green space hosts a lake, many winding roads and a coffee shop for a mid-ride break right at its heart.
Best park to see wildlife: Regent’s Park
Any list of London’s best parks would be incomplete without Regent’s Park. One of the Royal Parks of London, Regent’s Park is a veritable eco-system for urban wildlife. It’s a bird spotter’s haven, as a home to more than 100 different species. It’s also one of the few spots in central London where you might find a hedgehog, so keep your eyes peeled for this prickly pal.
Best park for a bit of peace: Battersea Park
Whenever you’re after some peace and quiet, Battersea Park is the place to be. Located on the banks of the River Thames, the large pathways, whispering trees and the Peace Pagoda will soothe anyone’s soul on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
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