Gorgeous green spaces within an hour of London

City breaks are growing in popularity and London remains a destination of choice for many travellers — thanks to its cosmopolitan feel, diverse shopping experiences and places of historical interest.

Even during a short metropolitan break, the desire to find some space can be strong, especially when you’re sharing the city with over eight million other people.

The good news is that there are eight royal parks open to the public across London — such as St. James Park, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. Together, they cover 500 acres, are free to visit and open 365 days of the year. For those people who want to travel a bit further afield and escape the city’s boundaries to discover the ‘real’ British countryside, there are many green and open spaces easily accessible by public transport, all within an hour’s reach of London. They’re the perfect choice for people on a city break who wish to see more of what the UK has to offer.

The Chilterns

One of the UK’s 38 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Chilterns are located to the North West of London. They cover 324 square miles of countryside, stretching from the River Thames in southern Oxfordshire up to Hitchin in Hertfordshire.

As well as a range of walks and trails that appeal to all sorts of visitors, the area boasts a variety of activities and events. Indeed, they are fast becoming renowned as a hotbed of local food and drink, with annual awards recognising the very best in UK producers, such as farm shops, artisan bread makers and local microbreweries like the Chiltern Brewery.

Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens is a World Heritage Site situated just thirty minutes outside London. It houses the largest and most diverse botanical collection in the world and is a destination of choice for many overseas travellers, thanks to its ability to balance the old with the new.

A popular recent addition to the gardens is the large timber treehouse, which doubles as a Santa’s Grotto during December. It complements the ancient gardens despite its modern design, thanks in part to contemporary wire fencing installed by specialist suppliers Ormiston Wire. The view it provides of the gardens is unrivalled — suspended at a scenic 18 metres above the woodland floor.

Blenheim Palace

This British stately home and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill lies in more than 2000 acres of landscaped parkland and formal gardens in Oxfordshire, an hour away from London. It’s home to several sites of special scientific interest, including its Great Lake and the ancient oaks.

There’s much to keep you occupied, including a new trail which enables visitors to walk in Churchill’s footsteps. But there’s also a variety of permanent art structures, such as Yves Klein’s blue Venus which sits in the green writing room of the palace — and temporary art installations like the recent exhibition by American neo-conceptual artist Jenny Holzer.


These are just a few ideas of gorgeous green spaces within an hour’s reach of London – there are many to choose from. Please share your own recommendations in the comments section.

Categories: Extra Travel


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