ELL’s Secret Gardens

Everyone knows there are some brilliant parks across the capital, but hopefully, this list will point you in the direction of some less explored green spaces right on your doorstep.

Horniman Museum and Gardens

Pic: Cmglee

Location: 100 London Rd, Forest Hill, London SE23 3PQ
About:Horniman Museum is one of our favourite days-out at ELL, and it’s gardens are truly magnificent. Spread over 16 acres this is one of London’s green spaces that gets nowhere near enough attention. The 1930’s bandstand has one of the best views across London and the new Grasslands Garden, designed by Olympic Park architect James Hitchmough, shows some amazing, and sustainable, flower displays.

Geffrye Museum Gardens

Pic: Cmglee

Location: 136 Kingsland Rd, London E2 8EA
About: Geffrye Museum is home to some of London’s most idyllic green spaces despite being nestled just off the Kingsland Road. Their award winning herb-garden makes brilliant use of a once derelict space and now holds over 170 different kinds of herbs held in beautifully laid out traditional flower beds.

St Mary’s Secret Garden

Pic: David Hawgood

Location: 50 Pearson St, London E2 8EL
About: Originally set up in 1986 by a group of local volunteers, Saint Mary’s Secret Garden has grown to be a hidden sanctuary in the heart of East London. The gardens have become a safe space for the local community and somewhere people can learn about gardening in training sessions while benefiting from the therapeutic environment.

Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries

Pic: Stephen Craven

Location: 113 Brockley Grove, London SE4 1DZ
About: Cemeteries have long been treasured open spaces in big cities, with Nunhead and Highgate both standing out in London. Brockley and Ladywell are far less popular, but that’s one of the things that makes them so special. Spread over 37 acres this is a brilliant place for a quiet walk, there are also some interesting people buried there, so keep an eye out.

Crystal Palace Park

Pic: Ian Wright

Location: 42 Thicket Rd, London SE19 2GA
About: This is by far one of our favourite parks in London, and although it would be push to say it was a secret, it definitely isn’t as popular as it deserves to be. There is so much to do here with, a skate park, a boating lake, one of the largest mazes in the country and a selection of dinosaur statues that were made in 1854.



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