London is a magnificent place with so much to offer. As I like to say, you can never be bored in London! Being bored with the streets of London at your fingertips is an impossible feat. However, sometimes I want to take a step back from the constant commotion of the city and relax. So, where do I go? Luckily, London is vast enough that there are wonderful safe havens all over the city. Here are some of my favorites.
Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens
Take a slow wander through both Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, as they cover over a whopping 600 acres of the city. Bring your lunch and just lounge in the grass. There are loads of different people who visit the park: tourists, families, dog walkers, businessmen on their lunch break . . . blend in with the masses and people watch.
While I enjoy strolling through Hyde Park, many of my hanging spots are in Kensington Gardens. I’ll make my way from the Albert Memorial to the Kensington Palace, stopping for tea along the way. Make sure to check out areas like the Italian Gardens, Round Pond, the Peter Pan Statue, and Speaker’s Corner.
St. George’s Garden
Once one of the first graveyards in the city boundaries, St. George’s Park is a lovely piece of the city that seems million miles away from the hustle and bustle. While only about the width of a block, this transformed park is beautiful. It’s actually two cemeteries in one, the wall that separated them now represented by a row of stepping stones. Cement paths lined with wooden park benches snake around above ground tombs. A lovely flower garden greets visitors at the north entrance.
The gardens can be a popular place, depending on the time of day. I’m not entirely positive that the bodies were exhumed before St. George’s Gardens became what it is today. There’s a old bench in the far corner that I’ve made my own that doesn’t have it’s back to any grand tombs. Maybe just don’t sit on the grass.
King Charles I
Wood paneled walls, gold ceilings, scratched church pews, and a roaring fireplace . . . what isn’t there to love about this pub?
Bring a book, a journal, or a friend. Grab a drink and stay a while. It’s also close enough to Kings Cross station for a quick and cheaper drink if you’re on the move. It’s owned by a nice woman with a thick accent who calls everyone “love.”
Like St. George’s Garden, Postman’s Park was once another working graveyard. However, it has a humbling purpose. In the center of the park is a memorial to many people who died in self sacrifice. While most of the memorial is unfinished and there are only a few names, it’s a reverent place to those who would have otherwise been forgotten.
To a Tea
Whether it’s for afternoon tea or just a pick-me-up after a full day of sightseeing, To a Tea is a wonderfully quaint shop that has all the tea you could ever want. I’d recommend the scones and clotted cream.
The Fleet Street Press/Pret A Manger on Fleet Street
Fleet street is in the center of town, right along the Thames. While definitely a busy place, the shops along it are cozy (and offer free WiFi). Plus, who wouldn’t want to relax in a warm cafe with a view like that? Sometimes, I would go with the intention of getting some work done, but would just end up staring out the window, watching the world go by.
Recommend any London hangs of your own? Leave them down below in the comments!
Until next time,