While London is full of beautiful new builds and iconic buildings that people already know to visit, the capital city of England also offers a variety of parks and green spaces for residents and tourists. Exploring London’s natural areas is a must; there is nothing more relaxing in the summer than unwinding in the park with the grass beneath you and the sun shining. Even in winter, these 10 parks in West London are great for hikes and exploring.
London is very much a green city. It has 3000 parks of varying sizes, designed as ‘public open spaces’ for people to explore. Almost 18 per cent of London is a green space, which, as the Greater London Authority Government page states, is more than the area of the city covered by railways and roads combined.
There are plenty of popular parks in Central London, but parks in West London offer hidden beauty spots that deserve to explore too. If you fancy a day further away from Central London, then these parks are perfect. This guide will look at 10 of the best parks in West London that are worthy of being added to your London bucket list.
1. Richmond Park – Richmond
If you’re a fan of wildlife, Richmond Park is the place for you. With a variety of exciting creatures, particularly deer, this large open park offers wonderful nature trails and beautiful views alongside the friendly wildlife. Richmond Park is a top UK site for ancient trees and supports many rare species, such as fungi, birds, bats, and grasses. It has protected status as an important habitat for wildlife, and is one of London’s eight Royal Parks, covering an impressive area of 2500 acres.
You’ll need a whole afternoon to explore Richmond Park because of its wide open spaces. There are the Isabella Plantation woodland gardens, the Pembroke Lodge tea rooms, and King Henry’s Mound which offers distant views of St Paul’s Cathedral.
2. Gunnersbury Park – Hounslow
Home to the Georgian Grade II listed Gunnersbery House and Museum, this picturesque park is close by to Acton, Brentford, Chiswick, and Ealing. Explore this 7–hectare estate, which has been open to the public since 1926, at your own pace by doing the 3.7km circular walk around the park. There is also a new sports hub in which you can play cricket or tennis too.
The park gets one million visitors per year, and it is no surprise with its rich multi-cultural and multi-faith history explored in its recently renovated museum, along with the new sports facility and summer festivals. It is one of the best parks in West London and a must-visit if you’re exploring that area of London.
3. Bushy Park – Hampton
Less known than Richmond Park, this park still deserves a place as one of the best parks in West London. Close to Hampton Court Palace, this park is the second-largest of London’s eight Royal Parks. Bushy is known for its mixture of waterways, gardens, and roaming herds of deer. Here you can see the legacy of a Tudor deer park, the remains of medieval farming systems, and 17th-century water gardens with beautiful decorative features.
There is also a newly-restored Upper Lodge Water Gardens which is a historic gem hidden away in the north area of the park. Woodland Gardens also promises a picturesque walk, and you can unwind at the Pheasantry Cafe after.
4. Walpole Park – Ealing
A 28-acre grade II listed park surrounding Pitzhanger Manor House in Ealing, Walpole Park is a great place to go for a picnic or a little afternoon walk in a pretty park. There is a walled garden, fish pond, and gardens to explore.
It is one of the ‘most important parks’ in the borough of Ealing and provides a main recreational space for the area. The Ealing Summer Festival takes place here and the green space offers a small cafe and children’s playground for relaxation, not just for residents, but for tourists and visitors too.
5. Kew Gardens – Richmond
Commonly known as one of the most famous botanic gardens in England, Kew Gardens seems to live up to its expectation. This green space contains a beautifully landscaped garden with many different species of plants.
At Kew Gardens, they aim to understand and protect plants and fungi to end the extinction crisis, and to ‘help create a world where nature is protected, valued and managed sustainably’. As one of the most popular gardens and parks in West London, there is plenty to do and see with its large collection of plants and green space where you can explore the beauty of the area while doing a walk around the area. There is a beautiful treetop walkway and lake crossing bridge which offers fantastic views. You can also join a guided tour too.
6. Ravenscourt Park – Hammersmith
This 13-hectare park is located in the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, not too far from Central London. As well as its wildlife habitats, play areas, tennis, and basketball courts, the park also has a tea house and garden centre. There is a paddling pool in the summer, which is great for families.
Ravenscourt Park is certainly one of the best parks in West London. There are plenty of photo opportunities near the pond with great views. It can get quite busy in the summer with locals, but because of the huge size of the park, there are lots of space to sit and enjoy the sun, or have a picnic.
7. Chiswick House and Gardens – Chiswick
The impressive Chiswick House was built in the 18th century and was designed in the Roman Villa style; while this house is a beauty, the 65 acres of grade I, award-winning gardens are what makes this park worthy of a visit.
It is internationally recognised as a place of historical significance in its architecture and garden history. Chiswick House has also been featured in many films and TV programs such as Killing Eve, Antiques Roadshow, Great British Bake Off, and Horrible Histories.
The gardens are free entry too, which makes for a cheap day out to escape Central London and explore one of the most beautiful parks in West London.
8. Holland Park – Kensington
Named as one of the most famous parks in West London, Holland Park is worth a spot in the top 10 West London parks. It has 22.5 hectares of land, which contains children’s play areas, sports areas, a cafe, and large areas of woodland space and wildlife.
The stunning Kyoto Garden is also in Holland Park which is a famous Japanese garden that was donated by the Chamber of Commerce of Kyoto in 1991. Luckily this West London park is free and the beautiful gardens are a must-visit in the park.
9. Syon Park – Brentford
If history is your thing, you are sure to love Syon Park. This gorgeous house and gardens have been in the same family for 400 years and the house boasts beautiful artwork and an Arboretum in the garden.
Syon is one of the last great houses of London and holds a wealth of art and grand classical interiors. The park and gardens are said to feel like the deep countryside. As well as Syon House, you can also view the breathtaking state, the Great Conservatory, and 40 acres of gardens.
10. Wandsworth Park – Putney
Slightly more south than west, Wandsworth Park still deserves a spot in the best parks in West London. This Grade II listed Edwardian part has an array of ornamental shrubberies, sports areas, play areas, and a cafe. Situated along the Southbank, there is a view of the River Thames here too; this park is closer to the busyness of London compared to the hidden parks mentioned previously, but Wandsworth Park is still a relaxing, quiet park to explore in your free time.
A 3.5-hectare playing field is in the centre of the park, surrounded by an oval path. If you’re looking for a smaller park a little bit out of central London, then Wandsworth Park is a great choice of a park in West London.
Conclusion: Parks in West London
There is an extensive amount of parks in West London to explore. No matter your age or whether you visit solo, or with your partner, friends, or family, there is plenty to explore in each of these parks for walks or sightseeing. While these parks are best explored in the summer months and provide perfect spaces for picnics, these parks are open in all seasons for walks too.
Make sure you check opening times for some of the parks that offer houses and gardens and book any tickets in advance to plan and avoid disappointment.
By Cara-Louise Scott
Cara-Louise Scott is a student journalist currently living in Birmingham. Having recently finished her undergraduate degree, she regularly writes for her student paper and Empoword, and has a passion for all things travel, food and books. She is due to begin her NCTJ course in the Autumn to become a qualified journalist.