The lake in Beddington Park in the London Borough of Sutton in southwest London

Green space in central London consists of five of the capital's eight Royal Parks, supplemented by a number of small garden squares scattered throughout the city centre. Open space in the rest of the region is dominated by the remaining three Royal Parks and many other parks and open spaces of a range of sizes, run mainly by the local London boroughs, although other owners include the National Trust and the City of London Corporation.

London is made of 40% public green space, including 3,000 parks and totaling 35,000 acres.[1][2]

Royal parks

St James's Park Lake in Westminster, looking east from the Blue Bridge towards the London Eye.

Main article: Royal Parks of London

The centrepieces of Greater London's park system are the eight Royal Parks of London. Covering 1,976 hectares (4,882 acres),[3] they are former royal hunting grounds which are now open to the public.

Garden squares

Main article: List of garden squares in London

View of the centre of Gordon Square.

Many of the smaller green spaces in central London are garden squares, which were built for the private use of the residents of the fashionable districts, but in some cases are now open to the public. Notable examples open to the public are Russell Square in Bloomsbury, Lincoln's Inn Fields in Holborn and Soho Square in Soho.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea contains over a hundred garden squares whose use is restricted to residents. The upkeep of many of these spaces (also named for example Crescents, Gardens, Place) is paid for through a levy on top of residents' council tax.[12]

Council parks

The bathing pond at Victoria Park. Unused for bathing since the 1930s.

In addition to these spaces, a large number of council-owned parks were developed between the mid 19th century and the Second World War.

London Borough of Tower Hamlets

London Borough of Wandsworth

London Borough of Lewisham

London Borough of Bromley

Lambeth Council

London Borough of Haringey

  • Tottenham Parks

Other green spaces

Highgate model boating pond near Parliament Hill

Other major open spaces in the suburbs include:

name hectares acres
Thames Chase 9,842 24,320[16]
Epping Forest 2,476 6,118[17]
Wildspace Conservation Park 645 1,593[18]
Wimbledon Common 460 1,136[19]
Hampstead Heath 320 790[20]
Walthamstow Wetlands 211 520[21]
Mitcham Common 182 450[22]
Trent Park 169 418[23]
Hainault Forest Country Park 136 336[24]
Clapham Common 89 220[25]
Wormwood Scrubs 80 200
Wandsworth Common 73 180
Gunnersbury Park 72 178[26]
Tooting Bec Common 62 152
South Norwood Country Park 47 116[27]

They have a more informal and semi-natural character, having originally been countryside areas protected against surrounding urbanisation. Some cemeteries provide extensive green land within the city — notably Highgate Cemetery, burial place of Karl Marx and Michael Faraday amongst others. Completing London's array of green spaces are two paid entrance gardens — the leader is the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew, whilst the royal residence of Hampton Court Palace also has a celebrated garden. All Outer London boroughs contain sections of the metropolitan green belt.[28]


There are over a hundred registered commons in London, ranging in size from small fragments of land to large expanses.

Lavender Fields

Lavender field in the London Borough of Sutton

There are two historic lavender fields in the London Borough of Sutton. One, at Oaks Way, Carshalton Beeches is three acres in size and is run as a not-for-profit community project. The other, a 25-acre commercial site in Croydon Lane called Mayfield, is popular with tourists. Situated on the North Downs of Surrey, the locality is ideal for lavender cultivation, owing to the chalky free-draining nature of the soil. It was known as the "Lavender Capital of the World" from the 18th to the early 20th centuries, with global production of the plant centred here and blue fields dotting the area.[29][30]


There are several types of London greenways including The Greenway and the Thames Path.

By location

  1. City of London
  2. Westminster
  3. Kensington and Chelsea
  4. Hammersmith and Fulham
  5. Wandsworth
  6. Lambeth
  7. Southwark
  8. Tower Hamlets
  9. Hackney
  10. Islington
  11. Camden
  12. Brent
  13. Ealing
  14. Hounslow
  15. Richmond
  16. Kingston upon Thames
  17. Merton
City of LondonCity of WestminsterKensington and ChelseaHammersmith and FulhamWandsworthLambethSouthwarkTower HamletsHackneyIslingtonCamdenBrentEalingHounslowRichmond upon ThamesKingstonMertonSuttonCroydonBromleyLewishamGreenwichBexleyHaveringBarking and DagenhamRedbridgeNewhamWaltham ForestHaringeyEnfieldBarnetHarrowHillingdon
  1. Sutton
  2. Croydon
  3. Bromley
  4. Lewisham
  5. Greenwich
  6. Bexley
  7. Havering
  8. Barking and Dagenham
  9. Redbridge
  10. Newham
  11. Waltham Forest
  12. Haringey
  13. Enfield
  14. Barnet
  15. Harrow
  16. Hillingdon

London National Park City

London was officially declared the world's first National Park City in July 2019. A National Park City is inspired by the family of National Parks but is not the same as a National Park: it is a “large urban area that is managed and semi-protected through both formal and informal means to enhance the natural capital of its living landscape".[31] It is led by volunteers with a network of supporters and backing from councils' including the Mayor of London with activities linking to the Greater London Authorities' Environment Strategy.

The London National Park City was established by the National Park City Foundation [NPCF], which aims to inspire 25 National Park Cities around the world by 2025.

See also


  1. ^ "London 'greenest city' in Europe".
  2. ^ "47 per cent of London is green space: time for a national park?". The Independent. September 25, 2014. Archived from the original on 2022-05-25.
  3. ^, Hansard. Written answers for 7 Feb 2002. URL accessed on 17 July 2009.
  4. ^ "Richmond Park | The Royal Parks". 2023-08-16. Retrieved 2023-10-16.
  5. ^ "Bushy Park | The Royal Parks". 2023-08-16. Retrieved 2023-10-16.
  6. ^ "The Regent's Park & Primrose Hill | The Royal Parks". Retrieved 2023-10-16.
  7. ^ "Hyde Park | The Royal Parks". 2023-09-11. Retrieved 2023-10-16.
  8. ^ "Kensington Gardens | The Royal Parks". 2023-08-21. Retrieved 2023-10-16.
  9. ^ "Greenwich Park | The Royal Parks". Retrieved 2023-10-16.
  10. ^ "St. James's Park | The Royal Parks". Retrieved 2023-10-16.
  11. ^ "The Green Park | The Royal Parks". Retrieved 2023-10-16.
  12. ^ "Your garden square and you" Archived 2006-07-11 at the Wayback Machine, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, UK. URL accessed 20 June 2006.
  13. ^ "Tower Hamlets Council > Leisure and culture > Parks and open spaces > Parks > Victoria Park > Visitor information". web page. Tower Hamlets Council. Archived from the original on 25 January 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  14. ^ "Wandsworth Battersea Park". web page. Wandsworth Council. 2013. Archived from the original on 23 January 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  15. ^ "Brockwell Park". Lambeth Council. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  16. ^ "Forestry Commission News Release No. 1656, 1.6 MILLION MORE TREES PROMISED FOR THE EAST OF LONDON". Forestry Commission. 28 October 1998. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
  17. ^ "Epping Forest You & Your Dog" (PDF). brichure. City of London. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-04. Retrieved 2010-03-13.
  18. ^ "LTGDC launches vision for London Riverside". Invest Britain UK regional development and inward investment. 19 April 2008. Archived from the original on 9 October 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
  19. ^ "Wimbledon & Putney Commons facts and figures". 2007. Archived from the original on 28 August 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
  20. ^ David Bentley (12 February 2010). "City of London Hampstead Heath". City of London. Archived from the original on 13 May 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
  21. ^ "Walthamstow Wetlands | Visit Walthamstow Wetlands". Retrieved 2015-10-27.
  22. ^ "Mitcham Common". Mitcham Common Conservators. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
  23. ^ "Parks & Gardens UK, Trent Park, Enfield, England". web page. Parks & Gardens Data Services Ltd. 15 August 2009. Archived from the original on 26 February 2012. Retrieved 2010-03-13.
  24. ^ "Essex/Greater London Site Name: Hainault Forest" (PDF). Natural England. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
  25. ^ "London's heaths and commons". Archived from the original on October 15, 2009. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
  26. ^ "Park | Gunnersbury".
  27. ^ "South Norwood Country Park - Children's Play Area Design and Access Statement" (PDF). Croydon Council. 27 February 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 October 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
  28. ^ Greater London Authority - London's strategic open space network Archived 2008-04-09 at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ "Mayfield Lavender". Archived from the original on 2008-05-30.
  30. ^ "Carshalton Lavender".
  31. ^ "FAQs". London National Park City.