Parks and Gardens, London
Located along The Middle of Park Lane Road and Technically Still Part of Hyde Park is the Animals at War Memorial which is dedicated to the to all the animals that served, suffered and died alongside the British, Commonwealth and Allied forces in the wars and conflicts of the 20th century. The memorial was designed by English sculptor David Backhouse and was unveiled in 2004 and among the scuptures here are the war animals such as the dog, the mule, the horse, the carrier pigeons to elephants.
Hyde Park has a total area of 142 hectares (as compared to 111 hectares of kensington park and 16 hectares of the serpentine) and this park was initially used by King Henry VIII for hunting and then became the site of the Great Exhibition of 1851 (London Expo) and besides being a popular attraction is also a major site for demonstrations of whatever kind. Among the Attractions here include Marbel Arch (will have a separate tip for it), Speaker's Corner, Achilles Statue, Joy of Life Fountain, Diana Memorial Fountain, Holocaust Memorial, Cavalry Memorial, Animals in War Memorial, Norwegian Memorial and a lot more.
In the middle of the city, close to St Paul's Cathedral, is a small park, called Postman's Park. The name is because it is so close to the General Post Office Headquarters & the Statue of Sir Roland Hill. Sir Roland initiated the "Penny Post", a small amount for posting a letter in the 1840s. The Penny Post was because of the first stamp was a Penny Black. The stamp was of course the proof for the payment for delivery. Previously sealed letters were sent by stagecoach & the recipient had to pay for the delivery.
The park is a quiet retreat for Londoners to rest, have their lunch on fine afternoons.
On one side of the park there is an awning sheltering a wall which contains tiles, each one telling a sad story of someone who sacrificed their own life to save another one.
Potters Fields it's situated between the City Hall and Tower Bridge. It’s an area that it’s great just to sit on the grass with a picnic and take in the views over Tower Bridge and the river and watch the world go round.
Potters Fields its a term for a place of burial of unknown or indigent people and the site was used as burial ground in 1850 when a major cholera epidemic broke out in the area but it closed down in 1854 because of health scares.
There’s always exhibitions there, pop up restaurants, festivals and much more.
There is also a wooden cafe with a very unusual design. I haven't used it yet so I can'T comment.
If you just want to spend a nice quiet time walking through a great park - why not chose Crystal Palace park including the Dinosaur park...
It's easily reachable and accesable from diferent spots.
You can take the bus or arrive by train. I remember it's also no problem parking your car outside.
If you come ther with your family or in a group.
It's very suitable for just walking around, jogging taking your dog.
You can also find a playground or the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.
There's a lot of green spots and you can see a lot of different kinds of people there playing foorball, riding bikes or just have a fun time.
The lake you'll come along is a very good spot for all the birs, you can even spot squirrels who are not too shy and I got lovely photos of all the birds and squirrels.
The Dinosaur park is a wonderful thing to visit for the young and also the grown ups...
They are still lovely to look at after all the years...
You can also find the Park Café...
At different spots you can read liitle signs where you are and how to plan your walk through the park.
I would say it's a great opportunity for a fun realxing day out...
Island Gardens is fast becoming one of my favourite riverside parks in London. It's a perfect place to relax and have either an icecream or coffee before venturing onto Greenwich or returning to Central London. This three acre riverside park is situated at Isle of Dogs's southern tip with a stunning view of Greenwich. The view is well known in Canaletto's famous 18th century painting 'A View of Greenwich from the River'.
Greenwich can be reached via the foot tunnel under the Thames from Island Gardens and can be reached from central London via Bank Underground Station. There is a cafe, which I need to try on a future visit, and a kiosk that is opened daily. There are table and benches for those who wish to have a picnic in the park and riverside benches to enjoy the views of Greenwich.
I spontaneously visited Thames Barrier Park on a recent trip to London (June 2014). A riverside park, opened in 2001, which looks out to the Thames Barrier. What I loved about the park is The Green Dock, a sunken garden with its wavy hedges and designed by horticulturalists Alain Cousseran and Alain Provoost. The park offers views out to the Thames Barrier, the river itself and a glimpse of Thames's industrial activity around the northern bank of the river.
There are playing areas and also a cafe. It was a perfect place to have a picnic and enjoy the sunshine (and shade!). The park is opened daily from 7.00am. I was very glad to have visited the park.
Archbishop's Park is a lovely park next to Lambeth Palace. It is a Green Flag Award-winning park. It was originally one of the gardens which belonged to Lambeth Palace. It was opened up to the general public in 1901
The Millenium pathway lies through the park, with information on the Lambeth history. It is interesting following it, f.ex. there was one plaque with the inscription: "1339 - Edward III gives Kennington to the black prince, who builds a palace".
There is a lovely playground in the park, a tennis court and an orchard and wildlife-friendly parts.
What I especially liked were the two bicycles which were used as flower decorations. They are decorated in a way as if the flowers were a man riding the bike.
There is also an area in the park with information signs on f.ex. why plants produce seeds. It is a fun park, it came as a surprise to me, visiting a park called Archbishop´s Park, and seeing that it was such a fun, lively park to visit :)
Since I last visited the park a beautiful wooden carved structure has been erected, the Bower, which was hand carved by Arthur de Mowbray. It consists of benches and a wooden ceiling. I cannot wait to see it next time I visit Archbishop´s Park.
I moved to the inner East End of London in 1988 and, shortly after my arrival, I was being shown round Whitechapel by a friend. On walking past this site, I asked what it was called and was told, "Oh that, that is Itchy Park, you don't want to go there". I wondered at the odd name until I looked closer and it made sense. Tha place was full of street dwellers, the vast majority of them either drunk or on drugs and a good proprtion of them seemed to be scratching themselves. My mate told me that if I tried to walk through at night I would at worst get fleas or lice and at best get my head kicked in and robbed. Not the greatest introduction to the place but it is a much changed place now.
I need to lay one myth to rest here first of all. Locals like to tell you that this place is the inspiration for the 1967 Small Faces hit song, Itchycoo Park". This is simply not the case as confirmed by the late Ronnie Lane and Steve Marriott from the band who place the park in Ilford. I know the area where the band grew up and met and there is no logical reason why they would have trekked all the way to Whitechapel to go to this place, so scratch (pun absolutely intended) that one off your list.
I did, however, notice that there was a very defined outline of a church on the ground and this gives a little more idea of the origin of the place. The Church was St. Mary's also St. Mary Matfelon and at that time it's official name was St. Mary's Churchyard or St. Mary's Park. It is now renamed of which more later. so what's the history?
Well, a slight digression first, as is my way. At the end of the first Millenium and start of the second, the Christian Church was well-established in Britain and by some quirk, the Bishop of Stepney was more powerful and influential than the Bishop of London. The post is still important in the Anglican Church. Although this place stands geographically about midway between Stepney and the City, it came under the former Diocese. Originally there was a chapel of ease here known as St. Mary Matfelon which was either made of white stone or whitewashed (accounts vary) and was therefore known as the "White Chapel" which gives us our modern name for the area. The original church was the second oldest in Stepney after the wonderful St. Dunstan's. The original church was replaced and then replaced again in 1877 only to burn down in 1880 and be replaced in 1882. It is the outline of that church you see today.
This third Church was razed to the ground in the German Luftwaffe blitz of the Second World War and remained as a bombsite until 1966 when it was laid out as a public park to be promptly colonised by the vagrants as described above. In 1989, the park was renamed Altab Ali Park commemorating a Bangladeshi youth who had been killed in an attack there. This is the official name until this day which undoubtedly reflects the ethnic make-up of both the area and the local Council. This is not the only Bangladeshi influence here. The structure pictured is apparently a memorial to some dissidents who were killed in Dhaka, Bangladesh in the 1970's and known as the Shaheed Minar monument. Looking at it, it seems slightly odd to me. Seeing the red disc, I thought it was an attempt to portray a Bangladeshi flag but that is a red disc on a dark green ground, so I don't understand why the flanking structures are white. Maybe I just don't understand modern sculpture.
The park underwent a further renovation in mid to late 2012 with some landscaping done and, most significantly the old outline of the Church laid out in raised stone benches. Frankly, I preferred the old outline flush with the grass. What remains is the fountain by the entrance on White Church Lane (pictured) dated 1879. It carries the rather enigmatic inscription "erected by one unknown yet well-known". Preumably some benefactor who wished to remain anonymous.
The street dwellers have long been moved on and the place is now a pleasant place to visit. Indeed, on the occasional sunny day we get here, local office workers and students can often be seen soaking up the rays and having a packed lunch. It is a pleasant enough place and a far cry from what I remember not so long ago. Pop in if you are in the area.
The park is situated on one side of The Mall between Admiralty Arch and Buckingham Palace. Henry VIII originally acquired the land for a deer park and in the laste 17th Century, King Charles II arranged for the park to be landscape as a formal one with a canal running through it. In the early 19th Century, John Nash, a celebrity landscape architect, recreated the park for King George IV.
Today, it's a municipal and one can wander around and relax. In the distance, there are views of the Royal Guards and the London Eye and Buckingham Palace from the grounds. There are cafes and kiosks where you can either get a coffee or an ice-cream. The park is free of charge.
Postman's Park is a park in central London, a short distance north of St Paul's Cathedral. Bordered by Little Britain, Aldersgate Street, St. Martin's Le Grand, King Edward Street, and the site of the former headquarters of the General Post Office (GPO), it is one of the largest parks in the City of London, the walled city which gives its name to modern London. Its name reflects its popularity among workers from the nearby GPO's headquarters.
n 1900, the park became the location for George Frederic Watts's Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice, a memorial to ordinary people who died while saving the lives of others and who might otherwise be forgotten, in the form of a loggia and long wall housing ceramic memorial tablets. Only four of the planned 120 memorial tablets were in place at the time of its opening, with a further nine tablets added during Watts's lifetime. Watts's wife, Mary Watts, took over the management of the project after Watts's death in 1904 and oversaw the installation of a further 35 memorial tablets in the following four years along with a small monument to Watts. Later she became disillusioned with the new tile manufacturer and, with her time and money increasingly occupied by the running of the Watts Gallery, she lost interest in the project, and only five further tablets were added during her lifetime.
This was one of my favorite places to see when I was in London. In fact when I came home and told my friends about it they had no idea what it was, but after I showed them the picture of the memorial tablets, they were all enthralled. I had to show them my favorite memorial which makes them all cry. I would go back to this park to sit and read a book, have a picnic, look at the koi pond, even just to listen to the wind blow through the trees. It is a truly beautiful place with a fantastic memorial wall dedicated to heroes who would never know they are heroes.
Postman's Park is so called because of its popularity with postal workers from London's former chief post office on the opposite side of King Edward Street.
The park was opened in 1880 and is made up of the churchyards of St Leonard's, Foster Lane, St. Botolph's, Aldersgate and the graveyard of Christ Church, Newgate Street.
In 1887, Victorian painter and sculptor, George Fredrick Watts was instrumental in erecting a memorial to heroic men and women who lost their lives saving others, but who received no recognition and might otherwise be forgotten, and dedicated a wall to their memories in 1900.
The wall is comprised of ceramic plaques, made by Doulton, relating the deeds of these heroes. One plaque reads ' Alice Ayres, daughter of a bricklayer's labourer, who by intrepid conduct saved three children from a burning house in Union Street, Borough, at the cost of her own young life'.
Postman's Park is a very peaceful place. There are plenty of benches, a moderately sized grassy area and a carp pond with a fountain. A perfect place to stop and take your ease, get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and contemplate the self-sacrifice of those who are remembered here for their fellow man.
A very American square. At the heart of London's wealthy Mayfair district lies a square as synonymous with America as with the British upper class. John Adams set up the first mission here in 1785, nine years after the Declaration of Independence, and just two years after the British lost the American Revolutionary War. Later Dwight D. Eisenhower established a military headquarters during World War 2, earning the square the nickname "Eisenhower Platz". And in 1960 the US Embassy was opened, making the square the focal point of all things American in London, such as when wreathes were laid in 2001 in memory of the victims of the terror attacks.
Soon the embassy will move out of Grosvenor Square, but the memory of the American legacy will linger on for some time yet.
Watch out for the deer. I'm serious. They rule the park, and when the stags get randy or the doe gets protective of her young they might get a bit aggressive. This is their world and you are a visitor in it. It's been that way since the park was inaugurated in 1529 as a Royal Park to serve King Henry VIII as his deer hunting ground. He lived nearby in Hampton Court.
The park is vast - more than three times the size of Hyde Park and the second biggest of the Royal Parks after Richmond. It's peaceful, almost rural, with a single road passing through it, slowed in the middle by a serene Arethusa Fountain and its graceful swans. The only other things to spoil the silence are joggers and a passing school of horse riding. It's physically only a few miles from central London, but feels a million miles more.
There is a beautful park/square in Bloomsbury called Tavistock Square Gardens. In it are several memorials - in the very center of the park is a bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) sitting in the lotus position. It is quite striking in its simplicity and every time I visited there were many flower bouquets laid down in front of the statue.
There is another memorial to Dame Louisa Aldrich-Blake, who was one of the first women surgeons.
There is a large stone in the park, which is also a memorial (May 15th 1994). It has got a plaque with the inscription: "To all those who have established and are maintaining the right to refuse to kill". It is a memorial to conscientious objectors.
There are several trees in the park presented by well known people, f.ex. the Copper Beech tree presented by Pandit Nehru on 13th of June 1953, when the site for the erection of Gandhi´s statue was donated. The statue was then erected in 1968.
Another memorial is a cherry tree which was planted here in 1967 to commemorate the many victims of Hiroshima.
There is also a Friendship Tree at the park (Gingko Biloba) planted by Dr. L M Singhi, High Commissioner for India. It is dedicated to W.B. Yeats in 1997.
On July 7th 2005 there was a bombing by Tavistock Square. That bomb was one of 4 suicide bombings and was on board a bus number 30, killing 13 people on the bus. I remember this vividly as I had just left London the day before and was shocked when I heard about this on the news.
We cut through Russel Square Gardens on the way from Euston Square to The British Museum.
If you look on Google earth there is an airplane over the garden, I was most disappointed that it was not there when we visited.