Top 15+ Picnic Spots in London: Scenic Views and Hidden Gems

The warm weather is here: time to find the best picnic spots in London.

You know the drill. As soon as the big lamp in the sky gives us even the teensiest hint that it’s safe to eat outside, we start rummaging around for the hamper, reusable cutlery, and plates that have laid untouched since last year. 

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But the question remains: where should you go for your picnic? We can’t help you find the missing spoon or remember where your “safe place” for the picnic blanket was - but we can give you some tips on the best picnic spots in London. 

Whether you’re new to the UK capital or you’re a Londoner through and through on the hunt for the best picnic spots in London, we’ve put together our intel on our favourite places to dine al fresco. Read on to find out where you’ll have your next picnic! 

Looking for an indulgent picnic treat? Take on the East End Mystery Gourmet Food Hunt challenge – answer riddles and clues, unlock local vendors and pick up treats along the way!

At a Glance: Our Top 5 Picnic Spots in London

St Dunstan in The East

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We’ll admit it. We’re biassed towards St Dunstan-in-the-East (we’ve included it in our London Treasure Hunt, The City) so it kind of follows that it’s one of the best picnic spots in London - at least for us. 

But office-adoration aside, for me, it epitomises London’s history, longevity and its beauty. 

A hybrid of natural and urban charm, St Dunstan-in-the-East has been a sacred spot since the early 12th century. The original church that stood here was built around 1100, but when that was destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1666, none other than Christopher Wren (designer of St Paul’s Cathedral) had the responsibility of rebuilding it. 

Unfortunately, most of Wren’s masterpiece was destroyed during the Blitz of WWII, but its remains have been beautifully integrated into a public garden where you’re free to settle down to your home packed lunch. 

Accessibility and facilities: Nestled between Monument and Tower Hill tube stations, this spot is easily accessible via public transport. Facilities are minimal, so bring your own picnic blanket. The nearest public loo is tucked away on Petty Wales, a few minutes’ walk away. 

Ideal for: History buffs, urban explorers and anyone looking for a tranquil escape in the city. It’s also very romantic so couples will find its romantic ambiance particularly appealing.

Chelsea Physic Garden

As anybody who’s visited London’s oldest botanical garden before knows, Chelsea Physic Garden has been a place of healing and knowledge since the mid 17th century. What you might not know is that it’s also one of the top picnic spots in London. 

Filled with medicinal plants and exotic species, Chelsea Physic Garden offers a tranquil and educational outing – at a cost. Tickets to enter the Garden vary in price (adult, student, concession and family tickets are available), but if you’re looking for somewhere historic and peaceful to eat your lunch after an activity, give this place a try.

Accessibility and facilities: Located a short walk from Sloane Square tube station, but be prepared: facilities like toilets are available, but picnicking options are limited to designated areas. You can only picnic in the garden as a group of under 6 people (including kids) and you aren’t allowed to bring alcohol (although you can buy some at the café, if you want to). 

Ideal for: Plant lovers and those seeking a peaceful retreat. Great for small groups, couples, individual tourists or small families. 

Richmond Park

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Again, no real surprises here. As London’s largest Royal Park, Richmond Park is one of the most popular and best picnic spots in London for families, large groups and anybody who wants to get away from the concrete jungle without leaving the city’s boundary. 

Richmond Park is especially famous for its expansive landscapes, grasslands, and free-roaming deer (!) so it really is a nature lover's paradise with stunning views of St Paul’s Cathedral from King Henry’s Mound.

Accessibility and facilities: Accessible by various bus routes and nearby Richmond railway station. The park is equipped with picnic tables and public toilets. 

Ideal for: Families, outdoor enthusiasts and photographers who will love the scenic vistas and wildlife.

Garden at 120

If you work in London, chances are you’ve already heard of (and visited) this hidden gem - but if you haven’t, there’s never a better time than now.

Like a secret, tucked-away Eden in the heart of London’s financial district, The Garden at 120 is one of the best picnic spots in London to soak up some panoramic views of the city skyline during a busy day. Due to its location, it’s also great for tourists on a tight sightseeing schedule - and you get the extra bonus of seeing London from a bird’s eye view. 

Accessibility and facilities: Easily reached by public transport, hop off the tube at Fenchurch Street station. Limited facilities, so pack light and portable. 

Ideal for: Young professionals, friends, and tourists.

Hampstead Heath and Pergola

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I have a real soft spot for Hampstead, and in my opinion, you can’t really go wrong enjoying your picnic anywhere around this leafy, sumptuous borough (although the Heath is always packed on a summer’s day). If you’re looking for somewhere a little off the beaten track, though – head to Hampstead Pergola.

This hidden treasure of North London offers a splendid, slightly overgrown Edwardian splendour that feels like stepping back in time. Hampstead Pergola is what remains of a soap empire built by sud tycoon Lord Leverhulme, who wanted a snazzy place to impress guests at garden parties.

PSST: 🪻Keep an eye out for dry days during springtime –the blooming wisteria adds a gorgeous splash of colour to the elevated walkway and vine covered columns! 

Accessibility and facilities: Accessible by bus and a walk from Hampstead Heath Overground station. Facilities like public toilets are scattered throughout the area.

Ideal for: Couples looking for a romantic spot to snack, families and Instagrammers (I never tire of seeing this place pop up on my feed)

Best Picnic Spots in London near Hidden Gems

Postman’s Park

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When in Rome, do as the Romans do - or, more accurately, when near the old General Post Office, do as the local post men and women used to do. 

Postman’s Park is one of London’s best-loved hidden gems and picnic spots in London. If you’d have visited this place pre-1880, you’d have found nothing but churchyards. After 1880, the churchyards were combined to give the local postal workers somewhere to eat their lunch – and now, you’re free to do the same. 

Postman’s Park gained fame through its touching Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice - which is well worth a look if you’re in the area. 

Accessibility and facilities: Close to St Paul’s and Barbican tube stations, this park is highly accessible and has benches, some grassy areas for you to sit down. 

Ideal for: Everyone – solo visitors, professionals, couples, history enthusiasts, and tourists. 

Churchyard of Saint John Zachary

This small, secret garden is another of my favourite haunts hidden among the financial district’s skyscrapers – and it’s also one of the best picnic spots in London if you’re in the area. 

Just as with St Dunstan-in-the-East, The Churchyard of Saint John Zachary is what remains of a church and churchyard that was destroyed during the Great Fire of London. Unlike St Dunstan, nobody bothered to rebuild it until WWII Fire Watchers turned it into a garden in the early 1940s. 

Eagle-eyed Nordic Noir buffs may recognise the garden from the US adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo but it’s mostly used by local professionals as a spot to enjoy their lunch in peace. 

Accessibility and facilities: Minutes away from St Paul’s tube station, the garden is easy to reach but has no significant facilities (the nearest public loo is near St Paul’s Cathedral). 

Ideal for: City workers and solo visitors looking for a quick, peaceful break from the urban rush.

Clissold Park

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If you’re a Londoner and reading this, don’t worry - I know Clissold Park doesn’t count as a hidden gem. As one of the most popular parks in North London, it’s pretty hard to miss any time of the year - although warm weather seems to make its magnetic field surge.

If you’re hunting down local hidden gems though, this is one of the best picnic spots to take a well-earned lunch break. Families will enjoy the animal enclosures, butterfly dome and large play areas, and if nothing else, there’s loads of room to throw yourself down on the grass and tuck in.

When you’re done, head over to nearby Abney Park and Cemetery (one of the Magnificent 7 cemeteries), one of my favourite London hidden gems.

Accessibility and facilities: Well-connected by bus, with ample facilities including picnic areas and cafes. 

Ideal for: Families will find it exceptionally welcoming, with plenty of activities to keep children entertained all day.

Roman Wall

Just a stone’s throw away from the Museum of London lies a hidden picnic spot in London where you can dine beside one of the city’s last Roman vestiges: namely, the elusive London Wall

Granted, the view of the wall is juxtaposed with the monstrosity - or object of beauty, depending on your opinion - that is the Barbican. Either way, it’s a Grade II listed building and as such, has earned my respect! 

Accessibility and facilities: This spot is accessible via a small, unassuming path leading from London Wall down to the underground car park beneath the museum. The location is central and easily reachable by public transport, though facilities are minimal.

Ideal for: History enthusiasts, architecture aficionados, and budding photographers.

Barbican Conservatory

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Speaking of the Barbican, if modern is more your thing than Ancient Roman Walls then you’ll find one of the best picnic spots in London tucked just inside. 

As one of London's largest conservatories, the Barbican Conservatory provides a stark, beautiful contrast to its urban surroundings that’s perfect for having a private nibble in (handy, if the weather changes with zero warning). 

Home to over 2,000 species of plants and trees, along with a variety of tropical fish and birds, The Barbican is a gorgeous indoor space that doesn’t feel a million miles away from nature. 

Accessibility and facilities: Accessible via Barbican and Moorgate tube stations, though indoor picnicking is limited to specific event days (although entry is free on open days).

Ideal for: Professionals, plant enthusiasts and architectural aficionados. 

Culpeper Community Garden

An urban oasis, this community-managed garden is a lush spot filled with vegetable plots and flowering beds, fostering a strong community vibe.

This is the place to go when you want to clear your head and see the best of humanity and the wonders of nature up close.

Accessibility and facilities: A short walk from Angel station, it offers basic amenities including benches and small picnic areas.

Ideal for: Community-minded individuals and those interested in urban gardening will find it an inspiring and relaxing spot.

Crystal Palace Dinosaurs

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It’s not quite Jurassic Park but it’s the next best thing - and at least there’s no chance of them trying to snag your lunch from you, either. 

Set in Crystal Palace Park, these iconic Victorian sculptures create a quirky backdrop for a family-friendly picnic amidst prehistoric giants. 

Accessibility and facilities: Accessible via Crystal Palace and Penge West stations, with nearby picnic areas and toilets. 

Ideal for: Families and photographers. 

Soho Square

There are many reasons I gravitate to Soho Square, predominantly because of its location (it’s super convenient for me) but also because it’s a great place to throw yourself down and take in your surroundings.

Soho Square is also historic - I never get tired of the Tudor-style gardener's hut - and it’s been a communal hub since the 1670s. Surrounded by media companies and entertainment venues, this is a popular lunchtime escape for local workers and a fascinating spot for tourists to observe a day in the life of a Londoner.

Accessibility and facilities: Easily accessible from Tottenham Court Road tube station. There are no picnic tables, but the grassy areas and benches provide ample space for a casual picnic. Nearby cafes and shops offer plenty of options for grabbing a bite.

Ideal for: Young adults, tourists, and anyone looking to soak up the energetic vibe of Soho. It's also great for casual gatherings of friends and people-watching!

Kyoto Garden at Holland Park

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Even as a self-diagnosed London fanatic, I feel the need to escape London’s mayhem every once in a while. 

However, with champagne dreams and a lemonade budget - I’ve had to scope out some of the best picnic spots in London that feel like I’m abroad - and luckily, it never costs more than a tube ride.

For fellow wanderlusters, I recommend heading over to Kyoto Garden at Holland Park. Gifted by the city of Kyoto in 1991, this tranquil space features traditional Japanese elements like tiered waterfalls, a koi pond, and stone lanterns, all surrounded by beautifully manicured landscapes - and keep an eye out for roaming peacocks too. 

Accessibility and facilities: Easily reached by bus or from Holland Park and Kensington High Street tube stations, with good picnic spots and facilities. 

Ideal for: Couples, families, tourists, locals, mindful walkers and nature lovers.

Find More Things to Do in London with CityDays


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