Address: Inner Circle, Regent’s Park, NW1 4NU (0300-061 2300, royalparks.org.uk/parks/the-regents-park).
Opening hours: Daily, 5am to sunset. Garden Café, 9am to 8pm (summer), 9am to 6pm (winter).
Transport: Baker St or Regent's Park tube.
Attractions & amenities: Café, open-air theatre.
Queen Mary’s Gardens – tucked away in the Inner Circle of Regent’s Park – contain London’s largest and best formal rose garden. It’s a honey-pot for garden lovers (and bees) in spring and summer, when tens of thousands of plants are in bloom and the scent is intoxicating.
The gardens – named after the wife of George V – were laid out in 1932 on a site originally used as a plant nursery and later leased to the Royal Botanic Society. There are still some of the original pear trees which supplied fruit to the London market in the early 19th century.
Queen Mary’s Gardens’...
Address: Ravenscourt Park, W6 (020-8748 3020, lbhf.gov.uk > parks and open spaces and s295963082.websitehome.co.uk/forp).
Opening hours: Daily, 7.30am to sunset, e.g. 10pm (summer) and 4.30pm (winter).
Transport: Ravenscourt Park tube.
Attractions & amenities: Gardens, tea house, play areas, bowling and putting greens, sports facilities.
Ravenscourt Park is a beautiful 32-acre (13ha) public park and garden established in 1888, designed by JJ Sexby on land surrounding Ravenscourt House. The origins of the park lie in the medieval manor and estate of Palingswick (or Paddenswick), first recorded in the 12th century. A manor house was rebuilt in 1650 and in 1747 was sold to Thomas Corbett, who named it Ravenscourt, probably derived from the raven in his coat of arms, which was itself a pun on his name – corbeau is French for raven.
In 1812, the house and estate were purchased by George Scott, who employed leading landscape architect Humphry Repton to design the...