In London, Parks and Gardens are Embracing the Party Spirit

Travelling to the UK for the London summer? Here, the party starts before you step a foot indoors.

Article by Ute Junker

Garden Party_1People visit Palm House of Kew Gardens in Greater London. Photography courtesy of iStock.

When London gets its summer vibe on, its glorious parks and gardens come alive. Here, the festivals, classes and pop-ups bringing the parks to life this summer.

Keep calm and carry on

Want to feel grounded amid the greenery? The lovely Chelsea Physic Garden offers monthly yoga classes on a Monday evening, as well as special events including a restorative summer sound bath on July 25 and a Mindful Nature Connection Workshop on July 27.

Between June and October, Kew Gardens offers a number of sessions of shinrin-yoku or  forest bathing. Or for something totally different, head to Regent’s Park for a bee safari, a gentle stroll through the park discovering the myriad wild bee species that head here to feed on the flowers. Tickets are available via a ballot system – you have until July 5 to put your name down for the July 15 walk.

Dine and drink

You don’t need to pack a picnic to enjoy an al fresco feast. Over three weekends, the Bedford Square Garden – London’s largest privately-owned Georgian garden – hosts Cocktails in the City, featuring pop-ups by hip bars from Shoreditch, Soho and Mayfair. Dates are July 6 to 8, August 17 to 19 and September 7 to 9.

The first weekend of September brings Pub in the Park to Chiswick House & Gardens. The food and music festival is hosted by the chefs from The Hairy Bikers, with the likes of McFly, Ronan Keating and Hoosiers performing.

Movies and more: A dozen parks and palaces across London act as venues for the Luna Outdoor Cinema, including Clapham Common from July 19 to 23, Hampton Court Palace from August 3 to 6, Kensington Palace from August 9 to 13 and Kew Gardens from August 30 to September 3.

If you prefer the stage to the screen, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is on until September with productions including Robin Hood: The Legend. Re-written., an all-ages production of The Tempest and La Cage aux Folles.

Keeping the beat

Festival fans are spoiled for choice with events including Kaleidoscope in Alexandra Palace Park on July 15 and All Points East in Victoria Park held on various dates starting August 18. Hyde Park remains the headliner, however, with its BST Hyde Park festival held across multiple weekends from June 23 to July 9. Taking to the stage will be big names including BlackPink, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel and Lana Del Ray.