5 of the most calming areas in London
Between commuting in wall-to-wall traffic, the daily chorus of car horns and the general hubbub of city life, Londoners seem more stressed than ever. Thankfully, there are many peaceful escapes dotted around this concrete capital where you can refresh, breathe some fresh air and recentre yourself.
Whether you’ve got a lunch break or a whole day to spare, here’s the best way for you to find your calm in the Big Smoke.
Daunt Books, Marylebone
Housed in an old Edwardian building, this quaint bookstore is filled to the brim with both books and charm. Whether you’re just perusing the shelves or taking in the atmosphere, this is the perfect place to visit on your lunch break for a bit of peace and quiet.
The Conservatory, Barbican Centre
Only open on Sundays, this Conservatory is the second-largest in London and houses over 2,000 species of tropical plants and trees, as well as many exotic fish. Wander around the sprawling top floor, breathing in the fresh air and taking time to appreciate your surroundings. Admission is free and the conservatory is open between noon and 5 pm, but be sure to check that the building is open on your selected Sunday.
Little Venice, Blomfield Road
Perfect for a midday or after-work stroll, this peaceful oasis is only a stone’s throw from Paddington Station. Walk along the towpath and admire the area’s flora and fauna, breathe in the fresh air, and maybe even pop in for a bite to eat at one of the floating cafes. Or, if you’re feeling stressed out, grab a bike and cycle along the Quietway for a healthy endorphin boost.
Greenwood Theatre Park, London Bridge
Open to the public, this ‘pocket park’ is a collaboration between garden designer Joe Swift, fashion designer Zandra Rhodes, and multiple community leaders. Fully wheelchair-accessible, the garden is open to all, aiming to bring a sense of community to the area. If you need somewhere to centre your thoughts and admire nature outside of regular office hours, stroll along this 24/7 garden whenever you need a break.
The Wyldes, Hampstead Heath
This extension of Hampstead Heath boasts oak trees, several ponds, gorgeous hedgerows and acres of lush, untouched grass. Spacious and less busy than Parliament Hill, the Wyldes is a great place to meditate, decompress, or simply enjoy the beauty of nature. There are no restrictions on opening or closing times, which makes the Wyldes a great place to find your calm before or after work.