London is full of green oases. From the largest public parks to the smallest grassy squares, each is a sanctuary for weary feet and minds. Lie back on the lawns and let the sweet breezes cool your skin. Here is our pick of the best leafy spaces across Marylebone, Bayswater and Regent’s Park, where everyone from Ringo Starr to John Lennon once lived.
Sussex Gardens, Bayswater, London W2
This triangular patch of ground is a glorious green oasis. It has a central circular plant bed with formal paths and lawns. This beautiful garden (can be hired for events) is bordered by hedges and shrubs. Small but perfectly formed, it is overlooked by this one-bedroom apartment in a period conversion. The flat is on the market for £730,000.
Kensington Gardens, Bayswater, London W2
The city first encompassed this area in 1685 when Thomas Young bought 14 acres of land. He built terraces of tall, stucco buildings set out around a garden square, a tranquil expanse of lawn flanked by flowering shrubs and trees. The garden remains private, for the use of those living in the surrounding houses. The residents of Garden House, a new development in nearby Kensington Garden Square, are just a short walk away. Prices range from £650,000 to £2.2m.
Montagu Square, Marylebone, London W1H
This red-brick square was built as part of the Portman Estate and has been home to Ringo Starr, Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon. The pretty garden in the centre is full of mature trees and was the recent venue for the Montagu Square Garden Party, where residents and people from around the area attended on Monday 26th June 2017. To be one of the in-crowd, consider this three-bedroom apartment on the market for £2.5m.
Hyde Park, London W2
Henry VIII turned this land into a private deer park and then Charles I opened it to the public in 1637. It has long been a place for gathering. Speaker’s Corner welcomes those who want to expound or debate their theories and the park has been the venue for many exhibitions and celebrations over the years. Just across the road, this penthouse flat in Hampshire House has an extensive roof terrace, giving views across the treetops and offering a gathering space of its own. It comes with a separate staff or guest apartment and is on the market for £5.5m.
Regent’s Park, London W1
This is one of the best loved London parks, and it has something for everyone. From the zoo to the spreading lawns, it offers city-dwellers much needed space to relax and exercise. The 395 acres remained in royal hands until 1835 when it was opened up for public enjoyment – for two days a week. Now it gives a daily respite from the hustle and bustle of the capital. This makes the elegant villas around it much sought-after. For a bird’s eye view, this penthouse nearby in Bolsover Street is hard to beat. On the market at £6.995m, it has three bedrooms and two roof terraces.
Norfolk Crescent, London W2
The green space at Norfolk Crescent was part of a much larger garden known as Stanhope Square, which also incorporated Oxford and Cambridge Squares. The whole area was redeveloped in the 19th century and again in the 1960s. Overlooking the semi-circular gardens, this modern terrace has a minimalist courtyard and a roof terrace.
* Contact Kay & Co estate agents for details of properties for sale or to rent in Marylebone, Bayswater, Paddington, Notting Hill, Mayfair, Fitzrovia, Regents Park and The West End (020 7262 2030 Kay & Co)