The royal parks of London are lands that were once used for creation by the royal family and are today still held by the Crown; these days, the parks are managed by The Royal Parks Limited and are mainly accessible to the public.
Richmond Park is the largest of London’s royal parks; it is a Grade I Historic Park and Garden and a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Area of Conservation, and a national nature reserve. The park has several famous lodges, viewpoints, plantings, and memorials. The park is a wildlife refuge for various species in terms of natural features, including a large population of ring-necked parakeets. The park is enclosed by a high brick wall with several gates; there are access points for vehicles, pedestrians, equestrians, and bicycles.
Bushy Park is the second-largest of London’s royal parks, being made of 1100 acres (445 hectares). It’s listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens and is also designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The park is made up of various habitats, such as grasslands, scrubland, woodland, and wood pasture. The park also has sporting facilities, cottages, lodges and cottages, fishing and boating ponds, horse rides, and wildlife conservation areas.
Regent’s Park combines large open spaces, tree-lined pathways, formal gardens, and public facilities. It has a large wetland area with a large population of birds and hedgehogs; there are also ducks on the lakes and the animals of the London Zoo. Other features include the elegant beds of flowers in the Avenue Gardens, the thousands of roses in Queen Mary’s Gardens, and the Open Air Theatre.
Once part of Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens now stands on its own; its 265 acres (107 hectares) provide a portion of London’s “green lung.” It is only open during daylight hours. The park has many unique features, including the Long Water, the Serpentine, and the Italian and Kensington Gardens.
Adjacent to Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park offers both exciting public events and quiet spaces for people to relax. Notable features include the Diana Memorial Fountain, Speaker’s Corner, The Rose Garden, and the Hyde Park Playground; the park’s greenery also provides a diverse wildlife home.
Greenwich Park was the first royal park to be enclosed (1433): it covers 200 acres in the Borough of Greenwich. This park’s overlook of the River Thames is magnificent; the park itself offers exciting opportunities, from standing on the Prime Meridian to following in the footsteps of royalty. Iconic features of the park include the Royal Observatory, The Herbaceous Border, and The Wilderness Deer Park.
St. James’s Park
St. James’s Park is located in London’s City of Westminster borough, covering 57 acres (23 hectares); it is bounded by Buckingham Palace, The Mall, Horse Guards, and Birdcage Walk. It contains St. James’s Park Lake, which has two islands- one with a historical cottage- and a resident colony of pelicans. The park offers stunning views and has a children’s playground with a giant sandpit.
The Green Park
Usually simply known as Green Park, this park lies north of Buckingham Palace in the City of Westminster borough. First enclosed in the 16th century, it was landscaped in the 1800s and today covers 40 acres (16 hectares). It is different from the other royal parks in that it is simply a green space; there are no lakes, buildings, or playgrounds.