Our events team recommends their favourite activities in and around Westminster, a central London area with many green open spaces, the river Thames and secret rooftop escapes.
We may be biased but top of our list will have to be a visit to tranquil Dean’s Yard, on the doorstep of Church House Westminster and behind Westminster Abbey. The serene-looking green space makes up most of the remaining precincts of the former monastery of Westminster, not occupied by the Abbey buildings. In the mid-5th century, Dean’s Yard sat on an eyot of the Thames and the Anglo-Saxons referred to it as Thorney Island. However by the time of Edward the Confessor, the monks tamed the thorney vegetation to such an extent that it was surrounded by fertile lands and green fields.
ST. JAMES’S PARK
St. James’ Park comprises 23 hectares and is near to The Mall, St. James’s Palace, and Birdcage Walk. The park is home to 15 different species of birds and many other animals. It offers plenty of instagram-worthy moments especially when standing on the Blue Bridge, above the lake, a scene which has been featured in many movies and offers beautiful views of Buckingham Palace, the Horse Guards Parade and Whitehall Court. On the south side of Duck Island find the Tiffany fountain from where you can see the London Eye and Big Ben in the distance.
THE SOUTH BANK
One of the top hidden spots in South Bank is this peaceful roof garden which sits above the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Created in 2011 to celebrate the Festival of Britain’s 60th anniversary it offers a chance to relax among the wildflowers and fruit trees and enjoy beautiful views of the Thames.
That’s not the only garden offering plenty of fresh air and a chance to escape the traffic, Jubilee Gardens, is a green and sustainable park, in the shadow of the London Eye. Bring a picnic basket and combine it with a visit to the adjacent Udderbelly Festival.
Discover some of the best street food in London when you visit the Food Market at Southbank Centre Square or take the Riverside Walk, a pedestrianised walkway along the Thames for an interesting stroll with unforgettable river views.
Explore Victoria Tower Gardens located between the Houses of Parliament, the River Thames, Millbank and Lambeth Bridge. The gardens boast a number of interesting memorials including the Buxton Memorial which marks the abolition of slavery and a statue of Emmeline Pankhurst.
If, with all the walking, you worked up an appetite, head towards Victoria mainline station, for the new Market Hall Victoria – a celebration of British food halls over three floors with 11 food traders and a scenic roof terrace.