Visit the Most Secret Gardens in London

Time to stop daydreaming about those lovely private gardens you can only glimpse from the top of the double decker bus, and go visit them. This weekend only at the Open Squares Garden Weekend, 237 gardens are open to the public, many of which are private and not normally open for visitors.

Let your inner voyeur out and explore the secret gardens over this sunny summer weekend. From new and experimental gardens to private, traditional ones, along with allotments, roof gardens and more, there is a green space for every taste.

Certain to be a family-friendly weekend, lots of gardens are selling yummy homemade cakes, and there is a huge range of children’s activities at the various gardens, from face painting to seed planting. Over 30 different poets are taking up residence at 27 different gardens, waxing poetic about gardens, of course. Along with musical performances at certain spaces, cycle rides that take you through gardens along the way, plant sales and garden fetes.

Special places to visit include 10 Downing Street, the gardens enjoyed by the Prime Minister and his/her family. (Tickets for this have now been given out via ballot). Instead, check out the Caledonian Park Clock Tower, a grade 2*-listed clock tower, to check out the original working clock mechanism and see the best panoramic views in North London from the 40m-high viewing platform. And the Barbican Station Pop Up Garden, the first community garden on the underground.

What else? You can also participate in one of the many walking tours, such as “In the Steps of the Rich and Famous” in Hampstead, a glimpse into the celebs living in Londontown (Sunday at 12pm) and “Poets, Playwrights, Printers and Publishers, a Literary Stroll in the City” (Saturday at 11am). Advance booking online essential, £3 per person.

17-18 June 2017. All infos on

Rebecca Magniant

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Open Squares Garden Weekend

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