5 Secret Gardens for an Indian Summer

Forget Hyde Park for a moment, London is full of beautiful secret gardens, far from the crowds of the big parks. From a bombed medieval church to the folly of an English Lord, Do it in London has found the 5 most stylish gardens to take advantage of those last rays of sun.

St Dunstan in the East: The Most Unique Garden in London

Halfway between Monument and Tower Hill, the medieval church of St Dunstan has had a few setbacks: after having been damaged in the Great Fire of London in 1666, it was then nearly totally destroyed in the Blitz of 1941. Since then, nature has taken over and invaded the ruins, to create a timeless atmosphere in the heart of the City. Since 1970, the garden has been made public to the utmost joy of Londoners.

Our advice: go check it out on the weekend, to experience it in total tranquility.

Open: everyday from 8am to 7pm (or until dusk, if before 7pm)
Annual closings: Christmas Day, Boxing Day, 1 January

St dunstan's church

St John’s Lodge Gardens: The Secret Garden in the Middle of Regent’s Park

Russian stacking doll ambiance with St John’s Lodge, a garden hidden in the middle of the immense Regent’s Park. The very chic residence is private, but the magnificent garden, designed as a place for meditation in 1889, has been open to the public since 1928.

Take a walk in the pathways and imagine the numerous statues coming to life.

st john's lodge gardens' fountain

Crystal Palace Gardens: The Most Playful

Well known by our neighbours in the southern parts of the city but less known by other Londoners, Crystal Palace Gardens date from Victorian times. It’s a dream place to take the kids to discover a former prehistoric theme park and the first sculptures of dinosaurs in the world, since around 1854.

First let the kids get lost in the labyrinth near the lake, then check our vintage addresses in Crystal Palace.

Open everyday from 7.30am to dusk

dinosaurs' statues in crystal palace gardens

Chelsea Physic Garden

Created in 1673 to serve the laboratory of apprentice apothecaries, it's the oldest botanic garden in London. Its proximity to the river was key for a favourable microclimate to grow the species present (over 5,000 today!) The garden has been open to the public since 1983.

We love: taking in all the plants, having lunch in the sun or sipping a housemade lemonade at the Tangerine Dream Cafe (cakes from £3.50, lunch around £15).

Open Tuesday to Friday, Sunday and holidays from 11am to 6pm (5pm for the cafe). Closed Monday and Saturday.

Cafe open 25 March- 31 October

Fees: £10.50 adults, £6.95 children, free for children under 5

the botanic gardens of chelsea physic garden

Hampstead Pergola and Hill Gardens

Everyone knows Hampstead Heath, but few people wander as far at the pergola. Conceived for Lord Leverhume in the Edwardian era, it still has a delicious air of its former glory. In the spring, the wisteria invades the pergola and you very easily imagine grandiose garden parties that took place on beautiful evenings in this magical place.

Don’t forget to check out: the amazing view across the entire city.

Open everyday from 8.30am. Closing times differ depending on season (18 April- 22 May, 7.30pm; 23 May- 24 July, 8.30pm, 25 July- 21 August, 7.30pm; 22 August- 11 September 6.45pm, 12 September- 2 October, 6pm; 3 October- 29 October, 5pm; 30 October- 31 December, 3.45pm)

view from the pergola

Where to find it ?

St Dunstan in the East

St Dunstan's Hill

EC3R 5DD London

St John’s Lodge Garden

Inner Circle

NW1 4NY London

Crystal Palace Park Maze

Thicket Road

SE20 8DT London

Chelsea Physic Garden

Swan Walk

SW3 4HS London

chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk

Tangerine Dream Café Swan Walk

Chelsea Physic Garden

SW3 4HS London

020 7349 6464

tangerinedream.uk.com

Hampstead Pergola and Hill Gardens

North End Way

NW3 London

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