Public Gardens


London has some grand gardens, many open to the public, and often with a special map to help with their exploration.

Here are some of the maps of London’s greatest public gardens.

1. Kew Gardens

This attractive map (see top) gives a good view of Kew’s huge extent (especially as it includes a key) and makes good use of captions. The famous vistas in the gardens are included, although they are quite difficult to pick out. A more detailed map which revealed more about the plants of each area, would have be nice.

2. Kensington Gardens

One of London’s Royal Parks, and ajoined to Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens is large, ornamental, and free to access. Much of it is more park-like than garden-like, although it does have some formal areas. Its map does a reasonable job of picking out key statues and other features of the gardens, as well as clearly showing public transport around the edges. Curiously it is not shown as a top-down map, but tilted, as if the view was looking from the air, to the south. Therefore, distances are a little harder to understand, and there is no key, apart from a “walking time” bar – which, due to the aforementioned tilt, would be different depending on the direction. Still, it is a pretty map and emphasises the lovely green oasis in central London:


3. The Gardens of the City of London

The City is the square mile that lies right at the heart of the metropolis, and its council, the City of London Corporation, have produced this useful map of the many public green spaces throughout the area, many of which are popular lunchtime retreats for the 250000+ city worker who cram into the area. The map is not particularly attractive compared to the other two above, but, unlike them, is presented as a pure vector, so it looks sharp at high resolution and will print well:


One other nice London garden map is the Chelsea Physic Garden map, although I have to confess I preferred the 250-year-old version.

Covent Garden and Hatton Garden are not actually gardens. And the less said about the planned Garden Bridge, the better… and if these gardens all sound a bit grand, London has numerous roof gardens (e.g. Sky Garden and Crossrail Place Garden) to enjoy. Your local pub might also have its own pub garden.

See also the Greater London National Park.

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