The Quiet Side Of London
You’re never far from something exciting in London.
Whether it’s a Friday night bar crawl or a morning spent wandering around a museum before strolling down streets and having a nose in a few shops – there’s always something fun to get up to in the capital.
Welcomed back to nature
But no matter how much you love city life, occasionally a time comes when you need to step off the concrete pathways and leave the sounds of traffic behind; replacing them with soft trails covered in earth and wildlife chatting away in the treetops.
In the midst of all the high-rises and buzzing life, you’ll find a number of parks and gardens dotted around the city ready to welcome you back to nature just when you need it most.
We don’t think there’s any better place to start than a trip to Kew Gardens.
With over 300 acres to explore, every inch of which is meticulously perfected by talented gardeners, whether you find your peace being surrounded by trees or waterfalls – you’ll find it at Kew.
Wander into the embrace of the arboretum, where a ceiling of leaves, ferns, and branches stretch above you.
Arrive in summer and the dappled sunlight cutting in between the treetops illuminates the ground in a patchwork of light and shade.
As the cooler winds arrive, shaking up the colours on display and keeping hands tucked away in warm pockets, autumn comes to Kew with an intense beauty unrivalled by anything else.
A step up in size compared to Kew Gardens, Richmond Park covers a massive 2,500 acres of land just a short distance from central London.
But when you’re strolling through the park, city life couldn’t be further away.
You’re completely surrounded by open fields, the horizon running off miles into the distance one side and treetops rising up high into the sky on the other.
Make your way up to King Henry’s Mound and see if you can spot St Paul’s Cathedral way off in the distance.
You might need the aid of the telescope nearby as it sits around eleven miles away to the northeast, but when you do finally spot its famous white dome silhouetted against the sky, you’ll be excited to get back into the city again just so you can see it up close.
Whether it’s a wander by the Palace, a stroll through The Italian Gardens or a quiet picnic surrounded by rustling treetops – a trip to Kensington Gardens has got you covered.
Sometimes all that’s needed is a simple walk, where your steps fall into a rhythmic beat as they hit the ground and your breath rises and falls in just the same fashion.
Or shut out the rest of the world and stick in your earphones. Put on your favourite album or new podcast episode and let the rest of the world fall away.
And then when the city calls to you once again, you’re surrounded by the likes of Chelsea, Mayfair, and Paddington – so you’ll have your fair share of places to pick from for a sit-down and warming chai latte after you’re done.
The power of a smile
Once in a while, a day of quiet calls out to everyone, no matter who you are.
For some that may be a stroll every day, whereas for others perhaps it’s a weekend morning ritual you and your friend have.
Either way, the incredible thing with nature is it welcomes anyone – reminding you to take that deep breath, to focus on the present moment, to bring kindness with you wherever you go.