Spring is here! One of the most wonderful times of the year. The Royal Parks are where you will find some of London’s most glorious open green spaces and experience London in bloom. No need to trek in to the deepest darkest countryside in the middle of nowhere, up to your eyes in mud with zero mobile phone reception. London’s Royal Parks have all you need for long rambles, breath-taking views and hideaways perfect for relaxing picnics where you can immerse yourself in wildlife, blossom trees and spring flowers galore.
There are eight Royal Parks in London so you are spoilt for choice for beautiful outside places to visit. Richmond Park is the biggest of all the Royal Parks and home to herds of Red and Fallow Deer. Blow off the stuffy winter cobwebs and hire a bike and ride around to visit the different areas of this extensive park. The Isabella Plantation is a beautiful 40-acre Woodland garden from the 1830’s. Pay a visit to Pembrook Lodge, a Georgian listed mansion is surrounded by 13 acres of gardens, then go on to King Henrys Mound for panoramic views across London.
Nearest tube: Richmond Station on the District Line.
Take a power-walk up to the top of Primrose Hill in North London for fantastic views of the city with six protected viewpoints. There are plenty of pubs situated around the outside of the park which make the perfect pit-stop for lunch.
Nearest tubes: Swiss Cottage, St Johns Wood on the Jubilee Line and Camden Town on the Northern Line.
Overground: Kings Cross.
Greenwich Park is home to Royal Observatory, the Prime Meridian Line and The National Maritime Museum. Stop for tea in the Pavilion Café then take a stroll through the Queens Orchard to see the rose gardens.
Nearest tube: North Greenwich on the Jubilee Line.
St James’s Park is the oldest of the eight Royal Parks. St James’s is situated next to Buckingham Palace and is home to The Mall and Horse Guards Parade. If you’re there at around lunchtime look out for the Pelicans having their daily feed. Inn the Park is the ideal place to stop for a coffee and to admire the gardens.
Nearest tube: St James’s Park on the District & Circle Line.
Overground: London Victoria.
Spread over 350 acres Hyde Park is home to the famous Serpentine Lake. There are plenty of activities to join such as tennis, boating and swimming. The Hyde Park Riding School offers private and group riding lessons and hacks out around the park.
Nearest Tube: Hyde Park Corner on the Piccadilly Line.
Overground: London Victoria.
The Royal Parks. www.royalparks.org.uk
The London Hotel Report: The Arch Hotel, Marylebone
The Arch London.
50 Great Cumberland Place Marylebone, London, W1H 7FD
0207 724 4700 www.thearchlondon.com
This luxurious boutique hotel in the heart of London’s Marble Arch boasts 82 guest rooms and suites over seven Grade II listed town houses.
The hotel décor is sleek and sophisticated. Its recently been renovated and has some amazing works of art, opulent furniture and each room is modern yet homely with the latest technology and fabulous jewelled toned soft furnishings.
Enjoy a sophisticated afternoon tea in the Martini Library or the Salon de Champagne Lounge. Afternoon Tea is £25 or upgrade to the Champagne afternoon tea for £38. The Restaurant, Hunter 486, is spacious and light, and offers an extensive British menu. The service is relaxed and attentive and the food delicious.
With a large range of rooms and suites to suit all budgets, rooms are available from around £282 at the weekend depending on availability. There are a variety of offers online including, Weekend Break – two nights, room upgrade, two course dinner and full English breakfast for two, from £302. The onsite state of the art gym is great for the health conscious or to burn off the calories from the luxurious afternoon tea.
Just a short walk from Bond Street, Mayfair and Marylebone High-street, The Arch London is situated perfectly for shopping and sightseeing.
The best bits: Central location, great service and scrumptious afternoon tea.
Nearest Tube: Marble Arch, Bond Street, Oxford Circus on the Central Line.
Overground: Marylebone, Paddington and Euston.