Skip to Main Content
Rated 4.94 / 5
Price Match Promise
Free UK Delivery Over £50

Five places in London to connect with nature

Written by Emily, Plant Lover

When living in a busy city such as London, opportunities to connect with nature may seem harder to come by. However, London is actually 47% green, which might make getting that fresh-air fix easier than you think.

There are so many benefits to getting more time outside. Mind Charity says that “Spending time in green space or bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing”. These include improving your mood, reduced feelings of stress, increased levels of calmness, improved productivity and increases your level of physical activity - all achieved when you connect with nature!

Untitled design 29 resize

The benefits of connecting with nature

There's lots of evidence to support the idea that when you connect with nature it improves our wellbeing. In 2015 Mathew White of the European Centre for Environment & Human Health completed a study of 20,000 people where it was found that people who spent two hours a week in green spaces, such as local parks and other natural environments, were substantially more likely to report good health.

Despite London having a population of nearly 9 million people, it is also home to hundreds of parks and a whopping 8.3 million trees and 14,000 species of wildlife. We asked the team to put together a list of their top spaces in London to reconnect with the natural world and get back in touch with the plants and wildlife in our capital.

Maddie’s pick: Kew Garden

As a team of plant-lovers, we just had to kick off with Maddie’s choice of Kew Gardens. This UNESCO World Heritage site is home to an incredible 50,000 living plants, but we don’t think even Maddie could name them all.

This botanical garden contains an impressive 130 hectares of land, so you easily spend hours here and fully immerse yourself in the natural world. You can take a wander along the treetop walkway or perhaps a stroll through the tropical glasshouses - which is obviously Maddie’s favourite place in the garden. “The greenhouses are magical, I feel so lucky to have somewhere like Kew Gardens so close to home. I never get bored of visiting this place!”.

Not only is it a great spot to reset and reconnect, you can also learn so much about landscapes and plantlife. You can explore 10 of the world's climatic zones in the Princess of Wales Conservatory, learn about rainforests in the iconic Palm House and much, much more. Kew Gardens certainly is the cream of the crop when it comes to outdoor activities in London.

Untitled design 30 resize

Viki’s pick: Richmond Park

Its wide open spaces, grassy spots, woodland and wildlife makes Richmond Park one of the best spots in London to get lost in nature. This National Nature Reserve is the capital’s largest Site of Special Scientific Interest and is also a European Special Area of Conservation. In fact, it’s one of the best in the country for ancient trees and the park also helps to support lots of rare and endangered species including: birds, bugs, wildflowers and funghi.

Viki’s favourite spot is the Isabella Plantation which is a wooded area that's home to a whole host of plants and animals. She says “Richmond Park is the perfect spot to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and reconnect with nature, there’s nowhere else quite like it inside the M25”.

And, the whole team agrees. Richmond Park certainly is a top-notch spot. Whether you prefer long walks, gentle strolls, cycling or picnicking, it’s perfect for getting lost in nature.

You really feel like you’re stepping out of the city and into a tropical paradise.

James’ pick: Barbican Conservatory

While it’s not technically outside, the Barbican Conservatory is certainly one of the best spots in London to connect with nature.

The conservatory was originally designed to hide the building’s unattractive flytower used by the theatre below. What started as a couple of pots of plants, gradually grew into a collection of over 2,000 species! It has everything from tropical trees to desert cacti, it’s a fantastic place to learn about a whole range of plantlife. James says: “I would come here every day if I could. You really feel like you’re stepping out of the city and into a tropical paradise”.

If you’d like to visit the Barbican Conservatory, you will need to book in advance. Tickets remain free, but since the return from lockdown there have been changes made to their admission procedures to help with the flow of visitors. You’ll need to book a ticket a week in advance and select an entry time available. You can book by heading to their website.

119977515 155520119535560 6570189226109618997 n 1 resize

Hampstead Heath. Photo by Tracey McAlpine @fightingfifty

Michalina’s pick: Hampstead Heath

The wild park of Hampstead Heath is a fantastic place to visit all year round. From wintery walks through the woodlands, to summer swims in open-air public swimming pools.

The Heath is an ancient landscape that covers roughly 320 hectares of North London. It's a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation and a part of Kenwood is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Not only is it a fantastic place to get that fresh-air fix, you’ll also get some amazing views of London while you’re there.

Londoners have been coming to Hampstead Heath for years to escape the city. It has not only been a means of escape, but a source of inspiration. In fact, the park inspired C.S. Lewis to write The Chronicles of Narnia. For Michalina, Hampstead Heath is a place that helps her to relax and unwind after a busy week. “I love to come here no matter what the season! I enjoy spending Sunday afternoons wandering around and walking up Parliament Hill to take in the awesome views”.

123968369 192165282425780 7925473480121672552 n 2 resize

Epping Forest. Photo by Chris Timbs @christimbs

Emily’s pick: Epping Forest

Ok fine, it’s not quite London, but it’s close enough. In fact, the train only takes 30 minutes from Liverpool Street making it the perfect place to get away from the busy urban life in London.

The forest is over 2,400 hectares and there are so many different walking trails to explore. It’s easy to spend hours here getting lost amongst the trees either on foot or by bike. The Special Area for Conservation is made up of extensive forest along with areas of grassland and wetland, you’ll feel like London is a million miles away.

Epping Forest is home to approximately 55,000 ancient trees and a whole range of wildlife. You might even see deers, grass snakes, butterflies, beetles and lots of different bird species. Emily says: “I love reconnecting with nature at Epping Forest. It’s the best place for a Sunday stroll and wildlife watching”.

Join our Green Gang

Sign up for exclusive offers, the latest product drops and news from the Green Gang. By signing up you agree to our Privacy Policy.