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Discover London's Secret Gardens
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Discover London's Secret Gardens

Picture of Angelica Gianni
Updated: 9 February 2017
London is one of the most urbanised cities in the world, continually evolving and following new technologies, especially when talking about architecture. Even though this is the image London has acquired throughout the years, connoisseurs know the city has a variety of parks where you can spend the so rare sunny days. Here are five secret gardens you will want to visit and never leave again.
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The Pergola and Hill Garden

The Pergola was the dream garden of various men over the years, including William H Lever, Lord Leverhulme and Thomas Mawson. The three men were idealists, patrons of the arts as well as the architectures, and landscaping. In 1904, Lord Leverhulme bought the palace, together with an adjacent land, and as soon as 1905 the project became a work in progress. The garden can be described as an Edwardian extravagance. The constructions were held until 1925, little before the death of Lord Leverhulme. Throughout the years, different Lords purchased the property, as well as becoming a hospital after World War II. Today the building is perfect for those who love the charm of past times.

Hampstead Heath, N End Way, London, United Kingdom

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Camley Street Natural Park

This park was formerly a place where coal was dropped off in the early 1900s, and it remained a wild site until the 1980s. During 1981, the London Wildlife Trust fought for its renovation, and by 1985 the Trust was able to acquire enough funding to maintain the reserve and support the wildlife that had been living for years. Today this magical oasis, set in the heart of King’s Cross, holds the most spectacular dragonflies and wildlife that the area can keep. Since the park is not visible at first sight the website gives the required information to arrive at the site. The reserve offers the opportunity for schools to take trips and observe the beauty of a place that once was nothing more than a working site in the centre of the most famous railway station in London.

12 Camley St, Kings Cross, London, United Kingdom

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St. Dunstans in the East

Imagine the secret garden hidden in the ruins of the church in Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998), where Drew Barrymore and Dougray Scott meet, with the sunlight flooding in; this is exactly what St. Dunstans is. In 1941, during World War II, the church was bombed and completely left in ruins, except for the Wren Tower and the gothic steeples. In 1967 the city decided to leave the church in ruins and to incorporate it into a garden, and in 1971 it was officially opened to the public. Situated in between London Bridge, and Tower Bridge, the church is the perfect proof that not everything has to be saved.

Dunstan’s Hill, London, United Kingdom

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Bushy Park

A little less secret is Bushy Park, the second largest royal park in London. The park has everything that anyone with a pure love for fairytales can ever dream of. Whilst making your way through the formal Baroque water gardens that include a collection of pools, cascades, basins, and a canal, the Diana Fountain, one of the most important sculptures in Great Britain; and the particular Chestnut Avenue, be prepared to have a heart-warming encounter with the park’s inhabitants, such as herds of red and fallow deer. Don’t miss out on the Waterhouse Woodland Garden, created during the 20th century. Originally the garden was a simple woodland walk consisting of two early 19th-century plantations. In 1948-9 improvements were made, and these days you will be able to find the Fisher’s Pond, the King’s River Garden, the Willow plantation, and the Silver Birch Glade. The park also offers various events throughout the year.

Hampton Court Rd, Hampton, Middlesex, United Kingdom

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Coutts Skyline Garden

Set on the rooftop terrace of several West End offices, these gardens are one of the best examples of the magnificent work mankind is capable of creating. Forget New York City’s skyline, Coutts did not limit themselves and other than plain grass they have been cultivating vegetables, herbs, flowers, and fruit for Bank’s kitchens on enormous wooden planters. In fact, the garden is essentially an organic kitchen garden, right in the busiest area of Central London. The very busy kitchen, which serves up to 700 people a day, is proud of its project; Peter Fiori, Coutts’ executive chef told The Telegraph, ‘Every single thing cooked in the kitchen includes something from the garden, with dishes created to use produce at its peak’.

440 Strand, London, United Kingdom