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Alpine Rock Garden, Kew Gardens
Alpine Rock Garden, Kew Gardens

The Best Riverside Parks in London

Picture of Ruaidhrí Carroll
London Travel Writer
Updated: 3 January 2018

As summertime hits the capital, Londoners are quick to pack up a picnic basket and head to the park to chill – but it can get fairly hot basking in the warm summer sun. That’s why these beautiful parks by the River Thames are ideal for scorching Sundays in London.

Battersea Park

Battersea Park, by the famous Battersea Power Station, stretches almost half a mile back from the river and occupies an area of the riverbank nearly three quarters of a mile long. There are plenty of features for visitors to enjoy, including the boating lake, the Old English Garden and Battersea Park Children’s Zoo – and that barely scratches the surface. There is lots more to explore.

Fountain Lake, Battersea Park

Fountain Lake, Battersea Park | © Danny P Robinson/Geograph

Victoria Tower Gardens South

Chill out on the grass next to the Palace of Westminster in Victoria Tower Gardens South. When you’ve finished marvelling at the majestic gothic government buildings, check out the Horseferry Playground, the Buxton Memorial Fountain or the monument to Emmeline Pankhurst.

Jubilee Gardens

Find a spot on the lawn of Southbank’s Jubilee Gardens, right by the foot of the London Eye. It’s the perfect place to stop for a picnic between visits to any of the many local attractions, which include the London Aquarium, the London Dungeon, the British Film Institute and the Southbank Centre.

View of the London Eye from Victoria Gardens

View of the London Eye from Victoria Gardens | © KTo288/WikiCommons

Whitehall Gardens

Whitehall Gardens is a long, thin area of greenery surrounded by oak trees that stretches along Victoria Embankment opposite the London Eye. Right next to Embankment tube station, the park is just a few minutes’ walk from Trafalgar Square.

Potters Fields

Potters Fields is a glorious green space with a marvellous view of London’s iconic Tower Bridge. The park sits directly across the river from the Tower of London and right next to City Hall, office of the Mayor of London and home to the London Assembly.

View of Tower Bridge from Potters Fields

View of Tower Bridge from Potters Fields | © cwi.aida/WikiCommons

Wandsworth Park

Take a seat on a bench underneath the mighty oak trees that line the banks of the River Thames in Wandsworth Park. If the benches are busy, go for a casual stroll, take the kids to the playground or enjoy a round of crazy golf at Putt in the Park.

Kew Gardens

By far the largest of London’s riverside parks, Kew Gardens occupies an extensive expanse of land in West London. Visitors can behold the horticultural glory of the Royal Botanical Gardens and explore Kew Palace, the Palm House, the Japanese Landscape and so much more.

Alpine Rock Garden, Kew Gardens

Alpine Rock Garden, Kew Gardens | © Christine Matthews/Geograph