Good Friday was just spectacular! The weather was so good that I completely forgot to write up the Easter events round-up so my apologies but if you are still stuck on ideas for what to do with the family, check out the below.
I’ve been on annual leave for the second half of the Easter holidays and have been taking the kids out (will post on that shortly) but yesterday was a kid-free day for me. I went out with my sister to enjoy a trip to a very special museum and then took a stroll around Leadenhall Market. As it was Good Friday, a lot of the shops were closed but there was a lovely French bakery that was still open and a couple other eateries.
As the UK is on the roadmap out of lockdown, rule of six regulations are reintroduced and the sun is starting to shine. As we take advantage of finally being able to see friends and family outdoors again, it is important we choose the right spot to help maintain social distancing guidelines.
With 3,000 of London’s parks to choose from, researchers at Essential Living can tell you which of London’s parks are ideal for a summer picnic. Taking the Ordnance Survey list of biggest parks, the team have extracted the six largest within Greater London to reveal where you can relax and enjoy your long overdue catch up with the comfort of large space.
Here are London’s 6 largest parks:
Richmond Park, Greater London – 9.53km²
Richmond Park, situated in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, is the largest of London’s Royal Parks with an impressive size of 9.53km², meaning it may be the best place to go for social distancing.
Essential Living has calculated that it could fit a whopping 684,788 visitors with everyone maintaining two metres between each other.
Along with its wide open spaces, grasslands and deer herds, there is the Pen Ponds Cafe, located near Broomfield Hill. Serving a wide range of hot and cold snacks and beverages, you are spoilt for choice with bacon rolls and freshly brewed coffee followed by ice cream and biscotti.
Hainault Forest Country Park – 3.62km²
Hainault Forest Country Park is a Country Park located in Greater London. With 3.62km² of space this park is perfect for keeping your distance from others, whilst still enjoying its open space parklands, numerous public footpaths, Hainault Forest Golf Club and Fox Burrow Farm.
If you run out of snacks or refreshments, you can nip to Le Bistro Loco for some freshly ground coffee, locally baked patisseries and hot paninis and sandwiches, which you can enjoy in the spacious outdoor seating area.
Bushy Park, Greater London – 3.45km²
Linked to Hampton Court Palace by the Longford River, Bushy Park is famed for its mix of waterways, gardens and grassland, and roaming herds of red and fallow deer. With 3.45km² of open space, maintaining social distancing isn’t an issue.
The Pheasantry Cafe refreshment point is located at the Diana Car Park, open from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm in the winter. You can tuck into their traditional bacon rolls or a variety of sandwiches and hot dogs, whilst washing it down with a freshly brewed continental coffee or a nice refreshing fruit smoothie.
Hampstead Heath –3.16km²
Hampstead Heath is one of London’s most popular open spaces with beautiful countryside, located just four miles from Trafalgar Square, the heath has some of the best views and highest points in London for everyone to enjoy.
Open from 9 am until dusk, the Golders Hill Park Refreshment House is ideal for a quick healthy lunch bite to eat, offering takeout soups, pasta pots and salads. Customers have also mentioned their great cappuccinos and comfortingly hot cups of tea for the perfect winter warmer.
Wimbledon Common – 2.90km²
Wimbledon and Putney Commons are countryside escapes amidst the urban surroundings of Wimbledon, Putney and Kingston-upon-Thames. The Commons offers 1,140 acres of calm and tranquillity amid the urban surroundings of Wimbledon, providing an important home for wildlife and a place for visitors to relax and unwind.
Next to the famous Windmill Museum, the Windmill Tearooms is the perfect pit-stop for a refreshing bite if you are on a relaxing summer stroll. They continued to provide for walkers despite lockdown, offering a choice of hot and cold drinks as well as their selection of homemade cakes, tray bakes and famous bread pudding.
Hampton Court Park – 2.59km²
Hampton Court Park is a walled royal park managed by the Historic Royal Palaces, lies between the gardens of Hampton Court Palace and Kingston upon Thames and Surbiton in south west London. Its beautiful open space is perfect for those socially distanced gatherings (up to 6 people only though, remember).
The Molesey Lock cafe situated by Hampton Court Bridge has a wonderful garden oasis, perfect for enjoying their freshly made sandwiches and wonderful pots of tea. Perfect for fulfilling the needs of passers-by on their long journey.
Press release originally published by Essential Living
Note: Methodology and Data Sources Using the Ordnance Survey’s list of 100 biggest parks, we extracted the six largest parks within Greater London and calculated how many people could visit the park based on its size and also keeping two metres away from each other. This was calculated by multiplying the number of people that can fit in a 1km2 area whilst keeping 2 metres distance between them (71,856) by the area of each park.
Get those trainers, walking shoes or wellies on and get ready to start exploring again as London and the rest of the UK gear up to leave lockdown 3.0 behind. There’s so many wonderful places you can visit outdoors that there’s no excuse not to head out for some fresh air and scenic sights.
The walkway by The Tide is now completed and looks magical in all its colourful glory, thanks to artist Liz West. More on how you can visit the walkway below. A lot of businesses are still shut until April 12th but it’s only a couple weeks away. Make the most of this time now by going to places you wouldn’t normally go to because we all know once the restaurants and cafes open, we’ll be finding ourselves a spot there as soon as we can or slotting in as many retail therapy moments as possible.
Whilst I couldn’t find any free Easter Egg hunt events in Greenwich this year (there’s one in Canary Wharf – see below), but there are Easter egg hunt events dotted about London. The Big Easter Egg Hunt in Chislehurst is our closest one on Saturday 3rd April, 2-4pm. More details and booking on Eventbrite. There’s also an Easter Adventure Quest for kids at Eltham Palace on now until April 18th but there’s a fee. Check out the website for more details.
Spring is here to bring us more sun, warmer days and outdoor events…
Greenwich Market re-opens April 1st 2021
FINALLY, the markets will be re-opening in just a couple days! Food stalls are scheduled to reopen April 1 however arts & crafts, vintage stalls and retail shops will reopen April 12 inline with government guidelines. The management team will be working hard to make sure the market is covid-safe but remember to also do your part by wearing your mask and social distancing whenever possible.
Crosstown Doughnuts have just launched their delicious Easter spiced doughnuts filled with cinnamon custard filling. YUMMY! These limited edition selection boxes are perfect for gifting. Pre-order now as they’re only available from March 29 to April 5.
Greenwich Peninsula has commissioned artist Liz West to create a new installation; Hundreds and Thousands for The Tide in 2021. The artwork wraps 700m of the walkway’s glass balustrades, creating a ribbon of undulating colour. Just in time as we transition from spring to summer.
To celebrate Hundreds and Thousands, will be a series of collaborative artistic responses exploring the human colour experience.
NOW Gallery will be welcoming one of the UK’s most pioneering young fashion designers, Nicholas Daley, to debut at the gallery. The fully immersive exhibition titled, RETURN TO SLYGO will celebrate the coming together of Nicholas’s multicultural Jamaican-Scottish roots with his passion for music in a multi-sensory installation.
Canary Wharf has a line of treats set up for us this Easter.
Their ongoing commission ‘Captivated by Colour’ by artist Camille Walala on the Adams Plaza Bridge is still on show. Following the success of London Mural Festival, Camille’s playful yet impactful design has now become a part of the city’s permanent art collection. If you’re visiting, make sure you get a shot before you leave, it’s a great backdrop for any selfie! There’s lots of artwork all around the estate, you can download their art map to find them all.
Secret Sunrise X Canary Wharf: Happy Egg-stravaganza
Saturday 3rd April, 9-10am
This family-friendly session will have you dancing and twirling this Easter weekend. Embark on an interactive adventure set out by the Canary Wharf team. All you need to join is a laptop or smart phone, some comfy clothes, and your dancing shoes on. The funkier the outfit the better!
From April 15th 2021 Thursday – Sunday at 12pm-6pm
It’s back! Test your putting skills on the colourful mini-golf course. With 9 holes to play through, including the classic ‘loop-de-loop’, the ‘death drop’, and many more trick shot opportunities this is the perfect place to show off your mini golf skills to friends and family.