Sometimes the hustle and bustle of London can all become a bit too much, and you can’t help but dream of jet-setting away this summer to somewhere a little more peaceful. 

But hold up a sec! Believe it or not, there are so many beautifully relaxing green and foliage-filled spaces right on your doorstep that you’d be amazed are even in London.

These are the places you take those mates who always moan “I couldn’t live in London, it’s way too busy for me!”. These are the spots to change the minds of people who reckon ‘London’ is just heaving Oxford Street or the sweaty Central Line. We’ve compiled a handy little list for you, so give yourself a break and go check them out this summer!

Hampstead Heath Ponds

hampstead heath ponds
Pic: London Planner

The perfect escape from city life, Hampstead Heath Ponds are a real treat to find somewhere like London. There’s both mixed and gender specific pools so anyone can enjoy a comfortable wild freshwater swim, just the ticket on a boiling hot summer’s day. Throw on some comfy shorts or rayon pants over your swimsuit, oh and don’t forget to bring a picnic!

St Dunstan-In-The-East

Pic: @jennylijic on Instagram

St-Dunstan-In-The-East is a truly magical place. It began life as a church built in 1100, but was largely destroyed in the Blitz of the Second World War. Since the ‘70s the church’s ruins have been beautifully unusual public garden that visitors say is a good place to eat lunch, meditate and practice photography or just sit back and relax. It’s hard to believe somewhere like this could be tucked away amongst all the tourist attractions in the heart of the city. You’ll need a perfect outfit for those photo ops – how about a nice patterned shirt or maybe a floaty maxi skirt and a summery blouse?

Little Venice

Pic: A Place Like Home

If you fancy a little stroll off the beaten track away from the congested roads of Paddington, Little Venice is a lovely place to spend a summer’s afternoon and a good spot to watch the sun go down. Wear your favourite vintage dress or a summery Hawaiian shirt and sunnies as you wander along the beautiful canal where there’s plenty of cafes, pubs, theatres and galleries. 

Dalston Eastern Curve Garden

Dalston eastern curve garden
Pic: Woodburner

There’s a good chance you’ve spent many a night out in Dalston and never realised this enchanting little garden lies tucked away behind the station. Sit at one of the benches nestled amongst the shrubbery and grab a bite to eat or drink from the garden’s cafe with fresh produce straight from the community-ran gardens. The evening is when this place becomes truly magical when there’s often live music and the fairy-lit trees light up the decking. Pull a comfy sweater over your t-shirt as the sun sets and imagine you’re in your very own ‘secret garden’.