Let’s face it, life in the city is guaranteed to drive you crazy after a while. You have work, deadlines and all these plans, and honestly, all the sound and people will just make it worse. Nothing ruins the day like someone cutting in line when you’re grabbing a morning coffee or loud talkers on your commute home. Even simple things like too many people on the roads can start to get to you. So what do you do? It’s simple, find yourself a quiet and spot in London that’ll give you a break from all the hustle and bustle. Here are some London hidden gems to consider the next time you need a break and a breath of fresh air.
Kyoto Garden in Holland Park
The Kyoto Garden opened in 1991 to celebrate the friendship between Japan and the UK. As such, it’s incredibly fitting that this area of the park was designed to reflect a traditional Japanese garden. You’ll find stone carvings, a waterfall and even peacocks and herons roaming the gardens. The main highlight is the koi fish pond in the centre surrounded by cherry blossom trees that change with the seasons. Head to the gardens in spring if you want to catch a glimpse of the pink blossoms. Autumn is also a great choice as you’ll get to see various shades of gold and oranges on the oak and maple trees. If you need a break from the city, the Kyoto Garden should be the first place you stop by.
Greenwich Park is a perfect getaway if you’re looking to escape the chaotic city centre for the day. It’s a little difficult to get to and located in East London, it’s a lot less busy than many of the parks found in central London. It’s right next to Greenwich University which gives you a great view of the architecture, statue and grand gates. Trees also line the park’s paths and if you go during the right time in spring, you’ll be gifted with this sight.
Greenwich Park is also home to the Royal Observatory and Planetarium which is a must-see and visit for anyone living in London. The museum is based on a very steep hill that’s a bit of a challenge to climb up, but the sight at the top is well worth the trip. Make sure to stick around until the sun sets to capture those scenic cityscapes.
If you’re tired of cramped bars and crowded pubs you should definitely seek out of London’s hidden bars. The best bars are The Little Yellow Door in Notting Hill, The Luggage Room in Mayfair, The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town in Spitalfields and Evans and Peel Detective Agency in Earl’s Court. Each bar has it’s own hidden passage and entryway, complete with a “secret” password. At least you won’t be competing with 10 other people for the bartender’s attention.
Daunt Books (Marylebone)
Daunt Books is best known for its extensive travel book section but you can find books on just about any other subject. Take your time in this cosy book store and peruse the many titles on display. The architecture and interior of the shop are all about the “cosy library” vibe and you’ll feel like you were transported right into a Harry Potter movie. The wood finishes and green accent lamps and walls are a classic combination, so you could maybe even snap some pics while you’re visiting.