With manic rush hours and loud crowds, London in the summer isn’t exactly calm.
On the surface, the city exudes an energy that is more caffeine-buzzed than laid-back and serene. And, with the busy lifestyles of most Londoners, it’s easy to see how that can leave you frazzled. Even staying at the revitalising Barbican Rooms by Montcalm can only do so much to keep you zen while in the city.
We’ve compiled a list of the best spots in the city for meditating, and, whether you engage in mindfulness exercises or not, these spots are sure to help you find at least a little inner peace.
Based in the Brockley area of South East London, Hilly Fields is a public park bordering Brockley and Dulwich. With beautiful green fields, a manor house overlooking the park, and an enclosed stone circle at the top of the titular hill, this is a great spot for self-reflection and fresh air.
Based in West London’s Holland Park, the Kyoto Gardens were built in the early ’90s as a donation from Kyoto city’s Chamber of Commerce. With its tiered rock gardens and waterfalls, the space is specially designed to be as peaceful as possible.
Think of it as a small slice of Japan within the British capital.
Once part of Hyde Park, this royal park and terraced garden consists of 240-hectares of specially designed greenery and lake.
Dating back to 1728, the garden was originally created as a private outdoor space for Queen Caroline of Brunswick. With fountains, statues and pristine fields, it’s no wonder that it sparked J.M Barry’s imagination in the early 20th century, birthing the first story of Peter Pan.
You too can find your own Neverland with a stroll in Kensington Gardens.
Based in Limehouse, the Yurt Café is home to a beautiful canvas tented eatery. The café also hosts outdoor wellbeing workshops in its urban garden, making this East London hidden gem a great place to retreat from the urban sprawl.
Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park
Once a natural wetland and marsh area, the Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park is an 11-hectare nature reserve overlooking the South side of the River Thames.
Not only a haven for many species of animals and insects, the park also offers a welcome retreat for humans. Open Wednesday to Sunday between 10 AM and 5 PM, the park is open to all who want to be at one with nature, even if just for five minutes.
Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain
Based in the South West of Hyde Park, the Diana Princess of Wale Memorial Fountain was built in 2004 as a memorial for the late philanthropist and royal.
The memorial fountain consists of a long canal, creating a separation in the green fields of the park. With low concrete walls allowing visitors to walk through the steady stream, the designer wanted the fountain to reflect Diana’s accessible personality.
Take a walk down the South Bank and you’ll eventually come to the looming building of the Tate Modern. Walk through the repurposed warehouse and into the main hall and you will be faced with a magnificent spectacle.
The soft echoes of the expansive space really do offer a breath of fresh air, giving you all the room you need to absorb the energising creativity coursing through the building’s veins.