London for free: Days out at five of best Royal Parks in capital
12:25 23 May 2012
Anne Marie Briscombe/Royal Parks
London24 showcases five of the capital’s best open spaces which are all looked after by Royal Parks.
These magnificent parks are great places to enjoy a picnic with friends (when the weather is nice) or simply to spend a bit of time getting away from the hustle and bustle of London life.
About: Located north of Hampton Court Palace in south-west London, it is the second largest of London's royal parts at 1,100 acres.
Park fact: The rules of field hockey originated at Bushy Park in the 19th century.
Key feature: The Diana Fountain at the junction of Chestnut and Lime Avenues features a bronze statue said to represent Arethusa.
About: The 47-acre park is surrounded by Constitution Hill, Piccadilly and the Broad Walk, and sits next door to Buckingham Palace.
Park fact: Green Park was a duelling ground until the late 17th century.
Key feature: Just outside Green Park is the Queen Victoria Memorial, including the central monument by Sir Thomas Brock.
About: Originally part of Hyde Park, the 260-acre Kensington Gardens is home to Kensington Palace, where Queen Victoria was born and Princess Diana lived.
Park fact: Peter Pans literary links with the park are marked by a bronze statue of JM Barries character, the boy who never grew up.
Key feature: The Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Playground is a fantastic adventure space for young children, the highlight being the pirate ship.
About: The place for flower lovers. The gardens are home to more than 30,000 roses in 400 varieties.
Park fact: With nearly 100 acres available, it is the largest outdoor grass area for sports in central London.
Key feature: London Zoo is within Regent's Park. It may be a compact urban zoo but is well worth visiting to see some of the 18,000 creatures.
About: The oldest of the royal parks, Greenwich Park provides magnificent views of London over the Thames, Docklands and City.
Park fact: Greenwich Park once had its own railway station but it was closed down in 1917 because of a lack of passengers using it.
Key feature: Few places in the country - possibly the world - have so many buildings of distinction in such close proximity: The Royal Observatory, Old Royal Naval College, National Maritime Museum and Queens House.
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