One of the pleasures of walking in London is seeing all of the beautiful garden squares and parks dotted throughout the historic neighborhoods. However, many of the garden squares in London are private, which means they are just for the lucky residents living around the square. That is … until Open Garden Squares Weekend! One weekend each year this marvelous, two-day event opens private squares and community gardens throughout London. You’ll find everything from historical squares to barges and even contemporary rooftop gardens. What’s even better is that one ticket gives you entry to all the gardens open for the weekend of Open Garden Squares. How fun! If you’ll be in London this weekend, from June 8-9, 2013, you are in for a treat as you’ll be able to visit hundreds of gardens in London during Open Garden Squares Weekend 2013.
Here are some of our favorite gardens and private garden squares that are open this weekend, but check out the list of gardens since there are so many to choose from!
Surrounding by beautiful Victorian homes, Cornwall Gardens is a gorgeous garden square in South Kensington just moments from our Cornwall one bedroom vacation rental and Queensgate studio loft rental. This weekend you can enjoy strolling through the gardens on Saturday only from 10AM to 5PM before visiting the Natural History Museum or Victoria & Albert Museum nearby.
Few garden squares have as whimsical connection to childhood imagination as the pretty Hereford Square in South Kensington. Sir James Barrie, the author of Peter Pan, once lived on the east side of the square at 133 Gloucester Road. Keep your eyes open … you might just catch a glimpse of Peter Pan flitting about the garden! Hereford Square will be open and hosting historical tours on Sunday only from 10AM to 5PM.
Cadogan Place Gardens
Take a green break from shopping along trendy Sloane Street at the beautiful Cadogan Place Gardens in Belgravia. Once known as the London Botanic Garden and nearly 300 years old, this private garden square is for the charmed residents that call Cadogan Place home. Enjoy the lovely landscaping dotted with sculptures during this rare opening. For Open Garden Squares weekend these beautiful gardens will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 10AM-5PM and there will be live 1950s music and entertainment by The Milkshakers.
Queen’s Gate Gardens
Set on a beautiful square just around the corner from the Natural History Museum in South Kensington, we love peeking through the iron gates around the lovely Queen’s Gate Gardens while strolling through the neighborhood. This weekend you’ll have the chance to visit these Victorian gardens on Sunday only from 10AM-5PM.
Take a few steps off of busy High Street Kensington lined with great shops and restaurants to find the peaceful little Kensington Square. London is full of delightful little surprises like this! This garden square is one of the earliest in London and dates from the 17th century. Take a stroll around the gardens and let the history of the neighbourhood sink in. The philosopher John Stuart Mill once lived at number 18 Kensington Square and the famous Pre-Raphaelite artist Sir Edward Burne-Jones once lived at number 41. Kensington Square gardens will be open on Sunday afternoon only from 1PM to 5PM with music by the all-female a cappella group The Treblemakers from 2:15-3PM.
Leighton House Gardens
One of our favorite small museums in London, the Leighton House Museum is set in the beautiful home of Victorian artist Frederic, Lord Leighton. Located near the beautiful gardens of Holland Park, this outstanding 19th-century home was designed by George Aitchison and offers a glimpse into the artistic world of Victorian London. The Leighton House Gardens were restored in 1997 and are open this weekend on Saturday and Sunday from 10AM-5PM.
Ladbroke Square Garden
Located not far from Portobello Road in Notting Hill, the Ladbroke Square Garden was designed in the 1850s and is one of the largest private garden squares in London. It still maintains the original design laid out by the architect Thomas Allason and is also listed as a Grade II English Heritage historic sight. Ladbroke Square Garden will be open on Sunday afternoon only from 2PM-6PM and is a great spot for a peaceful rest if you’re staying in a London Perfect vacation rental in Notting Hill!
This charming house in Chelsea was the home of the celebrated Victorian writer Thomas Carlyle and his wife Jane. The Carlyle House opened as a museum in 1895 and is now a National Trust property. The pretty little walled garden is a Chelsea classic and will be open on Saturday from 11AM to 6:30PM for Open Garden Squares 2013.
Tickets for Open Garden Squares 2013 are only £10 (valid for both Saturday and Sunday) if bought in advance before June 8th. Children under 12 are free. The ticket price includes a guidebook and all booking fees. Find out more about booking your tickets online here.
Image Credits: Kensington Square by NetNicholls, Hereford Square by IanVisits, Sculture in Cadogan Place Gardens by Loz Flowers, Leighton Museum garden by Zoer
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