London is one of the greenest capital cities in all of Europe, with 47-percent of Greater London being greenspace. This is great because it means there are lots of places to go and take five from the bustle and busy hum of the city. On the other hand, it also means you are spoiled for choice and it can be hard to decide where to go.
Whilst the major parks of London – Hyde Park and Lavender Hill, for example – are well-known, there are a multitude of hidden-away, innovative and fascinating green spaces dotted all over the capital.
Floating Pocket Park
Sitting in the Paddington Basin, the Floating Pocket Park is a great example of how London is always full of surprises.
The park covers a full 730 square metres and is fully water-borne – there’s no gimmick or shortcuts involved! The park sits on the Grand Union Canal, whose waterways spider all over the capital. Indeed, there are canal boat mooring posts attached to the park, so don’t be surprised if a barge pulls up next to you while you enjoy this delightful space. Happily, the Floating Pocket Park is only a 15-minute walk from your room at The Montcalm Marble Arch, so you don’t have to travel far to enjoy it.
Developed by renowned garden designer Tony Woods, the Floating Pocket Park has lawn areas for sitting, raised borders full of pollen-rich flowers and ample seating. You can also walk out onto the floating decking that festoons the sides of the park and dip your feet in the water if you’re feeling a little hot. You might also spot the separate floating pontoon nearby, which has been designed to encourage nesting birds and other wildlife to the area. It really is an innovative place and, besides that, a lovely place to spend some time. It’s also not far to go from the many Montcalm City Hotels London.
Christchurch Greyfriars Church Garden
Greyfriars Church Garden is a perfect example of ingenuity and innovation, making the most of a space that hasn’t had the best of luck over the centuries. It’s only a 15-minute trip on the Tube from The Montcalm Marble Arch and definitely worth the trip.
Today, the garden is a space full of wildflowers, lavender and neatly trimmed, miniature hedgerows. But this hasn’t always been the case. As the name might suggest, the site was once the home of the Greyfriars order – with the church established in 1225 – with no less than four queens buried on site! However, the church was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. Up stepped Christopher Wren to design a new church for the site. Unfortunately, the church was again destroyed, this time in 1940 by German incendiary bombs.
The garden incorporates the remains of these beautiful buildings, with parts of the outer shell of the church still in place today. It’s a small, intimate garden but one packed with history and, hopefully, a much brighter future than the buildings that once occupied the space.