A Socially Distant Summer

Inspiration
01/06/20
Words by Kate

The heat is on, the sun is out, and according to the weatherman, it won’t be shying away any time soon.

We all know now more than ever the importance of spending time outdoors, so make the most of your socially distant summer by (safely) exploring some of London’s most beautiful outdoors spaces, as recommended by our team.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Image via idverde.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

‘One word – planting! The planting in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is incredibly rich and diverse, with the main focus being on self-sustaining perennial plants. It is abundant in colour, texture, and fragrance throughout the year and always attracts a huge array of wildlife. We need to see more planting like this in our cities!’

– Sam – Design and Development

Opened in 2012 to help accommodate London’s Olympic Events, the park continues to pay homage to those triumphant games. Home to ArcelorMittal Orbit and the wave inspired aquatics centre designed by Zaha Hadid, the park is as much about structure as it is about escape. The combination of venues and outdoor space has proven to be both representative and transformative of its East London home.

Hackney Wick. Image via Mick’s Mag.

Hackney Wick: White Post/ Crate/ Stour Space

‘It’s authentic, has exhibitions from independent artists, art studios, and generally good vibes. There’s lots of street art and the canal where you can walk for hours or cycle or just sunbathe with friends and wine!’

– Margarita – Bloom and Christmas Manager

Hackney Wick has long been the epitome of East London cool, with its graffiti trails and independent breweries, it’s a hipster’s paradise. But behind the cool is a substance; a community of creative people continue to reside here making the place both interesting and accommodating. White Post, Crate and Stour Space all boast different vantage points of the canal giving you plenty of options to sit and enjoy a summer tipple.

Richmond Park. Image via Unsplash.

Richmond Park

‘I adore Richmond Park. It’s huge, you don’t feel like you’re in London, and the coffee hut by Penn Ponds sells the best bacon sandwiches!’

– Sarah – Seasonal Sales Development

Who knew you could see a herd of deer in the country’s capital city? Well you can, and more than that, Richmond Park is a top site for ancient trees, rare plant species and wild flowers, so much so that it has been protected as an important habitat for wildlife. And within its impressive 2500 acres, it’s the perfect place for some socially distant socialising.

Wanstead Flats. Image via Hidden London.

Wanstead Flats

‘This park feels more like a bit of countryside than most parks in the city as it is the southern end of Epping Forest. You can stand in the middle of it and not see the edges, it always feels quiet even when there are lots of people there.’

– Helen McGinley – In-House Designer

Wanstead Flats is believed to have gained its characteristic openness in the days when local landowners were encouraged to turn out their cattle to graze. While this may not be an imperative need for locals these days, the right to graze cattle is still fortuned upon a select group of local residents. The flats include several areas of open grassland, all adding to the diversity of the forest’s habitat. It’s a perfect spot to meander through on sunny weekend afternoons.

Hampstead Heath. Image via Hidden London.

Hampstead Heath

‘I’m very lucky to live near Hampstead Heath, which I truly think is one of London’s prettiest spaces. From the dense woodland to the bathing ponds, it’s no wonder the Heath has inspired so many poets and artists over the years.’

  • – Kate – Marketing Manager

 

  • A sprawling island of countryside in the heart of London, Hampstead Heath is known for its varied wildlife and popular open water ponds, where bathers have congregated for many years. Whether you’re walking your dog or meeting up for a socially distant picnic, the Heath is the perfect place to wile away a few hours.