26 years ago, when Blur released the now iconic Parklife — a brit-pop homage to London’s ‘park class,’— it would have been difficult to imagine just how ingrained in daily existence park life would in fact become.
But here we are, it’s 2020 and parks have become a staple part of our daily routine. Whether as a space to exercise, meet friends (no more than 6 of them!) or spend the day sunbathing, London’s green spaces have never been more significant. And while Shoreditch may bring to mind images of swanky rooftop bars and vintage stores, it also has its fair share of green spaces to suit even the pickiest of park people.
So, if you’re new to the area or a seasoned Londoner looking to explore, we’ve compiled a list of the top five green spots in and around Shoreditch for you to enjoy (weather permitting!).
Comprising of just 0.37 of a hectare, Hoxton Square’s park is the smallest on our list, but size isn’t everything and this park has a lot to offer. Tucked away in the heart of Hoxton, this small tree-lined oasis is surrounded by picturesque buildings making it an ideal place to spend some peaceful hours. With a number of restaurants operating a takeaway service in the area it is also perfectly situated for al-fresco dining.
Verdant, varied and vast would perfectly describe London’s oldest public park. Once fondly known as ‘the People’s Park,’ this award-winning space (comprising of over 86 hectares) has a little bit of everything. Lakes, deer and historical buildings are all to be found, alongside diverse terrain ranging from natural grassland to manicured gardens all of which makes Victoria Park a great place to spend time exploring.
At the moment this park is operating at reduced opening hours so be sure to check their website to keep up to date.
This place gets its unique name from the weaver’s cottages that were cleared to make space for the park following World War II. The resultant space is a large green park surrounded by trees, a tranquil place to escape to and a great sunbathing spot due to its open layout. It boasts impressive views of London’s skyline and with the help of a conveniently placed Tesco (directly opposite the north entrance) it’s a great place for a picnic.
Often overlooked, this park is a great place to while away the hours at weekends, at just a 20-minute walk from Shoreditch High Street and a 14-minute walk from Old Street it perfectly located for some respite from the hustle and bustle of the area. Not only is this park expansive and well maintained, it also contains a number of sculptures including a climbing rock created by artist John Frankland.
Last but by no means least, is London Fields. Perhaps the most edgy on this list, this park is known for attracting a younger crowd. Historically this is the place where people would bring their animals to graze but now it’s the hipster inhabitants of East London that come flocking to this spot. Surrounded by pubs, restaurants and cafes, London Fields is a great place to make the most of the long summer evenings. And while it may not be business as usual, some restaurants and pubs in the area are running a take-away service, with pints and pizzas that you can enjoy in this park’s beautiful surroundings.
So, as summer rolls ever nearer with its promise of long hot days we hope you’ll find this list helpful when looking for things to do closer to home, as there is no better time to get to know some of the best parks in East London than now! Although, please do remember to be safe and make sure you’re up to date with the latest government guidelines.