Sometimes, you just need to get out of the city. As much as I love London, a change of pace is sometimes exactly what your mind and body need. With that in mind, here are my 5 favourite places when I need a break.
Greenwich is probably one of my new favourite places to go. I can easily hop on the ferry to Greenwich Pier (a bit pricier than the bus or tube, but how many times in your life do you get to say you caught a ferry down a river as part of your commute? Plus, you get to see great views from the Thames). Greenwich still has all the amenities of Central London, and it’s certainly busy, but it doesn’t feel as crowded and go go go as the City. The best feature is the gorgeous architecture, plenty of museums, and the view from the Royal Observatory.
If you’re a fan of Ted Lasso, you probably already know Richmond. It’s a bucolic section of London, known for green spaces and, yes, its location as home base for the world’s favourite fictional football team. While the train ride can be a bit of a trek from Central London, the pretty scenery and potential for deer watching at the park makes it worth it. Tip: get a meal at one of the pubs and walk along the river.
3. Hampstead Heath
While it’s still very much in London, the rolling hills and incredible views from Hampstead Heath make it feel like a different place entirely. There are numerous cute cafes and shops, and, as a bonus, all those hills mean you don’t have to go the gym to get a workout in.
4. Primrose Hill
Primrose Hill, is, to be fair, a bit of a hike. But, especially on a sunny day, the views of London can’t be beat. As a bonus, there are plenty of cafes, restaurants, and shops in the surrounding area.
5. Crossrail Place Roof Garden
I did not expect there to be a roof garden on top of a mall in Canary Wharf, but here we are. It was more of an accidental discovery, but an indoor garden full of plants is the perfect place to decompress and feel like you’re with nature without having to trek to far out of Central London.
6. The Seaside
Speaking of nature…one of the great things about London’s location is all the great seaside towns in day trip distance. I personally find something quite calming about walking along the water and listening to the waves. That, plus some fresh fish and chips, is great for getting away from it all.