Tuesday, May 5, 2009
After looking through some of my old travel itineraries and plans for last summer's trip, I stumbled upon a valuable list of great places to picnic in London that I just had to share after my last post was so Paris-focused. While the fickle weather may make planning a London picnic a bit more difficult, if the cards are in your favor then a British picnic could be quite fun!
This Picnic Spots in London guide by View, A Londoner's Guide to London, has a lot of really great recommendations. In addition to some of the off the beaten path places this article spotlights, I think some other noteworthy spots include:
St. James Park
Located near Buckingham Palace and Westminister Abbey, St. James Park is a perfect place to lunch while exploring this magnificent part of the city. One of the royal parks of London, St. James Park is home to a beautiful variety of flowers as well as wildlife such as ducks, geese and pelicans, who enjoy the park's small lake. The park is used for national celebrations because of its proximity to the Queen's palace.
St. James Park is a beautiful London park that's near
Buckingham Palace and Westminister Abbey. Can you see the palace
peeking through the trees across the lake?
Photo Source: Self
While it rained the day we visited Hyde Park, we still enjoyed walking among the gardens and memorials of the extensive park. Points of interest include a memorial to Princess Diana as well as London's Holocaust Memorial. We ended up going to several museums that day including the Victoria & Albert Museum, which ended up being quite impressive although not as noteworthy as The National Gallery or, for modern art lovers, the Tate.
St. Paul's Cathedral
While climbing to the top of St. Paul's Cathedral was probably my favorite activity in London, particularly because of the incredible view from the top, you can still enjoy the architecture and gardens of the church by dining nearby. Kris and I relished our meal from Paul's, an excellent chain eatery with a restaurant close to the church. Enjoy your picnic style meal at the tables behind St. Paul's or if you can find a spare bench in the gardens!
Enjoy a picnic meal outside of St. Paul's Cathedral after climbing
259 steps to the top for a scenic view of London!
Photo Source: About.com
Near the Thames
Picknicking near the Thames seems like an almost compulsory tradition during summers in England. It's just a matter of where. This River Thames guide has a number of possible picnic places, but I would recommend finding a one near the heart of it all close to the Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and the City Hall.
If you're looking for picnicking made easy (although I'm not sure this is a strategy to eat on the cheap), Gridskipper has created a map of places in London that sell ready-made gourmet picnic baskets. Check out the full article and map here.