One of the best ways of getting to know the UK’s capital is to discover the Royal Parks of London. Driving between them, you will build up some knowledge of London’s major roads and be able to do some sightseeing at the same time. Before driving on the capital’s streets, make sure that your tyres are legal by getting them checked by a dealership like Point S. Also, ensure that you are ready to pay the congestion charge, which is easy to do via Transport for London’s website. Finally, avoid the rush hour for a road trip like this. The roads are much less busy after about 9.30am.
Start in the West
Begin your trip around London’s Royal Parks in the West. Brompton Cemetery is one of the least visited Royal Parks of London, but is well worth a journey here. It takes up sixteen and a half hectares and is one of the finest cemeteries of its kind in the UK. It has been used extensively as a set in movies, including the James Bond film, Goldeneye, and Storm breaker in 2006.
Take the A4 west and then pick up the A316 southwest to head to Bushy Park. There are some idyllic cycle rides that you can do here and the park is also home to herds of deer that you can spot from time to time. It is the second largest of all the Royal Parks of London. From here, cross over the river Thames at Kingston and pick up the A308 to Richmond Park. This is London’s largest park and also a site of special scientific interest for its plant life.
St James Park
Take the A3 from Richmond into central London. When you intersect with the A202 at Kennington, turn left and head northwards in the direction of Vauxhall. Cross the river once more into Pimlico. From here, you can easily reach both Green Park and St James Park near to Buckingham Palace, just beyond Victoria station. These parks are very well maintained and a favourite among tourists. Green Park is one of the smallest in the capital and has some elegant war memorials, such as the Canada Memorial.
Continue your drive just a little further north onto Park Lane towards the A5 at Marble Arch. From here you can access Hyde Park. This has some of London’s best kept parkland as well as the famous boating lake – the Serpentine. From Hyde Park it is just a stroll to visit another Royal Park, Kensington Gardens which houses the Peter Pan statue and the Albert Memorial which overlooks the Royal Albert Hall.
Complete the Journey
To finish off your road trip around London, continue north on the A5 until you reach the A5205, where you should turn right and pass Lord’s cricket ground. Just beyond it you will reach Regent’s Park, another large open space that happens to be a Royal Park. Here, you can access London Zoo and the park’s open air theatre. From Regent’s Park head to Greenwich Park, the last Royal Park of London, which lies in southeast London. Take the A501 eastbound, before picking up the A1202 and then the A13 to continue eastwards. Cross under the river one final time at the Blackwall Tunnel to reach Greenwich Park in the simplest way.