Holland Park, which I discovered shortly after moving to London, is my favorite Park. This West London Park is sometimes forgotten in favor of other famous central parks, but I like it more as it suits all tastes and ages. It is wild and neat at the same time. It is a zen and also bustling park. It offers cultural events, kids playground, educational visits… What better way to enjoy London? Here is the ultimate guide to Holland Park!
A royal Park
Holland Park is the Royal Borough’s largest park with 22.5 hectares of gardens.
It was once the grounds of Cope Castle, a large Jacobean mansion built in the early 17th century by Sir Walter Cope (later the Chancellor of the Exchequer under King James I). Then, the castle was renamed as Holland House after its second owner the Earl of Holland and his wife Lady Rich.
Throughout the 19th century, many politicians and literaries like Disraeli and Lord Byron met at Holland House to discuss politics, and it soon became famous as a “hub of political and literary activity”.
Holland House was severely damaged during World War II, but after the war the whole park was completely renovated. Now the Holland House is composed in one part of a Youth Hostel and in the other part (the front terrace) of an open-air theatre productions which hosts a variety of performances every summer.
A variety of landscapes
From its perfect flower beds to the Japanese Garden and the woodland areas, this Garden offers a great opportunity to discover what a various and gorgeous Park it is.
Every single part of this Park wakes up our curiosity: the plants (in particular the numerous and beautiful roses), the sculptures (like this one below of Lord Holland designed by George Frederic Watts), the wildlife …
The best consequence is that you feel far away from the city!
The Kyoto Garden
This may be the most famous part of Holland Park : The Kyoto Garden, in the center of the Park.
This gorgeous Japanese garden was donated by the Chamber of Commerce of Kyoto in 1991, hence is name.
It is -as expected- quiet and peaceful. Even when crowdy, you can still make the most of your walk around the garden.
The fountain over the bridge is the central point, from where you can feed the (big) koi carps (with a garden employee).
I love the Japanese maple trees and their wonderful colors.
Going to this lovely Japanese Garden every year is a must for every Londoner…as well as visitors!
The northern section of the park offers a large woodland area filled with all sorts of wildlife, wildflowers and greenery.
Among permanent residents of Holland Park are the famous peacocks who always delight both young and old visitors …
This one is named Peter and seemed to accommodate very much with our presence!
There is also an active Ecology Center in the park, organizing many events to explore or promote the wildlife in the park.
The southern section of Holland Park provides various sports facilities including a tennis court, golf practice nets, a netball and a cricket pitch.
I am quite sure everyone would appreciate to play tennis with such an outstanding view of the surroundings…
And for those interested, there is a nice Café in the Park, as well as a great restaurant, The Belvedere…looks tempting, but I have to admit I have not tried it yet!
Holland Park area
The Park is very well located as very close to Notting Hill and Kensington areas.
For culture lovers, the Design Museum is at the (south) border of the Park and the Leighton House just nearby.
For shoppers, I guess the proximity with the bustling Kensington High Street might be very much appreciated…
How to resist to such attractive arguments? Don’t miss the chance to go and visit this incomparable park, you would simply regret it …
Enjoy and share your experience on this blog!