London’s secret weapon are definitely its parks. I’ve said it many times, and I’ll say it again – they’re beautiful, bustling with wildlife you wouldn’t expect to see in the middle of a city, and although the bar is quite high now, every new park I visit has something unexpected that surprises me. Today, I’m taking you to Holland Park. Located in central London, just a 20 minute walk from the famous Hyde Park, it’s home to a Dutch garden (Holland Park after all), as well as… a Japanese garden.
But before we kick off the trip, let me just share a little celebration first. This post will be the 200th post on this blog. Wooo! It’s not much considering that I’ve been here, with quite a few breaks, since 2016. However, I put a lot of effort into every post I put out and I feel like every post is a part of me and my experiences. Really proud of hitting this milestone.
Alright, enough of me blabbering. I started the trip from the underground station conveniently named Holland Park. The first thing I saw was a massive sundial guarded by two big tortoises. Anyone else always needing to verify if an old sundial is correct when you see one? It was correct, minus the summer time adjustment hour.
After leaving the tortoises I headed towards what attracted me to this park in the first place. The Kyoto Garden, a Japanese garden with miniature trees, small carved stone structures, a waterfall and a pond filled with koi fish.
The Japanese garden is fairly small – the pond with its surroundings is pretty much everything. What wasn’t small though are the fish – absolutely huge! Overall, the Kyoto garden, although relatively small, is definitely a charming place. I’m curious to see how it changes throughout the year. I’ll have to come back in autumn and spring.
From the Kyoto garden, let’s move to the Dutch gardens. This time, it’s a slightly larger area, but still not too big. One part of the Dutch area of Holland Park was filled with these short, sharply trimmed bushes, so typical for Dutch gardens. I love these labyrinth style gardens, although was slightly disappointed with the lack of colours. Feels like I missed the flowers and the inside of the flower beds seemed pretty dead. Again, I will need to revisit this place in spring and hopefully have a chance to admire the Dutch garden in its full glory.
Another sundial! This time in a less traditional shape of a globe. Annoyingly, a massive cloud made it unable for me to verify the time! I guess in the past, time didn’t matter on overcast days, haha!
Adjacent to the previous garden is this adorable area with fenced flower beds filled with wildflowers bustling with bumblebees, and a fountain. A great place for a break, perfect to enjoy the sun and the tranquility of the surroundings.
On the wall of a building bordering this little enclave, we can appreciate paintings taking us some centuries to the past. I wish I was part of that garden party!
On the other side of that building, some funky trees are climbing around the colonnade.
Opposite the strange trees, there’s a small rose garden with a row of benches – another pretty and peaceful spot for a break.
Apart from the gardens, Holland Park offers some wild-ish forest paths, full of birds, squirrels, and – if you’re lucky to spot them – peacocks. I saw one, but he definitely wasn’t in the mood for a photoshoot! There was also this super realistic sculpture of a soldier (now featuring a face mask). From a distance, I genuinely thought there was someone walking through the shadows.
If you’re in the mood for a picnic, you can also find some green open space for that, as well as areas for various sports. Definitely a park worth visiting!