One of my favourite things to do in summer is to eat outside and this gets even better when you get decent enough weather to pack up some of your very own food and take it to your favourite sunny (or shady) spot.
Having already been to the beach this year, it was definitely time for a picnic in the park. I do love a beach because of the sight and sound of the water, but when you are in London you are often easily two hours away from a proper beach at any time. Luckily there is a lot of greenspace in and around the capital with approximately 47% of Greater London being referred to as ‘green’.
In July 2019 the sunshine made headlines across Europe for record breaking temperatures and the UK was no different. London saw highs of 38 degrees, which for London is completely insane. Luckily for me, I was off of work that very sweaty day and knew I just had to head to the park. I did not want to head anywhere near the infamously baking hot tube lines so venturing to central London was out of the question.
Instead, Bushy Park in the London Borough of Richmond was where I picked to chill. The second largest of the royal parks in the capital, I prefer it to Richmond Park (the largest) purely because of how it is kept. Richmond park is mainly wild very uneven and whilst it is a beautiful place to see, I often don’t feel very relaxed there. Bushy Park feels a lot flatter and I personally prefer this if trying to pick a shady spot under a tree to spend the afternoon. With lots of wildlife including deer, fishes and birds, lakes, streams and giant trees offering ample shade for maximum relaxation, Bushy Park is my park of choice.
Just minutes walk from Hampton Court Palace and Hampton Park, Bushy Park is surrounded by Teddington and Hampton with Kingston not being too far away. The spot I picked on this trip was right by the river and evidently an animal crossing place. I find it so cute that there is a slope down to the water on either side of the river banks to help the animals into and out of the water. This momma and baby deer that were looking to cross were too adorable not to snap a shot of as they passed.
The rules can vary from park to park, but in this one it is important not to feed the animals. Signs explain that you must not feed the birds in the park because this, somehow encourages the deer and tells them that it okay to approach humans and ask for food. Who knew deer were so smart?
If laying around in the sunshine is not your thing, there are other things to do in the park. It is a popular route for joggers and cyclists and those determined to do that oh so foreign thing to myself, called ‘exercise’. There are also the Upper Lodge Water Gardens which comprise a Baroque style collection of pools, basins and a canal. The Diana Fountain is also in the park which is regarded by many as one of the most important sculptures in the country. There is also a Waterhouse and Pheasantry Plantation within the park which first came to be, back in the 1940’s.
If you are hunting for a perfect picnic spot, do you tend to favour grassy land or beaches? Have you ever been to Bushy Park or any of the parks in London? Let me know in the comments below.