Looking for the best things to do in Holland Park? Read on!
The hustle and bustle of living in London can sometimes get a bit overwhelming. But in our case, you won’t have to go far to find some city quiet. Just pop on the Central Line and land in perhaps my favorite nook of London (and soon to be yours too) Holland Park.
Snuggled in Kensington Holland Park spans 54 acres. Given its size you would think it’d be a touristic hotspot. But it still remains a bit of a secret gem, and a local favorite. Amazingly scenic and peaceful — it’s a great way to see a more quiet side of London. And of course, grab a photo opt or two.
With a Japanese garden, walking trails, peacocks and endless wildflowers you simply can’t go wrong with a visit.
How to Get to Holland Park
The easiest way to get to Holland Park is via the Central Line. Pop off and you’ll be a quick 10 minute walk away. Otherwise you can make your way from High Street Kensington or Notting Hill Gate station.
A Brief History of Holland Park
It’s handy to note that Holland Park the area and Holland Park the park fall under the same name. For the sake of this post, I’ll be focusing solely on the park although the area is absolutely beautiful so the cafes and houses are definitely worth browsing after.
Home to the once Cope Castle in the 17th century the grounds were transformed to a political and literary hub renamed the “Holland House”. But after severe damage from World War II the area was reconstructed into what we see today.
The Holland House now houses a youth hostel with the front terrace remodeled to an open-air theatre. Along the southern section, you’ll find an array of sports facilities and to the north, wildlife, wildflowers, and greenery to match.
With so many highlights it can be hard to catch everything for your time at Holland Park. So I’ve decided to round up the 5 best things to do in Holland Park to make the most of your visit!
Quick Tips & Suggestions
- Holland Park opens at 7am and closes at dawn
- Plan to spend around 2 hours
- The best time to visit is in the spring months (although I took the trip for this blog during fall and it was lovely!)
- Save time to browse the Holland Park and Notting Hill area if you can!
What to Bring to Holland Park
- Picnic Food (there’s a nearby Tesco Express outside the station!)
- Picnic Blanket
& other essentials
Things to do at Holland Park
Now that we’ve got all the practicals sorted let’s make our way to the park! Be sure to use this map to find your way around the park and take in the highlights. With that said here are the best things to do in Holland Park for a lazy afternoon.
1. View the Dutch Gardens
Holland Park is beautiful for many reasons. But the Dutch Gardens is a particular favorite. Manicured flower beds, hovering bees and vibrant arrays of flowers make it the perfect afternoon pastime – especially on a sunny day.
I usually sit on the etched memorial benches and do a spot of people watching or stroll along the garden taking in all the lovely plants on offer.
2. Read in Front of the Sibirica Fountain
Closeby you’ll find the Sibirica fountain. William Pye’s 1999 creation sits neatly in the Iris Garden with a gallery and Belvedere restaurant to match.
Doubled as a wedding venue if you’re super (super) lucky, you can catch the post-I-do’s sitting along the garden — usually during summer. Other activities include curiously watching tense chess players in the court nearby or my personal favorite, reading!
Simply bring along a picnic blanket and snag a spot on the right side of the garden with your book of choice. Wasting away an afternoon with a good read, painted galleries and the Sibirica Fountain as your backdrop. Talk about a view!
3. Grab an Expresso at Holland Park Café
All this reading and flower browsing will probably leave you hungry…or in need of some caffeine. Grab an expresso at the Holland Park Café and take in the views or try their sustainable and locally sourced menu if you’re in need of a bite. And if you’re feeling sweet, their desserts are very, very yummy.
4. Roam the Kyoto Gardens
Once you’ve wandered the Dutch Gardens, taken in the Sibirica fountain and had your fill at Holland Park Cafe it’s time to roam the Kyoto Gardens. A gift of friendship from the city of Kyoto, Kyoto Gardens commemorates Japan and Great Britain’s relationship. Today it’s one of the more popular spots of Holland Park, but you’ll still find ample peace and tranquility taking in the green space.
Walking along the tired waterfall you’ll be met by a koi pond, stone lanterns, and Japanese maple trees. Appreciate the scenery and don’t forget your snapshots of this beautiful nook of London.
Side Note: The streets outside are particularly pretty — so be sure to wander after!
5. And the Fukushima Gardens
An easy partner to your visit the Fukushima Gardens lies in the same vicinity. A gift of gratitude following British support in the 2011 natural disaster Fukushima Gardens was designed for quiet contemplation and a fitting add to the Kyoto Garden.
Pebbled paths, fitted benches, bamboo fixing — and a peacock or two make it one of my favorite spots to take a rest from the city.
In the end, there’s nothing like making a day out of garden wandering, book reading, expresso drinking, and getting some needed city quiet. I thoroughly hoped you enjoyed this post and let me know what you get up to in Holland Park on Instagram @candaceabroad.