Update 7 June 2011 – This year’s event runs 11-12 June 2011.
I visited some of the venues participating in the 2010 Open Garden Squares Weekend during my trip to London in mid June 210. This annual London event has taken place every June since 1998 to showcase London’s green and historic urban spaces, many of which are not normally open to the public. Tickets cost £7.50 if purchased in advance or £9 on the day (but not all gardens sell tickets). I received a free press ticket.
Holland House Garden
With more than 200 gardens taking part, it was hard to decide which to visit. My selection was somewhat influenced by the fact that several London Underground lines were shut due to planned engineering works. I decided to stick to the Holland Park and Kensington area as they were within walking distance of my hotel, the Umi London in Bayswater.
My first port of call was Holland House Garden in Holland Park, constructed in the early 17th century but with the addition of a modern wing after WW2 bombing, it’s now a youth hostel. It’s certainly the loveliest garden I’ve ever seen in a youth hostel with several flower beds and a long rectangular pond.
Holland House Garden pond
Next on the itinerary was Iverna Court Garden, a small garden with seven plane trees in the midst of Edwardian mansion flats. A water feature and a chess table were added during the 2005 renovations.
Me playing chess at Iverna Court Garden
Close by Kensington Square Gardens was the largest garden on my itinerary. It was hard to get any good photos as people were sitting in the benches at the most scenic spots.
Kensington Square Gardens
It was quite hard to find Cornwall Gardens and they were pretty disappointing.
Me at Cornwall Gardens
My final stop was at Courtfield Gardens East which is home St Jude’s church which opened in 1870. There’s sunken garden by the church.
St Jude’s Church at Courtfield Gardens East
I really enjoyed my visit to the garden squares, I’ve noticed them many times when walking around London, so it was interesting to gain access. My tip, if you are visiting London in mid June, is to try to fit the Open Garden Squares Weekend into your London sightseeing schedule.
Best of London Tips
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