Greens and Parks around London


Thankfully not all of London has fallen victim to developers and there are still large expanses of greenery including Wimbledon Common and Putney Heath Wandsworth and Clapham Commons, Streatham, Tooting, and Kennington Commons — in all, nearly 2,000 acres. Farther afield are Bagshot Heath, Epsom, Leatherhead, Ashtead, Weybridge, Epping Forest, and other open spots.

These areas, easily accessible by train provide much needed quiet and peaceful rural scenery and act as the lungs of the great city. They do not include a single cathedral, castle, or abbey, at all events with extensive buildings above ground; but there are breezy heights commanding extensive views, mansions, and other buildings possessing historical significance.

There are, for instance, Waltham Cross and Abbey, the latter traditionally the grave of the unhappy Harold; there is Chislehurst, with its memories of the antiquary Camden and the emperor Louis Napoleon; there are Hayes and Keston, the favourite haunts of Pitt and Wilberforce; there is Isleworth, with its monastery of Sion; Harrow, with its school and its memories of Byron’s youth.

For more about London's history see the London history section.