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Best Parks for Picnics in South London

11 May 2019 | Natasha Sutton-Williams

Whether you’re a born and bred South Londoner, have recently moved to the area, or are simply taking a dander through, South London’s parks are some of the most serene London has to offer. Grab a wicker basket, fill it with treats - perhaps a bottle of bubbly - and get lost in these peaceful evergreen parks.

Battersea Park 
Many consider Battersea Park the most diverse of the London Parks. Situated on the south bank of the River Thames, the park not only has stunning views of the water, but is set against the iconic view of Battersea Power Station. It has a specially designed Children’s Zoo with a host of mammals, reptiles and birds for kids to watch up close. There are multiple gardens situated within the park itself, including the Old English Garden, Winter Garden, Subtropical Garden and Herb Garden. The park even has its very own Peace Pagoda. 
 
Brockwell Park
With a formidable 19th Century clock tower, ornamental ponds, formal flower beds and a walled 'Old English' herbaceous flower garden, locals flock to this large and historic park. When the weather is warm enough you can swim in the famous Brockwell Lido, and on a windy day you can see dozens of kites flying high above the green. The playground is a favourite with kids, boasting a massive sandpit, aerial slide, and different play areas for different ages. 

Picnic in the park London

Burgess Park 
Unlike most London parks, Burgess Park is unusual because it was carved out of a densely built up area of the city. Previously it was home to industry, housing, and transport. Now it is a thriving open green space, and one of the largest parks in London. Within its greenery you can explore a variety of historical buildings, including a limekiln, bath and washhouses, and an old alms-house in the hidden haven of Chumleigh Gardens. There is also a BMX track where you can watch riders work on their tricks.  
 
Tooting Common
You are sure to nab the perfect picnic spot at Tooting Common. With 92 hectares of grass, woodland and lakes, this park is split into two sections and is notable for its ancient oak trees and historic avenues you can wander down. It has an athletics track, playground and an Italian café for lunch if you don’t have time to make up a picnic basket. You can even get involved in the Tooting Common park run, which is a 5km timed run every Saturday at 9am and is totally free to join. Just register before you put your runners on!  
 
Ruskin Park 
There are some charming sights to see in Ruskin Park. You can visit the beautiful pergola with its covered walk and climbing plants. There’s an elegant wooden bandstand at the park’s centre, which hosts their summer fete and concert series, and for little nippers there is a playground and paddling pool to enjoy on sunny days. But beware - it gets especially busy during the May Bank Holidays so get there early!
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