Which is your favourite London park?
The small sized town that is Hyde Park with its geese filled Round Pound? Can’t get enough of the stunning and unbeatable viewpoint of the London city skyline from Greenwich Park? Or does London’s newest park, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park get your vote?
While all of London’s parks are terrific, my favourite is actually inside of a larger park (Inception style).
Okay, it’s a garden, it’s small and there are only a couple of benches, but still, it looks and feels different from anything other in London.
Kyoto Garden in Holland Park is (as you’ve probably guessed by its name) Japanese inspired. Designed and styled as a tour garden, it was built in 1991 as part of the Japan Festival.
Perfectly manicured, the landscape garden’s waterfall quietly trickling is the only background noise you’ll hear. Perfect for getting away from the crowds of tourists congregating in nearby Notting Hill.
The three-step waterfall symbolises mountains and deep gorges while the large pond depicts a vast ocean – a natural landscape in miniature form. I just love the vibrant colours of the plants and trees which add to this. Traditional Japanese garden elements such as stone lanterns (Toro) and a stone wash basin (Tsukubai) are also present. Learn more about traditional Japanese garden elements and symbolism.
Kyoto Park is so peaceful, animals of all species get along in harmony.
Paper carp windsocks (Koinobori) gently swim in the breeze above you, while real koi carp (some are huge!) swim in the pond beneath the bridge near the waterfall.
I can see why this stork and the resident local celebrity Holland Park peacocks have made Kyoto Garden their home. I know I would if I could.
The peacocks are a little camera shy. Our maybe they’re just tired of people taking photos of then when they’re trying to relax in the park too!
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They’ll perch themselves in the trees or won’t get up to fan their beautiful tails for you no matter how kindly you ask them. I can’t complain too much, I’m camera shy too.
Okay, I’m camera shy just some of the time.
Okay I’m not camera shy at all, I’m a poser – are you happy now!?
The peacocks do call out to one another which is sweet I think. I like to think they’re a married couple. Can peacocks get married? Am I thinking the peacock society is way more civilised than it actually is? I bet their laughing, making fun of the tourists.
‘Peter, come look. This Asian guy is wearing red shoes with a red jacket – talk about a fashion faux pas!’. I imagine peacocks to have excellent taste in fashion. The way they strut and hold themselves make them the catwalkers of the animal world. And yes, I’ve named the male peacock Peter Peacock. His wife is Polly.
Directions to Kyoto Gardens:
Kyoto Garden is closer to the entrance on Holland Park road. As you exit Holland Park underground station, go across the road at the green man, walk left and take your first right up the hill which winds in an arc. You’ll see an entrance for Holland Park. Walk up the path where it’ll fork into three paths. Choose the middle fork and you’ll see Kyoto Garden on the left. Check out the map for other transport options in West Kensington.
Which is your favourite park in London? Where is your secret hideaway in the Big Smoke to get away from it all? Tell me in the comments section below!