Quiet London: Take a Break from the Crowds in Central London

Michael Catford | August 9, 2019  in

As one of the largest and most dynamic cities on the planet, the hustle and bustle of Central London often seems inescapable. There’s simply no way to get bored in London, and this chaos is part of its charm.

But in time even visitors to the English capital might find the commotion a little too much. Between city workers, tourists and residents just going about their day, it can be difficult to find a place to sit back, relax and take the London air in. Thankfully there are a wealth of quiet places in London too – from majestic parks to little nooks and crannies that will allow you to relax, unwind and find a sense of calm.

Looking for quiet places to read in London? Looking for natural and pretty places in London where you can simply watch the world go by? Whether you’re a resident or a tourist, anyone looking for a bit or peace and tranquillity in London would be wise to check out these seven calming spots!

Postman’s Park

Park yourself next to some posties.

Postman's Park - Photo by Iridescent CC BY-SA 3.0
Postman’s Park – Photo by Iridescent CC BY-SA 3.0

Just north of St. Paul’s Cathedral sits Postman’s Park, a truly silent nook outside of what was once London’s general post office. This hidden gem of a park got its name for the fact that the postal workers would sit outside of the post office and have their lunch break there. It features a memorial to British heroes, and a beautiful smattering of greenery, making it the perfect spot in London to relax and reflect.

Berkeley Square

Wrap yourself in aged oak.

Berkeley Square - Photo by Paul Farmer CC BY-SA 2.0
Berkeley Square – Photo by Paul Farmer CC BY-SA 2.0

Surrounded by trading and hedge fund offices, Berkeley Square sits in a comparatively quiet part of Mayfair, and its gardens provide the perfect antidote to the city’s crowds. The park is home to some of the oldest trees in Central London, including one which was once calculated to be none other than ‘the most valuable street tree in Britain’ by the London Tree Officers Association.

Kyoto Garden (Holland Park)

Say ‘konnichiwa’ to peace and tranquillity.

Kyoto Garden, Holland Park - (CC BY 2.0) by rvacapinta
Kyoto Garden, Holland Park – (CC BY 2.0) by rvacapinta

The perfect place to find your Zen, Kyoto Garden in Holland Park is an absolute oasis for city dwellers who need a break from the noise. Perhaps the least secret of London‘s secret gardens, it nonetheless manages to remain tranquil, with a stunning rock waterfall pouring into a koi-filled lake. Donated by the Chamber of Commerce of Kyoto in 1993, it’s the perfect combination of beauty and relaxation.

Barbican Centre

A rose amongst the thorns.

The Conservatory Barbican Centre - CC BY 2.0 by scotbot
The Conservatory Barbican Centre – CC BY 2.0 by scotbot

Barbican is known as a particularly businessy area of Central London, which makes the existence of the Barbican Centre all the more surprising. Its brutalist architecture has it fitting in perfectly with the surrounding office blocks, but within the brick and concrete you’ll find an oasis of unmatched calm. Greenery and water features dot the outdoor space, surrounded by the largest performing arts centre in Europe.

The Peace Pagoda (Battersea Park)

Find peace at its namesake monument.

Streets of London - Battersea Park Peace Pagoda - Garry Knight CC BY-SA 2.0
Battersea Park Peace Pagoda – Garry Knight CC BY-SA 2.0

Where better to find a bit of serenity than a monument with ‘peace’ in its name? The Peace Pagoda in Battersea Park certainly lives up to its moniker. Overlooking the Thames, it serves as the perfect place to watch the world go by. It was one of 80 pagodas donated globally by Japanese Buddhists on the 40th anniversary of the atomic bombings in Japan.

Lincoln’s Inn Fields

Become a lady or lad of leisure for the day.

Streets of London - Lincoln's Inn Fields - Photo by Diliff CC BY-SA 3.0
Lincoln’s Inn Fields – Photo by Diliff CC BY-SA 3.0

Overlooked by Sir John Soane’s Museum in Holborn, Lincoln’s Inn Fields is the largest public square in London. Laid out in the 1630s, it was originally a private playground for the rich and famous until London City Council procured it in 1895. It’s now simply a nice place to sit back and relax, with a generous serving of grass making it the perfect destination on a sunny day. Surrounded by stunning buildings, it’s one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in all of London.

Golden Square

The ideal comedown from a day of shopping.

Golden Square, Soho - Photo by Diliff CC BY-SA 3.0
Golden Square, Soho – Photo by Diliff CC BY-SA 3.0

If the buzz of Oxford or Regent Streets has become a bit too much, shoppers can find solace in Golden Square, a small but beautiful space in Soho, to the west of the Covent Garden tube stop. One of London’s most historic squares, it’s surrounded by some of the city’s most prized real estate. Bird haters beware: the pigeons in this square are particularly friendly.

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