Looking for a quiet, relaxing break? London can offer that

A look down a path in Greenwich Park, LondonAlthough there is a belief that London is a hustle and bustle type of city, which is true in many senses, it doesn’t always have to be that way.

There are a number of ways you can enjoy a quieter, more relaxed stay in our capital city; for example, do you know how many parks and open spaces there are in London?

If you count the City of London and Greater London, then you are looking at around 1,000 different green spaces to relax in.  These include Royal parks – such as those which surround us at DUKES – commons, public gardens and converted church yards.

But there are many more ways you can find to relax, away from the tourist locations you may be looking to avoid, at least for a while, on your trip to London.

Barge Walk, Hampton Court

Following the curve of the river from Hampton Court bridge to Kingston is a tree-lined stroll, with clusters of swans, vine-covered walls and rowers aplenty.

Halfway along, the land lifts to reveal Seething Wells, the marvellously named former water treatment works with pipes wide-mouthed over the river.

The pockets of peace you will encounter make the journey totally worthwhile.

Thames Barrier

Perhaps the most peaceful, and desolate, spot in all of London.  The location can seem uninviting until you reach the barrier itself, which is extremely impressive, with its huge steel gates rising nobly from the river.

It is definitely worth a stroll for a couple of miles along the river from North Greenwich.

Abney Park Cemetery, Stoke Newington

Laid out in 1840, Abney Park is one of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ private cemeteries created when parish graveyards could not cope with Londoners passing on.

Now kept as a woodland memorial park and nature reserve, it’s one of the city’s most peaceful spots.

Make sure to take in the chapel, built in a dissenting Gothic style, with an Egyptian revival entrance.

Hampstead Heath Extension

This may seem like an obvious choice to citizens of London, but to outsiders it is quite a find.

The Pergola and Hill Garden offer lovely views, Kenwood House is beautiful, Parliament Hill and the ponds in summer are a delight.

But the real hidden gem is on the north west side – the extension – which was originally farmland, later tacked on to the main heath.  Think hedgerows and open spaces, ancient trees and ponds.

It is eerily silent, too – you could be forgiven for thinking you were a very long way from any major city.


And what about the quintessentially British calm of our very own hotel?

After spending all of your day walking around these peaceful and idyllic parts of London, you might feel the need to finish your night somewhere equally relaxing, away from the bustle of the city but still in the centre of the action – and what could be better than enjoying refined, British cuisine in our restaurant before topping off your evening with the world’s best Martini?

Be prepared to be shaken, not stirred!