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  London's Best Parks 2011-01-11  
London is one of the greenest capitals in the world. Its fabulous parks are loved by Londoners all year round. From sunbathing in the summer, to brisk, refreshing walks in the winter, there's always a reason to visit London's parks. As well as being perfect for relaxing, you'll find sports and exciting events taking place in the parks of London, plus kids play areas galore.

Hyde Park

Huge and centrally located, Hyde Park is one of London's best-loved parks with more than 4,000 trees, a lake, a meadow and rose gardens. Take a relaxing stroll or move faster by cycling, skating or skateboarding on one of the designated paths. The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain is also located in the park.
The Regent's Park

The Regent¡¯s Park spans 166 hectares (410 acres) and was designed in 1811 by renowned architect John Nash. It includes stunning rose gardens and has the largest outdoor sports area in London, with facilities for football, softball rugby and cricket.
Richmond Park

This beautiful Royal Park is famously home to around 650 free roaming deer. Richmond Park covers more than 2,000 acres with great cycle paths (from flat to challenging routes), riding stables, two golf courses and power kiting. The views from the top of the hill are so stunning they are protected by an act of Parliament.
St James's Park

Regal St James's Park is surrounded by three Royal palaces. Spanning 23 hectares (58 acres) it has a lake - home to the park's famous pelicans. You can watch them being fed at 2.30pm. It's also home to Horse Guards Parade and the Mall – the setting for countless ceremonial parades – and the cosy Inn The Park cafe.
Victoria Park

Known locally as "Vicky Park", Victoria Park was London's first public park. As well as canals, ponds and a pavilion, it also has tennis courts and a sports ground. Some of London's biggest events are held at the park, including the annual Lovebox Weekender and Field Day Festival, as well as outdoor theatre.
Greenwich Park

Greenwich Park is the oldest of the Royal Parks and offers spectacular views over the river Thames. If you're lucky, you might spot the small herd of Fallow and Red deer that live in the park. It's the perfect place to take a break between visiting Greenwich's other attractions, and boasts three cafes, a bandstand, and a children's playground.
Hampstead Heath

It's easy to forget you're just four miles from the hustle and bustle of central London on Hampstead Heath. Climb to the top of Parliament Hill and you¡¯ll be rewarded with magnificent views. It's the perfect spot for flying a kite, romantic walks or simply relaxing with a picnic and watching the sun set over the city.
Clapham Common

One of London's largest open spaces, Clapham Common has plenty of room to relax in the sun as well as three ponds, tennis courts, grass pitches and a bandstand to keep you occupied. The Common also hosts events such as South West Four Weekender festival and a popular fireworks display on 5 November.
Battersea Park

Battersea Park is a huge, flat park (making it popular with joggers!) There's plenty for families to enjoy including play areas and the Battersea Children's Zoo. You can take a stroll along the grand 1km riverside promenade, take in the magnificent fountains, and even rent boats on the lake in the summer.
Lee Valley Park
Lee Valley Regional Park stretches 26 miles (42 km) along the River Lee, from East India Docks, past the Olympic Park and up to Ware in Hertfordshire. This huge park offers green spaces, nature reserves and ample opportunity for sports. If you're not sure where to start, try the guided tour on the first Sunday of every month.
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