#574: Bring On Summer at Kyoto Gardens in Holland Park

Holland-Park-Kyoto-Gardens-Blossom

Delight in the tranquility of the Kyoto Gardens, one of London’s best outdoor treats. Meander along the narrow gravel path past trees decked out in cherry blossoms and a cascading waterfall to feel instantly recharged.


London has finally thrown off the shackles of winter, and it’s this time of year in particular that I love watching the English in their native habitat: the park.

Nothing makes these folk more excited than when that glowing orb in the sky makes an appearance, no matter how brief. Parks and green spaces fill to the brim, and any hint of the stiff upper lip melts away as the disposable barbecues are lit.

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Summer isn’t just something that happens every year (because that’s definitely not guaranteed). Summer is a reward, a cause for celebration, and Londoners have to soak it up at every opportunity.

Only recently did I stumble into one of the perfect green spots to ring in a London summer: the Kyoto Gardens in Holland Park.

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LONDON THING 574 OF 1000: Get instant karma in Holland Park.

The Kyoto Gardens opened in 1992 to celebrate the friendship between Japan and Britain, and they are an interesting addition to Holland Park, which was heavily bomb-damaged in World War II.

A trail snakes around the pond in the centre of Kyoto Gardens, leading to a stone slab bridge at the foot of the waterfall. Koi swim peacefully back and forth in the pond beneath your feet.

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The path loops back around, and you should keep your eyes peeled to spot one of the resident peacocks.

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I’m not sure anything in London qualifies as a secret anymore, but you’ll find an infinite number of blogs praising the Kyoto Gardens as a ‘hidden gem’. Hidden? In the middle of a park maybe. But this is definitely one to add to the off-the-beaten-track list because it lingers in the shadow of Hyde Park.

Are the Kyoto Gardens worth a visit? Absolutely. Just be ready for the in-the-know Londoners who are already there soaking summer in.

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Visit: Kyoto Gardens, Holland Park, Ilchester Place, London, W8. Tube Holland Park.

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