Open Garden Squares Weekend, London (June)
Every June in London over 200 hidden and little-known gardens open their doors for Open Garden Squares Weekend. Enjoy visiting the gardens, take part in the programme of special events or volunteer to help out.
Explore London’s hidden gardens during Open Garden Square weekend
It’s been over 19 years since this much loved event was first conceived. Open Garden Squares weekend now attracts over 18,000 visitors who buy a single weekend ticket giving them access to over 200 gardens across London. You’ll spot them criss-crossing the capital, guidebook in hand. There are some gardens that have special appeal for London’s foodies as they present opportunities for convenient tasting stops inbetween smelling the blooms.
- Visit gardens
- Enjoy tea and cake
- Listen to talks
- Take a tour
- Take part in a cycle ride
Discover London’s Secret Gardens
Think of London’s green spaces and most people would immediately envisage its magnificent parks such as Regent’s Park which plays host to Taste of London’s summer food festival in June. But if you know where to look, you can discover some intriguing hidden gardens all across the capital. There are contemporary rooftop gardens, pop-up orchards, elegant and exclusive garden squares, gardens on barges and in train stations. Open Garden Squares Weekend which is entirely run by volunteers, makes it really easy for you to explore and discover these green spaces. Alongside it, you can participate in an extensive programme of walks, talks, tours and cycle rides including many activities for families and children.
Explore London’s Foodie Gardens
Some of the gardens included in Open Garden Squares Weekend will be of special interest to foodies. We’ve picked out our favourites to help you make the most of your weekend:
The Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising in Notting Hill – This quirky museum in has a collection of over 12,000 original items from the Victorian era to the Twenty First century that will take you back to the foods and brands of your childhood. The planting for the museum’s garden was a donation from the gold-medal-winning Crabtree & Evelyn Chelsea Flower Show scented garden in 1990.
The Ham Yard Roof Garden Hotel – One of our favourite places in London for a traditional Afternoon Tea. Its fourth floor roof garden has sweeping views of the London skyline, a swanky lounge area, olive trees, blooming flowers, apple and pear espaliers and raised beds made of railway sleepers.
The roof garden at the Ham Yard Hotel
Rococo Chocolates – Visit the MaRoCoCo Garden at Rococo Chocolates in Knightsbridge and you’ll have the opportunity to take a look at the chocolate kitchen where chocolatiers will demonstrate techniques from their chocolate school courses. Don’t leave without tasting their divine chocolate or a slice of cake with a pot of tea.
The Geffrye Museum in Hoxton – Visit the award-winning herb garden with over 170 different herbs and plants traditionally associated with herb gardens, such as roses, honeysuckle and lilies. There are also a series of period garden ‘rooms’ to show the changing nature of English town gardens over the 400 years.
Forty Hall Farm – An organic farm in Enfield, on the outskirts of London. It’s run by Capel Manor College, the only further education college in London specialising in learning about the environment. It’s home to London’s only organic commercial vineyard as well as a thriving community orchard and a productive market garden.
Spitalfields City Farm – A community garden and city farm that’s home to the famous Coriander Club gardens known for the growing of herbs and vegetables that are so loved by the local Bangladeshi community. Combine it with a visit to Brick Lane.
The River Café – Next to the Thames, this restaurant has been a London foodie favourite since it was opened in 1987 by Ruth Rogers and the late Rose Gray. They grow a variety of Italian salad leaves, vegetables and herbs that make their way on to the restaurant’s daily changing menus.
Fulham Palace – Once home to the Bishops of London, this riverside garden has a vinery, an historic knot garden, an orchard, a walled garden and a lovely café. Walk here after a visit to Fuller’s Griffin Brewery in Chiswick.
- Buy a ticket in advance for £12 and you can visit as many gardens as you like. You receive a copy of the handbook so you can plan your weekend (individual garden entry on the day is £4).
- Become one of the many volunteers who work together to make the festival happen
- The line up of participating gardens changes every year so be sure to consult the official website before buying your ticket
- Some gardens are so small they operate on a ticketed basis
London Hotels for Garden Lovers
The Ham Yard Hotel in Piccadilly – a very stylish and hip central London hotel which comes with its own roof garden, cinema, restaurant and bowling alley. If you’re not staying here, visit for Afternoon Tea instead.
Please check the Open Garden Squares Handbook for details of each participating garden.
The Foodie Travel Guide
Sally is the founder and editor of The Foodie Travel Guide. She travels around the UK and beyond in search of the best foodie days out, tasting experiences and delicious places to stay. She loves a glass of English sparkling wine, afternoon tea with friends and escaping London for gastronomic adventures.