Cut your sandwiches into triangles, grab a picnic basket and a blanket and head out to one of these fabulous places in South West London – including Battersea, Richmond, Tooting and Wimbledon – to have a picnic with friends, family and meerkats too
1 Battersea Park
With its own Peace Pagoda, Children’s Zoo and views of Battersea’s iconic Power Station, picnics are sure to pack a punch in Battersea Park. Choose a grassy spot by the lake to throw your picnic blanket down after a visit to see the meerkats and pals at the zoo. Sitting on the south bank of the River Thames, it’s close to central London too.
Battersea Park, London SW11 4NJ
Nearest station: Battersea Park. Driving there? Pay and display is available at three car parks at Albert Gate, Chelsea Gate and Rosery Gate
2 Tooting Bec Lido
Fancy a swim before your sandwich? Then head to Tooting Bec Lido – the largest fresh water, open air swimming pool in England. As well as a 90m pool, there’s a children’s paddling pool and a shaded area, making it suitable for families. Don’t want to make your own sandwiches? The lido café is open seven days a week.
Tooting Bec Lido, Tooting Bec Road SW16 1RU
Nearest stations: Balham, Streatham or Streatham Hill and then a ten-minute walk.
3 Wandsworth Park
Between the south bank of the River Thames and Putney Bridge Road, Wandsworth Park is a Grade II listed green space in the Wandsworth Borough. As well as grassy spots perfect for picnics, you can turn your hand to a game of mini golf at putting course Putt in the Park.
Wandsworth Park, Putney Bridge Road, London, SW18 1PP
Nearest stations: East Putney London Underground or Putney
4 Wimbledon Common
If it was good enough for The Wombles, it’s good enough for us. Watch horses from the Wimbledon Village Stables do their rounds while you tuck into your packed lunch. Wimbledon Common is vast, so great for picnics, sports and walks. Give Uncle Bulgaria a wave from us!
Wimbledon Common, SW19
Nearest station: Wimbledon and then a 15-minute walk
5 The River Thames
Hay fever getting you down? Sitting on the grass under a whole load of trees may not be your best bet for an enjoyable picnic location. Opt instead for a riverside bench along the Thames. Head to the Wandsworth Bridge area and upgrade your sarnies for some top-class fish and chips from Brady’s, enjoy a refreshing alfresco beverage at one of South West London’s most popular beer gardens The Ship or treat yourselves to a slice of something naughty but nice at Eric Landlard’s Cake Boy.
River Thames, Wandsworth
Nearest station: Wandsworth Town
6 Tooting Common
If you’d rather eat your picnic on grass and bypass the pool, take your pick of Tooting’s gorgeous green commons. With 92 hectares, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a picnic spot. Complete with pond, athletics track and play equipment there’s plenty to keep you entertained over a gourmet scotch egg.
Tooting Common, SW17
Nearest stations: Tooting Bec London Underground, Balham, Streatham and Streatham Hill.
7 Barnes Pond, Barnes Village
Pull up a picnic blanket right at the heart of Barnes Village, by its picturesque pond. Barnes has the feel of the quaint British countryside when actually you’re still in London’s Zone 3. Here you can partake in the quintessentially British tradition of feeding the ducks while tucking into crudities and dips as well as strawberries and cream.
Barnes Pond, Barnes SW13
Nearest stations: Barnes or Barnes Bridge
8 Fulham Palace Gardens, Fulham
Steeped in history and protected as an important historic landscape, it’s a wonder they let us into Fulham Palace gardens but, the good news is, that they do, it’s free and they welcome picnics too. Small table and fold-up chairs are fine so you don’t have to get wet bottoms if the grass is dewy, but leave the dog at home when heading here.
Fulham Palace, Bishop’s Avenue, Fulham SW6 6EA
Nearest station: Putney Bridge or Parsons Green
9 Commons: Clapham, Streatham and Wandsworth
Take your pick! South West London’s famous for its commons and green open spaces so make sure you make the most of them. Settle down in Streatham, chill by Clapham’s bandstand with your picnic blanket, wander around Wandsworth. Don’t want to butter your own bread? Pre-order a hamper from Carluccio’s (Earlsfield, Putney and Wimbledon) 24 hours in advance and pick it up on the day.
Clapham Common, SW4; Streatham Common, SW16; Wandsworth, SW18
Nearest stations: Clapham Common or Clapham South; Streatham or Streatham Hill; Wandsworth Town
10 Morden Hall Park, Morden
Step through the gates of Morden Hall Park and you could be forgiven for thinking you’re deep in the English countryside. There’s hints to the land’s agricultural and industrial history (this former deer park that used to line the River Wandle during its industrial heyday) around, which make it a fascinating spot for a picnic.
Morden Hall Road, Morden, SM4 5JD
11. Richmond Park
With over 2,500 acres to explore, it’s not surprising that the largest of the Royal Parks is a favourite picnic spot with Londoners. Pack your hamper and a blanket then take in the stunning views of some of South West London’s best countryside. Look out for scenes of St. Paul’s Cathedral and the City in the distance. Find out more at royalparks.org.uk