Secret Gardens of Victoria: Discovering Tranquility near the Station

Secret Gardens of Victoria

London’s Victoria Station is an extremely busy place, welcoming around 75 million passengers every year – significantly more than the population of the UK. Its central location within a short walk of some of the most famous attractions in London makes it the perfect gateway to the city for people traveling by train or by long-distance bus from other parts of the UK, or via the Gatwick Express that connects the station to one of the UK’s busiest international airports.

So in this busy place, you probably wouldn’t expect to find lots of green space to stretch your legs and get some serenity. You’d be wrong. Famously, London has as many trees as it does people and so much parkland that it fits some definitions of a forest. No matter how busy London gets, there’s always somewhere to escape and some new oasis of calm to discover in the heart of the city.

Victoria Station is just a few minutes walk from St. James’s Park, one of the eight Royal Parks in London. But while this large park makes a great place to take a walk and soak up the atmosphere, its popularity with both locals and tourists means it may not be the perfect spot to get away.

If, on the other hand, you’re looking for something more obscure, you’re in luck. Leave your heavy bags behind at a Victoria Station luggage storage and check out some of the lesser-known public spaces where you can get a breath of fresh air and decompress from a long train journey or flight.

Table of Contents – Secret Gardens of Victoria

Grosvenor Gardens

Secret Gardens of Victoria - Image of Grosvenor Gardens

If you can’t wait to get to some greenery, probably the closest park to Victoria Train Station is Grosvenor Gardens. These gardens are divided into Upper and Lower sections, but they are small enough that you can easily visit both to get a bit of fresh air and stretch your legs.

These two triangular parks may be small, but they pack a lot of interest into the area they occupy. The parks are often used for outdoor art installations, so there’s always something interesting to look at. Check out the sheds decorated with dozens of seashells. And don’t miss the impressive Lioness and Lesser Kudu statue in the Upper Garden, which brings an action-packed scene straight from the savanna of Africa to the heart of London.

Eaton Square Garden

Only a little further from the station than Grosvenor Gardens, Eaton Square Garden can be reached with a walk of less than half a mile, and provides another great place to get some tranquility without the tourist crowds.

Located in the well-heeled Belgravia district, this urban garden is surrounded by Regency period townhouses that are some of the most desirable in the city. This area was once named the most expensive place to buy a property in the whole country, with the average house costing around 17 million pounds. Even the red telephone booth in this area is a grade 2 listed historic building.

Eaton Square has been home to some notable figures over the years, including British prime minister Neville Chamberlain, Gone With The Wind actress Vivian Leigh, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, and banker George Soros.

But above all, the park in the center of the square offers a great place to wander in some beautiful surroundings. You may not be making an offer on a house here anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the peace and quiet of this area not far from the busy train station.

Pimlico Gardens

Secret Gardens of Victoria - Image of Pimlico Gardens with a view of Tower Bridge
Secret Gardens of Victoria

Heading down to the river, you’ll come to this charming park on the banks of the Thames. With tall trees for shade and plenty of benches to sit on, this is a popular place for local workers to come on their lunch break and enjoy a weekday picnic on a sunny day. It’s also a good place to take in views of the river and decompress after a stressful journey.

Next to the gardens, you’ll find another of London’s 19th-century gardens, St. George’s Square. Carefully maintained pathways lead to a central fountain, and this is a popular place for a short walk. Dogs are allowed here, so expect to run into more than a few dog walkers while you’re in the area.

Chelsea Physic Garden

Continuing along the river, you’ll encounter this unusual garden to the south of the railway station. Although it’s about a 25-minute walk from London Victoria to this park, it’s worth it to see one of the more unusual public spaces in the city.

This is London’s original botanical garden, founded in 1673 with the intention of helping physicians learn more about the healing properties of various plants. The garden is home to more than 5000 different species of plants, including some poisonous varieties and others that have historically been associated with witchcraft, like mandrake and deadly nightshade.

You can take a walk through this unusual garden and learn more about its history from the interpretive signs posted along the route. It’s a great way to combine history and nature in the heart of the city, and worth making the journey to see something unique.

Parks near Victoria Station

London is absolutely full of great parks to visit. Although many of the 19th-century gardens in the residential areas are restricted to resident access only, others are open to the public, so you’ll never have to search hard to find a place to get some fresh air here. London has to be one of the best major cities in the world to spend some time in the park, so leave your heavy bags behind and check out some of these secret gardens of Victoria and the green spaces before or after embarking on your train journey.

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