Our sole priority throughout the lockdown that started in March 2020 was to keep the parks open and safe, and we’re immensely proud we were able to do that. Heading into a second lockdown from 5th November we are committed to keeping the parks open as they're essential to everyone's mental and physical wellbeing. We are currently looking at what measures will need to be in place for the next lockdown and all updates will be available on this page.
We know how crucial it is for people’s physical and mental wellbeing to be able to have access to these valuable green spaces, and if we all work together we can keep them open for everyone to enjoy at this difficult time.
Following the Government's latest announcement of a national lockdown from 5th November, social distancing is still essential and we ask that you act with kindness and consideration to other park visitors, as well as making sure you throw your litter in the bins or take it home if they're full.
Please see below for the latest status of our park facilities.
Opening hours and closed areas
- All parks have now returned to their normal closing times
- All park offices are closed to the public until further notice.
Visit when the parks are quieter
To avoid crowding we recommend you check the parks' busiest times and plan your visit when there are fewer other visitors. You can find this information on Google.
As outlined in the latest government guidance children's playgrounds will be kept open during the latest national lockdown which runs from Thursday 5 November to Wednesday 2 December.
Diana, Princess of Wales’s Memorial Playground, Kensington Gardens
There is a reduced capacity of 250 visitors at any one time and all children must be accompanied by an adult.
The playground is operating a 'one in, one out' rule, and visitors must leave as a group and not at staggered times.
Please note: a queuing system has been put in place for entry to the playground and for access to the toilets, in order to facilitate social distancing. Food and drink will NOT be permitted in the playground.
Please bring your own hand sanitiser and use it before and after you have touched any surfaces in the playground, and please observe social distancing at all times.
Unfortunately, the water features are not in use at this time.
All other playgrounds
Please avoid using the playgrounds when they are busy in order to maintain social distancing, and please adhere to the signage at the gates. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
Please bring your own hand sanitiser and use it before and after you have touched any surfaces in the playgrounds and please observe social distancing at all times.
Please note: It is not possible to guarantee that playgrounds are secure from Covid-19 and visitors use them at their own risk.
While the majority of our playgrounds and outdoor gyms are now open, there is one location which remain closed:
- Kingston Gate Playground in Richmond Park
Please check individual park pages for further information on each playground.
We are beginning work to replace the coin-pay facilities in the parks with contactless card payments, to protect the health and safety of visitors and staff. The works will be spread over a couple of weeks, starting in The Regent’s Park on Tuesday 10 November. There may be minor disruptions to services during this time. We are only changing existing charging facilities from cash to contactless, not introducing any new charging facilities. We are also investigating further improvements such as the introduction of touchless taps and toilet flushes. The contactless system being used for the toilets accepts credit/debit cards swipe, prepaid cards; mobile wallet payments like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay and QR codes.
As outlined in the latest government guidance public toilets in the parks will be kept open during the latest national lockdown which runs from Thursday 5 November to Wednesday 2 December.
We have implemented all necessary measures to protect our visitors’ safety and to provide a safe working environment for our attendants. During periods when the toilets are cleaned, we will temporarily close access to the facilities until cleaning is safely completed. We will keep our toilet provision under constant review.
From Monday 21st September public toilets* within The Royal Parks will be open at the following times.
Please note that we are reintroducing charges for using these facilities from this date.
Public toilets at catering outlets are for customers only, and will only be available during the outlet opening hours.*
- Hyde Park (Bandstand) 08:30 to 16:00
- Hyde Park (Reservoir) 08:30 to 16:00
- Kensington Gardens (Marlborough Gate and Mount Gate) 08:00 to 16:00
- Kensington Gardens (Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground) open to 16:00
* Please note that the toilets at Café North Lodge, Brompton Cemetery are currently closed to the public.
St. James's Park
- St. James's Park (Marlborough Gate and Horse Guards) 09:00 to 18:00
- St. James's Park (Playground) 11:00 to 16:00
From Monday 23rd November, the toilet block at Ham Gate will close permanently. This will enable the Royal Parks charity, which manages Richmond Park, to focus its remaining resources and service levels on the areas of greatest demand in order to provide the best possible visitor experience. The nearest open toilets are at Kingston Gate, Pembroke Lodge, Petersham Gate and Isabella Pegs Pond.
- Richmond Park 08:00 to 19:00
- Bushy Park (Playground) 08:00 to 18:00
- Greenwich Park (Lower Avenue) 08:00 to 17:15
- Greenwich Park (Rockery) 11:00 to 17:30
- Greenwich Park (Playground) 11:00 to 16:00
The Regent's Park
- Regent's Park 09:00 to 16:00
- Regents' Park (Playgrounds) 11:00 to 16:15
Many catering outlets across our parks are open with social distancing measures in place.
From Thursday 5 November all outlets will be offering a takeaway only service, with no seating available. Café toilets will be closed, unless they are positioned outside of the café building.
Please see the full list of open outlets on each tab below, which includes ‘toilets open’ where available. If an outlet name is not included then it remains closed.
Public toilets at catering outlets are for customers only, and will only be available during the outlet opening hours.
- Boathouse Kiosk
- Speakers Corner Kiosk
- Serpentine Bridge Kiosk
- Triangle Kiosk
- Hyde Park Corner Kiosk
- Hyde Park Corner Lodge Café
- The Serpentine Lido Café – toilets open
- Serpentine Bar & Kitchen
- Italian Gardens Café
- Broad Walk Café
- Albert Memorial Kiosk (weekends)
- Palace Gate Kiosk
- Café North Lodge
St. James's Park and The Green Park
- Storey’s Gate Cafe (weekends)
- Canada Gate Kiosk
- Marlborough Gate Kiosk
- Artillery Memorial Kiosk
- St James's Park Playground Kiosk (weekends)
- Roehampton Café – toilets open
- Broomfield Hill Kiosk
- Pen Pond Kiosk
- Pembroke Lodge Kiosk
- Pheasantry Café – toilets open
- Pheasantry Kiosk
- Diana Car Park Kiosk
- Pavilion Café
- Wolfe Statue Kiosk (weekends)
The Regent's Park
- Boathouse Café
- Regent’s Bar and Kitchen
Parking at the parks
With limited places to visit due to the lockdown, all our parks, but especially Richmond and Bushy Parks, can be very busy at weekends. Even during the week, on dry, sunny days it’s not unusual to see our car parks full by 10am, which can lead to long delays and cars being turned away on arrival. To avoid disappointment, we strongly recommend that visitors leave their cars at home during peak times such as weekends, and when the weather is good.
Outer parks - Bushy Park, Richmond Park, Greenwich Park
- The car park in Greenwich Park is now open all week.
The car park can be accessed via Blackheath Gates entrance only, and opening hours have returned to normal.
- Car parks in Bushy Park are now open all week.
The Pheasantry car park can be accessed from the north side of the park only via Chestnut Avenue and the Diana Fountain car park can be accessed from the south side of the park only via Chestnut Avenue. The car parks will be open during normal park opening hours. Clapperstile car park is also open to blue badge holders every day including weekends.
- Car parks in Richmond Park are now accessible all week
As part of our Movement Strategy we are trialling a scheme that reduces vehicle cut-through traffic while providing access to car parks. Details can be found on our Movement Strategy page for Richmond Park.
Inner parks - Hyde Park, The Regent's Park, St. James's Park and The Green Park
- In Hyde Park, pay and display car parking is available from Monday to Sunday, 08:30 to 18:30. This includes car parking facilities on West Carriage Drive, which is now open to vehicles.
- In The Regent’s Park, pay and display car parking is available from Monday to Sunday, 09:00 to 18:30.
Minibus service, Richmond Park
- We have taken the decision to cancel the free minibus service for the remainder of 2020 due to the recent alterations in the road layout at Richmond Park that make it difficult to access the request stops, and concerns over the safety of passengers and volunteer drivers during the current crisis. We hope to resume the service next year and will update on this when we have news.
Filming in the parks
On Saturday 31 October Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a month-long national lockdown for England to commence on Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December. The intention of this lockdown is to manage COVID19 infection rates whilst enabling "work" activity to continue - including COVID-secure film and television production.
- Therefore, The Royal Parks will continue to accept enquiries for small scale filming and photography shoots across all Royal Parks (up to 10 people), subject to following social distancing regulations , which is currently a minimum of 2 metres. Please be aware that it may not be possible to film in some locations under these circumstances. We will continue to review our guidelines in accordance with the Government advice. Please discuss your requirements for a larger crew size, if required, directly with the filming team.
- The Royal Parks has a duty of care to the public and will not agree to any filming or photography request that does not contain realistic proposals to protect the public, each application will be assessed on a case by case basis. Please find The Royal Parks COVID-19 filming guidance here. This is in line with the Film London COVID-19 Guidance for Location Filming in London, the full version of which is available at http://core.filmlondon.org.uk/library/documents/COVID-19GuidanceforLocationFilming.pdf.
- Please submit your online application for filming/photography via our online form. The following documents must be uploaded during submission of The Royal Parks online filming and photography application form:
- Risk Assessment/Method Statement in accordance with the TRP Covid-19 Filming Guidance, specifically addressing the mitigation measures taken to reduce Covid-19 related risks
- Public Liability Insurance to a minimum of £5 million
- A signed copy of the TRP COVID-19 Filming Guidance
- Please find more information on our Filming and Photography webpage.
- We have been closely following the Government’s announcements, WHO guidelines and recommendations for mass gatherings in the context of Covid-19.
- As guidelines are continuously changing and there is currently a temporary ban on the organisation and planning of mass gatherings, it is extremely difficult to ensure health and safety of the public in line with moving risk assessments. We will continue to follow the UK Covid alert level for the easing or increase of restrictions for the remainder of this year.
- Small events, as categorised by The Royal Parks, have an enormous amount of variables from event concept (cultural, sporting, charitable) to their capacity, size, infrastructure, management and safety. Event organisers would need to submit plans which meet moving health and safety regulations in line with the Covid alert level.
- For the reasons above, the Royal Parks has decided not to licence any new small events for the foreseeable future.
- Due to the popularity of our parks and the uncertainty of the ongoing Covid-19 virus, we regret that it will not be possible to offer any dates in 2021 at this time. We ask that any enquiries are not submitted until the new year. This will allow us time to issue solid guidelines and requirements, as well as health and safety measures for all small events which we aim to release for event organisers this autumn.
- We understand how disappointing this news will be for you and your participants, customers, and supporters but our priority is to support the national effort in coming out of this crisis, provide open space for the public and protect everyone’s health.
Sport, leisure and personal fitness
The UK Government website states that ‘indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres and gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks’ are to close from 5 November.
- All grassroots sports to be put on hold (for both juniors and adults)
- The only exception to this is when bookings are made by a school as part of their curriculum / educational offer
- Outdoor gyms to close
- Outdoor swimming will not be permitted
- Tennis courts and golf courses (incl. driving range) to close
- Members of the public are permitted to exercise outdoors with the people you live with or with 1 person from another household
- One-to-one personal training can continue with those who are licensed to offer this
- Group training sessions and fitness licences are be put on hold
- Small running events are cancelled until further notice.
The Hub Sports Facility, Regent's Park
Between 5 November and 2 December no grassroots sports (adults and juniors) will take place in Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill in line with government legislation.
The UK Government has confirmed that school sport can continue as an exemption during this period. As such Regent’s Park will continue to host mid-week school sports bookings providing vital facilities for the local community.
For queries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Although The Hub will be closed, Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill remain open for visitors to enjoy spending time in nature and for relaxation and recreation. Staying fit and well is particularly important at the moment and we encourage people to come to the Parks to boost their physical and mental wellbeing. Please remember to follow the Government’s advice on exercising and social distancing.
- All visitor information centres will be fully closed during this current lockdown.
Education centres, community programmes and volunteering
The Royal Parks are continuing to follow and adhere to guidance and instructions that have been provided by the UK government and administrations to avoid and reduce the risks that Covid – 19 presents. The health and wellbeing of our employees, volunteers and the public remains our priority.
- From the 5th November new national restrictions will come into effect across the whole of the UK. Volunteering is exempt from a number of these restrictions and therefore after careful consideration The Royal Parks will continue to deliver a limited number of our volunteering programmes.
- These programmes will continue to be delivered using the essential precautions, controls and guidance. We will be continuing with practical, conservation, horticultural and landscape management roles that are undertaken outside, in controlled group numbers, where social distancing can always be adhered to, and where there is no public facing interaction. People who are clinically extremely vulnerable are being advised not to volunteer outside their home under any circumstances.
- We are currently pausing any of our public facing and engagement volunteer programmes such as the volunteer community ranger service and the visitor information centres.
As always, as a volunteer it is your personal choice whether if you wish to volunteer and during this time if you would like to pause on volunteering we will welcome you back when you feel ready to do so. Please consider all available advice before deciding to volunteer.