Welcome to The Green Park
Just a few steps away from Buckingham Palace and bustling Piccadilly lies the tranquil Green Park – a little oasis of calm in the hectic heart of the city, through which the River Tyburn once flowed.
With its shaded avenues of mature trees and stretches of picturesque grassland, it’s the perfect place to get away from it all. Step inside and slow down.
We’ve got King Charles II to thank for The Green Park. He created it in 1660, as he wanted to walk from Hyde Park to St. James’s Park without leaving royal soil. He soon fell in love with his new park, taking a daily walk – or ‘constitutional’ – right here. In fact, that’s how nearby Constitution Hill got its name. Follow in the old King’s footsteps and see what this serene space has to offer.
While the north-eastern corner of the park is popular with sunbathers and picnickers, elsewhere the charm of The Green Park lies in its simplicity. There are no formal beds of flowers here. Instead, this is a place to enjoy the play of sunlight through leaves, the sway of wildflower meadows and the song of visiting birds.
As you wander through the park, you may come across reminders of less peaceful days. There are three war memorials here – from the Canada Memorial in the east to the Bomber Command Memorial in the west. In the shadow of Wellington Arch, meanwhile, lie the Memorial Gates which pay powerful tribute to the five million people from India, Africa and the Caribbean who served in two world wars. The park is the perfect place for quiet contemplation.
Frequently asked questions
Please find some of The Green Park’s most frequently asked questions below. If you can’t find the information you need then you can get in touch by using our contact form.
The pedestrian and vehicle gates open from 5am and close at midnight each day throughout the year. Any public notices relating to temporary closures (due to park events or maintenance, for example) can be found on the The Green Park web page.
The Green Park is well served by a range of different public transport services:
The closest mainline stations are Charing Cross and Victoria. Charing Cross is served by services from Southeastern and Victoria is served by services from Southern, Southeastern and Gatwick Express. Walking times to the park from both stations is approximately 15 minutes.
You can travel to The Green Park via the Jubilee (Green Park) and Piccadilly (Hyde Park Corner) underground lines. Green Park exits directly into the park, while Hyde Park Corner is just a few minutes away.
Cycling to The Green Park has never been easier. There are a wealth of marked cycleways passing through and around the park, and there are several cycle hire points around the park. Full details of both can be found on the TfL website.
The Green Park is approximately 19 hectares (47 acres) in size - the equivalent of 4,690 London double-decker buses! The park's perimeter is approximately 1.2 miles long. You can view or download the park map here.
The park was first recorded in 1554 when Sir Thomas Wyatt led a rebellion in protest against the marriage of Mary I to Philip II of Spain. The area was meadowland used for hunting and the occasional duel. The park was enclosed by Charles II in 1668, stocked with deer and provided with a ranger's house. It was known as Upper St James's Park but by 1746 it was called The Green Park. Various improvements at the beginning of the 18th century made it more of a pleasure garden.
More information on the park's history can be found here.
The Green Park has no on-site car parks, so if you plan to arrive by car you will need to find alternative locations in nearby Hyde Park, or use on-street meters or the private car parks found to the north and east of the park. These can be found on information sites such as Parkopedia, and will charge for the duration of your stay.
Cycling is only permitted along the roads which surround the main park. These include Constitution Hill (which is part of TfL's C3 cycleway and links up with St. James's Park and Hyde Park). Smaller paths across the park where cycling is not allowed have clear 'no cycling' signage at ground level. Please be considerate and give space to other park users and the park's wildlife. Pedestrians have priority at all times.
You can check permitted cycleways on OpenStreetMap.
There is a 20p charge to use the public toilets in the parks. We have recently installed a contactless system which accepts credit/debit cards, prepaid cards and mobile wallet payments like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. Cash is no longer accepted.
The Green Park serves as a tranquil retreat from the bustling city, and has no dedicated facilities for organised sport. However, its network of quality paths attracts plenty of recreational runners and walkers - including those tackling the seven-mile long Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk. This self-guided walk passes through The Green Park, St. James's Park and Hyde Park before returning to the start at Kensington Palace.
Discover more here.
Generally, dogs do not need to be kept on a lead in The Green Park. However there is one exception to this - the Memorial Gardens in front of Buckingham Palace. Other areas where dogs are not allowed are listed in our Dogs in The Royal Parks policy document.
Commercial dog walkers
Please note, that if you want to use the Royal Parks for commercial dog walking purposes, you must have a Commercial Dog Walking Licence issued by The Royal Parks charity.
No. Feeding birds and animals in the parks does more harm than good. You can learn more about why this is, and how you can help us in caring for their wellbeing here.
Getting in touch with park offices is quick and easy and all enquiries are handled by our dedicated Visitor & Park Support team.
Simply complete the short online enquiry form and your question(s) will be passed to the most appropriate staff member. To ensure an efficient service, please check that you have provided the following information:
- Your name
- Your email address
- Your enquiry
You can also contact the park offices by telephone using the following numbers:
- Hyde Park 0300 061 2000
- Kensington Gardens 0300 061 2000
- St. James's Park and The Green Park 0300 061 2350
- The Regent's Park 0300 061 2300
- Greenwich Park 0300 061 2380
- Richmond Park 0300 061 2200
- Bushy Park 0300 061 2250
To report lost property, please contact our Visitor and Park Support Team via their online contact form with the following information:
- Your contact details
- A description of the item
- Date and time when the item was lost
- Location (if known) where the item was lost
If the property has been found by staff or handed in to us we'll let you know.
Yes. You can use The Green Park as a location for personal training or group fitness sessions - providing you have a current fitness training licence issued by The Royal Parks charity.
Fitness training licences are also available for Hyde Park, The Regent's Park, Greenwich Park, Richmond Park and Bushy Park. They are not available for St. James's Park, Kensington Gardens, Victoria Tower Gardens or Brompton Cemetery.
To apply for a fitness training licence please read the information here and complete the online application form.
If you are filming/photographing by yourself on a mobile phone or action camera for purely personal use then no you don't need a permit to film/photograph in the park. However, for all other purposes you will need to obtain a filming or photography permit from The Royal Parks charity. Full information and online application forms can be found here.
Yes, we welcome informal picnics in the Royal Parks. Please read our guidance document for maximum group sizes and what is and isn't permitted. Please note that barbecues are not allowed.
Every year, we welcome hundreds of small and medium events to the Royal Parks, including walks and runs, large picnics, concerts and community sports. Applications for such events are considered by our dedicated Parks Events team. To find out more, and submit an application click here. At least six weeks’ notice is required.
The smallest Royal Park – and the best kept secret
Whatever you need to take a break from – whether it’s sightseeing, or the four walls of your office, The Green Park is the perfect place to do it.
Today, London’s The Green Park is one of the most peaceful of all the Royal Parks but in the 18th century it was the scene of royal firework spectaculars and crowd-pleasing festivals. Discover the hidden history of the The Green Park.
It’s the smallest Royal Park, and quite possibly the greenest – you’ll notice that there are no flower beds in The Green Park. This is another clue to the park’s colourful history – and it’s a tale of royal revenge. Queen Catherine, wife of King Charles II, was outraged that her husband had dared to present a bunch of flowers to another woman. She ordered that every flower in the park be pulled up – and no more planted.
Today The Green Park is home to flowering meadows, and a popular place to visit in the spring, when around one million daffodils suddenly transform the green lawns.
A place to remember – the statues and memorials of The Green Park
The Bomber Command Memorial, the Canada Memorial and the Memorial Gates all have a special, human significance. They’re each dedicated to men and women who lost their lives in the two World Wars. Over 55,000 Bomber Command pilots and officers, one million Canadians and over five million Indian, African and Caribbean troops are commemorated in this peaceful green setting. Canada Gate, the ornate gilded iron gates that opens to the flower beds of Buckingham Palace, was a dedication to Queen Victoria from the people of Canada.
Take a break and gaze on green
Taking time out in a natural green setting is said to make us calmer, more focused, and more creative. The wide, tree-lined paths and avenues of The Green Park are a favourite space for many Londoners who work close by to take a lunchtime stroll, or sunbathe, particularly in the summertime. If you’re making an afternoon of it, feel free to hire a deckchair.
In August, The Green Park feels like the countryside – in the past we’ve even welcomed sheep to graze the meadow during Sheep Week! This was once a regular sight in the park, right up until the 1940s.
You’re more than welcome to picnic here, as you enjoy the quiet. We just ask that you respect the surroundings and the wildlife and take your litter home or pop it in our bins. If you’re thirsty, the Watering Holes Fountain has fresh water at three different heights, so everyone can easily have a drink – including your dog.
Big events at the smallest Royal Park
Occasionally, the quiet of The Green Park is interrupted by the sound of gunfire. The Royal Gun Salutes that mark important royal occasions take place here, and in Hyde Park. A salute taking place in a Royal Park automatically means 41 shots are fired, instead of 20.
The Green Park is also one of the backdrops to the London Marathon and Royal Parks Half Marathon. If you’re thinking of taking part, we’d be very grateful if you’d run on our behalf. As a charity, we rely on kind people like you to help us care for the Royal Parks.
Constitution Hill dates from the 17th century and the reign of King Charles II. He is said to have come to the park for his daily constitutional walk.
Salutes are fired in The Green Park or Hyde Park by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery and at The Tower of London
Nature and wildlife in The Green Park
Gatekeeper butterflies, dancing in Coronation Meadow. Hawthorn and blackthorn blossom in spring. Pipistrelle bats insect-hunting at dusk. Black poplars and silver limes.
All in the heart of a capital city.
The Green Park – a haven for wildlife, and wellbeing
The Green Park has a character all of its own. Its peaceful, rolling green grassland, dominated by many mature, veteran London plane trees , purposely lacks ornamental flower beds and gardens, unlike the other Royal Parks.
Instead, the trees and copses take centre stage – from lofty London plane trees to the rarer silver limes and black poplar. Look up into the plane tree canopy, at the southern end of Broad Walk, and you’ll see bat boxes for the pipistrelle and soprano pipistrelle bats to nest in. The bats are a common twilight sight for the many Londoners walking home through The Green Park after work.
Hawthorns, hedgerows and holly
The blackthorn and hawthorn copses in the north of The Green Park, and the native scrub and holly hedgerows in Turner’s Copse and along the Queen’s Walk, are incredibly valuable wildlife habitats. Holly is the main food source for the holly blue caterpillar, and the berries are vital in winter for all the smaller birds, including the robins, wrens and blue tits. And the sight of our blackthorn and hawthorn bursting into blossom is always a welcome sight after a long winter.
The shady woodland in the east of the park is traversed by many birds and small mammals as well as invertebrates such as beetles, bugs and spiders that play a crucial role in the park’s ecosystem.
Biodiversity in action – the Coronation Meadow
Meadows are extraordinarily rich ecosystems. Once a familiar sight throughout the English countryside, our historic meadowlands are declining. In 2013, King Charles III, The then Prince of Wales, called for every county to create a wildflower meadow – and we took up the conservation challenge.
Our Coronation Meadow was created using ancient seeds, sourced from the West Sussex Coronation meadow which has a similar soil profile to the park. Yellow rattle – a vital ‘starter seed’ for wildflower meadows – was collected in Hyde Park by local schoolchildren. Take a moment to enjoy the flourishing wildflowers, butterflies and birds of the meadow – alive in summertime with meadow brown and comma butterflies, bumble bees, and sun loving oxeye daisies.
Wildlife and parklife – a delicate balancing act
The Royal Parks are unique urban parklands, where people and wildlife can exist side by side. Our responsibility as The Royal Parks charity is to balance the best interests of the people, animals, birds, plants and planet for future generations.
Eating and drinking in The Green Park
Drop by our stylish kiosks for a cappuccino and pastry, or pick up a picnic and find a shady spot to enjoy outdoor eating and drinking in the park right next to Buckingham Palace.
Convenient kiosks in The Green Park
Because there’s so much wonderful space and wildlife to enjoy here, we’ve located two refreshment kiosks at the most convenient entry points in the park – Ritz Corner and Canada Gate. Their stylish, curved wooden roofs are easy to spot when you arrive, or just as you’re leaving.
Check out the park information boards or the park map here to find the nearest kiosk to you.
Picnicking in The Green Park
The park is a great place for a picnic! A selection of freshly cut sandwiches, artisan baguettes and drinks are available in our kiosks.
Feel free to bring your own food and drink to enjoy in the park but barbecues and any sort of fire lighting is absolutely forbidden.
Please take your litter home with you or place it in one of our bins on the way out – wildlife and litter don’t mix.
Every purchase helps us care for The Green Park
Wherever you choose to stop for a bit of refreshment, you’ll be helping to protect and conserve The Green Park for everyone to enjoy.
Leisure activities and attractions in The Green Park
A peaceful, green oasis right in the heart of London. Take a stroll or grab a deckchair, next to Buckingham Palace in the shade of ancient trees.
Making the most of The Green Park
The Green Park is the smallest of the Royal Parks – a 40 acre oasis of mature trees and parkland, sitting neatly between Hyde Park and St. James’s Park. Although it’s thronged with thousands of runners twice a year, when the London Marathon and Royal Parks Half Marathon pass through, the park is one of the most tranquil spots in the city centre.
This is a park to explore at your own pace. If you’re keen to enjoy team sports and organised activities, head over in Hyde Park, where you can book a game of tennis or padel, have an open air swim, or take a boat out. There are excellent sports facilities on the south side of the park.
Walking, running and cycling in The Green Park
You’ve got the option of many different walking trails and pathways or running routes to choose from. Many regular runners and joggers use the park as an alternative commuting route to work – a great way to de-stress and stay fit. Discover the history of the landscape with a self-guided walk or, if you’re more ambitious or have more time, follow the seven mile Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk, which takes in four Royal Parks, including Kensington Gardens and Kensington Palace, once Princess Diana’s home.
If you’re cycling through, please do respect the walkers and the wildlife, and stay on the designated cycle paths.
Parklife and people watching – from a deckchair!
Sometimes, all you want to do is to sit in the sunshine with a friend, or by yourself, and watch the world and the wildlife go by. Our partners, ParkDeckChairs, offer deckchairs to rent by the hour or by the day. While you’re relaxing, why not pick up a tea or coffee, or an ice cream from one of our kiosks at at Ritz Corner or Canada Gate, and make an afternoon of it?
Find out more about the seven-mile-long Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk and download the map to plan your route through the central parks.
Deck chairs are available for hire within the Royal Parks from March through to October. Find out about prices and book online.
The history and architecture of The Green Park
The Green Park is one of the most tranquil of all the Royal Parks.
Its history, however, is anything but.
This is a place of crowd-pleasing revels, royal firework displays, exploding temples and highway robbery.
The ‘missing link’ in a chain of Royal Parks
The Green Park covers 40 acres, linking St James's Park and Hyde Park in a chain of Royal Parks. In 1660, King Charles II wanted to be able to walk all the way from Hyde Park to St James's Park without leaving royal soil. So, he acquired land between the two established parks, put a brick wall around it and gave The Green Park its first name: Upper St James's Park.
The Green Park and the Stuarts
The King soon fell in love with his new park, entertaining visitors with royal firework spectaculars and crowd-pleasing festivals.
The King also commissioned one of the first ice houses in Britain here so that in summer he could give his guests cold drinks, creating one of the earliest Royal Parks kiosks. He even took his daily walk or ‘constitutional’ in the park each day, giving ‘Constitution Hill’ its name. On these walks, the King was accompanied by his pet spaniels.
But in the 1700s, much of The Green Park was still unlit and semi-rural – providing the perfect opportunity for highwaymen and robbers. Even writer Horace Walpole was held up by the infamous highwayman, James MacLaine, in The Green Park.
The first royal Party in the Parks
The park contained two dazzling ‘showpiece temples' – The Temple of Peace, built to store the thousands of fireworks needed for performances of Handel’s famous ‘Music for the Royal Fireworks’ and the Temple of Concord, which actually revolved.
The Temples of Peace and Concord were anything but. Both were destroyed when festivities in the park got out of hand. In 1749 the Temple of Peace exploded when 10,000 fireworks went off in a matter of minutes and three people were killed. And in 1814 the Temple of Concord also burnt to the ground during the Prince Regent's gala.
The Green Park and the Georgians
In 1795 King George IV married Queen Caroline, who made her mark on the park. In the 1720s, she commissioned the ornamental Tyburn Pool and a reservoir, named the Queen’s Basin. Both became fashionable places to see and be seen.
The 1800s– creating The Mall and Wellington Arch
The Royal Park as we know it opened to the general public in 1826.
In the 1820s, John Nash re-scaped The Green Park as part of his project to landscape St. James 's Park nearby. Trees were planted for the first time and Constitution Hill was straightened to make a processional route leading onto The Mall, outside Buckingham Palace.
Horticulture in The Green Park
Sit beneath the shade of a silver lime. Meander through a sea of wildflowers. Lose yourself in 40 acres of open parkland. The Green Park – the clue is in the name.
The Green Park – an oasis in plain sight
Today, London’s The Green Park is the most peaceful of all the central Royal Parks. It’s history, however, was anything but. Originally one of Henry VIII’s many hunting grounds, The Green Park of the 18th century hosted royal firework spectaculars, duels and the odd failed ballooning attempt.
Today, whether you’re city sightseeing or on a lunch break, the undulating grasslands, shady plane trees and woodlands of The Green Park are wonderful places to recharge. Don’t be deceived, however – the ‘naturalness’ of the landscape was carefully conceived by the celebrated 18th century architect, John Nash, who created the formal avenues of The Mall and Constitution Hill.
The Green Park – why no flowers?
The Green Park is remarkable – and possibly unique – for having no formal flower beds. It’s said that Queen Catherine, wife of King Charles II, was outraged to discover that her husband had been picking flowers in the park for another woman. She ordered that every single flower in the park should be pulled up and no more planted. Today though, both The Green Park and St. James’s Park are famous for the thousands upon thousands of daffodils that bloom here each spring.
Instead, the trees have become the heroes of The Green Park landscape – from the lofty London plane trees to the rarer silver limes and black poplar.
The wilder side of The Green Park – the Coronation Meadow
One of the favourite places to visit in The Green Park, especially in spring and summer, is The Queen’s Meadow, one of the Coronation Meadows. The Queen’s Meadow was the 90th meadow to be opened as part of the meadow creation partnership between Plantlife, the Wildlife Trust and the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. It commemorates the late Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday.
Meadows take time. So take your time to enjoy The Queen’s Meadow, and its abundance of wildflowers, from poppies and cornflowers to cranesbill and red clover.
The eastern side of The Green Park – rolling back the centuries
The River Tyburn – one of London’s ‘lost rivers’ – once flowed through the quiet glades and woodland of The Green Park. We’re working to restore the original, almost rural atmosphere around this area; letting the grass grow long, planting more trees and creating wildlife-friendly copses.
Home to monuments of international significance
Standing proudly at the end of Constitution Hill are the Memorial Gates. They commemorate the five million men and women from the Indian Subcontinent, Africa and the Caribbean who fought alongside Britain in the two World Wars.
On important dates like Remembrance Sunday, the flames at the top of the gates are lit. Next to the gates sits a memorial pavilion, inscribed with the names of 74 brave individuals who were awarded either the George Cross or Victoria Cross.
On the other side of the park is the striking Bomber Command Memorial. This commemorates the 55,573 people who died while serving in the Bomber Command during the Second World war.
To find out more about these important memorials and discover what else you can find in The Green Park, explore the links below.
Bomber Command memorial
The Bomber Command Memorial commemorates the 55,573 who died while serving in Bomber Command during the Second World War.
It is located in The Green Park along Piccadilly. The closest tube station to the memorial is Hyde Park Corner.
The Bomber Command Memorial was designed by architect Liam O'Connor and was built using Portland stone. Within the memorial are the bronze sculptures of a Bomber Command aircrew.
Learn more about Bomber Command and the memorial.
Canada Gate was installed in the early years of the 20th century as part of the memorial to Queen Victoria. They form a grand entrance into The Green Park.
The gates were a gift from Canada, celebrating its contribution to the then British Empire. The metalwork includes the crests of Canadian provinces.
From Canada Gate into The Green Park is a wide grass path lined with trees, known as The Broadwalk. It was planted in 1905 to create a good view of the Queen Victoria Memorial from Piccadilly.
The Broadwalk also marks the approximate course of the ancient River Tyburn that now flows under the park on its course from Hampstead to the River Thames.
The Canada Memorial was unveiled by the late Queen Elizabeth II in 1994 and remembers the one million Canadians who served with British forces during the two World Wars.
The narrow walkway, dividing the memorial in two, faces the direction of the Canadian port of Halifax in Nova Scotia, from where many Canadian service personnel sailed for Europe.
The bronze leaves embedded in the granite are maple, the national symbol of Canada. The designer was the Quebec artist, Pierre Granche.
The Canada Memorial is located only a short walk into the park from Canada Gate and Buckingham Palace.
The pillars of the Memorial Gates, inaugurated by the late Queen Elizabeth II in 2002, are dedicated to five million people from the Indian Sub-Continent, Africa and the Caribbean who served or lost their lives in the two World Wars.
They also celebrate the contribution that these men and women and their descendants continue to make to the rich diversity of British society.
The pillars are made from Portland Stone and topped by a bronze urn and gas flames, which are lit on special occasions such as Remembrance Sunday, Armistice Day and Commonwealth Day. The names of holders of Victoria and George Crosses are engraved on the inside of the domed pavilion and the major campaigns are listed on two stone benches
The great stone arch, just outside of the park, is the Wellington Arch. It once stood and marked the northern gate to Buckingham Palace. It moved to its present position in 1882.
Watering Holes drinking fountain
With three watering holes at heights from which adults, children, wheelchair users and dogs can drink cool, fresh water, this fountain is a fabulous addition to The Green Park.
Launched in June 2012, this unique sculptural stone fountain was designed by Robin Monotti Architects and Mark Titman.
It was one of the winners of an international drinking fountain competition. The judges all felt that the Watering Holes design was very 'art-led' and held enormous potential for the parks.
This fountain is part of the Tiffany Across the Water programme, which was made possible following a generous $1.25 million gift from The Tiffany & Co. Foundation to restore and renew the ornamental and drinking fountains across London’s eight Royal Parks.
For the generosity and invaluable support of the installation of Watering Holes, we would like to thank: