Parks and Green Spaces

Parks and Green Spaces

There’s so much to discover in Camden’s parks, from places to exercise, socialise and relax, you’ll find lots to explore. We’re lucky to have over 76 parks and more than 300 green spaces in Camden and we’re one of the top 20 places in England and Wales for tree cover. 

Our parks and green spaces are home to sports courts, playgrounds, cafes, nature reserves and panoramic views of the city – so there’s plenty for everyone to enjoy. Visit Camden’s parks and explore what they have to offer.  

Parks are good for your health

We know that keeping active is vital for our mental health and wellbeing, Regular use of an open greenspace is associated with a 43% lower risk of poor general health. Have a read of the Future Parks report.

Activities around Camden & Islington

Voluntary Action Camden volunteer organisation has put together a list of activities to help you keep active. These are for the general public and also for anyone who has been prescribed some time outdoors on medical advice. 

Playgrounds and outdoor gyms

We have lots of playgrounds and outdoor gyms in our parks for you to use and enjoy. 

Public toilets

Our free-to-use public toilets are open at the following locations:

  • Camden Town - gender neutral
  • Lincoln’s Inn Fields
  • Pond Square
  • South End Green
  • West End Lane

Find out more about public toilets

Maintaining our parks

Camden’s Green Space team manage parks and green spaces on housing estates, sheltered housing sites, verges, churchyards and cemeteries, corporate properties, education sites, nature reserves, and allotments. Within these sites we are responsible for:

  • keeping our sites safe, welcoming and clean (please see our park byelaws)
  • parks infrastructure (for example maintaining boundary and internal fences and gates, pathways, benches, bins etc)
  • playgrounds
  • soft landscaping
  • sports facilities. Multi Use Games Areas (MUGAs), tennis and netball courts, a skate park, and outdoor gyms)
  • statues and memorials
  • trees

To maintain high quality parks and green spaces we work closely with our grounds maintenance contractor Idverde, Tree Contractor City Suburban Tree Surgeons Ltd, and recycling and waste management contractor Veolia UK.

We also work with partners to provide opportunities for people to get involved with food growing, allotments, nature conservation volunteering, and Friends of Community Groups. As well as the ongoing development of our sites through our Green Space Investment Programme.

Please check out the sections above showing some notable parks in Camden as well as this guide to some of Camden's parks and open spaces. Many of our parks are locked at dusk, so please check our park opening times before you visit.

Camden is also home to world-famous parks like:

Green Spaces and Health & Wellbeing

The Value of Camden's Green Spaces to Health & Wellbeing

People who live in places with rich green infrastructure tend to be happier, healthier and live longer lives. People from more disadvantaged communities benefit to an even greater degree. This is linked to greater physical activity; the mental wellbeing benefits of experiencing nature; and opportunities for social connection. Parks and a green public realm also provide the habitats and natural ecosystems needed to improve air quality, and to tackle and adapt to the effects of climate change such as heatwaves and flooding. Investment in parks and green spaces is a cost-effective way to promote health and wellbeing, reducing the need for expensive medical treatment to manage ill health.

 

Key facts:

  • Access to high quality parks and greenspaces is associated with better health outcomes overall
  • Regular use of a green space is associated 43% lower risk of poor general health and 40% are less likely to be overweight or obese.
  • Access to parks is associated with increased physical activity
  • Populations with access to a park are 20% less at risk of physical inactivity and are 24% more likely to meet physical activity recommendations
  • Access to parks is associated with improved mental health and wellbeing for residents with each additional use of any natural environment per week is associated with 6% lower risk of poor mental health

 

Outdoor spaces and the community

Camden’s public parks and green spaces are used, enjoyed and maintained as health assets for the whole community. The more welcoming our parks are, with the right facilities and well maintained, more people will visit and stay for longer - enjoying nature and taking part in activities which make them healthy and happy. Key to Camden’s vision is that they are places where people can come together or spend time alone, be active or pause and reflect. We want our green spaces to be at the heart of community life.

 

What are our aims

We have set ourselves three key goals for Green Spaces in Camden

By 2030

  • People from all our communities will spend more time enjoying our parks and green spaces - leading to improved health and wellbeing and reduced health inequalities.
  • Investment in our parks and green spaces will increase year on year - resulting in sustained improvements in quality.
  • Our parks will be recognised by local residents and across the country as exemplar spaces for health and mental wellbeing - strengthening the pride we all have in Camden as a healthy, sustainable place to live and work.

 

Who are our key audiences

Our communities are characterised by inequalities in health and in access to green space. Those living in socially deprived areas generally have less access to green spaces which, in turn, affects their wellbeing and life chances. Some of these inequalities have become more stark nationwide as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The contribution of parks to prevent ill health is key to making residents’ lives better.

  • People living in the most deprived circumstances (identified by small area, as per the Index of Multiple Deprivation) have been defined as:
  • People from Black, Asian and other ethnic groups
  • Women and girls
  • People with disabilities, including learning disabilities and/or physical disabilities

 

Other ways we are developing our ways of working

The Parks for Health “targeted offer” specifically aims to challenge health inequalities so we are developing the way we work to collaborate with organisations at the heart of their communities. For example, we support activities for wellbeing in parks and provide a programme of green social prescribing, developed and delivered in partnership with the NHS and social care.

 

How you can get involved

If you have an idea to improve the health of the community and want to host free activities in one of our green spaces, we welcome applications from individuals or community organisations who want to make a difference. Please see here for more information. We do need you to apply online via our events team Online application form but don’t let that put you off; the Green Space and Events team are always available to discuss your idea. Do email us parks@camden.gov.uk and we can help get you started.

Alexandra Road Park

Alexandra Road Park is a public park within the Alexandra and Ainsworth housing estate in South Hampstead.  

The park is open during daylight hours. 

Facilities  

  • 3 children’s playgrounds  
  • games area  
  • picnic area  
  • woodland walk

Address

Alexandra Road Park  
Abbey Road  
London  
NW8 0QA   

Events and activities   

Free  events and activities take place each week. You can search for events on the Love Camden website. 

Further information

The park opened in 1979. It was designed to provide estate residents with open space. The estate was designed by architect Neave Brown and is Grade II* Listed. The park was designed by landscape architect Janet Jack.  The design provides a reflection of the time it was created and a focus for the community. This is still our aim for it. In 2010, residents working with us bid successfully for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to renovate and restore the park.  This work was completed in 2015.  A collection of drawings, plans and other material related to the park and estate can be found at Camden Local Studies and Archive Centre. 

Bloomsbury Square

Bloomsbury Square is a perfect picnic spot and suntrap in central London. Surrounded by Georgian terraces and Victoria House, it’s close to Holborn business district and The British Museum.  

Statues of politicians face each other along Bedford Place, which connects with nearby Russell Square.  

The park is open during daylight hours.  

Facilities

Children’s play area.

Address

Bloomsbury Square Gardens 
Bloomsbury Square 
London 
WC1A 2RJ 

Further information

To find out more, visit Friends of Bloomsbury Parks, where you can find out about news, events and historical information.  

Brunswick Square Gardens

The gardens are overlooked by the iconic Brunswick Centre. A quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of nearby streets.  

The park is open during daylight hours.  

Address

Brunswick Square Gardens 
Bloomsbury 
London 
WC1N 1AX 

Near the centre is the finest example of a London plane tree in Camden. It is listed as a Great Tree of London by the charity Trees for Cities. 

Just around the corner is Coram’s Fields, a charity-run park for children. 

Further information

To find out more, visit our Friends of Bloomsbury Parks webpage, Bloomsbury Squares where you can find out about news, events and historical information. 

Cantelowes Gardens and skate park

Cantelowes Gardens is a large park next to Camden Road with a range of facilities, popular with children and young people.   

Facilities 

  • skateboarding bowl – for BMX riders, rollerbladers and skateboarders 
  • two children’s playgrounds – one for 4 to 7 year olds, one for 7 to 12 year olds 
  • free outdoor gym 
  • multi-use sports pitch and pavilion 
  • dog exercise space 
  • natural play area  

Opening hours

Cantelowes Gardens is open from 7.30am to dusk.  

The skatepark is usually open 10am to 9pm.  

On Bank Holiday weekends the skatepark closes at dusk. 

Address

Cantelowes Gardens 
Camden Road  
London  
NW5 2AP 

Skatepark 

The concrete skate bowl and skate furniture is designed for skateboarding and BMX bikes.  

Facilities are supervised but used at own risk. Protective equipment such as helmets, wrist guards, elbow and knee pads must be worn. Do not use: 

  • after rain or snow 
  • during icy conditions  
  • when closed or after dark 

Book the sports pitch 

Call 020 7974 8765 to book. This is a floodlit AstroTurf sports facility.  

Kilburn Grange Park

Kilburn Grange Park is a large park behind Kilburn High Road, close to West Hampstead.  

Open from 7.30am to dusk.

Facilities

Address

Kilburn Grange Park  
Messina Avenue  
London  
NW6 4LD  

There is a Friends of Kilburn Grange Park group who organise events and work with us to improve and maintain the park. 

Kilburn Grange Park Improvement Plan

A master plan to guide future improvements to the park was approved in 2017.  Developed with the local community, it shows current ambitions for the site and will evolve over time.

Further information   

For information on the history of the park, visit London Gardens Trust.

Lincolns Inn Fields

Lincoln's Inn Fields is the largest square in London and oldest in Camden.

Open 7:30am until dusk. 

Facilities 

Address

Lincoln’s Inn Field 
London 
WC2A 3TL

Further information

History

Friends of Lincoln’s Inn Fields work with us to protect and improve the square.   

Red Lion Square

Red Lion Square is a quiet and secluded oasis tucked away in the busy district of Holborn. 

Open 7:30am until dusk. 

Address

Red Lion Square
London
WC1R 4QF

Further information

Named after the famous Red Lyon Inn in 1698 - the most important Holborn inn at the time. Its name was also given to Red Lion Street. 

There is some discussion that the body of Oliver Cromwell was buried in Red Lion Square. If his body is not there, there is also debates as to whether Cromwell’s head was removed from Westminster Abbey and placed here. 

To find out more, visit our Friends of Bloomsbury Parks webpage Bloomsbury Squares where you can find out about news, events and historical information. 

Russell Square

Russell Square is in the heart of Bloomsbury, close to the British Museum and Bloomsbury Square.  

Facilities

  • cafe
  • central plaza 
  • water feature

 Open 7:30am

Find out more about Russell Square.

Address

Russell Square
London
WC1B 4JA

Further information

It was designed and built in 1806 by Humphrey Repton for the 5th Duke of Bedford.  

The Heritage Lottery Fund contributed to the restoration and refurbishment of the gardens. This included: 

  • removing some cosmetic alterations made in the 1960s 
  • a new central plaza and water feature 

To find out more, visit our Friends of Bloomsbury Parks webpage Bloomsbury Squares where you can find out about news, events and historical information.

St George's Gardens

St George's Gardens is an oasis with large trees creating shade. Ivy covered tombs and gravestones are found throughout the gardens. 

Open from 7.30am to dusk 

For more information visit Friends of St George’s Gardens.

Address

Wakefield Street
London
WC1H 8HZ

Further information

The gardens was the first London burial ground not next to its church. The gardens are made up of two former burial grounds - St George the Martyr of Holborn and St George’s Bloomsbury of Camden. 

Its restoration was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The renovated Chapel of Ease now provides a meeting place. 

To find out more, visit our Friends of Bloomsbury Parks webpage Bloomsbury Squares where you can find out about news, events and historical information.  

St Pancras Gardens

Close to Kings Cross and St Pancras stations. The Memorial Thomas Hardy Tree is on site. 

Open during daylight hours.  

Address

St Pancras Gardens 
Pancras Rd 
London 
NW1 1UL

Further information

For information on the garden’s history, visit London Gardens Trust 

Tavistock Square

A large, peaceful garden square with a number of memorial features including: 

  • the central statue of Mahatma Gandhi 
  • a tree planted to commemorate the Hiroshima bombing victims 
  • a Conscientious Objectors’ memorial stone 
  • In one corner is an impressive stone bench commemorating Dame Louisa Aldrich-Blake, one of the first women surgeons. 

Open from 7.30am to dusk.  

Address 

Tavistock Square 
Bloomsbury 
London  
WC1H 9EZ 

Further information

To find out more, visit our Friends of Bloomsbury Parks webpage Bloomsbury Squares where you can find out about news, events and historical information. 

Waterlow Park

Waterlow Park is set on a hillside in Highgate with views over London.  

The park includes Lauderdale House. 

Open from 7.30am to dusk.

Facilities 

  • formal terraced gardens 
  • a park café 
  • six tennis courts
  • a small playground for younger children  
  • a natural play area for older children 
  • ponds and lawns 
  • tree lined walkways 
  • shrub beds, herbaceous borders and ornamental bedding 

The park is home to wildlife, including hedgehogs, woodpeckers and bats. There's a wildlife area used for education and maintained with the help of volunteers. 

Address

Waterlow Park 
Highgate Hill 
London  
N6 5HD 

Further information

The Waterlow Park Trust works with the local community to improve the park. 

The Friends of Waterlow Park also represents park users.

For information on park history, visit London Gardens Trust