I’ve been engrossed in some real #firstworldproblems recently so sorry for the blog silence of late. The effort of not doing my usual pre-holiday panic of getting myself sorted just days before flying has just felt a bit consuming at times. Then there’s working out the craziest year yet for events and weddings, where I’m managing the fine art of being calendar controller, hotel booker and finance magician all at the same time. Not to mention working 9 to 5 (*plays Dolly P in my head*). Nice problems to have and so much fun ahead, but until I’m swinging in a hammock on the beach or sipping a celebratory glass of champagne, any moment of peace and time to do what I love is absolutely cherished.
I had the Sunday before last all to myself and as the sun was due to shine, all I planned to do was potter around a park. Luckily I’d found a new one nearby, which would lazily satisfy my endless desire to discover new places. Let me introduce you to Cannizaro Park.
Cannizaro Park is a set of grade II listed gardens, over 300 years old and found just on the edge of Wimbledon Common. It was owned and tenanted by various aristocratic and wealthy families until the 1940s when it was bought by the council and opened to the public.
South of the river is well-known for its green spaces, expansive commons that fill up in the summer with sports teams, enthusiastic runners and impromptu picnics or catch ups. It’s one of the main reason I returned after two years of living on the northern side. But whilst they’re great for summer vibes, sometimes you crave something a bit quieter and I think I’ve found just the place in this park.
One tube stop to South Wimbledon, a 2 mile walk (accidentally falling into H&M enroute) and I was hot footing it down the park’s manicured entrance, thinking to myself “how on earth did I not know about this place before?”
I inspected the map and had no idea where to start but I was quickly intrigued by an enclosed path to my right and signs to a rose garden.
I ambled along in the sunshine, peering around corners to see what I could find. It instantly felt a little like wandering an abandoned estate.
The walled rose garden was just starting to come to life.
As the last of the wisteria faded away.
I was surprised to find it completely empty and would have sat there for a good while if I hadn’t have been so keen to find more. So I carried on wandering.
I stumbled across the Roman goddess, Diana, and her fawn (apparently the statue dates back to 1843.)
Then ambled through stretches of grass.
And a maze of azaleas.
The park is said to have an impressive mixture of foliage and flowers, whilst I’m no expert I can at least enjoy its calming beauty.
I eventually made my way to the Italian Garden.
It’s not quite up to the standards of the Royal Parks, but it has its own deserted sort of charm.
I could just imagine it back in its former glory with courting couples sneaking off in the summer for a romantic walk.
These days it would make a peaceful spot for a celebratory picnic or even a summer wedding (Tis the season after all!)
On the other side of the wall I found the final ingredient which makes a park, a good park (in my opinion), a soothing water feature.
Then just when I thought I’d seen it all I spied a sunken garden next to the hotel.
And behind that a herb garden, where I sat for a while in the sunshine.
Cannizaro Park is such a hidden gem. It’s much more peaceful than the Royal Parks and commons. I’m sure I’ll be heading back there this summer (and probably Autumn when it is said to be full of beautiful colours too.)
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Do you know of any other hidden green gems in London?