Although not on every tourist’s must-visit list unlike its big brother Hyde Park, Holland Park is a hidden gem in one of London’s wealthiest neighbourhoods. The park is the largest green space in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, spanning 54 acres and consisting of open spaces, well-manicured gardens, sprawling woodlands, children’s play areas and even an open-air opera.
Here are 9 of the best things to do in Holland Park London:
Holland Park Playing Fields
As you first enter Holland Park from its entrance on High Street Kensington, you’ll initially come across the park’s biggest open green space and playing fields.
On a weekend morning, you’ll find the local children’s football teams training or playing matches on the field, while during weekdays it gets a little quieter and you’re more likely to find parents with young children and local residents taking their dogs for a stroll in the park.
Surrounding the playing fields there are also tennis courts, golf practice nets and cricket practice nets available for hire.
Even if you’re not a serious sports person, Holland Park playing fields are the ideal place to enjoy a picnic on a sunny day or to have a casual kickaround with a ball.
The Orangery Holland Park
The Holland Park Orangery is a charming open stone palace in the centre of the park which once played host to Lord and Lady Holland’s many receptions.
Today the elegant and prestigious venue is available for private hire, being a popular place for corporate events, wedding receptions and parties held by the local area’s wealthy residents.
And if you’re not lucky enough to be invited to a luxurious private event inside, the Orangery is still an amazing place to take a walk around and admire the beautiful frescos on the building’s walls and the lush surrounding gardens.
Dinner at Belvedere Restaurant
Next door to Holland Park Orangery you’ll find the equally grand Belvedere Restaurant, a high-end restaurant inside of a renovated 17th-century summer ballroom, serving quality European dishes with unbeatable views over the park.
Lunch at Holland Park Cafe
Or if you’re after a slightly more casual bite to eat in Holland Park, there’s also a small cafe open every day from 8:30am – 4pm.
Holland Park cafe is a relaxed spot with an outdoor patio, serving hot and cold drinks as well as pastries and seasonal dishes in a canteen-style setting.
Holland Park Flower Garden
Close to the Orangery and Holland Park’s restaurant and cafe is the park’s immaculately maintained flower garden.
During the spring, the flower garden comes alive with hundreds of colourful tulips which change from year to year but always remain equally beautiful!
Kyoto Garden Holland Park
One of my personal favourite things to do in Holland Park is definitely wandering through the Kyoto Garden on a sunny day.
The Garden was a gift from the Kyoto Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the Japan Festival in London in 1992.
It reflects Japanese culture with its large pond filled with koi carp, a beautiful waterfall, red Japanese maple trees, colourful plants and stone lanterns.
If you catch it on a quieter day, the garden is a beautiful and tranquil place to explore.
Holland Park Opera
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Holland Park Opera is an alfresco auditorium which opens in the park during the summer months for open-air opera performances.
Past performances have included Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Madame Butterfly, Pirates of Penance, Les Miserables and even annual performances by The Royal Ballet School.
Holland Park Adventure Playground
The Holland Park adventure playground reopened in early summer 2019 and is bigger and better than ever, with a large kids play area, 25m zip wire, 10 person seesaw, hill coaster and a dragon swinger. Making Holland Park the ideal summer day out in London with children!
The playground is also fitted with Sustainable Urban Drainage (SuDS). This means that when it rains (and it’s London so it will rain!), water channels will transport the rainwater through the playground in an exciting way for children to watch while they enjoy the play equipment in the wet weather.
Bonus: Things to do around Holland Park
The Design Museum
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Back in 2018, London’s Design Museum moved from its previous location to an ultra-modern newly built complex on the edge of Holland Park (Kensington High Street side).
The fascinating museum covers product, industrial, graphic, fashion and architectural design, looking at everything from the original design of the London underground and interior home design around the world to how new technologies such as the iPhone are shaping our lives and what might happen in the future.
Head to the museum right next to Holland Park to check out its free displays and temporary exhibitions.
Holland Park Opening Times
Holland Park is open daily from 7:30am and closes 30 minutes before dusk.
How to get to Holland Park
The park is accessible from High Street Kensington to the South or Holland Park Avenue to the north.
The easiest tube stations for reaching Holland Park are Holland Park Station on the Central line or High Street Kensington on the District and Circle lines.