There’s only four days to go until the Olympics officially kick-off, with some of the competitions getting underway sooner than that! One thing’s for sure, London is going to be busy. So with that in mind we’ve hunted out some of the places where there’s a small chance you might get enough room to swing a cat – or failing that, at least set your elbows free!
Chelsea Physic Garden, Kensington
London’s oldest botanical garden, there are plenty of rare plants, as well as a café for a bite to eat or a drink away from the busy roads of Chelsea.
£9 adults/£6 students
Margravine Cememtery, Kensington
Right by Barons Court tube near Earl’s Court Arena, it contains a wealth of interesting graves – look out for the gothic masterpiece of the Young family!
Japanese Garden, Holland Park, Notting Hill
Small but perfectly formed, this area of Holland Park is popular with locals at the weekends, but a good bet for a little space during the week.
Southbank: Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden and Blue Room
London’s Southbank Centre is a popular spot on the bustling south bank of the Thames! Up on the roof, reached from the Hayward Gallery, is a beautiful garden arranged this year by those clever people from The Eden Project in Cornwall. Raining? No problem, seek out the beanbags and comfort of the Blue Room inside.
Canals & Little Venice
Regents Canal runs all the way from Paddington to the Thames over in East London, and is a great place to hide out from crowds. At Little Venice (also known as southern Maida Vale) houseboats take over at the junction where Regents Canal meets the Grand Union Canal, making for a great chilled-out atmosphere.
The Barbican Centre
This huge concrete behemoth on the edge of the City is as full of twisting routes as a rabbit warren. Dive in and explore, then have a rest at the waterfront park out the back!
Thames Barrier Park
This park is close to the ExCel Centre, so it may become less of a hidden spot as the Games progress. It’s got beautiful views of the Thames Barrier as well as plenty of green bits!
Camley St Natural Park
Get back to nature just metres from King’s Cross and St Pancras. This park is dedicated to cultivating great ecosystems to support local plants and creatures and has a great wild appearance.
Dalston Roof Park
A popular hangout for trendy Dalston types and not far from Dalston Kingsland Station, this old print house has a brightly coloured secret on its roof!
Between the British Museum and King’s Cross you’ll find this huge park, where all adults must be accompanied by a child!
Tyburn Convent, Marble Arch
Right by Oxford Street with its multitude of ringing tills, is this convent, where silence and contemplation reign. Visiting hours vary and tours are available.