Open Garden Squares Weekend 2013 In London – Only A Month Away

Every year London hosts the Open Garden Squares Weekend – an opportunity for people to celebrate our fantastically green capital and to be introduced to local green spaces that they probably never use! In 2013 it takes place over the weekend of the 8 and 9 June.

The aim of the Open Garden Squares Weekend is to highlight the community gardens that continue to appear across London, as well as the long-established formal squares that are an integral part of the Georgian and Victorian street layout across the city. Some hidden private gardens get in on the act too…

Did you know that several of the large garden squares in the centre of London are not and have never been accessible to the general public? Once the sole domain of the residents of the grand houses that surrounded them, you’ll usually find office workers sunning themselves in these private spaces these days – but they’re still strictly under lock and key. Fortunately Open Garden Squares Weekend tends to change all that – places like Cadogan Square Gardens in SW1 and Bedford Square in WC1 are both open over the weekend, although you’ll have to obtain a ticket in advance as these rare opportunities to visit are very popular. The one that’s beyond popular is the opportunity to visit the garden of the Prime Minister’s home at 10 Downing St – to be in with a chance to visit that particular location, put your name into the ballot here.

If you’re not planning to come into the centre of town then why not use the Open Garden Squares Weekend to familiarise yourself with the local green spaces that surround you? Wherever you are in London I can almost guarantee that there’s a peaceful and leafy little spot that you haven’t found yet. For example, despite having passed by many times I discovered Dalston’s Eastern Curve Garden just a few short weeks ago – and it’s been there for a few years now!

Have a look at the Open Garden Squares Weekend website for all of the information that you need to plan your visits – the vast majority of the places taking part require no pre-booking and no payment – just turn up whenever you like.

If you’re visiting London on 8 and 9 June then incorporating the Open Garden Squares Weekend into your plans would be a great idea. If you’re organising your stay right now I can recommend both the Holiday Inn London Bloomsbury and the Crowne Plaza London Kensington, either of which will put you right on the doorstep of much of the activity.

Here’s an account of my visit from 2011 if you want an idea of what might be in store this year.

About Pete Stean

Pete Stean is a London-based writer and photographer. He can also be found on Twitter and on Google Plus.

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