Please check garden opening times before starting your walk.
A walk around the Bloomsbury area will immerse visitors in some of London’s finest 18th century Georgian squares and gardens. As well as showcasing historic planting schemes, your visit will take in smaller neighbourhood gardens relevant to the 21st century.
The gardens of the Bloomsbury area can easily be seen in one day. A good starting point is the volunteer-run Phoenix Garden at St Giles-in-the-Fields, a short walk from Tottenham Court Road underground station. Then take in the contrasting spaces of Bedford Square and the smaller, characterful Ridgmount Gardens. Montague Street Gardens (open Saturday only) can also be found behind the Georgian house façades on Montague Street.
Cross Russell Square, where an attractive café offers the opportunity of a break for tea and cake. Alternatively, across Woburn Place and along Bernard Street (past Russell Square tube station) is the Brunswick Centre, which offers a wide range of restaurants. The Marquis of Cornwallis pub can also be found nearby on Marchmont Street.
Continuing your walk, the wild garden at Collingham Gardens Nursery is reached from Henrietta Mews at the junction with Wakefield Street and Handel Street. From there, only on Sunday, a walk through St George’s Gardens leads to Mecklenburgh Square, originally laid out between 1810 and 1812, with its mature planes and other ornamental trees and shrubs. On Saturday only, a visit to the Edwin Lutyens-designed British Medical Association Council Garden is a must, with its planting scheme devised to show medicinal herbs and their historic role in health and nutrition.
From here, those with the time and inclination can take the short tube ride from Euston to Hampstead where three very different gardens await exploration.
From Gainsborough Gardens, on the site of the former 18th century pump house, walk past Burgh House with its charming café and remnant of a garden designed by Gertrude Jekyll. Next stop is the wonder of the walled gardens at the National Trust’s Fenton House and, just around the corner, Branch Hill Allotments. Finish the day with a pint at the Holly Bush Pub on Holly Hill, a real gem loved by locals.