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8–9 June 2019

8–9 June 2019

A Sunday walk in the gardens of the Square Mile

By Area Coordinator Marion Blair

This walk links gardens open on Sunday.

Please check garden opening times before starting your walk.

Map »

The City gardens are largely unknown to most people, and yet they are gems of urban greening, of vital importance to City visitors and 400,000 daily commuters.

This route links three private gardens in the area from St Paul's to the Barbican. No longer than a mile or so, it will take you through some of the Corporation of London’s green spaces, both at ground and high level. Most City cafés and pubs are closed on Sundays, but the Barbican Centre and the Museum of London have excellent eating places.

Start by visiting the garden of the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers, then head towards St Paul's tube station near the Cathedral. Opposite, to the north, is Christchurch Greyfriars, a jewel of herbaceous planting within the setting of a Blitz-bombed Sir Christopher Wren church.

Continue north up King Edward Street and enter Postman's Park on your right. This tranquil green space, with its stunning handkerchief tree, houses the poignant Watts memorial celebrating the lives of ‘ordinary heroes’. Exit via the opposite gate, turn left up St Martins-le-Grand, and head for the roundabout.

Turn right along London Wall, glancing down at the Barber-Surgeons’ Garden with its historic John Gerard herbal garden.

Salters' Garden
Salters' Garden
(Photo: Colin Wing)


Go across Wood Street and veer left by the 14th-century Elsing Spital arch into the impressive corporate planting of 1&2 London Wall and the Salters' Company Garden. A staircase on your right leads to the Highwalk gardens – another strongly designed area – or stay at ground level, head north, and turn right then left into Moor Lane. On your left is the award-winning Pop-Up Air Quality Garden with its signature galvanised pipes, created in 2017 by Friends of City Gardens volunteers.

Take the staircase onto the Barbican Podium. Head up wide stone steps to pass the fascinating Barbican Conservatory, part of the original 1950s Brutalist architectural design. Bear left when you see Ben Johnson House ahead, then turn left to Beech Street Gardens. Designed by Nigel Dunnett for sustainability and low maintenance, they provide a year-round tapestry of colour and texture.

Barbican Wildlife Garden (Anna Barclay)
Barbican Wildlife Garden
(© Anna Barclay)

Take the right-hand ramp into Fann Street. Turn right for the delightful Barbican Wildlife Garden or head into the Golden Lane Estate for the allotment garden of the Golden Baggers. (Take the walkway to the right of Cullum Welch House, facing the Wildlife Garden. Remain at street level.) Both are exemplars of sustainability and biodiversity and serve excellent homemade cakes!

Finish your walk by returning to St Paul's underground station.