Craving a decent dose of nature but can’t seem to find anything other than an over-crowded park you’ve already been to?
Get your exploring gear on this July because we’ve put together some fantastic recommendations for you to enjoy this summer. From fragrant lavender fields to crumbling and overgrown gothic style cemeteries; here’s our guide to some great nature spots in and around London you need to visit in July.
1. Stroll through fragrant lavender fields
Escape from the bustle of the city and enjoy the calm and fragrant purple fields of in Kent, the largest Lavender farm in the UK, with over 130 acres. Rich in history, the farm itself is situated in the Darent Valley and even rests on the remains of a Norman castle from the 12th century.
Book in advance to take a 45 minute stroll through the lavender fields or bring your own food and drink for a 2 hour lavender picnic on a warm July day this summer!
Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday 9am – 5pm | Sundays and Bank Holidays 10am – 5pm
Pricing: Lavender field walk – £4.24 | Lavender picnic – £11.25
Address: Castle Farm, Redmans Lane, Shoreham, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN14 7UB
Note: If you only have time for a quick morning or afternoon stroll closer to home, make sure you visit either Kennington or Vauxhall Park to see some beautiful lavender patches.
2. Bask in spectacular sunflower fields
Here you can take a leisurely stroll along the sunflower trail, breathe in the fresh air and even meet sunflower sommeliers to help you choose which flowers to pick and how to look after them. Entry is free, but if you want to pick your own flowers to take home, you’ll need to buy a small crop farm pass in advance.
Opening hours: As the festival is seasonal, you’ll need to make sure you check their website for the most up-to-date information
Pricing: Entry is free but make sure you book ahead
Address: M1 Junction 9, St Albans, AL3 8HT
3. Wander through ancient urban woodlands
Closer to home are two magical ancient woodlands, Highgate Wood and Queen’s Wood – just a stone’s throw away from Highgate tube station. These beautiful woods date back to prehistory and once formed part of the Forest of Middlesex, an ancient woodland that historically covered much of the county – both are a real must-see and offer an idyllic retreat for nature lovers, full of undulating forest paths and a variety of trees and woodland creatures.
Opening hours: 7:30am – 9:30pm
Entry price: Free
Address: Highgate Wood, Muswell Hill Road, London, N10 3JN
Queen’s Wood, Connaught Gardens, London N10 3LB
4. Discover the secret world of plants
Experience Kew Gardens after hours this July at, soak up the last rays of the evening sunshine and watch the secrets of the plant world come to life. Activate your senses through beautiful sights and artistic installations, fragrant scents and classical music performances inspired by nature. If you get hungry, you have the option to dine amongst the trees.
With 4.7/5 stars, this experience is not one to miss this July – but The Secret World of Plants before it sells out!
Opening hours: 7pm – 10pm
Entry price: £20
Address: Kew, Richmond, London, TW9 3AE
5. Explore eerie cemeteries
For those of you looking for a spooky outing, you’ll get what you’re looking for and more at Abney Park Cemetery in Stoke Newington – one of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ cemeteries in London. There you’ll find crumbling gravestones, woods that have long grown wild and of course, an eerie neo-gothic style abandoned chapel which was damaged by fire and closed around 50 years ago.
Opening hours: 8am – 8:30pm
Entry price: Free
Address: 215 Stoke Newington High St, London N16 0LH