Parks and open spaces

Whether a park or common, playing fields or golf course, allotments or a playground; open spaces are important to the lives of every Londoner. They are key features of the capital, providing areas for relaxation, sport and recreation, aiding the mitigation of climate changes and even boosting the economy of their local areas. Studies have shown that spending time in open spaces can increase happiness and healthiness and provide a welcome break from the bustle of city life.

GiGL manages a comprehensive London-wide information resource on London’s open and green spaces. A selection of publically accessible open spaces is shown here, with information about opening times and facilities. Search for open spaces near you in the following categories:

Parks and gardens: London has an exceptional network of parks and gardens. Parks range from the Royal Parks and large Victorian parks through to smaller, more intimate, local neighbourhood parks and gardens. Formal gardens include the London squares common to central London, displaying high standards of horticulture and intricate landscaping. Commons and nature reserves offer less formal settings, and can provide brilliant wildlife-spotting opportunities.

Outdoor sports facilities: Whether you are looking for a playing field with designated playing pitches or a recreation ground for more informal games, many of London’s open spaces are dedicated to outdoor sports activities. Other spaces include golf courses and other recreational spaces, such as bowling clubs and tennis clubs.

Amenity spaces: London is greener than you think, with hundreds of smaller green spaces ready to be enjoyed. Whether it is a local playground or allotments, grassed areas among housing estates or accessible agricultural land and city farms, there will be something near you.

GiGL’s open space information is providing the evidence base behind the All London Green Grid. This is a strategic green infrastructure project which spans the entire capital. The data will also be vital in helping plan and manage smaller scale green infrastructure projects across the city. The London-wide coverage allows analysis across Borough boundaries, and will accurately highlight areas deficient in access to open spaces and deficiency to specific facilities within open spaces. Our information resource allows accurate analysis of the relationship between open spaces and social, economic and environmental indicators in London.

GiGL’s open space data documents the primary and secondary uses of an open space which are categorised according to the Government’s Planning Policy Guidance 17: Planning for open space, sport and recreation categories. Other information includes site ownership, public accessibility and special designations which apply to the site (including nature conservation designations and those applicable to the planning process). GiGL also manages information regarding London’s hierarchy of public open spaces, as documented in the Mayors’ London Plan.

For more information, please visit the Openspace section of the GiGL website or, contact Julie