Living the Country Life in London City
Mere mention of London calls to mind images of skyscrapers, busy people, traffic, and not even a tint of English countryside invades your vision. Whether you’re a local or a frequent traveller, London buzz can be nerve-wracking at times. And when you just need to get away from it all, it’s the quaint side of the capital that calls you. But that doesn’t mean you have to leave your beloved capital and head to the countryside. London has a lot of places up its sleeves that make you feel like you’re in the countryside. Let’s uncover the secret relaxing places before the metropolis engulfs them.
Mudchute Park & Farm
When living in a city like London, the closest you can get to farm animals is at the Butcher’s corner. To many people, it seems impossible to believe that just beyond those sky-kissing towers of Canary Wharf are 32 acres of countryside. Mudchute Park and Farm is really the place to go when you’re in the mood to play “Old McDonald”. Your very own Farm Ville where you’ll get to meet some fur and feathered creatures like chicken, sheep, pigs, goats, llamas, alpacas, and a lot more. For a moment, you’ll forget that you’re minutes away from the world of stock and bond in the financial district, however, the backdrop keeps reminding you.
Address: Pier St, Isle of Dogs, London E14 3HP
Hours: Friday 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Phone: 020 7515 5901
Horse Riding at Hyde Park
Could Roy Rogers ever be a hero without Trigger? Every cowboy needs a horse! And with the price of gasoline rising, we urban cowboys really need to shift back to horse. If you want to get your adrenaline pumping in Pecos Bill style, there’re plenty of places where you can enjoy horse riding whilst also taking in serene scenery of the flora and fauna. Rotten Row at Hyde Park has been the most popular equestrian venue with five miles bridleways and two outdoor riding arenas. There is no better way to watch Hyde Park landscape than on a horseback. If you don’t have any experience, don’t worry as horses and ponies are chosen for their safe temperaments to provide mounts to riders of all abilities and ages. Equestrians can also enjoy riding in Mudchute Park and Farm.
Address: Westminster, London W2 2UH
Hours: Friday 5:00 am – 12:00 am
Phone: 030 0061 2000
London Farmer Markets
Although countryside and city are always seen as opposites but London’s Farmer Markets show how countryside can coexist with the hustling and bustling city. For a taste of the countryside, head to Dulwich Farmer’s Market offers a lot to people looking to sample farm grown produce. The veggies and fruits are sourced from Kent, which is also known as the Garden of England. There are stalls offering locally sourced meat, fresh baked goods, and a lot more! Along with food, the market also sells art, crafts, and antiques, making it a favourite haunt for vintage addicts. Borough Market is another rural retreat where farmers bring the best to stalls including exotic meats and a range of aromatic fruits and vegetables. Both these markets are a treat to the senses.
BOROUGH MARKET: 8 Southwark St, London
DULWICH FARMER’S MARKET
When: 4th Sunday of the month, 9am - 1pm
Where: Dulwich College
City is congested whilst country embodies open space and London probably, is the best of both worlds. A sweeping heath covering a huge expanse in north London (790 acres to be precise), Hampstead Heath is a rare rural delight in the urban capital. Enjoy a sunny afternoon here catching a magnanimous vista of London from Parliament Hill which also is a great place for kite-flying. There are paths and alleys entwining through woodland that has a history as long as London’s. Along with massive open space, the heath also has swimming ponds (not pools) where you can just enjoy a quick alfresco dip like in the villages. Later, warm up at the lovely cafe at the grand Kenwood House.
Address: Gordon House Rd, London NW5 1QR
Phone: 020 7485 5757
A country pub in a city setting, The Telegraph is just the perfect place for a relaxing Sunday lunch. Surrounded by the greenery of the heath, this tavern allows visitors to get away from it all. Established in 1856, the pub still retains its original charm, making it one of the choicest traditional British pubs. With a black and ivory paintwork and wooden shutter, the pub resembles a Tudor House. The eccentric decor blending unique elements like faux cow-skin, antlers, quirky lighting, and woods adds an authentic countryside touch. There is also a large garden to enjoy your Real Ale al fresco in the sunshine. And as for food, a fine selection of pub grub is served in style along with modern European plates. Overall, it is a quintessentially English countryside experience.
Address: The Telegraph, Putney Heath, London SW15 3TU
Phone: 0208 788 2011
Finding peace in a city like London that never sleeps is not as difficult as it seems. All you need to know is where to go. And these hidden gems definitely give you a taste of the tranquil countryside right within London.