travel · U.K.

London Gems: The Roof Gardens

Tucked into Kensington, up out of sight is a rooftop garden overlooking leafy London. A quick phone call gets you on the list to visit and once you’re up, you’re in a tropical oasis above the city.

Built and designed in 1936, the gardens are comprised of four separate concepts: The Spanish Garden with traditional Moorish archways and tile work, the English Woodland Garden full of crocus and narcissus bulbs, the black and white Tudor Garden, and the Wildlife Garden featuring a sprawling pond.

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Throughout the gardens are little bars and cafes. A members only club resides on the 6th floor and spaces throughout the building and gardens are often used for events and weddings.

While most of the city is bustling away, the gardens are serene and quiet. I had a few lovely sunny hours to myself to sit and do watercolors, have a Pimm’s Cup, and watch the birds.

Did I mention there are birds?

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In the Tudor and Wildlife Gardens there are resident flamingoes and a few exotic ducks. While the flamingoes are a bit apathetic to visitors (mostly preening and wading through the pond), the ducks are quiet friendly! A few followed me around for a bit before settling in for a nap while I painted.

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