In this concrete jungle we call London, there’s tons of pubs and beer gardens but we can’t always fork out the London prices to sit in a pub all day drinking and eating.
Fortunately, we’re blessed with a lot of green spaces though in the form of heaths, parks and commons. There are plenty of options to enjoy the weather on a budget, we just have to get creative and I’m going to give you a few ideas to get your imaginative ball moving.
First, we are going to head to North London and Hampstead Heath. This world-famous Heath has featured in many works of literature including Bran Stoker’s Dracula.
Hampstead Heath is 790 acres including one of the highest points in London giving you arguably the best views over the city.
This is where it gets fun, they have a number of Lidos in the form of natural swimming pools including Male only, Female only and Mixed, and are open all year round if you fancy cutting glass with your own nips.
There’s also a French boules pitch and a volleyball court. With so much to do, its easy to spend a whole day there, bring a picnic and enjoy the views with friends or a date, of course the Golden Gate pub is round the corner from the station if you fancy a cold one when the sun goes down.
But be warned there are completely harmless grass snakes on the Heath as well as a whole bunch of other wildlife.
Now let’s venture east to London Fields in Hackney. This 31-acre park is a lovely oasis of green surrounded by some great watering holes. London Fields was nearly turned into houses back in the 19th Century but survived, it was also heavily bombed during WW2 and many houses were destroyed but were built on the original London Field, so the land was restored to the park.
London Fields has its own station or a short walk from Hackney Central and has a whole host of activities not including the space to bring your frisbee or bat and ball.
It also has a rather impressive man-made Lido, a tennis courts, cricket pitches and even a small BMX track.
There is also a designated BBQ area where you can cook/burn your own food on one of those disposable BBQ’s.
They also put on a market on Saturdays. This place is a great for those sunny days but without having to leave the city.
Finally, we travel south of the river to Clapham Common, the huge 220 acre triangle of grass is surrounded by pubs and other amenities, so you’ll never be short of a food or drink.
The common has a lot to offer in activities and not just some room for a good game of frisbee. It has a running track, a bowling green, football pitch, rugby pitch, aussie rules pitch, skate park and cricket pitches.
Interestingly it was the venue for one of the earliest ever recorded game of cricket, which was a 10-a-side game and the stakes were £20 back in 1700. This urban park is always a popular spot in the sunshine and you’re never to far away from civilization but still has that green feel.
So there’s a few suggestions for you to get back to nature this summer. Its good to get out and about now and again and remember these beautiful green spaces we have on offer. Its always a good dating option in the summer and you can go to some lengths with picnic preparation to impress!
Of course, you might be on the lookout for someone to take with you to these delightful urban oases’. We are the people to help. Check out all our forthcoming events here.
WORDS BY STUART GRAHAME
Stuart is one of our regular hosts and over the years has become something of an expert in dating. Watch out for his regular posts full of dating tips and advice.