You are currently viewing Top 10 Garden Parks Alongside the River Thames

Top 10 Garden Parks Alongside the River Thames

The River Thames is one of England’s most iconic natural features, winding its way through the countryside and cities alike, providing a scenic backdrop for a myriad of garden parks. These parks offer an oasis of tranquility, rich botanical displays, historical significance, and a variety of recreational activities. Here is an in-depth look at the top 10 garden parks alongside the River Thames.

Top 10 Garden Parks Alongside the River Thames

1. Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew)

Location: Richmond, London

Kew Gardens is arguably the most famous botanical garden in the world. Spanning over 300 acres, it houses the largest and most diverse botanical collections globally. The gardens are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and boast stunning landscapes, historic buildings, and fascinating exhibits.


  • Palm House: A magnificent Victorian glasshouse containing an array of tropical plants.
  • Temperate House: The largest Victorian glasshouse in the world, home to temperate zone plants.
  • Treetop Walkway: An elevated walkway that allows visitors to explore the canopy of Kew’s trees.
  • Kew Palace: A historical royal residence nestled within the gardens.
  • Princess of Wales Conservatory: Featuring ten different climatic zones under one roof.

2. Hampton Court Palace Gardens

Location: East Molesey, Surrey

The gardens at Hampton Court Palace are steeped in history and royal grandeur. Covering 60 acres, these gardens offer visitors a chance to explore exquisite formal gardens, lush parklands, and intricate mazes.


  • The Great Vine: Planted in 1768, it’s the oldest and largest vine in the world.
  • The Maze: One of the oldest surviving hedge mazes in the world, designed in the late 17th century.
  • The Privy Garden: A meticulously restored garden that showcases the formal layout and plantings of 1702.
  • The Great Fountain Garden: Featuring stunning lawns and a series of ornamental fountains.
  • The Wilderness: A tranquil area with winding paths and wildflowers, perfect for a peaceful stroll.

3. Richmond Park

Location: Richmond, London

Richmond Park is the largest of London’s Royal Parks, covering 2,500 acres. It is a National Nature Reserve, renowned for its ancient trees, wildlife, and stunning vistas. The park offers a mix of woodland, grassland, and landscaped gardens.


  • Pembroke Lodge Gardens: Beautifully maintained gardens with panoramic views over the Thames Valley.
  • Isabella Plantation: A 40-acre woodland garden famed for its stunning display of azaleas, rhododendrons, and camellias.
  • Pen Ponds: Two large ponds in the center of the park, providing a habitat for various waterfowl.
  • Deer: The park is home to herds of red and fallow deer, which can be seen grazing in the open grasslands.

4. Battersea Park

Location: Battersea, London

Battersea Park is a 200-acre green space along the south bank of the Thames. Opened in 1858, the park offers a blend of formal gardens, leisure facilities, and family-friendly attractions.


  • The Peace Pagoda: A striking Buddhist pagoda with views over the Thames.
  • Old English Garden: A secluded, walled garden featuring a variety of colorful plants and flowers.
  • Battersea Park Children’s Zoo: A small zoo with a variety of animals and interactive exhibits for children.
  • The Sub-Tropical Garden: Showcases exotic plants from around the world, providing a lush and vibrant display.
  • Boating Lake: A picturesque lake offering pedal boats and rowing boats for hire.

5. Greenwich Park

Location: Greenwich, London

Greenwich Park is one of London’s oldest Royal Parks, offering 180 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and historic sites. The park is part of the Greenwich Maritime World Heritage Site and provides stunning views over the River Thames and the city.


  • The Flower Garden: A formal garden with seasonal displays of flowers and plants.
  • The Queen’s Orchard: A restored historic orchard with a variety of fruit trees and vegetable beds.
  • The Rose Garden: Featuring a wide range of rose varieties, set in a tranquil, sunken garden.
  • The Deer Park: Home to a herd of fallow and red deer, adding a touch of wilderness to the park.
  • The Royal Observatory: Located on the park’s highest point, offering panoramic views and a rich history in astronomy.

6. Chelsea Physic Garden

Location: Chelsea, London

Founded in 1673, the Chelsea Physic Garden is one of the oldest botanical gardens in Britain. Initially established to study the medicinal properties of plants, it now houses a vast collection of plants from around the world.


  • The Garden of Medicinal Plants: Showcasing plants used in traditional and modern medicine.
  • The Rock Garden: One of the oldest rock gardens in Europe, featuring alpine plants.
  • The Glasshouses: Home to a variety of tropical, sub-tropical, and temperate plants.
  • The Pharmaceutical Garden: Displays plants used in the production of modern pharmaceuticals.
  • The Herb Garden: A fragrant garden featuring a wide range of culinary and medicinal herbs.

7. Syon Park Gardens

Location: Brentford, London

Syon Park, the London home of the Duke of Northumberland, boasts 200 acres of gardens and parkland. The gardens were designed by renowned landscape architect Capability Brown and offer a mix of formal and informal landscapes.


  • The Great Conservatory: A stunning 19th-century glasshouse filled with exotic plants.
  • The Long Garden: Features herbaceous borders, topiary, and a collection of rare plants.
  • The Arboretum: Home to a variety of mature trees, including some rare and unusual species.
  • The Meadow: A wildflower meadow providing a haven for wildlife and a beautiful display of native flowers.
  • The Water Gardens: A series of ornamental lakes and water features, adding tranquility to the park.

8. Cliveden House Gardens

Location: Taplow, Berkshire

Cliveden House, now a luxury hotel, is set within 376 acres of formal gardens and woodlands overlooking the Thames. The gardens are renowned for their beauty and historical significance.


  • The Parterre: An immaculate formal garden with intricate flowerbeds and topiary.
  • The Rose Garden: Featuring over 900 rose bushes, providing a stunning display of color and fragrance.
  • The Long Garden: A formal garden with topiary and herbaceous borders.
  • The Water Garden: A tranquil garden with water features, bridges, and exotic plants.
  • The Woodland Walks: Miles of trails through ancient woodlands, offering stunning views over the Thames.

9. Henley-on-Thames Mill Meadows

Location: Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire

Mill Meadows is a picturesque riverside park in the charming town of Henley-on-Thames. The park offers beautiful gardens, recreational facilities, and access to the river.


  • The River and Rowing Museum: Located within the park, this museum explores the history of rowing and the Thames.
  • The Flower Beds: Beautifully maintained flowerbeds providing seasonal displays of color.
  • The Wildlife Areas: Dedicated areas to encourage local wildlife, with ponds and native plantings.
  • The Children’s Playground: A well-equipped play area for children, making it a family-friendly destination.
  • The Thames Path: A scenic riverside path perfect for walking and cycling.

10. Runnymede

Location: Near Windsor, Surrey

Runnymede is a historic site on the banks of the Thames, best known as the location where the Magna Carta was sealed in 1215. The area offers picturesque meadows, historic memorials, and tranquil gardens.


  • The Magna Carta Memorial: Erected by the American Bar Association, this memorial commemorates the signing of the Magna Carta.
  • The Kennedy Memorial: A memorial to President John F. Kennedy, set within a tranquil garden.
  • The J.F. Kennedy Memorial Walk: A scenic walk leading from the river to the Kennedy Memorial, through meadows and woodlands.
  • The Ankerwycke Yew: An ancient yew tree believed to be over 2,500 years old, adding a sense of history and mystery to the site.
  • The Riverbank Walks: Peaceful walks along the Thames, offering beautiful views and opportunities to spot wildlife.


The garden parks alongside the River Thames offer a rich blend of natural beauty, historical significance, and recreational opportunities. From the world-renowned Kew Gardens and the historic Hampton Court Palace Gardens to the tranquil beauty of Runnymede and the family-friendly Mill Meadows in Henley-on-Thames, each of these garden parks provides a unique experience. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history enthusiast, or simply looking for a peaceful retreat, these top 10 garden parks along the River Thames promise to captivate and inspire.