The Royal Parks feature thousands of acres of expertly manicured gardens, perfectly tended green spaces, wild areas, lakes and sporting fields. They are worth a visit any time of the year, but starting in March they really come to life when the daffodils start blooming.
There are ten Royal Parks in London, including Richmond Park, Greenwich Park and Hyde Park, which are all free to visit and open every day of the year. Four in central London - Regent's Park, Kensington Gardens, Green Park and St James's (yes all those s's are correct) Park are absolutely carpeted in daffodils in March.
The Regent's Park
I have a bit of an obsession with St Espresso coffee so I'd be remiss if I didn't recommend you stop by their Baker St location to start your Regent's Park exploration. The southern arm of the Boating Lake (closest to Baker St station) is dotted with daffodils interspersed amongst the birch trees. If you continue walking east along the perimeter of the park, you'll find another swath of daffies parallel to Outer Circle and Ulster Terrace.
It may be called Green Park, but in March it's more of a Yellow Sea. This park on the edge of Buckingham Palace contrasts with its neighbouring St James's Park is covered in mature trees and naturalised narcissus, otherwise known as daffodils. The entire area surrounding the path leading from Green Park Station to Buckingham Palace is home to blankets of daffodils ranging from saturated yellow to a milky white butter.
When I visited Green Park in early March the daffodils weren't quite out yet. Though pockets were up, I made a mental note to revisit in a couple weeks.
St James's Park
Neighbouring Green Park and bounded by some of London's most notable landmarks - Buckingham Palace, the Mall and Horse Guards - St James's Park has two lakes, two islands and a resident colony of pink pelicans. In March you can't take more than a few steps without seeing daffodils, they're everywhere! Towards the end near Horse Guards and the Churchill War Rooms there are also plenty of purple crocuses.
I did an entire loop of the park around the perimeters of the two lakes. It's fascinating seeing a little pocket of wetland wilderness in the very centre of London.
Kensington Gardens is the western extension of Hyde Park and has more formal gardens than its wilder neighbour. The lawn in front of Kensington Palace, which was the birthplace of Queen Victoria, has an impressive field of daffies out front.
The network of Royal Parks across London are the 'green lungs' of the city that have offered invaluable outdoor space in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Offering the first glimpse of sunnier days to come, February and March in the Royal Parks are dazzling with daffodils.
Please tag me (@audsbitsnbobs) if you use this guide, I'd love to see your pictures!
The yellow flower icons indicate daffodil locations. For a full breakdown of all the icons, check out my first blog on The Best Spots for Blossoms, Blooms and Beverages in and Around London.