A river island at the city limits, L'Ile de La Jatte offers memorable, tapering views of Paris along the length of the Seine. The island's park, famously painted by Georges Seurat, is also the location of 27 beehives, whose occupants harvest pollen from the city's flowers. The park is used appreciatively by the island's residents, but in our experience, they struggle to fill it, leaving plenty of room for visitors to relax or play. The handful of local eateries aren't great value, though tables over-looking the river will excuse the price to some. But the views that justified the trip for us were from the footpath that encircles the island, particularly at its most northerly point.
Metro station: Ponte de Levallois-Becon
Google map: bit.ly/Lq9UzN
Opened in 1992, one of the world’s finest post modernist public parks was built on 24 hectares of the site of the old Citroen factory. In the vast central area there are two enormous modern green houses, acres of grass, a large longitudinal mirror pool, complemented by a water feature of dancing jets rising from the paving, six themed gardens and blocks of enormous magnolias all contribute to a great place for a picnic, relaxation and passive enjoyment.
My favourite area is the White Garden easily accessed from the Balard Metro Station and comprises of walled multilevel pocket gardens connected by raised and sunken walk ways. Filled with perennials each garden is themed with plenty of seating and there is a children’s play area in the centre of them all.
Open everyday and free.
15e Arrondissement, 75015 Paris, France
+33 1 40 71 75 60
Google map: bit.ly/JKMm9e
The walk up on Carr Naze above Filey Bay has the best views of the bay and Bempton cliffs. On a good clear day you can see right across to Scarborough and its castle on the west side of the naze. Be careful though as the soft clay cliffs around Carr Naze are prone to erosion and landslides.
A must is following the narrow path to its end where you can admire the tip of Filey Brigg from a high and safer viewpoint
Carr Naze is part of Filey Brigg Country Park
Google map: bit.ly/KEMnB2
This tranquil open space on the outskirts of Filey has the most encompassing views stretching from Filey Bay, Filey itself to Bempton cliffs and Flamborough Head. It is free entry so go early to avoid the tourist crowds and to appreciate the view fully.
Google map: bit.ly/McC5aa
From the Place de la Bastille walk east, climb an unpromising set of stairs and find yourself on an elevated walkway through the rooftops of Paris. This abandoned high level railway line has been planted with gardens and scattered with benches. Even greater than the delight of an unexpected green space in this quarter of Paris are views of balconies littered with bikes, chimneys with pretensions and teasing rooftop sculptures. A treat for a city voyeur in any season.
Walk a few metres SE from Place de la Bastille.
Parc des Buttes Chaumont is one of the more spectacular public gardens of Paris, perfect for a family adventure. An early example of successful land regeneration, it was sculpted from an abandoned quarry in the 1860s. The park is full of follies: an island, a lake, a grotto, waterfall and two bridges. But its pièce de résistance is the Romanesque gazebo set on top of a rocky crag. The grand view to Sacré Cœur across the rooftops of Paris is worth the steep climb.
1 Rue Manin, 75019 Paris, France
+33 1 42 08 08 37
Metro: Buttes Chaumont, Laumière or Botzaris
Opening times - All year, Daily, Open 9am to sunset
Admission - Free
Google map: bit.ly/KbEo8V
Paris parks, gardens and squares and their surroundings are the best way of tracing the city’s social and architectural history while providing variety and interest. Older, more formally designed parks tell of Paris’s wealth or otherwise and more recent parks have been created on former railway lines, abbatoirs and car works. Look out for fantastic statuary, false cliffs, magnificent trees, beehives, original children’s play areas, cafés, fountains, and small allotments. There’s plenty of seating and wi-fi if you need them! Take Lonely Planet’s Paris Nature by Lisa Garnier and Nassera Zaid (in French).
An Clachan is everything a cafe should be. Set in a (previously unloved) section of the beautiful Kelvingrove Park, An Clachan has really lovely home made cakes (the best chocolate chip cupcakes I've had), hot and cold food (again, home made), good coffee, great welcoming staff and healthy snacks and drinks for children. It's even near a small play park, and believe me, good coffee and kids play areas are rarely found together.
Cheap and good fun for all the family - Richmond Park has lots of space for young ones to run around, beautiful deer to admire from near or far, the Isabella Plantation with its gorgeous walks and hide and seek places, cycle paths, free car parking, cafe or lots of picnic spots and great views of London over to canary wharf. If you hanker after a nice river walk or town amenities, you can just stroll down from the park along the riverside, watch boats and feed the ducks. Bliss.
Pembrey is made of up of 500 acres of nature reserve. It is an idyllic place, perfect for any family trip. In the summer, it is great for camping and has miles and miles of bike tracks through the forests and fields. You could spend a day in Pembrey and not bump into another human being. It's a wonderful location for picnics and exploring the abandoned WW2 bunkers. It is an easy ride, but the park can also be transformed into a dirt bike dream. Everyone is welcome, as the park is suited for any type of outdoor activity, especially riding your bike!
The Law Garden is a popular place for Amdavadis to picnic and hang out. It's a clean and neat park, and for tourists a perfect place to sit and people-watch.
But what makes the area special is the night market. It starts to set up along the Netaji Rd in the afternoon, and gathers momentum until at about 7.30 when the little stalls are all full to bursting with clothes, bags, baubles, textiles and knick knacks from the far flung areas of Gujarat. Gorgeously embroidered Ribari mirrored-wear, some of it quite old, and most of it genuine, reflects and sparkles from the street lights and camera flashes. We bargained with the best of them, and I giggled with visiting Indian women as we haggled over colourful kurtas and backless cholas.
This is also one of the best places in Ahmedabad for street food, just what you'll need after all that spending. We had fresh pulav, kadai and lassis in "Ajay Intercontinental", all for just over a quid each.
Law Garden, Netaji Rd, Ahmedabad
Google map: bit.ly/z3QIiK
The National Protectorate closest to Cairo is on the fringes of the southern city suburb of Maadi, built during the 1920s and now home to a large number of expats. Wadi Degla is an ancient river bed that was gouged out of the rock 60 million years ago, leaving marine fossils and dried waterfalls behind in this desert landscape.
Walk between the high cliffs along the flat valley bed, or take a quick scramble up the right-hand side of the Wadi just after the gate. From the top of the cliffs you get views over the southern and eastern parts of the city, stretching over to the pyramids. At the weekend you’ll share Egypt’s ‘Grand Canyon’ with walkers, joggers and picnicking families.
Get the Metro to El Maadi station and then take a taxi. Ask for Wadi Degla in Zahraa el Maadi. You may need to specify you want the Protectorate, as there is a sporting club housing an Egyptian premiership football team called Wadi Degla as well! Look out for the brown signs to follow when you are on the Autostraad.
Wadi Degla costs 5LE to enter and is open from sunrise to sunset. Bring plenty of bottled water, and don’t forget your binoculars.
This charming pavilion and beer garden throwback to the GDR days occupies a prime position overlooking the Landwehr Canal as it emerges from the Tiergarten. There's a small, sometimes raucous, bar area and a larger dining section from where you can peer into the water through the vast windows. The beer's good and so's the hearty food although it does get unbearably busy in summer (thanks to the leafy biergarten). There's also the noisy accompaniment while you quaff your ale of the zoo just over the fence.
Found near St Pauls, Postman's Park is a quiet retreat that will keep you captivated for hours. A former burial ground, it has since 1900 served as a Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice. Dozens of memorial tablets line the walls in poignant memorial of ordinary and otherwise forgotten people, who died saving the lives of others.
King Edward Street, London EC1
Google map: bit.ly/ykjudK
The Biodiversity garden is a precious, new jewel in the botanical crown of the Cape Floral Kingdom, which is the smallest and hottest of biodiversity hotspots worldwide.
The Green Point Urban Park in Cape Town is oh-so-accessible, sandwiched between Signal Hill, the oldest lighthouse in South Africa, and the iconic football stadium of World Cup 2010 fame.
Set within this, the Biodiversity Garden celebrates all that is unique about the Cape and its flora, where wanderers are shown the interconnectedness of life and encouraged to 'Make a Difference'.
What’s not to love about this appeal? Perfect for a sunset amble or a morning wake up wander. Big enough to seriously stride around the large circular lawn area, pound the running paths, work out at the trim park or just meander along the wetland walk, among the more 300 local fynbos plant species.
Why the Biodiversity Garden works for me?
The garden is truly laid out ‘for all’ – ages, activities, levels of botanical interest as much as physical mobility …
The signs are crafted to casually inform, the storyboards are easy reads, the plants labels let everyone ‘get the picture’- effortlessly …
So much thought has gone into how the biodiversity message gets across – they ‘show’ things, and ‘tell’ stories, rather than facts …
Botanic biomes and endemic rarities are seamlessly woven into ‘demonstration gardens’, alongside responsible gardening practices …
Threats, like agriculture and alien invasive plants, are dealt with in bite size pieces, and drill down consequences …
Located in the heart of Chicago and parallel to the famous Michigan Avenue is such an impressive creation that is not to be missed when you are travelling in Chicago.
The remarkable and exciting architectural structure that is Millennium Park offers free concerts, exhibitions and tours for all of Chicago and boasts an amazing location for any event to be seen. Experiences that will not be forgotten as you sit and watch the concerts and plays in awe of the buildings and backdrop around you.
It is a lively place, flaunting stunning scenery and is a fantastic spectacle that represents Chicago at its best, promoting the varied culture found within the city as well as the clean, friendly and unique atmosphere. Millennium Park offers in my opinion the best setting for any theatrical play or concert to be held.
When you are walking through the parks in Stockholm, keep an eye out for allotments: they are nothing like the UK equivalents. More like small cottages with beautiful cottage gardens. Take a walk around, enjoy the atmosphere and the people taking a break from the city.
Tantolunden and Vitabergsparken, Sodermalm.
Google map: bit.ly/rmsE5i
Riegrovy Sady in Prague 2, is an excellent place to while away a sunny afternoon. Its gentle grassy slopes offer excellent views northwards over the city towards Petrin Hill. It definitely has a touch of Primrose Hill cool about it and is popular among Czech and expat couples and friends.
The park is well served by drinking establishments. Mlíkárna is my favourite beer garden. It’s open from early April until late October and, while it can be crowded on a sunny weekend day, offers a takeaway (“sebo” in Czech) option so you can enjoy your beer in a quieter spot.
At the weekends Mlíkárna also has an outdoor barbeque offering sausages (klobasa) and other snacks.
Riegrovy Sady, 120 00 Praha 2, Vinohrady
Nearest metro: Jiřího z Poděbrad or Namesti Miru (walk down Mánesova and turn onto Třebízského)
Nearest tram: Vinohradská tržnice (11)
Monday – Sunday 10.00 to 22.00
Google map: bit.ly/oQi0st
This is much larger than i had anticipated and could be a full day trip with a picnic. The walk or preferably a cycle around the water's edge is a good starting point but there is so much more to it. Go up to the viewing point to see Vancouver beneath you - cruise liners and sea planes etc. A great way to start a Canadian adventure.
In February 2010, Southwark Council planted 40 fruit and nut trees in a corner of Warwick Gardens.
A fascinating, illustrated board, complete with map, explains when the different varieties of apple, pear and nut trees were introduced to the UK and by whom. Alongside the regular Cox's, Bramleys and Blenheim Oranges, there are more unusual varieties, such as the Vranja. A short message reads that residents can take one or two pieces of fruit home for their own use, but as the trees are only a few years old, they may have to wait a while.
In in the meantime, if starving for fruity vitamins, visitors to the park can also find blackberry bushes by the railway line and a large cob nut tree towards the main road.
Lyndhurst Way, Peckham, London SE15
Google map: bit.ly/nMOobt
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org