Having a Barbecue in public parks and spaces in London is not as simple as you might imagine. Cooking on barbecues is prohibited in most inner-London parks, and can result in nasty fines, which we are definitely not about. Don’t give up hope! We’ve done our homework and found some great public spaces in London that are barbecue friendly.
1. London Fields, Hackney
A large section of this bustling park near Broadway Market has been designated as a barbecue-friendly area. If you want to grill be sure to arrive early, as on sunny days this area fills up fast.
While you are at London Fields, be sure to take time to stroll through Broadway Market. It’s full of treasures. Top up your barbecue menu with everything from artisan cakes and roast beef baps to vietnamese iced coffee and Italian cheese. If you fancy a craft beer try one of the quaint, you can take advantage of the area’s excellent watering holes. Check out The Dove or Cat & Mutton for starters. Broadway Market runs from Regent’s Canal to the foot of London Fields. Broadway Market is open every Saturday.
Do you have kids? Do you like Donkeys? If that’s a yes, you should build in time to take the kids to nearby Hackney City Farm in the South east corner of Haggerston Park and get them acquainted with resident Donkeys Larry and Clover. There’s also pigs, calves, goats, fancy fowl, and rodents to see.
The nearest train stations to London Fields are London Fields and Hackney Central. You can also get to London Fields from London Overground trains to Haggerston and Dalston Junction, and trains to Hackney Downs.
2. Highbury Fields, Islington
Islington is the only London borough to allow barbecues in all its public parks and open spaces. This makes the are very popular spot for those with a yen for grilled food. Islington council does not charge for the use of their public spaces. The only stipulation they make is that anyone wishing to have a barbecue bring with them water to pour over the ashes of and make sure the fire is completely extinguished.
One of Islington’s most best parks is Highbury Fields. 29 acres of green space extends north from Highbury Corner to Highbury Barn. Highbury Fields isn’t just parkland. Its recreational facilities include tennis courts and the indoor Highbury pool, recently renovated and reopened in January 2007.
After your barbecue, throw the football around in the park’s green fields, toss a Frisbee to the kids, go swimming or play a game of tennis. (Or perhaps you’d just like to sit in the shade or find a sunny spot on a blanket and work on your tan)
There’s plenty of cool playground equipment at ‘Parktopia’. The playground contains an apple orchard and a children’s play area complete with sandpits. Don’t forget money for ice cream.
The nearest train stations to Highbury fields are Highbury & Islington and Drayton Park. Highbury Fields is also accessible by London Underground services to Holloway Road and Arsenal, both of which are on the Piccadilly Line.
3. Burgess Park
After a recent £2 million renovation, Burgess Park is one South London’s best kept secrets. The park is surprisingly quiet, and there are eight custom-built barbecues on the grounds. In addition to Burgess park, Southwark Council has numerous introduced dedicated areas where you can fire up your own portable barbecue.
Burgess Park is relatively large. Be sure to see the lake and the nature area on New Church Road. You might want to continue your adventure by booking a voyage of the Thames in one of London’s high speed boats or having coffee at one of the excellent nearby cafés.
The nearest train station to burgess Park is Elephant & Castle.
Contributors: Jennifer Wells, Chris Lomas.