Victoria Tower Gardens Is A Tranquil Green Pocket

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VICTORIA TOWER GARDENS IS A TRANQUIL GREEN POCKET

Pack a picnic lunch, plus some extra tidbits for the seagulls, and enjoy a quiet afternoon on the leafy banks of the River Thames.

Victoria Tower Gardens, Millbank, Westminster, London SW1P 3JA. Phone: 020 7641 2390

READ MARTIN DEAN’S STORY

While by no means London’s largest or most famous park, this small area of greenery makes up in location what it lacks in size. If you’ve ever watched the news and wondered where political correspondents stand to get those tree-framed shots of the houses of Parliament in the background, it’s in Victoria Tower Gardens. On most days, you’ll see more than a few film crews dotted around here while Londoners skirt around them to find a quiet bench to eat lunch. They all add to the lovely atmosphere of this unassuming space.

The first thing you’ll notice here is the view: one side of the park is entirely dominated by the soaring edifice of Victoria Tower, part of the Palace of Westminster, and once the tallest and largest building in the world (when it was built, in 1860). Even today it’s impressively huge and seems even larger against the leafy setting of the park. From here, you get a surprisingly intimate view of the building mostly seen from the busy roads of Parliament Square or from across the river. Here, you can sit beneath it and actually spend some time with it.

The next thing you might not notice until you’re right on top of it is the River Thames. One side of Victoria Tower Gardens ends in a low wall, over which you’ll find London’s famous river ambling past. This is one of the most tranquil places in which to sit and admire the Thames, to spot wildlife (seagulls will stop and demand your sandwiches), and to take in the beautiful historic buildings on the far side. If you’re looking for a quiet spot that gives you an unusual vantage of some of London’s best known sights, Victoria Tower Gardens is exactly that.

Feature photograph by Cristian Bortes from Cluj-Napoca, Romania (London – September 2008) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 
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