Top 8 Peaceful Places To Meditate In London
London is, arguably, one of the busiest cities in the world and daily life can sometimes be overwhelming. The good thing is, that as fast-paced as this city is, you can always get as much headspace as you need by practicing meditation and mindfulness, in one of the many calm, beautiful, and tranquil spots across the capital.
Read on to discover our top 8 most tranquil spots in London.
The Peace Pagoda, Battersea Park
The majestic Peace Pagoda was presented to Londoners by the Venerable Nichidatsu Fuji in 1984. Founder of the Japanese Buddhist movement, Nipponzan Myohoji, Guruji stated that ‘Civilisation is not to kill human beings, not to destroy things, nor make war; civilisation is to hold mutual affection and to respect one another’. Following the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he pledged to build pagodas worldwide as shrines to peace.
The pagoda was constructed by nuns, monks, and other followers of the Nipponzan Myohoji sect and was completed just weeks after Guruji died at the grand old age of 100. The intention of this site is to allow Buddhists to connect with their religion and feel renewed, but Reverend Negase always encouraged non-Buddhists to visit this beautiful building, in the hopes they will discover their own peace and comfort in any troubles.
A quiet early morning walk around this gilded structure, or a quiet contemplation on its steps, may be just the time out you need from your busy London life. The Pagoda is located within Battersea Park. It is situated along the River Thames approximately half way between Albert Bridge and Chelsea Bridge.Opening times for Battersea Park are from 8 a.m. until dusk. However, some gates are normally open earlier and stay open later to allow access to facilities in the park (e.g. sports activities or exhibitions).
At the heart of the 54 acre-wide Holland Park is one of the most peaceful and idyllic outdoor areas in London. Kyoto Gardens was designed by a Japanese garden designer who created the garden in celebration of the 1992 Japan Festival. Londoner’s can find serenity among the natural scenery of this gorgeous green getaway with its flowing waterfalls, beautiful wildflowers, and traditional Japanese carp pond. It really is the perfect spot for those looking to escape the stress of the world and spend an afternoon meditating. After your meditation session by the Kyoto waterfall, you can opt to walk around the park’s winding path or just sit peacefully and watch the fish. It’s the perfect peaceful spot to relax and slow your life down
Once part of Hyde Park, this 250-hectare royal park and terraced garden with its landscaped greenery and lake, houses some of the most extraordinary architecture in the world, with a unique blend of modern and traditional art that will shift your focus from the hustles of the city. Dating back to 1728, the garden was originally created as a private outdoor space for Queen Caroline of Brunswick and even inspired the story of Peter Pan! There are various organised group meditations that occur in Kensington Gardens, as well as plenty of secluded spots to simply sit on a blanket, or towel and close your eyes for 20 minutes.
Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park
With striking freshwater habitats and a wealth of wildlife, this tranquil park is a stunning natural area and an ideal place to visit when you need to take some time out from busy London life. Situated in the heart of Greenwich Peninsula, the park is made up of an outer and inner boardwalk. The outer boardwalk is a permissive footpath and is normally open 364 days a year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The inner boardwalk has controlled access through the Gatehouse. You can choose from several peaceful spots within the park; there are two freshwater lakes surrounded by marshland, a small Alder woodland, a walk-in wildflower meadow which is home to an array of wildlife. When you have finished your meditation, you can take a walk through the conservation area and explore the two bird hides which give you fantastic views of the many birds that visit the park.
Eel Pie Island
Located on the River Thames, just off the banks of Twickenham, this quiet island provides peace-seekers an escape from the hectic streets of London. You’ll find this idyllic floating village across a footbridge on the Twickenham Embankment. The bohemian island got its name from the pies baked using locally caught eels and served by the island’s residents to passing river traders, and it used to be home to one of the largest hippie communes in the UK. Today it is home to 26 artists’ studios that open to the public twice a year. When you visit Eel Pie Island you’ll quickly come to realise that it’s rather different to the rest of London. We recommend taking a stroll over one of the island’s bridges and finding a nice quiet spot to let your mind escape.
This serene patch of green, north of what was once London’s General Post Office, is one of the only places where you can find peace and quiet in the busy business district. It contains the unusual Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice, a loggia with 54 ceramic plaques commemorating deeds of bravery by ordinary people who died saving the lives of others, unveiled in 1900.
If you’re looking to relax after a hectic day, then Postman’s Park is the perfect place to clear your head. It is a short distance from St Paul’s Cathedral and provides a secluded spot to reinvigorate your energy levels. Postman’s Park can be relatively popular during a lunch break, but head there in the morning and shut your eyes for 20 minutes to recharge and rebalance your mind.
The Chelsea Physic Garden
The Chelsea Physic Garden has been a refuge and healing space for over three hundred years. Its role as ‘Physic Garden’ was formalised when Sir Hans Sloane purchased the Manor of Chelsea from Charles Cheyne, and leased the garden to the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London for just £5 a year in perpetuity, under the condition that it remained a ‘Physic Garden’
The garden boasts a living collection of around 5,000 edible, useful and medicinal plants. In the past this collection was kept, for practical purposes, with the Apothecaries, who used it to produce medicines for the people of London. During the First World War, plants, such as Atropa Belladonna, were harvested in the Garden and used to treat soldiers. There’s something rather secretive about this four-acre patch, which makes it a wonderful place to meditate. The Chelsea Physic Garden is open Monday to Friday and Sunday 10am – 3pm (last entry 30 minutes before closing).
Inner Temple Garden
This rather special garden in East London, in Middle Temple Lane, is home to one of the oldest and most beautiful churches in London. Temple Church was built by the Knights Templar, an order of crusading monks founded in 1118, to protect pilgrims to the Holy Land. The Templars became one of the most powerful orders in Christendom. Temple Garden often offers organised meditation sessions by the Peony Garden. It’s 30 minutes that will help you enjoy more energy, less stress and greater clarity with visualisation, breath, and meditation techniques.
The Garden is usually open to the public on weekdays (excluding bank holidays) from 12.30-3pm.
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Have a restful weekend! The London Living Team