Dining al fresco, with the grass as our banqueting table, is something Brits revel in.

Probably something to do with how rare it is to get that perfect mix of sunshine and breeze to stop your fingers from freezing or sandwiches from sweating.

To ensure maximisation of those halcyons days we have provided a handy guide to the best places in Canary Wharf and east London for a picnic.

Canary Wharf

1) Jubilee Park

Above Canary Wharf Underground Station

Jubilee Park

Built over the underground station and mall, the central feature is a raised serpentine water feature. There are a few benches dotted around and plenty of shade from the trees and the grassy banks are packed by office workers having al fresco lunch breaks during the warmer weather.

2) Canada Square Park

Canada Square

Canada Square Park

Surrounded by gleaming towers and people bustling by this is not a spot for a secluded meal. It will become even busier when the Summer Screen arrives from Monday, June 19 to Friday, August 25 showing events such as Royal Ascot, Wimbledon and the Tour De France.

3) Crossrail Place Roof Gardens

Crossrail Place

A largely under used 300-metre oasis set on the top floor and filled with plants such as bamboo from Asia, and ferns from the Americas. Rather than grassy knolls to recline on there are a dozen or so benches, making this a more friendly option for hayfever sufferers.

Isle Of Dogs

4) Sir John McDougal Gardens

Westferry Road

It was redesigned by the London Docklands Development Corporation in the late 80s to bring the ground level up to the top of the river wall which allows a view of the river for even the youngest child.

The pretty Barkantine Garden opened by the late Queen Mother as a memorial to the people of east London, is across the road.

5) Thames Barrier Park

North Woolwich Road

Provides a dramatic view of the Thames Flood Barrier but is made restful by rippling hedges, fountains, flower gardens and immaculately maintained lawns.

There are sports facilities, a café and a Pavilion of Remembrance commemorating local people who died in the Second World War.

6) Islands Gardens

Saunders Ness Road

A charming riverside park which holds the modern day view of Greenwich featured in Canaletto’s famous 18th century painting, A View of Greenwich from the River.

There are three acres of waterfront parkland, numerous tables and benches, a café that pen from 10am to 5pm daily and kiosk open from 9am to 6pm.

East London

7) Mile End Park

Clinton Road

A linear park of some 79 acres with plenty of features for post feast exploration such as the childrens’ Play Arena, The Ecology Park - including a lake, ecology building, wind turbine and climbing wall, The Terraced Garden, Adventure Park and Sports Park.

8) Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park


Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

A chance to eat in a space once strolled through by Olympians Jessica Ennis-Hill and Mo Farah that is also home to a variety of bright blooms in the summer.

Make sure a camera is tucked in your hamper so you can snap the iconic visages as you choose where to munch.

9) Victoria Park


Known as ‘the People’s Park’, this East End spot is the oldest public park in London, opening in 1845. Once you’ve demolished the contents of your hamper, you can take a leisurely trip on a row boat, which can be hired from 11am to 5pm, seven days a week.

10) London Fields


The centuries-old pasture land once used for grazing cattle, is now a favourite spot for picnickers to enjoy the spoils of Broadway Market which is just down the road.

There is a dedicated barbecue area providing the chance to watch hipsters trying not to singe their beards.

11) Postman’s Park

St Martin’s Le Grand

Has reputation that belies it’s tiny size because it is so full of character. Named because of its popularity with workers from the nearby old General Post Office, it features a sundial, fountains, and the Watts memorial, built by Victorian philanthropist GF Watts, it commemorates individuals who lost their lives while attempting to save another.

12) Inner Temple Gardens

Middle Temple Lane

A chance to be within touching distance of some of the city’s greatest legal minds, this small three-acre garden is set within the Inner Temple, one of the four Inns of Court in London.

Opening times vary, but the public can typically access the grounds from 12.30pm to 3pm each weekday, so it’s a popular spot with nearby office workers.

South London

13) Greenwich Park


Greenwich Park

This is a spot of historical heaven. London’s oldest Royal Park, it is 183 acres an home to a small herd of deer. The best spot is probably atop the hill, where the reward for lugging up a hamper is a spectacular views of the Thames and Canary Wharf.

In summer, a bandstand plays host to concerts and the children’s playground offers entertainment and there are three cafés and public toilets with disabled access.

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