The lockdown has started to ease slightly, so we’ve put together a few ideas for ways to spend your down time when you’re staying with us at Dolphin House. A reminder that we remain closed to everyone except key workers (please contact us directly to hear more about the discounted rates we’re offering). However, even if you aren’t a key worker, it’s never too early to start planning that late summer city break. Here’s a guide to our favourite pockets of green in and around Pimlico.
1. Vauxhall Park:
Opened in 1890 by Prince Albert, Vauxhall Park boasts a lavender garden that really comes into its own in August. Look out for clouds of monarch butterflies, breathe deeply and imagine you’re strolling through the rolling fields of Provence, before setting up a game on one of the communal chess boards.
2. Victoria Tower Gardens:
The smallest of the royal parks, it nestles between the Thames and historic Victoria Tower, which is now used to store parliamentary documents. A screen of London plane trees makes it the perfect place to relax in the shade with a book. Don’t miss the candy-coloured Buxton memorial which marks the abolition of slavery.
3. Bessborough Gardens:
A collection of neat lawns in a quadrangle of stuccoed townhouses, this is a real local gem. Few passers by realise it is open to the public and you’ll often have the run of its shrubberies and the cooling tinkle of the water fountain entirely to yourself.
4. Dolphin Square:
A Grade II listed paradise designed by noted horticulturalist Richard Sudell, our own gardens are particularly fabulous in early summer when the rose beds draw swarms of bumble and honey bees. The suntrap Spanish Garden is the perfect spot to soak up some rays.
5. Battersea Park:
Battersea is a nature lovers’ paradise. Look out for kingfishers around the lake and urban peregrine falcons swooping into the power station. On 9 August every year, a floating lantern ceremony takes place on the Thames in front of the Peace Pagoda at dusk, to commemorate victims of the Nagasaki atomic bomb.