Fodor's Expert Review Holland Park

Notting Hill Park/Playground

Formerly the grounds of a 17th-century aristocrat's manor house and open to the public only since 1952, Holland Park is an often-overlooked gem in the heart of London. The northern "Wilderness" end offers woodland walks among native and exotic trees first planted in the early 18th century. Foxes, rabbits, and hedgehogs are among the residents. The central part of the park is given over to the manicured lawns—still stalked by raucous peacocks—one would expect at a stately home, although Holland House itself, originally built by James I's chancellor and later the site of a 19th-century salon frequented by Byron, Dickens, and Disraeli, was largely destroyed by German bombs in 1940. The east wing was reconstructed and has been incorporated into a youth hostel, while the remains of the front terrace provide an atmospheric backdrop for the open-air performances of the April–September Holland Park Opera Festival (www.operahollandpark.com).... READ MORE

Formerly the grounds of a 17th-century aristocrat's manor house and open to the public only since 1952, Holland Park is an often-overlooked gem in the heart of London. The northern "Wilderness" end offers woodland walks among native and exotic trees first planted in the early 18th century. Foxes, rabbits, and hedgehogs are among the residents. The central part of the park is given over to the manicured lawns—still stalked by raucous peacocks—one would expect at a stately home, although Holland House itself, originally built by James I's chancellor and later the site of a 19th-century salon frequented by Byron, Dickens, and Disraeli, was largely destroyed by German bombs in 1940. The east wing was reconstructed and has been incorporated into a youth hostel, while the remains of the front terrace provide an atmospheric backdrop for the open-air performances of the April–September Holland Park Opera Festival (www.operahollandpark.com). The glass-walled Orangery garden ballroom now hosts events and art exhibitions, as does the Ice House, while an adjoining former granary has become the upscale Belvedere restaurant. In spring and summer the air is fragrant with aromas from a rose garden, great banks of rhododendrons, and an azalea walk. Garden enthusiasts will also not want to miss the tranquil, traditional Kyoto Garden with its pretty waterfall, a legacy of London's 1991 Japan Festival. The southern part of the park is devoted to sport and play: cricket and soccer pitches; a golf practice area; tennis courts; a well-supervised children's Adventure Playground (with a zipline!); and a giant outdoor chess set.

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Park/Playground Family

Quick Facts

Ilchester Pl.
London, Greater London  W8 6LU, England

www.rbkc.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/parks/holland-park

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