“Green” may be somewhat of a wishful word choice at this time of year, and perhaps unsatisfactory too, given the glorious golden palette and its myriad burnished hues that autumn permits arboreal landscapes (when intermittent blue skies allow, amidst the low-hung lingering days of drizzly grey). However, whichever choice of adjective or pick of colour you opt for, it could be said that such can be enjoyed throughout the British Isles at this time of year. Nonetheless, there is a special beauty, a particular magic (if you will) that lay in strolling through an unexpected pocket of Nature in the City. Therein lay an intake-of-breath and sigh-pleasure moment indeed (amidst the hustle and bustle and general technological whirl of urban life). Here are One City’s favourites this October:


1. St. Andrew’s Gardens

Right off Gray’s Inn Road and Wren Street, St. Andrew’s Gardens “are laid out as two rectangular lawns bisected by a central path with mature London planes and an ancient weeping ash” – a perfect setting for an autumn stroll (whether that be hand in hand with a significant other or alone, who’s to say?). What we do know is that with the addition of its “granite drinking fountain and a small red brick lodge date from the C19th”, this is not a green space to be sniffed at when craving somewhere particularly non-urban in the big city.


2. Postman’s Park

Amble a little north of St. Paul’s Cathedral and you’ll find yourself (eventually) at Postman’s Park. Surrounded quite literally by “Little Britain, Aldersgate Street, St. Martin’s Le Grand, King Edward Street, and the site of the former headquarters of the General Post Office”, it is (as you might expect) one of the largest of the City of London’s parks. And it’s wonderful for an autumnal ambulation, if you’re of a mind to chance the temperamental British climate. We know we are (what be the purpose of a handbag brolly otherwise?).

3. Fann Street (or Barbican) Wildlife Garden

A Grade II-listed Site of Importance for Nature Conservation, not only is Fann Street Wildlife Life Garden a truly peaceful sanctuary of a green City space to get lost in at any time of year, let alone the season of mists, but this delightful spot has won awards for its promotion of biodiversity within the urban bounds of London’s City self at large. Bravo, Barbican.

4. Cleary Garden

Named after Fred Cleary – an inspiring individual who was most instrumental in populating the Square Mile with Nature, be that the simple planting of new trees or the development of gardens from where before nothing was. The purpose was to eradicate all signs of the Blitz after WWII; to heal the urban landscape and set about tending to the spirits of the City’s inhabitants. For years it stood as Cleary’s vision has formed it, but in 2007 “the garden underwent major re-refurbishment as the Loire Valley Wines Legacy Garden with vines and aromatic plants evoking the wines of the Loire region”. It really is delightful, whether you be an oenophile or not!