If you're a student at one of the famous colleges or universities like UCL, LSE, SOAS or School of Tropical Medicine, this forthcoming academic year, it's vital to discover the green spaces that are close to college, where you can enjoy the outside at a socially safe distance.
Regent's Park, with its beautiful gardens, boating lake, bridges and open spaces, is the most obvious choice to pitch up and enjoy the British summer or autumn, but there are many more to explore when you are staying in London this coming year.
There are several garden squares such as Bedford Square and Fitzroy Square, but these are for residents only. These are generally for occupiers whose properties lay within one of the large property estates like the Bedford Estate, where you can hire a key to unlock one of these beautiful garden spaces to unwind or let off some steam.
But there are quite some green spaces that are open to the public and local workers, where you can sit back and find some quiet time.
Marylebone, for instance, boasts Paddington Gardens and St Marylebone Church Gardens, which are open to public use. Fitzrovia has two, including Rathbone Square which is right next door to Facebook's London headquarters. Covent Garden provides three, with the beautiful south-facing embankment Gardens down by the river, whilst Soho has four, including the cool crowd that hang out in Soho Square.
But the winner by far is Bloomsbury with 12, including the famous Bloomsbury Square, Corum Fields and Russell Square. Each one is steeped in history, and if you are an interested historian like me, you can read to see how they were used in the past, some rather more cheery than others!
There are two very obvious squares I've missed off here, and they are probably the best known, but to go and relax there is a little more difficult. These, of course, are Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square, which usually are very busy with visitors and not the place to find some downtime, but great to soak in the London buzz.
On top of this extensive list are some new squares and urban garden spaces that are opening up, like the UCLH Charity Trust's Bloomsbury Passage, which are linked to their Oliver's House residential development due for completion in 2022. And the Derwent London's Asta House residential development on Charlotte Street, which is also available now. Here outdoor space has been set aside for residents and local workers to enjoy some quiet, peaceful time away from the rigours of the working day.
As you can see from this extensive list above, living centrally in London's West End does have a massive number of outdoor areas to explore, even if you don't have your own outside space. I can tell you from living here myself, during lockdown all the residents had the whole of the West End to themselves. It was so quiet, and I am sure I speak for many of us locals when I say we all rather enjoyed it. Like many, we all found it very peaceful, and it gave us the opportunity to visit and appreciate landmarks that are usually too busy.
In addition to the above fantastic outside spaces, Hudsons west London estate agents offer some fantastic student accommodation in London, sale or to let. Whether it is apartments, flats or houses that have either balconies, terraces, roof gardens, yardens (a cross between a yard and a garden), you can have your very own space to yourselves. Visit our website www.hudsonsproperty.com for more information.
The secret with finding the right student accommodation in London is getting a deal done early before the rush. Right now, there's a rare extensive selection of properties you can rent with outside space or with more space than usual, at a much more reasonable price. However, these will soon go, and if left until August or September, you will have a limited choice.
My advice is to get in early before these opportunities have gone.
Either way, no matter when you rent or whatever accommodation you end up with, you will have a wide variety of garden squares to go and relax, read and chat with friends.
Russell Square: https://bloomsburysquares.wordpress.com/russell-square/
Regents Square Gardens: https://londongardenstrust.org/inventory/gardens-online-record.php?ID=CAM081
Brunswick Square Gardens: http://bloomsburysquares.com/brunswick-square/
Corum Fields: https://www.coramsfields.org/
Cartwright Gardens; https://bloomsburysquares.wordpress.com/cartwright-gardens/
Queen Square: https://bloomsburysquares.wordpress.com/queen-square/
Red Lion Square: https://bloomsburysquares.wordpress.com/red-lion-square/
Argyle Square: https://bloomsburysquares.wordpress.com/argyle-square/
Crabtree Fields: https://fitzroviaparks.org.uk/
Rathbone Square: http://rathbonesquare.com/
Fitzroy Place: http://www.fitzroyplace.com/