As a typical millennial and VR gaming enthusiast, I spend 90% of my time surrounded by tech. I feel a bit like I’m becoming a zombified robot on constant autopilot. The TV’s always on, Spotify playing, BeatSaber’s calling my name, and I know I need to nature-fiy my time and make the other 10% count.
I remember as a kid spending so much time surrounded by greenery and enjoying its ability to transform so effortlessly throughout the seasons. Speaking as a shameless Virgo, member of the earth sign crew, I’m completely unable to hold a frown at the scent of damp forest floors, leaves rustling like pom poms on the trees, and the congregation of earthy hues.
When I need a little escape, I go back to my roots…literally. Ready to log off? Here are my top 4 spots to inspire you to put the concrete behind you and enjoy London’s natural landscape.
I took my first trip there this week and I was almost annoyed at myself for not visiting sooner. The curated space takes you through a journey on a woodland landscape, which took me back to my childhood for a second as my DM’s crunched through the fallen branches on the ground. The Kyoto Garden is an immersive experience in itself. The Japanese-style garden is filled with artifacts and sculpture that embellish the lush ornamental foliage. You’ll be greeted by roaming peacocks, who I had the pleasure of chatting with (although they didn’t accept my FB friend request) and giant Koi carp. If tranquility is your go-to, this one’s for you.
When I first visited this space, I felt like I stumbled upon East London’s best-kept secret. You enter through a 10ft wall of wooden planks to find an enchanted pathway of low trees, fairy lights, and famously shabby chic furniture. Visit in the evening to experience its full charm, perfectly paired with in-house stone baked pizzas and craft drinks. It’s all born out of a project with the mission to bring together Hackney’s community – it’s one of London’s most densely populated boroughs. What a way to spend an evening.
Some people like long walks on the beach, I’m into long walks through the grasslands. Pack up the road snacks and spend the day frolicking with the wild deer (no sharing the trail mix!) or rent a bicycle for the day to really explore the grounds. Keep your eyes peeled for critter sightings in one of the most biodiverse spaces in London.
Spend much time south of the river? Fancy buddying up? Get lost in one of the largest hedge mazes in the country and use your crew’s skills to find your way out (or have a frank conversation with your sense of direction). If you’re feeling the getting-active vibe whilst escaping, pop over for a bob on the boating lake and take in the fresh air.
Can’t find the time to venture into the wild? Be sure to join me at Huckletree West for in-house meditation, yoga or a nap in our yurt for a truly grounding experience.
If you’re a fellow Virgo, a searcher of escape, passionate green space lover, or looking to convert to the nature-loving way of life… I look forward to seeing you in the great outdoors.