18 Incredible Places You Won’t Believe Are Actually In London

The world is your Oyster.

1. The Horniman Museum and Gardens, Forest Hill

 

Closest station: Forest Hill, Zone 3
Fare from Zone 1: £3.30

The Horniman Museum has been operating since the Victorian era, and has a stellar free collection, plus an aquarium and a gorgeous view of its gardens and central London.

More information here.

2. Ruislip Lido

http://www.hillingdon.gov.uk/ruisliplido

 
 

Closest station: Northwood Hills, Zone 6
Fare from Zone 1: £5.10

There’s no need to head to Brighton when the Ruislip Lido beach is a short trip from Northwood Hills underground station. The lido is set on the edge of Ruislip Woods and features a 60-acre sand beach.

More information here.

 

Closest station: Eltham, Zone 4
Fare from Zone 1: £3.90

This design marvel is an underrated must-see in London. The remains of medieval castle have been incorporated into the architecture of a 1930s Art Deco-style manor home with stunning interior design.

More information here.

 

Closest station: Loughton, Zone 6
Fare from Zone 1: £5.10

The sprawling Epping Forest is a prime getaway which you can visit without breaking the bank or wasting time on a long trip to the countryside. The expansive forest encompasses natural beauty and historical landmarks; you can plan an itinerary or simply wander to find hidden gems among the wildlife.

5. Petersham Nurseries

 

Closest station: St Margarets, Zone 4
Fare from Zone 1: £3.90

This rustic getaway is just perfect for resetting your batteries after a long week in the city. Make a day of exploring the nurseries and gardens and break from lunch at Petersham’s lovely glasshouse recipes.

More information here.

 

Closest station: Bexleyheath, Zone 5
Fare from Zone 1: £4.70

Danson Park occupies over 150 acres in Bexley, and is full of gorgeous landscaping and fountains. It’s perfect place to find a private picnic spot and spend the day.

More information here.

7. London Wetland Centre

 

Closest station: Barnes, Zone 3
Fare from Zone 1: £3.30

Escape the buzz of the inner city with a visit to the London Wetland Centre. The charity trust focuses on conserving wildlife and offers a sanctuary from the outside world for a wide range of animals and plant life.

More information here.

 

Closest station: Syon Lane, Zone 4
Fare from Zone 1: £3.90

Syon Park dates back to the 16th century, and once entertained Queen Victoria. The beautiful Great Conservatory on the grounds is a must-see with its delicate architecture and vibrant gardens.

More information here.

 

Closest station: Highgate, Zone 3
Fare from Zone 1: £3.30

Find your new favourite haunt with a visit to Highgate Cemetery. Follow in the footsteps of the Highgate Vampire or take a guided tour discover the area’s beautiful design and landscaping.

More information here.

 

Closest station: Golders Green, Zone 3
Fare from Zone 1: £3.30

For gorgeous views, gardens, and fresh air, Hampstead Heath is the perfect London escape. The sprawling green space lies just outside of central London and features historical buildings, waterfronts, and a varied habitat of animals and foliage.

More information here.

11. Painshill Park

 
 

Closest station: Kingston, Zone 6
Fare from Zone 1: £5.10

Discover the magical landscape park at Painshill, where artificial follies including a grotto and ruins were constructed in the 18th century. There’s also a vineyard on site.

More information here.

 

Closest station: Turnham Green, Zone 3
Fare from Zone 1: £3.30

Take a fairytale stroll across the grounds of Chiswick House for a leisurely afternoon in west London.

More information here.

 

Closest station: Richmond, Zone 4
Fare from Zone 1: £3.90

Answer the call of the wild with a trip to the vast Richmond Park in west London. The area features dense woods and sprawling fields, and there’s always a good chance of a deer sighting.

More information here.

 

Closest station: Morden, Zone 4
Fare from Zone 1: £3.90

Once a deer park, the rural escape in Morden Hall Park is now a haven for nature and wildlife, and will give you a much-needed breath of fresh air.

More information here.

 

Closest station: Cockfosters, Zone 5
Fare from Zone 1: £4.70

A former royal hunting ground, Trent Park is a spacious and green escape from daily London life. For a real adventure, see the the park from above with Go Ape Tree Top Tours.

16. Gunnersbury Park

 
 

Closest station: Acton Town, Zone 3
Fare from Zone 1: £3.30

This gorgeous sanctuary with gardens, sport pitches, and lovely ruins is tucked away near Acton Town station in west London.

More information here.

 

Closest station: Orpington, Zone 6
Fare from Zone 1: £5.10

Visit the house where Charles Darwin wrote On the Origin of Species and tour his study and greenhouse to soak up the natural beauty that must have inspired his passion for nature and wildlife.

More information here.

 

Closest station: Crystal Palace, Zone 4
Fare from Zone 1: £3.90

You can’t miss the chance to snap a selfie with the Victorian dinosaur sculptures at Crystal Palace Park. The unique park also features mysterious Sphinx statues and a fishing hole.

More information here.

correction

If you want to use your Oyster to travel to Painshill Park, you should alight at Kingston station. A previous version of this article misstated that you could use your Oyster with a Zone 6 fare at Weybridge.

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Chelsey Pippin is commissioning editor for features at BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.
 
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