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Holland Park is the largest park in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, spanning 54 acres. It has been on my radar for a while now as I have been longing to visit the Kyoto Garden. I took my eldest daughter on a sunny spring afternoon when the cherry blossom was in bloom and it did not disappoint.
We live on a direct train route to London Victoria. From Victoria there are many routes you can take but we took the Circle and District underground line to South Kensington then got on a number 70 bus to Portobello Road as we wanted to have a walk round there first. We have a Family and Friends Railcard, so a travelcard for myself and my 14 year old cost just over £11 for the day (1/3 off for me and 60% off my daughter with the Railcard). A travelcard is perfect for a day out as you can hop on and off of trains, tubes, buses and trams all day long.
I have to say, the trains are still very quiet, we had a carriage to ourselves and even the underground was pretty deserted.
Walking from Portobello Road to Holland Park doesn't take too long at all, maybe 15 minutes passing beautiful colourful houses. We walked down via Elgin Crescent and Lansdowne Road then turned left onto Holland Park Avenue. Holland Park does have a train station close by too.
When you enter the park it is all sign posted to various areas including an adventure playground, Dutch Garden, the Ecology Centre and the Kyoto Garden.
As lockdown has eased the park was fairly busy but not overcrowded. People were forming a queue to take a picture by the waterfall but it didn't take too long to follow the clockwise route round.
Overall, the Kyoto Garden is a fairly small area but beautifully landscaped with Japanese acers, sakura blossom, a pond with koi carp, a beautiful waterfall and rockery and a cobbled stone bridge. This tranquil garden was donated to Holland Park by the Chamber of Commerce of Kyoto in 1991 to celebrate the long friendship between Japan and Great Britain.
If you're lucky you might even catch the peacock showing his feathers.
The Dutch Garden has some beautiful archways and benches with tulips and places to sit on the grass. Here you can see that wisteria will be blooming within the next month or so.
Leaving the park we could have gone straight to a train station but we decided to get a bus - we got the 148 that goes towards Camberwell Green. It is a lovely route passing Hyde Park and heading over Waterloo Bridge so you can see the London Eye.
We got off at Waterloo and got a train back to East Croydon via Clapham Junction.
If you're making a day of it, there are plenty of places to see nearby including the V&A, Natural History Museum, Science Museum and Kensington Gardens. The museums are set to reopen on May 17, 2021.