6 Beautiful Secret Gardens

Okay, so nothing in London is completely a secret, apart from who is actually driving those funny little DLR trains. But if you want find serenity in the middle of the bustling city, here are 5 gardens you can visit that are tucked away from the rest of the world:

1. Dalston Eastern Curve Garden

The Curve Garden sits at the heart of intense Dalston and offers a great place get away from the crowds and enjoy the chilled out atmosphere. There's also a cafe, I'm pretty sure I've seen a few cats hanging out there, and they have a programme of events and activities too. Visit the website to see what's on: http://dalstongarden.org

Nearest station: Dalston Junction (Overground)

2. Queen Elizabeth Roof Garden

Follow the yellow concrete spiral staircase in front of the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the Southbank and you'll emerge in a beautiful paradise garden full of neat vegetable plots and honey bees zipping between wildflowers. The garden overlooks the river too so it's a great spot to watch boats glide up and down at the height of summer.

Nearest station: Waterloo (Northern, Bakerloo and Jubilee Lines)

3. The Great British Garden

As mentioned, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is a hotspot for wildlife thanks to the incredible planting and wildflower meadows throughout.

But round to the side of the stadium tucked away from the main thoroughfares is the Great British Garden, a beautiful re-imagining of a classic British garden designed by school children. It's home to a lily pond, willow walkways and tiny, immaculate lawns that make it the perfect place for a snooze in the sun.

Nearest station: Statford (Central and Jubilee Lines and Overground)

4. The Phoenix Garden 

The Phoenix Garden sits between the side streets leading off Charing Cross Road and Shaftesbury Aveue, right at the heart of the West End, and it's a favourite with theatre ushers on their breaks. Despite being tiny, a meandering path leads you through the landscaped garden which is full of quiet spots and beautiful planting. You'd never think that you're in the middle of Zone 1.

Nearest station: Tottenham Court Road (Central and Northern Lines)

5. The Rose Garden in Brockwell Park

Brockwell Park is an enchanted place full of magical features such as a wild meadow full of log benches, a swan lake and a clock tower straight out of a fairy tale (under which I met my partner on a summer's day).

However, right at the heart of the park is a beautiful walled garden full of roses, immaculate flower beds and shaded seating - it's an incredibly romantic setting.

Nearest station: Herne Hill (one stop from Brixton, and trains from Central London)

6. The Barbican Conservatory 

The Conservatory is a tropical jewel at the top of the Barbican Centre and fits perfectly with the huge arts complex's surreal settings - the starkly elegant Brutalist architecture of the buildings is jarred by the extensive fountains outside flanked by palm trees and the sunny, minimalist roof terraces.

The conservatory itself is a hot, exotic melange of endless species of plants and tropical fish. It's only open to the public on selected Sundays though as it's a favourite for events and photoshoots. Visit the website to see when it's next open: https://www.barbican.org.uk/whats-on/2018/event/conservatory

Nearest station: Barbican (Hammersmith & City, Circle and Metropolitan Lines)