Brockwell Park is a South London institution filled with an array of dog breeds, jogging couples, muddy children and drunks. It's a huge expanse of green leading from Herne Hill to Tulse Hill with a few grass covered hills in between - ideal for tiring out the bouncier type of dog. Old Brocky P has all sorts up its sleeve including a secret walled garden, tennis courts, playing fields, climbing frames, a bmx track, two cafes and one of the sexiest lido's in town, set in a Grade II listed 1930s building. There's even a slightly depressing train operation for kids, down the Herne Hill end. We like to grab a vegan wrap from Herne Hill Market on a Sunday, climb the slopes and gobble it with a view of glorious Londonium.
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After that climb up Richmond Hill, you'll feel grateful to plant your peepers on Hollyhock Cafe. It's situated in the Terrace Gardens with a hard-knock view over the greenery and the Thames. Great coffee at tiny prices makes this place an easy all-day hangout on a sunny day. A stonking selection of brunch, lunch and cake options will have you stumbling over your choice - and they also have a huge range of herbal teas, fairtrade gourmet coffee, as well as freshly squeezed organic juices and smoothies.
Tide Tables Cafe
Tucked neatly underneath a converted archway beneath Richmond Bridge, this vegetarian/vegan safe haven flaunts a large garden with three majestic trees and some of the best views of the Thames. Great coffee at tiny prices makes this an easy all-day hangout when there's sun by the riverside. Their full-on vegetarian breakfast is something we'll definitely be venturing back for.
Yes, a bona fide woods in London. We’re pretty sure it stops being acceptable to throw the term ‘London’ around just down the road from here, but benefits of finding yourself so far from the city include gorgeous, sweeping views of the home counties and proper countryside walk credentials. All of the above and you can still get there on a red bus. Oxleas Wood features on the green chain walks, a network of footpaths linking up SE London’s open spaces.The cafe may not look like much but it’s a friendly hub for dog (and child) walkers and an apt stop-off for a refreshment - trust us, soaking in the vistas might leave you kind of parched.
A lovely place for a stroll when the sun's out, expect many a jogger and dog-walker on Barnes Common. The cemetery is overgrown with moss and vines, making for a peaceful and somewhat enchanting sight. Keep your eyes peeled for squirrels and other woodland creatures.