One of the greenest cities in the world is London. Most of us live near a park, and famously large open spaces can be found from Hampstead Heath to Greenwich Park and beyond. But the city’s green spaces are also spread throughout many obscure corners and crevices that are less frequented and, as a result, often quiet.

We’ve discovered some of London’s most hidden outdoor areas, from community gardens to nature preserves—the Davids to the Royal Parks’ Goliaths. You might have to look for them under a deserted office building. No, there won’t be Santander bicycles or deck chairs for hire. Instead, you’ll discover nooks and crannies of beautiful nature where you may go to escape your concerns.

In the shadows of Charing Cross Road, this is an excellent location for a peaceful lunch break. Volunteers take care of the garden’s plants, flowers, and wildlife. Watch out for frogs and sparrows flourishing due to a passionate conservation effort.

One of London’s most moving structures, George Frederic Watts’ “Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice,” is just a short stroll from St. Paul’s Cathedral. A little more than 50 ceramic plaques, each honoring a regular person who lost their lives trying to save others, are scattered throughout the peaceful Postman’s Park, tucked beneath a tiled roof. The descriptions of several situations are so terrible that you could easily spend your whole lunch hour reflecting on their selflessness.

This Victorian garden has been faithfully recreated to its original design, complete with a pond, cottage, bandstand, and formal borders. It was created to provide Southwark kids from nearby tenements with a space to play. It plays a significant role in the city’s social reform history. It’s difficult to picture the scene in 1887 while sitting in the restored bandstand and looking up at the glass Shard, surrounded by slums, factories, and workhouses.