The square is to London what canals are to Venice. There are the famous squares, like Trafalgar Square, where visitors flock to see some of the capital’s best attractions. There are the squares that are triangle, like Hampstead Square Gardens. And then there are London’s garden squares, tranquil pockets of greenery in the midst of the city, and London’s main contribution to the urban experiment.
The London Squares Preservation Act of 1931, instigated by a failed bid to build over Edwardes Square in Kensington, protected hundreds of these precious squares, including 18 in Hackney, and West Square in Southwark. Today, some of London’s most exclusive properties overlook its garden squares, which are often fenced and gated for the exclusive use of residents (read on for how you can unlock the gates of these secret gardens). Others are open spaces for all to enjoy. Here’s our round-up of the must visit garden squares in central London to visit this year.