The City’s Best Hidden Garden

You probably wouldn’t guess that London is one of the greenest cities in the world. But even discounting our huge Royal Parks, there are gorgeous green spaces hidden right under your nose, and my favourite is only a 10 minute walk from Bank Junction.

St Dunstan in the East - Look Up London

The original St Dunstan in-the-East was a massive church dating from the 1100s, but like most old buildings in London it wasn’t much of a match for 1) The Great Fire of 1666 and 2) The bombs of WWII.

The City Hidden Garden

Only the Gothic shell and steeple survived the bombs of 1941. The steeple was designed by Christopher Wren, completed in 1701 but the rest was finished in the 19th century by David Laing.

Image from Wikimedia Creative Commons – Church Bells 1891

New Life

With seemingly irreparable bomb damage, The City of London took the decision to develop the site into a garden in 1967, transforming the ruins into a public space. It was opened in 1970.

The City Hidden Garden

I think it’s one of London’s most inspiring, haunting and hidden places, and you won’t be surprised to learn it’s incredibly popular with weddings and photoshoots.

St Dunstan in the East - Look Up London

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The City Hidden Garden

There’s also this wonderful, understated fountain in the middle which quietly bubbles away. It’s surrounded by benches so provides perfect respite to a walk through the busy City.

City Secret Gardens Walking Tour | Look Up London


The City of London website says it’s open all year round from 8am to 7pm or dusk, whichever is earlier.

I recommend seeking it out during the weekend, when The City in general, but especially spots like these, are eerily quiet.

Find it here.

St Dunstan in the East - Look Up London

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  • There seem to be quite a few grapevines. What happens to the grapes?

    June 12, 2017 at 10:46 am

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