Whoever said that big cities lack green space hasn’t properly explored London.
There are eight Royal Parks in London, filled with trees, ponds, paths, and wildlife. And we’re not just talking birds and hedgehogs. The parks are home to a number of deer, who roam freely year-round. It’s like a giant petting zoo, minus the petting.
Bushy Park London was my favorite, because it was my local park. Every day on the way to work, I strolled past Hampton Court Palace and straight through Bushy Park’s deer territory. Although I have an irrational fear of grazing cows, the deer were a welcome feature of my morning commute.
An avid hunter, Henry VIII was responsible for the introduction of red deer and fallow deer to Bushy Park. Although the parks aren’t used for hunting any more, there is an annual cull in order to keep the deer from depleting their own food supply. Feeding the deer is strictly forbidden (or off with your head!), so don’t even think about it.
IF YOU GO: Book early to get your London flights, especially with the upcoming 2012 Olympics. Take a train from Waterloo station to Hampton Court. The park is about a five minute walk from the station, just north of Hampton Court Palace. Southwest London is a lovely area, well worth the 40 minute train ride.