One of my favorite things about London is how many parks its has. There are the main parks that most people know about, Hyde Park, Regent's Park, Green Park, etc. and then there are the millions of squares that dot the city. For example, my school SOAS resides next to Russel Square, which is a decent sized square but SOAS is also south of a Gordon Square, a smaller park with some cool statues in it. The view from my window alone shows how many trees intermingle with the buildings. It's quite amazing actually.
The park I frequent a lot is Regent's Park, about a 30-40 minute walk or two Tube stops away. I go to Regent's Park to run. I'm on the track team back at my home college and there are no tracks that I can use in London, so I've turned to parks. What I've discovered is that everyone uses parks here, not just tourists. On nice days everyone is out walking or each their lunch, people are always running, and lots of school children seem to have their recess in the park. I think park culture is a huge component of London culture that no one really thinks of. Most people think of London as dreary weather, but let me tell you nothing beats a blue sky blustery day in Regent's Park.
One of my favorite things is that in many parts of Regent's Park (and probably other parks too, I just haven't explored them as much) I can stand at many different points and not see any cityscape, buildings, or anything that gives away that I'm right in the middle of London. It's a real escape when you just want to get away from it all. Another favorite thing of mine is how friendly the squirrels are! I love squirrels, my campus back home has some of the fattest and most gold squirrels I have ever seen. I used to think they were the friendliest too until I came here. I can't tell you how many times a squirrel has walked right up to me expecting me to feed it. One time I had one beeline at me at full speed! Royal squirrels expect to be fed!
Next time you're in London, I highly recommend walking around one of these parks with your lunch and just enjoying the outdoors, right in the heart of London.
PS hover over the photos to see their caption
PPS The title is from a Bob Dylan song, see everyone loves London Parks!