Parks and Recreation

London is famed for the network of parks, squares, and commons found throughout the city. Two of the best known are Grosvenors Square and Trafalgar Square, the latter a major landmark and popular venue for street performers. London's most famous city parks, all located in the West End, are St. James's Park (the oldest one); Buckingham Palace Gardens, adjacent to the royal residence; Green Park; Hyde Park, the largest at 248 hectares (615 acres), and famed for its "soapbox" for public speakers; Kensington Gardens; and Regent's Park, site of the Zoological Gardens and Regent's Canal. Other green spaces include Chelsea Physic Garden, where medicinal herbs and other plants have been grown since the seventeenth century; Kew Gardens, famous for its trees and hothouses; the Hill Gardens; Kenwood; and Battersea Park on the south bank of the Thames.