It’s arguably one of London’s most famous suburbs.
And while it might be home to the world’s biggest tennis Championship, there is a lot more to life in Wimbledon than just the famous two week tournament.
Many of Wimbledon’s numerous visitors explore the gorgeous 1,140 acres of Wimbledon and Putney Commons on a perfect day spent away from the city. But rather than following the crowds, why don’t you take a different route off the beaten path, this autumn?
So don your obligatory Hunter boots and Barbour jacket and hop off the district line at Wimbledon Station and discover one of the area’s best kept secrets with Brit Crowd reader and Wimbledon local Trishma.
Far from the madding crowd
Just a 20 minute walk from Wimbledon Station and you’ll find the unassuming entrance to Wimbledon’s hidden gem; Cannizaro Park, with its beautifully sculptured gardens and perfect green lawn, it is the only spot to place your hamper no matter what the season.
It’s easy to get just a little distracted on the approach to the park. You’d almost certainly miss the entrance if you didn’t know about it, whilst you stroll along admiring the pretty village houses on the West Side Road.
The gate is located adjacent to the stunning Cannizaro House, named after the Duke of Cannizaro who resided there. Although the house is now a Luxury Hotel Du Vin, the 35 acres of private garden has been open to the public for 60 years and is Grade II listed.
Walk through the entrance and into the public park and you’ll find a wide footpath with neatly arranged flowerbeds and hedges, leading to a sculpture and fountain at the end.
Walk a little further and you’ll find a beautifully quaint aviary with cute little birds tweeting away and a signpost leading you to vast open lawns, woodland trails and intimate gardens.
We spent the morning exploring the park, slowly strolling beneath the shade of the many trees and discovering little gardens hidden behind walls and gates. We stumbled across a secret rose garden; beautiful to look at, but unfortunately the narrow stone wall entrance wasn’t quite roomy enough for our double buggy.
We lost ourselves both literally and figuratively in this tranquil spot in the heart of town.
You’d never know you were still in London as you stand surrounded by exotic plants and the sounds of nature.
Spring and autumn are the best times to visit as this is when the gardens really come to life. With rare plants and trees from all over the world, it’s the rhododendrons that really stand out, as well as the beautiful autumnal leaves of the Maple, Birch and Chestnut Trees.
This charming park is a much loved sanctuary for locals.
A peaceful haven in busy London
It is also a hub for yearly culture and arts events. It houses an art studio as well as famous statues such as a bust of Emperor Haile Selassie, who took refuge in Wimbledon when he was exiled in the 1930s.
This well maintained historic public park is a peaceful haven.
It is never overcrowded but does have a real family feel with small children running around and parents pushing strollers down the path to the pond. My little ones were excited to be greeted by an adorable family of ducks seeking shade from the harsh sun under a tree.
The best spot to roll out your picnic rug has to be the beautiful sunken garden that surrounds the impressive white stone manor house. With plenty of shaded seating on the lawn, there is no better place to relax after a long walk.
Just don’t forget to pack the strawberries and cream, you are in Wimbledon after all.
Stay and eat….our recommendations
If you do happen to forget to bring your hamper, why not stop for afternoon tea at the Hotel Du Vin or take a stroll back into the Village to the quaint Fox & Grape Pub or more renowned Dog & Fox Hotel.
Either way, you won’t be disappointed.
Fancy going to watch some tennis? Check out our guide to getting tickets for the world’s most famous tennis tournament.
And for those who didn’t get tickets – there’s always this fantastic tour