After a year of being cooped up, having access to outdoor space feels like the ultimate luxury – and all the more so in London, where gardens are precious commodities. While the capital's abundance of beautiful parks makes up for its lack of private open space, recent social distancing restrictions have made the prospect of heading for greener pastures beyond the M25 all the more tempting. But there's no need to give up on city life just yet. If you're in the market for a new home, check out these developments and heritage houses in prime central London, which all feature beautifully landscaped gardens, charming courtyards or verdant lawns.
Avenue Road, NW8
There’s plenty of space to stretch your legs in the garden at this Avenue Road property, which has an expansive lawn, covered terrace and a white stucco-fronted summer house that mirrors the façade of the main building. The property itself was designed in neo-classical style by architect Lionnel Stirgess and includes eight bedrooms spread over four floors. Design not to your taste? The building comes with planning permission to knock down and build a 14,332 sq ft house behind the façade.
Victoria Road, W8
Forget your standard chimineas and fire bowls; this property on Victoria Road is weathering chillier summer nights with an outdoor fireplace. Both the ground floor garden and the roof terrace have fiery focal points, with the former going the extra mile with an ornate mantlepiece and decorative mirrors. Inside, the property boasts six bedrooms, six bathrooms and four reception rooms, as well as a cinema, gym, steam room and swimming pool. There's also off-street parking for two cars.
Broomhouse Lane, SW6
Garden parties can reach a new level at this Broomhouse Lane property, where the sun-dappled terrace is well-equipped for outdoor entertaining. A large dining table and an expansive barbecue and kitchen area provide the tools needed for dining al fresco, while the marble patio and sun loungers provide ample opportunity to soak up the rays. The large house overlooks Hurlingham Park and, along with six ensuite double bedrooms, seven bathrooms and two living rooms, is home to a host of lifestyle amenities including a heated swimming pool, sauna, steam room, cinema and gated driveway with space for two cars. The house is available to rent immediately and is offered either furnished or unfurnished.
£12,000 per week, jll.co.uk
Templewood Avenue, NW3
Don’t plan your great escape to the countryside just yet. If you’ve got a spare £19m, this property in Hampstead offers almost an entire acre of outdoor space – and that’s not forgetting the unspoilt woodlands of Hampstead Heath just down the road. Currently home to nine bedrooms, nine bathrooms, nine reception rooms and two balconies, this stucco-fronted property has planning permission to create a newly built 17,000 sq ft mansion behind the original Edwardian façade. The architect’s drawings envision the new building to have a large leisure area and a ballroom. Swatch books at the ready…
Ellerby Street, SW6
If you want something done properly, bring in the experts. The garden at this Ellerby Street house was designed by award-winning landscape architect Charlotte Rowe, whose trophy cabinet includes a gold medal from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Clever lighting and a subtle water feature make this outdoor space seriously tranquil, while minimal foliage means it’s easy to maintain. The rest of the property includes five bedrooms, four bathrooms and two reception rooms, as well as a sizeable cinema room in the basement conversion.
Hamilton Terrace, NW8
Once the former home of Lloyd’s bank founder Henry Barnett, this 19th-century mansion in St John’s Wood has been substantially refurbished by the current owners to create an opulent family home. The seven-bedroom property is divided across six floors, with highlights including a large dining room, an Olympic-sized swimming pool and a cinema room with a cocktail bar. The large landscaped garden to the rear boasts a sweeping lawn and two avenues of Boxwood trees, as well as a timber-decked entertaining area. There is also a two-storey guest house which can be accessed from the garden or via its own private entrance on Northwick Mews.