The National Trust has announced it will be planting blossoming tree circles in towns and cities across the UK over the next five years in a move intended “to help signal reflection and hope” following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The conservation charity says it wants to connect more people to nature as part of its blossom campaign, which starts in March, inspired by the Japanese tradition of hanami – viewing and celebrating cherry blossom as the first sign of spring.


8 of the best urban green spaces to discover

But you don’t have to wait until the new blossom circles are in bloom to enjoy the beautiful flowers and foliage in your town or city. Here are some of the best urban green spaces to visit…

1. Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow

Kelvingrove Park

Surrounding the Kelvingrove Art Gallery (currently closed), this Victorian park straddles the River Kelvin and was designed by Sir Joseph Paxton, the man behind London’s famous Crystal Palace.

Popular with joggers, dog walkers and skateboarders who flock to the skatepark, the leafy area is peppered with a variety of monuments to famous men as well as the Suffragette Oak, which was planted in 1918 to mark the year (some) women were granted the right to vote.

2. Sefton Park, Liverpool

The palm house in Sefton park, Liverpool

Shaped a bit like a kidney, Sefton Park was envisioned by French designer Edouard Andre following his trademark curvaceous lines.

Sadly, the focal point of the park, the magnificent Grade II listed Victorian glass Palm House, is currently closed, but you can still wander around the boating lake and see bluebells and daffodils blooming in spring.

3. Belfast Botanic Gardens

Palm House in Belfast. Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom.

Perched on the edge of the River Lagan, Belfast Botanic Gardens is home to two Victorian glasshouses. Another victim of the pandemic, the central Palm House is currently closed, but you can still walk around the picturesque park, which includes a rose garden and children’s playground.

4. Preston Park, Brighton


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Preston Park Museum & Grounds (@pparkmuseum)


Brighton’s largest urban park, Preston Park plays host to events including the annual Pride festival. With attractive rock, rose and wildflower gardens, there’s lots to see on a stroll around the grounds.

5. The Town Moor, Newcastle


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Jenni Winter (@musicaltheatrecabaret)


Offering impressive views over Newcastle upon Tyne, the Town Moor is also impressively large, at roughly twice the size of London’s Hyde Park.

The urban common has a storied past, having previously been used for everything from executions to political rallies to horse racing. Nowadays the mostly treeless moorland is popular with runners and walkers.

6. Chelsea Physic Garden, London


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Chelsea Physic Garden (@chelsea_physic_garden)


This lesser-known London park is a real hidden gem. Established by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries in 1673, the small but perfectly formed walled garden houses 5,000 species of edible and medicinal plants.

It has remained open during lockdown, from 11am to 3pm every day except Saturday. Entry is £9.50 for adults (free for children under five) and tickets must be pre-booked on the Chelsea Physic Garden website.

7. St Anne’s Park, Dublin


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Katja (@katjabuchta)


With winding paths and some spectacular trees, the woodland of St Anne’s Park is beautiful to behold all year round. The space is also home to a classical Chinese garden, a Herculean Temple folly, an ivy-covered clocktower and a rose garden, which comes into full bloom from June.

8. Bute Park, Cardiff

People relaxing in Bute park in the centre of Cardiff, Wales, UK

Situated behind Cardiff Castle, sprawling Bute Park features rugged woodland and flower-filled meadows as well as an arboretum and formal landscaped gardens. With lots of kid-friendly activities like wildlife walks and nature trails, the park is also peppered with sculptures and historic points of interest like Gorsedd Stone Circle and Blackfriars Friary, an ancient monument dating back to the 13th Century.

You may be interested in…



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.