Family photography Chiswick House and Gardens

What are the best parks for family photography in London?

I always suggest choosing a park that’s special to you. Where do you spend time as a family? These locations will bring back lots of memories for you.

One of the best things about living in London is the extraordinary amount of green space. We’re spoilt rotten!

The beautiful parks and commons are a gift for family portrait sessions. They provide lots of variety in backdrops – and lots of space for your children to run around and enjoy themselves.

A Londoner born and bred, I know the parks like the back of my hand. I played in them as a child, and now I love taking my own daughter to run around in these amazing spaces!

Over the years, I’ve built up a favourite set of parks for photographing families across this beautiful city. These parks are private enough to not worry about passersby. They’re open enough to allow children to run around, and to have a stunning variety of planting and colours. There are so many great outdoor locations to choose from – please see a selection below.

I choose the exact spots on the day based on the weather, the light and which plants are in flower.

Charles Dickens quote about London parks

The parks that I often photograph families in are:

  • Chiswick House and Gardens
  • Holland Park
  • Hyde Park
  • Bushy Park
  • Kensington Gardens
  • Clapham Common
  • Hampstead Heath
  • Battersea Park
  • Wandsworth Common
  • Peckham Rye
  • Bishop’s Park
  • Putney Embankment
  • Greenwich Park
  • Richmond Park

Chiswick House and Gardens

The mix of stately architecture and wild wooded areas makes for great variety in your family photographs. There are brightly coloured planted areas, as well as the pond and plenty of space to run around in.

Holland Park

Holland Park is a wonderful location for family portraits. The variety of options in this park is fantastic: from the grand, sandstone buildings to the stunning Kyoto Garden and the pathways through the woods.

Hyde Park

One of London’s most famous parks, photographs here make for really memorable family portraits. The huge, ancient trees are magnificent – and the open grass areas are lots of fun for little ones to run around in.

Bushy Park

There’s a nice little circuit that’s very doable for toddlers and young children, around the lake and through the woodland areas. The open meadows are just next door too, so there’s lots of variety. And, of course, the Pheasantry cafe on hand for snack stops!

Kensington Gardens

A pretty and slightly more formal park, Kensington Gardens makes an elegant location for family photography.

The low-level planted section is ideal for toddlers and little children. The paths stretching on into the distance are very picturesque. It’s always fun to play on the fallen tree trunks, and in the shade of the huge trees.

Clapham Common

Clapham Common has the wonderful bandstand.

It has some quiet wooded areas nearby which provide great cover if the sun is particularly bright.

The fishing ponds also make a great backdrop.

Scooting along the flat paths is a great option for little ones!

It’s a great location to take younger children as the cafe and playground can be a great reward at the end of the session.

Hampstead Heath

Although the heath can be very busy, there are plenty of quiet spots for photos if you know where to look!

The open skyline makes for a dramatic location, and the pretty flowers growing in the grass are picturesque.

Battersea Park

Battersea park is a particular favourite of mine.

It has the grassy meadow areas, a picturesque lake, the river and beautifully planted areas.

At the other side of the park is the river, which makes a great backdrop for your photographs.

I know places off the beaten track that offer peace and quiet which are great for your family portraits.

It’s a really fun spot to take children as you can make a real day of it. How about a bike ride afterwards, Go Ape, feeding ducks or having a picnic on the grassy hills?

These all make fantastic settings for photographing you and your family.

Read more about Battersea Park here.

Here’s are some photographs from recent portrait sessions in Battersea park:

Baby clapping by bright flowersFamily by the river in Battersea Park

Maternity session with a toddler in Battersea park

Battersea Park

Wandsworth Common

Wandsworth Common has a lovely variety of locations.

The picturesque pond and more secluded areas are both super options.

Of course, the ice cream van is often on hand for when energy levels start to dip!

The walkways around and through the pond are so much fun for children to run around on. They make for great photo opportunities.

There’s lots of nice foliage to provide gentle shade, so it’s great all year round.

The open fields at the other end of the common also provide a nice wide backdrop, and shade for bright and sunny days.

Read more about Wandsworth Common here.

Here are some photographs from recent portrait sessions on Wandsworth Common:

Peckham Rye

Peckham Rye is another great park to consider.

The wysteria pathway is stunning, as are the child-sized landscaped gardens and the pretty fountain.

Children love running around the pathways, playing hide-and-seek and examining the brightly coloured flowers. These all make for great child photographs.

Read more about Peckham Rye here.

Here’s a selection of photographs from a recent family portrait session there:

London parks photo shoot - Peckham Rye Park

closeup photo of a cheerful young girl holding onto her parents while walking

London parks photo shoot - Peckham Rye

London parks photo shoot - Peckham Rye Park

Bishop’s Park

Bishop’s Park in Fulham is one of my favourite locations for a family portrait session.

There’s a special spot in Bishop’s Park that I particularly love for family portrait sessions. It offers beautiful foliage, light shade and privacy from passersby.

I love the little wooded area with its peaceful paths. It offers lots of landscape to incorporate in your family photographs, with very few people walking by.

The balancing tree is always a hit with young children too!

The wide, open fields also make a great backdrop for family photographs.

It’s also picturesque alongside the towpath, with the views of the Thames.

In Spring and Summer, the brightly coloured rose garden also makes a stunning backdrop.

Read more about Bishop’s Park here.

London parks photo shoot - Bishops Park dad

London parks photo shoot - Bishops Park Fulham

London parks photo shoot - Bishops Park

London parks photo shoot - Bishops Park

Putney Embankment

From Bishop’s Park, it’s a quick walk over Putney bridge to the very pretty Putney Embankment.

The uninterrupted view of the river disappearing into the distance makes a great location for family photography.

The near-guarantee of curious ducks, geese and swans to distract and amuse your little ones is always a winner too!

We can also follow the path along the river into more shaded areas, heading towards Hammersmith.

You can read more about the Putney riverside here.

Family walking along the Putney embankment in winter

Putney embankment in winter

London parks photo shoot - Putney riverside

By the riverside in Putney

sister and her little brother hugging by the lake outdoor looking at the camera

Greenwich Park

The variety of locations in Greenwich Park is wonderful. I love the majestic bandstand for family group shots, and exploring the beautifully planted flowers always works a treat with engaging little ones. The more secluded areas through the wilder areas also make for magical children’s portraits.

Richmond Park

Richmond park is a particular favourite of mine, as it has such wide, open spaces.

The pond is very pretty, and the fields and open grassland are stunning.

I have vivid memories of coming here with my mother. I love now bringing my own little girl here, and exploring with our dog.

National Trust Properties

I love photographing in the beautiful grounds of National Trust properties. I just ask that you contact them for permission to take your photographs there.

Each property has their own policy, but often a permit isn’t required for a family portrait session – just permission.


What to expect