Which Parks Work Best for Family Photography in London?
Something I often get asked by families is which park to choose for their portrait session.
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.
I choose the exact spots on the day based on the weather, the light and which plants are in flower.
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 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.
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.
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!
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 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.
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 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.
Here’s are some photographs from recent portrait sessions in Battersea park:
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.
Here are some photographs from recent portrait sessions on Wandsworth Common:
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.
Here’s a selection of photographs from a recent family portrait session there:
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.
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.
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 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.