Sprawling, metropolitan and sometimes unbearably busy, London is stressful at times. It is also not somewhere you associate with exotic animals and birds. Sure, pigeons are everywhere, and even the odd fox. But what if I told you, there are peacocks in London! And not in a zoo, or on private property. You can see peacocks in Holland Park, London, roaming freely!
Holland Park makes for a lovely trip out. The park itself is 54 acres, and there are plenty of things to see and do. It is also in a lovely part of London, with easy access to other famous areas. You can walk from Holland Park to Notting Hill, Portobello Road, and Hyde Park.
Why are there peacocks in Holland Park?
I have tried extensively to find out. I tried many organisations who are connected to the park, but nobody seems to know how the peacocks came to be there. After that, I contacted BBC Radio London, and had the question put out on air! The most sensible theory was that the peacocks were left over from the Holland estate, and have now become a part of the public garden. It is thought that they were a status symbol many years ago. I can confirm that there have been peacocks in Holland Park since at least the 1950’s. I have counted at least 4 males, but never see any females, so their future remains unknown.
How to get to Holland Park?
For those visiting London, it is very simple to get to Holland Park. You can arrive on the Central Line, alighting at Holland Park tube station. From here, it is just a short walk across the road, and you will be in the Park. If coming from the south, the the easiest way would be making your way to High Street Kensington Station. The station is on the District and Circle lines. From the station, exit and turn left. Walk for around 5 minutes, and the entrance to Holland Park is opposite Waitrose, on the other side of the road.
Where to find the peacocks in Holland Park?
As I mentioned before, the park is very big! You could easily spend a couple of hours wandering around, and chances are you would find a peacock. However, if you are short on time, or just want to head straight for the peacocks, then they are usually found in particular places. I live near Holland Park myself, and often walk through. These regular visits mean I have seen a very obvious pattern as to where the peacocks tend to be.
I would suggest heading straight for the Kyoto Garden. Not only is this a beautiful little corner of the park, but you are most likely to find a peacock in this area. You also have the chance to see a heron here. I have often seen a heron standing patiently in the middle of the pond. The pond itself is full of Koi fish, a very pretty sight. I have seen the peacocks in the Kyoto garden several times. If they are not there, they are usually very close by.
Do I need to pay to get into Holland Park?
Holland park is absolutely free to enter. It is a public park, therefore you do not have to pay to enter.
What else can I do in Holland Park?
The peacocks in Holland Park are amazing, but there is plenty more to see. There are other animals in the park too, such as the Koi fish and herons I mentioned above. There are also a massive amount of squirrels. They are not shy, and will come right up to you! I have heard a woodpecker in Holland Park a few times, but only see it once. It is extremely difficult to pin point where the woodpecker is! You may see some exotic looking green parakeets! They are quite common in Holland Park, however you are even more likely to see parakeets in Kensington Gardens – there is a spot there where you can have the birds land on you!
There is also a small cafe where you can take a break. Children can be kept entertained in the small children’s adventure playground. In Spring, you must walk through the tulip gardens – it is beautiful. Otherwise, it is the perfect place to relax, enjoy the sun or have a picnic! The Japanese Garden is a real highlight – the plants and pond are picture perfect. There really is enough to keep you entertained here for at least a couple of hours!
What else is nearby?
Holland Park is in a great location. The park is in the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. This means you are within walking distance of Notting Hill, the upmarket neighbourhood made famous by the film of the same name. Portobello Market is also a short walk away. The market is famous for antiques, and has some amazing food! It isn’t too far to park hop to Kensington Gardens either. You could even explore on one of the red Santander Bicycles. They are a great way to explore London. There are several docking stations in and around Holland Park.