It may seem impossible to imagine at the moment, but it’s now officially summer and I’ve started daydreaming about floating around the city on a hot day, leisurely checking out the city’s half-glimpsed oases of tranquillity. 

Like an Open House weekend for gardens, this has been running for a few years now, and like its bigger sibling is a great chance to see those spaces normally closed off from prying eyes. If you’ve always wanted to see inside those well groomed Notting Hill squares, HMP Wormwood Scrubs’ garden, or even Downing Street’s back garden (only available via a ballot a la the Gherkin or Post Office Tower), I can recommend it. 

A lot of the private residential squares get in the swing of it providing refreshments, cake and plant sales and even a Punch & Judy show at one Belgravia garden, I recall.

Top tip – do it by bike if you can, as they are not always near tube stops and you can see a lot more. We’ll give you another heads-up on the shortlist nearer the date, in the meantime here’s praying for nice weather.

Open Squares Weekend, all over London. 8th – 9th June. £10 for a weekend pass.

10 Downing Street garden available via a ballot here. Enter your application by May 21st.

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