It’s nice to get out of town. Financial restraints or a boss eagerly handing out weekend shifts can, unfortunately, get in the way. Stuck in the big city? Feeling a bit flustered? Get yourself to one of our recommended spaces, take a moment to breathe. Recharge. Birmingham: St Paul’s Square Brum’s last remaining Georgian square […]
It’s nice to get out of town. Financial restraints or a boss eagerly handing out weekend shifts can, unfortunately, get in the way. Stuck in the big city? Feeling a bit flustered? Get yourself to one of our recommended spaces, take a moment to breathe. Recharge.
Birmingham: St Paul’s Square
Brum’s last remaining Georgian square offers some much-needed refuge from the bustle of England’s second biggest city. Just a few steps from the famous Jewellery Quarter, the immaculate grounds house St Paul’s Church, which feels like a literal step-back in time from the cafes, bars and shops that surround it. Enjoy the Grade 1 building and the quiet it commands.
Dublin: Marsh’s Library
Much like Birmingham’s gentle blast from the past, Ireland’s first public library dates back to 1707 and is a wonderful way to escape the stresses of modern life (if only till 5pm). With its original oak bookcases stocking 25,000 rare and historic reads, visitors are transported away from WhatsApp updates and video streams to a different era of attentive reading and studying. Hello silence, my old friend.
(9:30am-5pm. Closed Tuesday/Sunday)
London: Dalston Eastern Curve Garden
The Market. Kingsland Road. Junction. Dalston doesn’t exactly scream tranquility. Yet behind its rammed high street sits a green sanctuary for all. The Curve Garden couldn’t be further away from the disused railway track it was built on. By combining tree lined spaces with cosy pockets of plants, its landscape architects have somehow created a peaceful oasis smack bang in the middle of one of North East London’s liveliest areas. Refreshingly cheap homemade bites contain fresh veg picked from the garden, while creative and cultural highlights can involve anything from children’s pizza making to free tai chi. It’s the volunteer spirit that really gives the place a safe, welcoming vibe. Locals and regulars contribute to maintaining the shrubbery, making for a real community feel.
(11am-7pm Mon-Wed. Open till 10pm Thursday-Sunday)
London: Kyoto Garden
‘Wake from death and return to life’ goes an old Japanese expression. If things are getting a little on top while you’re west in the capital, try Holland Park’s uniquely asian experience to help you re-centre. The garden is a traditional eastern creation, boasting koi filled ponds and tiered waterfalls, with the additional roaming peacock for good measure. Even those desperate for an instagram upload seem to go about their snapping more peacefully within these Kensington walls. Full of benches and blossom, you’ll leave much more zen than the you that arrived.
Liverpool: St Nick’s Churchyard
Calming seas can give coastal residents a slight relaxation edge. With a number of contenders facing the River Mersey, it’s The Church of Our Lady and Saint Nicholas – often overlooked by the city’s religious heavyweight cathedrals – that gets the nod for our list. Set just back from a busy dock road, St Nick’s is a lovely spot for quiet contemplation; its views of the Pier Head and historically weighty Three Graces putting your problems into perspective.
Manchester: Angel Meadow
Once an overcrowded Victorian slum, the small park is one of the few green areas to be found in Manchester’s famously industrial city centre. Described as ‘hell upon earth’ in the 17th century, the space has come on nicely since a 90s rejuvenation, and is due to receive a further facelift in the form of a 40-storey apartment block with additional housing. The new building’s not without dispute; locals concerned its height may throw the park’s pathways and verges into shade. Developers FEC have defended their skyscraper, promising it will enhance surroundings. They’re even throwing out monthly yoga sessions on location. Get involved, for free, on July 19th, August 16th and September 20th; all starting at 8am.–