London is a city of hustle and bustle and often you’ll find all your senses buzzing and burning after a day of walking through the city. You’ll then think to yourself ‘is there any way to find some peace and quiet in London’? The question is not as difficult as you might think. There are plenty of spots, tucked away, that offer temporary and more permanent relief for the country bumpkin. In fact, it’s not uncommon in London to be able to escape an insanely busy street, such as Oxford Street, by walking just two blocks away and finding a tree-lined Buddhist paradise.
Museums and Art galleries are plentiful in London. And while you’ll want to avoid the main spots during tourist season (the British museum may be big but it’s packed to breaking point in July), there are many places in London that will still provide you with a quiet place for reflection without necessitating that you buy an expensive meal at a restaurant. The Victoria and Albert museum in South Kensington is one of these. The beautiful John Madejski Garden provides a sanctuary behind the museum and the magnificent Victorian building is home to one of the world’s best collections of art and design. If you would like to feel particularly Zen, you may want to lose yourself in the Asian section.
Libraries and Bookstores
Are you looking for a quiet room in London in which to spend your afternoons? Many libraries these days have given in to modern pressures and abandoned their ‘quiet please’ policies. Daunt Books in the city centre is one exception. Here you can really enjoy a good read without the incessant beat of someone’s iPod at full volume.
Charing Cross road is your perfect destination if you enjoy browsing quiet second-hand book stores. The street offers a treasure trove of antique, first edition and second-hand books.
Paddington Street provides a tree-lined refuge outside of your hotel for those looking for ‘a quiet London’. The Paddington Street garden is a large tranquil green that children enjoy playing in for hours on end and adults love walking hand-hand through or picnicking on.
The country’s architecturally magnificent churches and cathedrals are the modern Briton’s legacy from England’s long Christian history, which was at times tainted with blood. The quiet churches now provide sanctuaries which belie the country’s turbulent history.
If you want to escape from the noise of Fleet Street, look no further than St Bride’s church which offers peaceful gardens and a cool and silent crypt. Nearer to the City, St Dunstan-in-the-East is the bombed out remains of a medieval church. The remaining walls are covered in encroaching creepers and a bubbling fountain provides a therapeutic sound.
Boroughs -London’s quietest borough
Sutton was voted the quietest borough in London by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in a recent survey on environmental noise pollution. Londoners don’t often experience a night of noise-free, uninterrupted sleep and so sometimes prefer to commute from surrounding counties such as Surrey and Kent, but Sutton provides a closer alternative: it’s a mere thirty minutes by train from central London and is still a very peaceful place to live in.
If you do live and work in London’s most stressful areas, there are certain ways you can live a peaceful life. By opting to spend your Sundays in parks instead of shopping in the high street, joining a yoga class instead of hitting the pub after work or taking your lunch break in a quiet street or public gardens away from the office, you can find your own inner peace and quiet in London.