When the temperatures rise in London, residents and workers flock to the glorious green spaces that fill the city or make for the water to cool down. One of the newest parks to open in London is one of the smallest but one of the most fascinating – and it combines both elements.
Guests of the Royal Eagle Hotel are eagerly encouraged to add a visit to the Floating Pocket Park in Merchant Square to your agenda this summer.
What is the Merchant Square Floating Pocket Park?
The Floating Pocket Park is located in the canalside commercial spot, Merchant Square. It “floats” over the Paddington Basin, which flows into the Regent’s Canal.
Designed by the revered garden designer Tony Woods, the little green oasis was unveiled and opened to the public in June 2017. This is the only floating park in the whole of London – and it’s practically the back garden of those staying in hotels near Paddington.
Covering a compact area of 730 square metres, the Floating Pocket Park features a lawn with bespoke potted plants, a canopy, and communal seating. Pedestrians can cross over the water on a string of decked platforms. A separate pontoon was designed to encourage wildlife such as birds and ducks to settle.
Although perfect for summer, the floating park is a joy to visit in the colder months and offers a wealth of photography opportunities.
How to get to the Floating Pocket Park, Paddington?
The Floating Pocket Park is located a 10 minute walk from Paddington Station, just off Praed Street. Edgware Road Underground Station is even closer. There are several local hotels within walking distance, such as the Royal Eagle Hotel.
Things to do at the Floating Pocket Park
The main thing to do at the Floating Pocket Park is to hop across the water onto the park and survey the surroundings. It’s a peaceful place to sit with a book and a cup of coffee. If you are fortunate, you might spot fluffy ducklings during spring or summer.
Open year-round, the park hosts such events as meditation classes, standup paddleboard yoga, and film or sports tournament screenings. The front desk at the Royal Eagle Hotel can provide details on what’s coming up to coincide with your travel dates.
In addition to the Floating Pocket Park, Merchant Square is where you will find the Rolling Bridge. This equally extraordinary structure is only attached to one side of the basin and curls up into a ball when boats need to pass by. Furthermore, you can check out the Fan Bridge, another kinetic structure that opens up like a traditional Japanese fan.
Besides marvelling at the one-of-a-kind architecture at the Floating Pocket Park and Merchant Square, you can enjoy a meal or drink at one of the riverside eateries. The development is peaceful in the morning but becomes lively in the afternoons and evenings.
To get the best out of your experience of the floating park, stay locally at one of the best hotels near Paddington.