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Lovers of English literature will find Holland Park in London a place associated with literature giants. Lord Byron, William Wordsworth and Charles Dickens often visited Holland House when it was a popular meeting place for London’s literati. Unfortunately, only a shell of the house remains, as it was badly damaged by bombing during the London Blitz of the Second World War. Nonetheless, it is the centerpiece for small but lovely Holland Park. Covering 54 acres (around 22 hectares), Holland Park is heavily wooded, and somewhat more intimate than London’s other parks. The remaining part of Holland House, a Jacobean mansion that was built by Sir William Cope in 1606 – 1607, is now used as a youth hostel. Much of the original terraced garden, shaded by magnificent horse chestnut trees, is still intact.

Botany lovers will want to see the famous Japanese Kyoto Garden on the west side of the park. This beautiful addition was created in 1991 for the London Festival of Japan. Holland Park is home to the wildlife as well, especially peacocks. It has sports facilities, playgrounds for children, an ecology center, and a cafeteria. There is an outdoor theater on a terrace of the house that is used in the summer for a ten week season of opera and ballet. Art exhibitions are also held here.

Address: Ilchester Place, Kensington, London W8 6LU, United Kingdom

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