Where: Hollow Ponds, Whipps Cross Rd E11 1NP
If London’s recent obsession with building skyscrapers doesn’t impress you, get yourself to Hollow Ponds in Leytonstone, where the skyline is dominated by trees and little else. Once upon a time this was a particularly muddy bathing pond, until the local council decided to improve conditions by turning it into a lido in 1932. After several incidences of vandalism it closed in 1982, but today you can still hire a rowing boat to take you across the lake.
Alternatively sit in quiet contemplation observing the woods, which are part of Epping Forest. Who said London doesn’t have quiet places?