Peaceful, hidden garden in London's West End
This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Walking Aid
Phoenix Gardens is a former car park transformed into a community garden. It's a small, tranquil, secluded oasis of about 0.5 acres. There are trees, shrubs, flowerbeds, ponds and small pockets of lawn. There is also a single storey community room, which was closed when I visited due to covid restrictions. Although the building looked like it had step free access, my review will only discuss the outside garden. There is a step free route round the garden.
Transport & Parking
Phoenix Gardens are a hidden away community garden close to Covent Garden, Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street. It's one of those places that you wouldn't know it was there unless you knew about it. However it is very easy to get to by public transport. The nearest tube station is Tottenham Court Road which is step free and about a 5 - 10 minute walk away. There are several buses, 14, 19, 24, 29, 38, and 176, that all stop very close by in Charing Cross Road. If going southbound along Charing Cross Road the nearest stop is Cambridge Circus, opposite the Palace Theatre. Going northbound the nearest stop is Denmark Street which is directly outside of Foyles Bookshop. The entrance to the gardens is in St Giles Passage. You can either turn into Phoenix Street at the side of the Phoenix Theatre, and the garden will be straight in front of you. You will then need to turn right and walk round the outside of the gardens to reach the entrance on the other side. Or alternatively the gardens can be approached from turning into St Giles Passage from Shaftsbury Avenue. Please note not all the pavements have dropped kerbs nearby.
There is a step free entrance to the gardens. The large gates were already opened when I visited. There are brick paved pathways throughout the garden. Some of the bricks are uneven, so take care, and part of the garden is on a short but noticeable slope. The path is mainly step free, there was only one area I noticed with steps and these did not have a handrail. Some of the pathways are rather narrow, which may make them unsuitable for wheelchair users. The plants sometimes have grown onto the path. I found a couple of places very narrow for me an my crutch. It was not a deal breaker but I felt I had to mind my footing in a couple of places. The gardens are compact but were more spacious than I first thought, as they stretch back. The further you go into the gardens the more wooden bench seating you find. There is a lot of seating.
The community room was closed when I visited I am unsure if they have an accessible toilet.
I didn't see any staff when I visited.
Anything else you wish to tell us?
Re covid precautions, there was a bottle of hand sanitiser by the entrance. However I didn't notice it until I was leaving. However apart from the seating I wasn't touching anything, so I felt safe. I visited midweek and was surprised at how quiet the gardens were. I only saw 6 - 7 people while I was there. The gardens were spacious enough that everyone was able to keep their distance. I visited on my own and although the gardens are a little secluded I felt safe there. I really enjoyed my visit. It was peaceful and restful. I could hear the bird sounds and sit back and relax. They are the perfect stop if you want somewhere to escape for a while. It is hard to believe it is in central London. There isn't a children's playground. The garden is beautifully maintained and a very pleasant place to visit. They are a real joy and now I have discovered them I will certainly return.