South London, despite having a misleading reputation, is really one of the greenest parts of the entire city, with the largest Royal Park in London, Richmond Park and several other brilliant parks around both Southwest and Southeast London. Here is my personal ranking of the best parks in South London: 

5. Greenwich Park and Blackheath
With a deer park, paddleboating, a village-like feel and a year-round summery feel, the grassy plains of Blackheath and the grand architecture and hill of Greenwich's Royal Observatory make for a unique combination of the relaxed feel of the city's countryside and inescapable buzz of London, with the skyline of Canary Wharf creating a daunting silhouette against the horizon all while you are immersed in the peace of the park. Greenwich Park is near enough to staples such as Greenwich Market and the Cutty Sark to be accessible, and provides a zen escape from the hustle and bustle of East London. 

4. Farthing Downs and Happy Valley, Coulsdon
Just on the border of Greater London and the surrounding county of Surrey, the Farthing Downs again offer panoramic views of both Croydon and of London, with the Shard being visible on a clear day. Grazing pastures, wooded glades and hilly meadows create a blissful gateway between the countryside and London, with the rolling hills almost feeling like a backdrop from the Hobbit. This park is also home to far more wildlife than is found in the core of London, with badgers, deer, birds of prey and more all making this land home. Despite being far further from the epicentre of London and being almost inaccessible by public transport, the Farthing Downs and Happy Valley area certainly makes one of the best (and least crowded) escapes from the city. 

3. Wimbledon Common and Richmond Park
Nestled in the suburbia of Southwest London, Wimbledon Common is a massive expanse of woodland, heathland and grassland perched atop the bourgeois Wimbledon Hill, with an unrivalled character compared to most parks in London. Host to funfairs, pony rides, farmers' markets and just next to the Wimbledon Tennis tournament and Wimbledon Village, the common is just as lively as the rest of Wimbledon, providing an escape for southwest Londoners. The Common is home to both urban legends such as the Wombles and wildlife, with rabbits, badgers, bats and owls all living in it. Despite becoming far more popular recently with dog-walkers, joggers and tourists, it still maintains the sanctity it has always had and remains a place of nature, next to the rugged Richmond Park, home to red deer and ancient oak woodland. With walking trails connecting the two, it is easy to go from being in amid market town feel of Wimbledon Village one moment and in the grand open heathland of Richmond Park the next. Richmond Park is also particulary impressive in autumn, when the forested areas turn fiery shades of amber and gold and the red deer stags begin to rut. Both Wimbledon Common and Richmond Park are extremely easy to get to, with links to Central London and the rest of South London due to both being next to major town centres. 

2. Bushy Park and Hampton Court Park
On the southwestern fringe of the city, these two parks are historic, natural and peaceful, with both being home to herds of deer. Hampton Court Park is also the site of the majestic Hampton Court Palace, which turns alive during winter, with crowds coming to ice skate in the park's rink and is a monumental landmark of the country's history. Surrounded by tranquil wetlands and lakes and enclosed by the snaking River Thames, the palace's grounds equally add to the atmosphere. The Thames Path between Kingston and Hampton also surrounds this park, allowing for you to switch between the grasslands of Bushy Park and the river.  These parks, just like Richmond Park, are host to the deer rut in autumn, and, despite being so nearby to the large town of Kingston upon Thames, are filled with wildlife such as birds of prey, rabbits and bats. 

1. The Thames Path (between Richmond and Kingston) 
Starting at Richmond High Street, the Thames Path travels along the tree-lined shores of the River Thames and passes by landmarks such as Eel Pie Island, Teddington Lock and Steven's Eyot, travelling along the arcadian stretch of the river. With views of stately homes perched upon the hills of Richmond and Hampton and grazing meadows sparsely populated by horses and cows, it's not hard to mistake this path for Rivendell from Lord of the Rings. Filled with waterbirds such as herons and cormorants, weeping willows hang over the river and pebbled coves create peaceful outcrops where anyone can relax. Beginning at the refined boutique shops of Richmond High Street, passing through meadows, hills and manors, the churning waters of Teddington Lock and the quaint, almost maritime Eel Pie Island, and ending at Kingston Town Centre, this walk perfectly balances greenery and nature with manmade beauty and creates a truly relaxing experience, good for both mind and body.