The Buddhist temples of London are places of peace and meditation. Buddhism is 2,500 years old, and 276 million people worldwide follow its teachings of spiritual development.
Where does Buddhism come from?
It originated in South Asia and dates back to around the 5th century BCE. Buddhists believe humans follow a life cycle of suffering and rebirth, but it’s possible to reach a state of enlightenment (nirvana) and escape this cycle forever. Siddhartha Gautama was the first person to reach enlightenment and is known as the Buddha.
Whether you want to learn more about Buddhism, discover tranquil places for peaceful meditations or see temple architecture up close, these are some of the beautiful Buddhist temples in London you can visit.
Also known as Wat Buddhapadipa, this Buddhist temple in Wimbledon is the UK’s first purpose-built Buddhist temple, and the first Thai Theravāda temple outside Asia. This spiritual base has ornate gold detailing, in the traditional Thai style, and sits in four acres of well-tended gardens.
Opposite Wimbledon Common, Buddhapadipa Temple, London, is a 25-minute walk from Wimbledon Station. It holds services daily and welcomes people from all faiths. You need to make an appointment to attend a service or visit the shrine, but anyone can wander around the gardens to enjoy the stunning temple architecture and tranquillity of the gardens. Opening hours are 9am to 5pm. It runs weekend meditation classes and regular cultural events throughout the year.
Three Wheels Shin Buddhist Temple
Three Wheels Shin Buddhist Temple is a branch of the Shogyoji Temple, founded in 1593 in Fukuoka, Japan. Established in Acton in 1994, this Buddhist temple in London has a distinctive Japanese Zen garden made with Cumbrian rock, using the karesansui style of the temples across Japan.
Three Wheels Temple welcomes visitors to dhamma sessions, tea ceremonies and into the meditation shelter overlooking the Zen garden, by appointment or on event days. You can also attend morning or evening services of chanting hymns and reading an Ofumi (letters by Rennyo Shonin). Visit the website for information, upcoming events or to arrange a private visit.
Kagyu Samye Dzong
Kagyu Samye Dzong is an inviting Tibetan Buddhist temple in London’s former Bermondsey public library, with a shrine room in the original Victorian main hall. This temple is a Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Centre that shares the teachings of Buddhism, promotes interfaith understanding and fosters wisdom and compassion for the wider community.
It also has a Tibetan tearoom and shop open on weekends where you can enjoy a spicy chai, hot dhal and buy traditional Nepalese gifts. The temple offers morning meditations, drop-in events and a relaxing reading room for all.
Śrī Saddhātissa International Buddhist Centre
This Sri Lankan Theravāda Buddhist temple provides London’s Sri Lankan community and visitors a welcoming spiritual space. The centre in Kingsbury, North London, is very active in the local area, offering meditation, chanting, worship, youth work and educational programmes.
The centre welcomes newcomers to learn about traditional Sri Lankan meditation and breathing practices or attend one of its many community events. Visit the website for the latest event calendar and advice on Dharma Protocol for visiting.