Best Playgrounds in London

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Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground

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Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground
Avondale Park
Avondale Park
Holland Park Ecology Centre
Jubilee Gardens
Tumbling Bay Playground
Coram's Fields
Battersea Park
Battersea Park
Clissold Park
Clissold Park
Kew Children's Garden
Kensington Memorial Park


Take the kids to the best playgrounds in London - they're fun, they're outdoors and they're free. Set sail at the pirate playground and find out the best outside play spaces in the city.

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Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground

Set sail on a pirate ship, unlock the treasure chest and make music with your feet.

Nr Black Lion Gate Broad Walk, Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, London, W2 4RU

Tube: Queensway Station , Bayswater Underground Station, Notting Hill Gate Station


This truly magical place is a kiddie's wonderland and the ideal jaunt for family fun. The focal point of the commemorative Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens - also known as the pirate playground - is an intricately detailed pirate ship, moored aground in a sea of, immaculately kept fine, white sand. Children up to the age of twelve can clamber up the rigging all the way to the crow's nest, turn the giant wheel, explore the cabins and tug on a myriad of pulleys and ropes. It really is fantastic. Beyond the land of pirates lies the tepee camp, a tree house encampment with walkways slung between trees and ladders, and musical instruments. NOTE: unaccompanied adults aren't allowed in - children are at the helm in this little part of our capital, designed solely for them.


Kew Children's Garden

The size of 40 tennis courts, the play area at Kew is based on the four elements.

Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens), Kew, Richmond, London, TW9 3AB

Tube: Kew Gardens Station


Dates: 18th May - 18th May 2020


Two years in the making, a new Children's Garden at Kew opens to the public on 18th May 2019. Covering 10,000 metres squared, it's the size of 40 tennis courts and includes lots of natural elements. A four metre high canopy walk is wrapped around a 200-year-old oak tree and more than 100 mature trees fill the landscape including ginkgo, pines, sweet chestnut, beech and eucalyptus trees. Designed around the elements that plants need to survive: earth, air, sun and water, the space encourages children to play as they learn. In the earth garden is a giant sand pit with a play hut village surrounded by bamboo plants and tunnel slides. Air is represented by giant windmill flowers, pollen spheres, hammocks, swings and trampolines. A ring of sunflowers, water pumps and stepping stones complete the life cycle of plants. Aimed at children aged 2 to 12, a giant log scramble challenges older kids to get across to the leaning tower without touching the ground.


Avondale Park

Avondale Park in Notting Hill includes an extensive playground, changing facilities, public toilets and food kiosk.

Walmer Road, Holland Park, London, W11 4EE

Tube: Latimer Road Station


Created in 1892, Avondale Park was named after the then recently deceased Duke of Clarence and Avondale. Today the Notting Hill park includes an extensive playground, changing facilities, public toilets and food kiosk housed in conical wooden houses reflecting the historic kiln and potteries which used to be in the Avondale Park area. The park is also equipped with a Multi-Use-Games-Area (MUGA) with areas set aside for football, netball and tennis.


Kensington Memorial Park

An excellent water play area, a great playground and a One O'Clock Club - all for free.

St Mark's Road, London, W10 6NP

Tube: Ladbroke Grove Station


The Kensington Memorial Park is a great place to take the kids, not least because it has an excellent water play area, a great playground and a One O'Clock Club - all of which is free. Refurbished as part of the 2006 to 2015 ten year strategy, it is wheelchair accessible and the playground has two play areas - one for toddler with a sand pit, and a larger play area for older children centred on a space rocket climbing frame. But the water play area is the part that really makes it stand out - especially on hot summer days. There's a small kiosk next to it which is open during the summer months selling hot and cold snacks with picnic tables outside. The park also includes tennis courts, football, and cricket. Kensington Memorial Park occupies land bought in 1923 with funds provided by the Kensington War Memorial Committee who wanted to create a suitable tribute to those who had given their lives in the First World War.


Holland Park

Small, pretty park in West London with two playgrounds and an ecology centre.

Ilchester Place, Holland Park, London, W8 6LU

Tube: Kensington (Olympia) Station


West London has the pick of the parks with Holland Park, Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park all in quick succession - you can walk all three if you have older children. For kids, Holland Park has an open expanse for games and general frolicking, and playgrounds divided into two spaces: one with a zip wire and climbing rocket ship as well as an ecology centre for older children; and second sand pit area complete with swings, climbing frame and slide for younger children, under 5. A cafe and peacocks roaming around complete the picture and in summer there's usually a family-friendly open-air opera as park of Opera Holland Park, performed at the park's temporary theatre.


Jubilee Gardens

Expanse of green space in the heart of London's artistic hub on the South Bank.

3 Belvedere Road, South Bank, South Bank, London, SE1 7PB

Tube: Waterloo Station , Westminster Station


The concrete promenade along the South Bank greatly benefits from this large patch of green grass for striders, strollers and sightseers to relax on. Not only does Jubilee Gardens have a host of top-notch attractions on its very own riverside doorstep - the London Eye, Aquarium, London Dungeon and Southbank Centre to name but a few - but it also provides a wonderful playground for children under 11 with large timbers and rope nets provding a natural climbing frame. It's also a picturesque meeting place across the Thames from Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, a good jumping off point to explore the South Bank. Occasionally there's a carousel and a small fun fair at the foot of the London Eye to add to the fun for little ones.


Tumbling Bay Playground

Rock pools, sand pits, tall treehouses, and rope bridges within the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, E20 1EJ

Tube: Hackney Wick Overground Station


Trees form climbing scrambles and tall nest-like dens are connected by wobbling net walkways at the Tumbling Bay Playground within the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park - a vast space, the same size as Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens combined. Rock pools, sand pits, tall treehouses, and rope bridges give children the chance to play in a natural environment that encourages them to experiment. Built on the natural landscape of the Olympic Park, this inspiring playground has slides, swings and plenty of space to run about. The Tumbling Bay sits alongside the Timber Lodge community centre and cafe, where parents and kids can relax and refuel. Designed by play space experts Land Use Consultants and Erect Architecture, the playground includes the Cross and Cave, a sculpture by Heather and Ivan Morison.


Coram's Fields

Tucked away in the city centre it covers five acres and contains a park, playground and small menagerie.

93 Guilford Street, Bloomsbury, London, WC1N 1DN

Tube: Russell Square Station


Coram's Fields is a special place for children where adults are allowed in only if accompanied by a child. Tucked away in the city centre it covers five acres and contains a park, playground and small menagerie. The name refers to Thomas Coram, the 18th century philanthropist who set up a Foundling Hospital on the site. The animal enclosure holds goats, sheep, pigs and rabbits. Children can splash happily in the paddling pool, swing on the climbing frame and play in the huge sandpit while adults chill out at the café. Come and visit this charming enclosure, where even the most active of children will be captivated by this wonderful adventure playground in the heart of the big smoke.


Battersea Park

Battersea Park has a zoo, lake and two playgrounds within its 200-acre green space.

Albert Bridge Road, Battersea Park, Battersea, London, SW11 4NJ

Tube: Sloane Square Station


Situated on the south side of the Thames, Battersea Park caters for children of every age within its 200-acre space. Firstly, there's lots of water - a lake for boating, ponds for admiring the wildlife, and the Thames along one side. Children get a great deal with an adventure playground for 5 to 16 year olds which includes rope swings, chain ladders, tube slides and zip wires, located next to a toddlers' playground for under 5s. You can also visit the Battersea Park Zoo, at extra cost, and meet the monkeys or take a stroll to the majestic Peace Pagoda. Wildlife thrives here with birds, animals and plants happily cohabiting within the grounds. For kids who like culture, there's the Pump House Gallery which has regular exhibitions and there are many sculptures dotted around the park itself. Next comes sport with the Millennium Arena, all-weather pitches, tennis courts and a place to hire bicycles there's no excuse to be lazy.


Peckham Rye

Large green spaces for sports and an adventure playground on Saturdays.

Peckham Rye, London, SE15 4JR

Tube: Denmark Hill Station


Peckham Rye combines the Park and Common providing a large green space for sports, sun bathing, families and ducks. Notable attractions for families and children include the popular skateboard area, two playgrounds and the Cafe on the Rye next to the One O'Clock Club. For older children aged between 8 and 15 years and with its own 'youth club', the Adventure Playground on the corner of Peckham Rye and Homestall Road is open on Saturdays between 11am and 5pm. The park is full of places to explore: there's a duck pond and outdoor gym, the formal Sexby Gardens which are full of fragrant rose pergolas, the Japanese Garden with its flowing streams, bridges and a woodland area, and the dog free arboretum area where wooden tables make it the obvious place to meet for a picnic.


Clissold Park

North London park with playground, paddling pool and butterfly dome from May to September.

Greenway Close, London, N4 2EY

Tube: Manor House Station


A pretty, local park, Clissold is more than worth a visit if you're in the north London area. Free from the crowds that often seep into more central parks, this dainty, 54-acre space offers many excellent park amenities without the accompanying hoards. Eight tennis courts, an animal enclosure, a children's playground, paddling pool, rambling fields, ponds and pond-dipping platform, rose gardens, an organic nature garden, aviary and butterfly tunnel are among the delights. A stunning café - once the local mansion house - is an excellent place for an alfresco drink. Clissold is not as finely manicured as many of London's parks but it has a lovely community feel to it that makes up for the lack of finesse. Besides this is a working park and all the better for it.

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