When travelling one of the first thing I research is where the best playgrounds are, as I find it extremely useful to them to act as a carrot, so when we have done X we can go to Y! We are lucky as there is an abundance of playgrounds in London. They are also super useful for just before mealtimes to get out that extra energy so they can sit nicely for a little while. Museums or attractions with playgrounds are also amazing, so I have included one of those in this list too! Just remember to bring spare shoes and socks as there is nothing worse than children complaining about sand in their shoes for the rest of the day!!!
There is a brilliant app called Playground Buddy – I thoroughly recommend downloading it. I have only used it in the UK and France, but I have found it very useful. It is crowd-sourced, so even if they have an ID for it, they don’t always have the information and ask if you have visited to send them updated info and a photo.
With that in mind here are my favourite playgrounds in Greater London:
This was about a 10-minute walk from where I lived in London, and what an incredible space it is. There genuinely is something for most children – there is a toddler area, a sensory area, a city farm (not currently open), playing fields as well as an incredible adventure playground complete with zip wire and seriously high slides! Some of the reasons we love it is that you are not allowed in without a child with you & there are no dogs allowed (which for my children is a huge bonus as they are extremely wary of them). Oh, and did I mention that they have yummy gelato?
Diana Memorial Playground:
No list of playgrounds in London would be complete without this one. A 20-minute walk from the Natural History Museum, Science Museum, and V&A, this playground is not only a destination in itself but also a fantastic place to burn off some energy post or pre-museum visit. It has a lovely little café which serves fantastic pizzas (does get busy), and so much for the children to get immersed in. The Pirate ship in particular is fantastic fun.
Holland Park Adventure Playground:
Located within the famous Holland Park, this is a spectacular wooden play structure with so much to do in it. It is designed by Duncan & Gove who have made a name for themselves by creating impressive playparks. The official recommendation is for ages 5 – 14 but I used to take my then 3-year-old to it, and she found plenty to do with guidance! It is one of those places that is brilliant because of its wide age appeal. For those who only have little ones, there is a traditional toddler playground 5 minutes’ walk away.
Hampton Court Palace Magic Garden:
This playground is super fun, one of my favourite London playgrounds. In summer there is water to play in, there are tall walkways to explore, and a dragon to slay, as well as hidden slides and a sandpit. Entry to this magical playground is only via membership or a ticket to the palace, so I have never found it to be hugely busy. There is a little café situated within it, and baby changing facilities. Hampton Court Palace is truly a fantastic day out for everyone, and having this amazing play area just makes it so much easier!
Tumbling Bay Playground:
Part of the London Olympic Park regeneration project, the Tumbling Bay Playground is an award-winning playground that is all about experiences rather than just equipment. There are high rope netting walkways, rock pools, sandpits, treehouses, and slides as well as naturalistic hidey holes! There is also a café (can you see a theme in my picks), so you can have a coffee whilst your LOs play. The food is reportedly very good too, but I haven’t yet tried it!
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