Battersea Park may not be on your radar of places to take your children for a day out in London but it should be – it’s a hidden gem of a park with excellent facilities developed very much with children and families as the priority.
Battersea Park has risen from a past of desolate marshland and crime to one of the best of the main parks in London. Its marshland was drained during the mid Victorian times as part of a larger clean up of London and the health of its residents. In 1951 the site was transformed in to “Festival Gardens” as part of the Festival of Britain celebrations. The Battersea Park that you can visit today has a small children’s zoo, a boating lake, a bandstand plus several all weather sporting facilities.
Plan your visit
The best time to visit the park is between April and September when the weather is more likely to be at its best. Be sure to check the boat hire season if you want this to be a part of your day out. The park is located just a short walk from Sloane Square, so this is your best tube stop, followed by a short taxi ride or a 1km walk. Alternatively, many London buses pass by the park or you could use the overground train to Battersea Park Station which is just 200m from the park entrance.
Time for Children
The park is exceptionally laid out for families with children. The adventure play area is next to the toddler’s play area so you can be with your younger children while keeping an eye on the older children. The children’s zoo is great and will surely fascinate young minds – it’s home to pygmy goats, miniature Shetland ponies, lemurs, meerkats, otters, Kune Kune pigs and giant rabbits!
Bluebird Boats hire pedal and rowing boats with each boat holding up to 5 people and there is also The Little Train which runs from the Adventure Playground, through the Tropical Garden and Fountains and up to the Zoo and Boating Lake – always a hit with children!
Highlight of the day
Hire a recumbent bike and cycle through the park on the miles and miles of bike-friendly paths, whizz past picnickers and roller bladers and see more of the park on your two wheels!
Nearest train station : Battersea Park, Queenstown Road and Victoria
Nearest tube station : Sloane Square
Parking : A number of pay and display car parks in the park are available
Website : www.batterseapark.org