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12 Beautiful Parks In South London for All Ages

London is a great place for outings of all kinds, from romantic getaways for two to family vacations, even if you have young kids. There are numerous best things in the city to visit and talk about, one of which is the Local Parks. There are parks in lots of different communities around the Big Smoke that you won’t even notice! One of the amazing things about the town is that it can keep on surprising you, and you’re going to cherish enjoying the wonder of its parks with your kids.

Currently, we know that the restrictions are being lifted and people will be permitted to meet up for breezes this spring. Londoners have begun scoping out London’s parks again. There are plentiful spots to while away a cloudless day in the town, grassy areas are scattered throughout the town, procuring a flower-packed place to unwind and soak up some rays. 

And like some of the best things in life, romping in the park is completely unrestricted – at least until you fancy ice cream. So whether you want a hip park where you can play ping pong, a petal-filled patch for a cakewalk, or simply somewhere for a kickabout.

Check our list of the most beautiful local parks in South London. Full of amazement and hidden treasures, it can take years to find out all the beautiful green spaces in the capital. Whether you’re planning to go kite-flying on Hampstead Heath in North London or deer-spotting in South London’s Richmond Park, the possibilities are high that you will find a great new local park to explore. Book an electric car hire in London to feel even closer to nature in one of the beautiful parks of the metropolis.

1. Peckham Rye Park

Peckham Rye Park
Images Source: Wikipedia

Peckham Rye Park provides a pleasant refuge for not only the local community but also the wildlife. It is situated at Strakers Road, spotlighting ornamental gardens, streaming streams, woodland, and a lake. It is not only one of the best London parks but also a perfect location to loosen up and partake in a gentle stroll. Peckham Rye Park has a lengthy and interesting history which was documented as being cultivated before the Norman Conquest in the 11th Century. Later, the park was awarded the Green Flag award. 

The location’s structure can be explained in three successive phases:

Phase 1 – pre-1894 to 1906, the railed enclosure included the open stream, the man-made lake, woodland walks, and open sports fields.

Phase 2 – 1906 to 1915, annexing the woodland, the avenue, bowling green, Old English Garden or Sexby Garden, American Garden, Japanese Garden, and arboretum.

Phase 3 – 1915 to 1965, following the 1920s clearance of buildings in the northwest of the garden, including Charlton House; improvements such as a new main entrance and oval bedding area, a rockery and a water garden; the bowling pavilion was replaced and relocated on a new stone paved terrace and paving and pergola structures in the Sexby Garden were upgraded,

Peckham Rye Park opens every day at 7.30 am. However, the closing times vary throughout the year.

The various facilities that are available in the park are:

  • Skate Park 
  • Green gym 
  • Adventure yard for children aged 8-16 that’s fully accessible for wheelchair users
  • Play area where there are courses for kids aged between 8 to 16 years old in Gardening/Table 
  • Tennis/Badge Making/Go Karting etc….
  • Two playgrounds
  • Toilets with Baby Changing Facilities 
  •  Dog-Free Picnic Area
  • Japanese Garden 
  • Free Parking on surrounding streets and a little car park on Strakers Road.
  • Duck Pond 

2. Norbury Park

Norbury Park
Images Source: Surrey Hills

Norbury Park was purchased by the Corporation of Croydon by a builder in 1935;  the conveyance describes the area as North Surrey Golf Course.   The golf course dates back to 1920 and was built on several fields which are shown on mid-19th century plans. The 1800 Thomas Bainbridge map of the area shows the fields associated with Pembroke College. Although Norbury Brook runs beside the Park, it is hidden behind a tall fence; it is a tributary of the Wandle.  

Located in Norbury, between Norbury Avenue and Green Lane, it is one of the parks in South London you’d only visit for the playground or BMX track. It’s quite a tiny field area and a short walk around the yard but has an outstanding BMX track so it makes it entertaining for older kids. This is a community BMX path where everyone is welcome. BMX tools and coaching assistance are available through the local volunteer BMX club. Although it is a basic playground, it does have a zip wire.

The various Facilities that are available in the park are:

  • Playing fields
  • Multi-games court
  • Public car park off Grenville Avenue
  • Children’s playground opposite Norbury
  • Hill entrance in Green Lane
  • BMX track

3. Leyton Square Playground, Peckham

Leyton Square Playground, Peckham
Images Source: Bablands

Leyton Square Community Playground is not a typical south London park, it is a children’s activity centre providing a range of entertainment and activities for children of different ages. Leyton Square Community Playground is an ideal place for both kids and kids from the heart and is located in Peckham Park Road, London.

Southwark Council has committed to ensuring there is a top-quality playground in every local area by 2018. Leyton Square was recognized as a priority park for potential allowances and investment in the prevailing playground.

The centre is composed of 1 large activity room, office space, and a spacious outdoor/garden area with lots of play equipment for children. 

This park in South London has a smaller playground with minimum green space but it’s good for all ages to relax. They even have a toddler section consisting of a bouncy wooden crocodile, baby swings, a small climbing frame, and a slide, and the big kids’ area includes a giant wooden treetop trail. It’s also been made popular as Rio Ferdinand played here as a kid and campaigned for it to be revised.

The various Facilities that are available in the park are:

  • Nearest station: Queens Road Peckham
  • Some off-street parking but no car park
  • Variety of playground equipment for different ages
  • Outdoor Gym
  • Natural playground

4. Burgess Park

Burgess Park
Images Source: Fields In Trust

Burgess Park is certainly the largest South London park. The park extends from Camberwell and Walworth in the west to Peckham and the Old Kent Road in the east. The park was named after Camberwell’s first woman Mayor in 1973, Jessie Burgess. 

Burgess Park is a new park, constructed between the 1950s and 1980s. It was expanded as a result of the Abercrombie Plan for empty spaces in 1943. The area was once home to manufacturers, densely colonised streets, and the Surrey Canal before it was painfully attacked during World War II.

In 2012, Burgess Park reopened after an £8M transformation, establishing it as a park central to the local community and recognized for its heritage, sports facilities, lake, wildlife, design and horticultural and even barbecue. Burgess Park features a Tennis Centre at Addington Square, Burgess Park Community Sports Centre on Cobourg Road and a BMX track next to the fishing lake.

The play areas are made separately for kids and adults, especially for kids below 5 years. You can spot climbing equipment located in front of the Park Life cafè at Chumleigh Gardens; during the summer they offer water play jets at Chumleigh Gardens. There is also a lake located near Old Kent Road and Albany Road and fishing is permitted with the purchase of a day ticket from dawn to dusk on half of the lake. 

The park has renowned spots like Chumleigh Gardens and the world gardens, which are designed to reflect traditional English, Asian, Mediterranean, Oriental, and Caribbean planting. 

There are raised beds for community gardeners to grow vegetables. Besides that, the Burgess Park food growing project is situated at Glengall Wharf Garden and runs a wide variety of activities throughout the week.

The various Facilities that are available in the park are:

  • Zipwire
  • Cool slide
  • Toilet Facilities
  • Picnic tables in the play area
  • Free parking on surrounding streets
  • Two play areas 
  • Good hills that are fun for scooters
  • Under 5 designated play areas with a mini sandpit
  • Outdoor Gym
  • Water Fountains in the summer
  • Plenty of space for balls games

5. Brockwell Park

Brockwell Park
Images Source: Brixton Buzz

Brockwell Park is one of the best parks in South London that is set within a hilly terrain and includes a network of ponds, plants (including ancient oaks), a walled ‘Old English’ flower garden, and wide, open grasslands. Brockwell Park has the recognition of “Site of Importance for Nature Conservation” (or SINC) for the London Borough of Lambeth. This is in the distinction of its significance not just for wildlife, but also for folk habitation in both Lambeth and London to admire access to nature.

This south London park is well known for the diversity of community groups that play an active role in its development, including Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses, and the Friends of Brockwell Park who help look after the Walled Garden and an annual new tree planting program. The Brockwell Park Community Partners act as the body exemplifying these many stakeholders, to ensure the park proceeds to be well-organised and everybody’s wants and outlooks are favoured.

Brockwell Park is lucky to include a huge number of historic buildings and other characteristics, some of which go back before when it was developed as a public park. These contain Brockwell Hall, the Brockwell Lido, the Walled Garden, ponds, and a charming 19th-century Tritton clock tower, as well as a well-laid-out system of roads and lookouts.

This park in south London is also the home of a ride-on miniature railroad and a prominent BMX track, both of which are handled by the community. It contains a large range of formal and informal sports and play facilities, a large children’s playground and wet play area, tennis and basketball courts, and grass football pitches. It is also home to the Lambeth Country Show, which usually operates over two days in the third week of July every year, as well as a vast range of commercial and community occasions.

Besides being one of Lambeth’s Green Flag Award-winning parks, This spot is also considered a ‘Green Flag Heritage’ park. It is also holder of several such awards like ‘Park of the Year, ‘Heritage Park’, ‘Large Conservation Area’, and ‘Walled Garden of the Year awards from London in Bloom. These awards recognize the achievements made to provide visitors to and residents of Lambeth with a clean, safe, welcoming, and popular open space they can all be proud of.

The various Facilities that are available in the park are:

  • Several Cafes
  • Excellent playground with interesting and innovative play equipment such as a piano and zip wires
  • A water fountain and paddling pool are available in the summertime. 
  • Huge Sandpit 
  • Duckpond
  • Walled garden 
  • BMX Track
  • Tennis Courts
  • Nearest station: Herne Hill

6. Battersea Park

Battersea Park
Images Source: Park Grand London Lancaster Gate

This 200-acre historic park in South London is located between Chelsea Bridge and Albert Bridge, across the Thames from Chelsea. This best London park featuressubtropical and wildflower gardens, a deer park, a miniature railway for children, and a small zoo, among other family delights. Besides, Battersea park is home to a boating lake, a bandstand, and all-weather outdoor sporting facilities which comprise tennis courts, a running track, and football pitches.

This south London park was set down by Sir James Pennethorne between the years 1846 and 1864, although the park which was built in 1858 varied somewhat from Pennethorne’s vision. The park was initially a fraction of a plan by upper-class Victorians to keep the lower classes of London in law by giving them an open-air area for workouts and entertainment.

In the center of the park is Pump House Gallery, which is housed in a four-story Grade II listed Victorian tower. It is owned by Wandsworth Council. On the western side, there are two cricket pitches, residence to the King’s Road Cricket & Social Club. The association, whose partners wear distinctive orange caps, can be seen playing on weekends.

The park is the spot of the London Peace Pagoda, built in 1985. A Buddhist monk looks after the pagoda daily. A representation of the bronze statue of a dog that was the focal point of the historic vivisection-related Brown Dog affair was constructed here in 1985. It was shifted to the Woodland Walk, near the Old English Garden in 1944.

The various Facilities that are available in the park are:

  • This playground is desirable for children 4 to 7 and a different one for 8 to 14 years old.
  •  Go Ape challenge available at Battersea Park
  • Great location for cycling as the paths are very wide. They also offer a great 2km bike ride for kids and families
  • Art Gallery
  • Toilet Facilities available 
  • Mini Golf
  • Children’s Zoo

7. Crystal Palace Park

Crystal Palace Park
Images Source: Crstal Palace Park Class

Constructed between 1852 and 1854 by Sir Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace Company, Crystal Palace Park is a vast park in South London. The Park is home to the national sports center, a children’s farm, a playground, a maze, an outdoor concert stage, and plenty of green space to run about in. The park features a nice range of housing, including a lake which is helpful for water birds.

The park was created to be the setting for the relocated and enlarged Crystal Palace, which was designed by Paxton for the 1851 Great Exhibition in Hyde Park. The site was constructed to impress, nurture, entertain and inspire, ultimately becoming an international temptation.

The major educational themes for the park were discovery and innovation. The geological portraits and the full-scale models of the dinosaurs were launched and the technical engineering of the Palace itself was complicated.

At the top of the park is the location where the huge glass Crystal Palace exhibition building perched between 1854 and 1935. The park is also home to some full-size dinosaur models constructed by the Victorians who roam between the trees. You can discover more about the event and dinosaurs at the Crystal Palace gallery in the park.

The various Facilities that are available in the park are;

  • Sandpit
  • Playground
  • Lovely cafe
  • Toilet facilities
  • Small Farm
  • Maze
  • Plenty of free parking 
  • Boating Lake with pedalos in the summer 
  • Skate Park

8. Greenwich Park

Greenwich Park
Images Source: Visit Greenwich

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the streets of London and visit Greenwich Park, we are sure you won’t be disappointed. It is located at the heart of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site. This south London park dominates the river Thames and is the ancient enclosed Royal Park. This park in southeast London is home to historic buildings with royal ties, magnificent gardens, and a wide variety of wildlife.

Besides, you can also visit the National Maritime Museum and explore the maritime history of Greenwich. The Museum’s 14 galleries host a blend of continual and temporary exhibitions that look at the effect of historical and contemporary seafaring. The Tudors and Stuarts Seafarers gallery feature ancient tales of naval conflict, piracy, exploration, and adventure. These tales disclose the lives of common sailors alongside famous names including Christopher Columbus, Francis Drake, and Blackbeard.

For further historic fiction visit The Royal Observatory, the residence of British astronomy and Greenwich Mean Time. The gallery’s Great Equatorial Telescope is the largest of its kind in the UK. The traditional Herb Garden is planted around a primary fountain and gives a peaceful retreat for tourists. But for a more leisurely visit, walk through the tranquil gardens. The spring and summer blossoms in The Flower Garden are encircled by magnificent plants, fine lawns, a lake, and a deer park. You can also spot an orchard including ancestry fruit trees and a rose garden which is extremely gorgeous in June and July.

The various Facilities that are available in the park are:

  • Rose Garden 
  • Pavilion Cafe
  • Toilets and Baby changing facilities
  • Tennis Courts
  • Large sandpit area
  • A lovely maritime-themed natural playground for aged up to 12 
  • Picnic Tables

9. Southwark Park Playground

Southwark Park Playground
Images Source: Freeparks

Southwark’s adventure playgrounds are overseen by skilled and professional faculty with facilities that cater mainly to kids and young folk of school age and proficiency. With a great priority on free play, kids and youngsters are motivated to formulate their notions and choose their pastimes. All playgrounds are unrestricted to utilise, enrolled, and inspected regularly.

This park in south London itself is a famous spot for citizens and much less packed than other more popular parks in South London. The most recent improvement to the park is the Southwark Park Pavilion Cafe which was inaugurated in February 2020. The cafe and building are a pleasant improvement to the park andares lift the whole region to a new standard. Relaxing right next to the lake, the architecture mixes in adequately with the art gallery and the rest of the terrain.

To no wonder, the extended winding slide is the most famous thing to do for our children as well as for most others. The slide has lived there for a long time, but it also developed a few challenging components to get to its prime. You’ll have the natural mix of kids and teenagers moving on top of each other, but the format makes it manageable for parents to keep an eye on.

The most remarkable addition to the refurbished playground is the climbing spider structure, giving 

a good challenge to slightly older children. The toddler compartment of the playground is entirely fenced off from the rest, which makes it safe and simple for parents to let their kids loose. All the material here feels well-maintained and comfortable.

The various Facilities that are available in the park are:

  • Pavilion Cafe with mini art exhibitions 
  • Big Slide
  • Climbing structures 
  • Toddler area

10. Dulwich Park

Dulwich Park
Images Source: Kidify

Established in the late 19th century, Dulwich Park stretches up to 72 acres and is loaded with everything from a boating lake to woodland strolls and an American Garden. This park in south London was first inaugurated to the public in 1890 and has undergone successive improvements and refurbishments throughout its lifetime.

This park in south London was created from former farmland and meadows, which lend it its natural beauty. The area is ideal for walks as it is a pedestrian-only area except for hired bicycles and cars with disabled badges. Dulwich Park is also home to a minor running club and a bowling club which operates every summer from April to September. It is located at Dulwich, London SE21 7EB, United Kingdom

Dulwich Park is one of the unrestricted areas to see in London. This nature park is one of the best parks in south London that offers an ideal spot for a day out with family and friends with its numerous sporting facilities, cafes, and boating lakes. There are four tennis courts that you can spot in this south London Park. Courts 1 and 2 are located on the north side of the park near the Francis peak Centre. Courts 3 and 4 are at the south of the park. Court 3 is near the entrance gate, and 4 is off from the gate. 

Features and facilities of this park in south London include :

  • Lots of trees to climb
  • Toilet Facilities available 
  • Nice Cafe
  • Open air cinema during the Summer month
  • Tennis Courts with free booking
  • Table Tennis Tables 
  • Cycle Hire
  • Boating lake – offers both children and family-sized pedalos and rowing boats. 
  • Free parking of vehicles, including cars, on surrounding roads

11. Danson Park

Danson Park
Images Source: Day out with the kids

Danson Park is the second biggest and best London park in Bexley and is Grade II listed on the English Heritage list of parks and gardens of special ancient interest.

The Charter Oak is over 200 years old and is a large oak tree in the centre of Mid Park which has been recognized as one of the “Great Trees of London”.

Danson House offers a central feature of the park. It is utilised as the Registry Office for Bexley and also includes a tearoom. The Stable block to the cottage is now a pub. It is a great park to relax or get active with the abundance of sports facilities.

This park in South London annually hosts carnivals, fun fairs, firework shows, and several other big public events. A free 5k run, part of the international park run events, takes place every Saturday at 9.00 am on a two-lap scenic course around Danson Lake. Sports facilities in the park encompass football pitches, hard-surface tennis courts, bowling greens, obstacle courses, an outdoor gym, and cycle routes, as well as a prominent kids’ playground with a tiny water park. Boating, sailing, and rowing are feasible on the lake and are also used by several water-sports clubs and communities.

The local park includes the Danson Stables, public home in a building previously used as the stable block for Danson House, and The Boathouse, a function suite and cafe near the lake.

  • Boating Lake with water sports
  • Large playground with mini trampolines, tunnels, and a large climbing frame. 
  • Lots of varying apparatus for children up to aged 12.
  • Toilets 
  • Parking costs £3 for the day, there is some free parking on surrounding roads
  • Water fountains in the summer 
  • Formal gardens

12. Kelsey Park

Kelsey Park
Images Source: Wikipedia

Kelsey Park is one of the best parks in southeast London, in the town of Bromley, Greater London. It historically constructed the landscaped grassland of the Kelsey Manor Estate. The Park runs beside the river Beck. Although it is a much smaller park than the others mentioned in the list already, it is good for a wander around the lake and has a decent playground.

This park South East London was inaugurated on 31st May 1913, after the land was bought by the folk of Beckenham, for community use and relaxation. It is a shelter for all kinds of flora and fauna, with over 100 kinds of plants and over 65 varieties of birds having been listed, a huge species of flowers in the stunning herbaceous border, and a vast collection of wildlife.

Here, you can spot something for every individual – from rose gardens, nature trails and water features to tennis courts and a mini golf course to a cafe and playground. For those who are seeking an outing in a tranquil atmosphere, we recommend heading towards the other side of the main lawn by the herbaceous border. Besides, dog owners are also welcome on the eastern side of the lake, 

The park is open for the following activities:

  • Free Parking 
  • Playground for up to 10 years old
  • Cafe
  • Dog-free picnic area
  • Mini Golf
  • Tennis Courts
  • Good trees to climb!
  • Duck Pond 
  • Toilet Facilities available

With that, we have come up to the end of our blog. The above-mentioned are some of the best parks in London that are open to everyone irrespective of the visitor’s age group. Each one is known for its unique facility and features, some are known for outdoor activities while some are for beautiful views and a calm atmosphere. So, which one of them are you looking forward to exploring first?

FAQs

Which is the most beautiful park in London?

As we know there are numerous local parks in the renowned city, London. Each of them holds a position and popularity for unique features. So, it is very tough to pick the best out of many. 

However, St James’s Park is considered the most beautiful park in London, for its magnificent location, that is, in front of Buckingham Palace. Besides, from the list, Greenwich Park, which is one of the best southeast parks in London and certainly is the most beautiful park out of the listed top 11.

What is the biggest park in London?

When it comes to the biggest park in London, Richmond park stands foremost, beating all the parks in London. The park covers up to 2500 acres and it is also very renowned not only among Londoners but worldwide as it is home to approx 650 free roaming deers. It offers a very peaceful respite to visitors for the pastoral landscape of hills, woodlands, ponds, gardens and grasslands set amongst ancient trees enclosing the park. So, if you are looking forward to a calm atmosphere in a park you might want to visit Richmond park. Besides, this best London park is also designated as a National Nature Reserve (NNR), a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

Which is the oldest park in London?

Besides being the most beautiful park in London, St James’s park is also the oldest. Facing the very popular Buckingham Royal palace, St James’s has been existing since 1532. Earlier, the park was limited to the Royal family members, but it was Charles II who made dramatic changes to the location and made it open to the public. Since then, frequent visitors have been seen in the place. Some people visit to enjoy the view of the palace while some come to feed the ducks there. But one thing remained constant and that is the popularity of the park.

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