Ladywell Adventure Playground is an open access playground for young people aged 8 to 16. It offers a range of activities including rope swings, climbing and outdoor play, and there is an indoor area which provides pool, table tennis and more. During school holidays the centre runs various programmes including arts and crafts and cooking, according to the interests and needs of local young people. There are always staff on site to assist.
MUMMY’S GIN FUND SAYS:
Ladywell Adventure Playground – an open access outdoor playground for active young people.
If you didn’t know about Ladywell Adventure Playground you’d be unlikely to stumble upon it. I’d been to Ladywell Fields many times before someone told me about it, and when we found it we were astonished to have played so close by, so often, without knowing it was there.
You can also access the playground from Malyons Road or through Ladywell Fields – just head for the athletics track, and look for the pedestrian bridge over the railway line. The playground is just the other side of the bridge.
The first time you visit you will be asked to complete a registration form for your child. After that, you just need to sign in at every visit and it’s completely free. Although it’s advertised for 8-16 year olds, my 5 year old absolutely loves it. He’s not really old enough to enjoy the indoor activities but the outdoor playground is fantastic for encouraging imaginative play.
Whether he is relaxing on one of the basket swings (which hold two small children) or monkeying around on the ropes, there’s plenty to keep him entertained for an hour or two. The rope bridges are pretty safe, but there are a few big drops from the ramps and walkways, so it’s important to keep an eye on your younger ones at all times. Older children enjoy the rope swings which are a bit more difficult to access.
His one year old brother enjoys the sandpit just next to the playground, and it’s just about possible to watch him while keeping an eye on the older one. There are places around the sandpit for adults to sit, which is great in the summer, but sometimes in the colder weather the sandpit isn’t open.
The site is completely secure and there are always staff on hand, so older kids can spend time there unsupervised by parents. Samantha Odugwu, who runs the site, is really friendly and helpful but she stresses that the site is open access, i.e. it isn’t a drop-off centre. Children are free to come and go as they please, and the staff aren’t responsible for making sure your child stays on-site.
I’d highly recommend Ladywell Adventure Playground as an alternative to the usual swings and slides for young children that needs to burn energy, but really it’s children aged 8 and over who will get the maximum benefit from all that it offers.
Address: Ladywell Fields Park (middle field), Malyons Road, SE13 7XE
Playground: Oh yes! It’s a super big wooden climbing frame kind of playground, not a swings and slides kind.
Cafe: Yes, one of the cheapest we’ve ever seen – I think it’s 40p for a cup of tea. They sell a limited range of products (noodles, sweets, hot beverages, etc.) but all reasonably priced.
Toilets: Yes, inside the main building (porta cabin).
Pram / wheelchair / mobility friendly: The climbing structure itself is not wheel friendly but there is pram access into the adventure playground and cafe (via a very small step into a porta cabin), although the doors are narrow and may not fit a wheelchair.
Parking: Resident parking only on Malyons Road, but there are three Pay & Display spaces at the Ladywell end of Malyons Road. Alternatively, if you really have to drive, you can park further up Ladywell Road towards Crofton Park / Hilly Fields and walk down.
Train: Ladywell – To get to the playground from Ladywell station, turn right out of the main entrance and left onto Ladywell Road. Then take a left on Malyons Road and walk right to the end of the road. Directly in front of you is the playground: a large wooden structure with rope bridges, ladders, ramps and high walkways.
DLR: Lewisham and then a bus.
Phone: 020 3538 9230 / 07580 777869 (office hours only)
Email: [email protected]
Tuesday to Friday 3.15–7pm
Closed Sunday and Mon day
School holidays: Monday to Friday 11am–6pm
(Holiday opening varies, it’s advisable to contact the site directly for opening times)
Young people aged 8-16 are welcome to come and go as they choose, without charge, once they have completed and returned a registration form.
Under 8s are welcomed but must be accompanied by an adult at all times. As the outdoor structure is very large, it is not recommended to take more than two or three under 8s as the adult will need to be able to watch over all the young people in their care.
Groups can book sessions during term time from 11am-3pm Tuesday to Friday – contact the site manager to make a booking.
Trips are sometimes organised; these may have a fee, depending on the destination, and are generally not for under 8s. Other scheduled activities are also not available to under 8’s.
Review by Lu Element