It’s free! It opens at 10am and closes any time between 3.45pm and 7.45pm, depending on sunset. Check their website for times. There can be queues of up to one hour on sunny days. Also, they don’t allow adults in without a child to accompany them. They take that seriously, a gate attendant weeds out the potential baddies from the grandparents, parents and carers. If you plan to nip out of the park, without a child next to you, let them know.
MUMMY’S GIN FUND SAYS:
It’s a great place to meet grandparents or people from other parts of London/the world. You can take a wander around the park or check-out the memorial fountain if you have time. We saw Hugh Grant leaving the playground, so based on that experience I can say you’ll definitely see a celebrity. And there’s a really cool tree, the Elfin Oak, outside the main gate with little fairies carved into it. It was done in the 1930s but fell into disrepair before Catford’s finest, Spike Milligan, raised money for its restoration in 1997. We didn’t have to queue, but the Elfin Oak and cafe should keep kids amused if you do have to wait.
Address: Broad Walk, Kensington Gardens, London. Near Queensway tube.
(Kensington Gardens adjoins Hyde Park, to the West. It should really be called The Western Bit of Hyde Park)
Playground: A large pirate ship, afloat on a sea of sand, is the majestic centrepiece of Diana’s Memorial Playground. Around that there are nooks and crannies, wooden walkways, treasure chests, teepees, chimes, slides, all sorts. There’s plenty to explore, plus the layout and capacity means it shouldn’t feel too crowded.
Cafe: Yes, just by the entrance to the playground. They do snacks, pizzas, salads and fair trade tea and coffee. Coffee was under £3, but we didn’t actually eat there (we wandered up to a pizza express in Whiteleys Shopping Centre).
Toilets: Yes, there’s a disabled loo and baby-changing.
Pram / wheelchair / mobility friendly: Yes. And there are really nice sensory areas with people with disabilities in mind- smelly plants and noisy instruments.
Nearest Station: Queensway is nearest (Central Line). Bayswater (CIrcle and District) is very near too, less than 5 minutes.
Bus: Many buses pass by the park. See website for more details: www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/kensington-gardens/visitor-information/opening-times-and-getting-here
Phone: 0300 061 2001
History – It was erected in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales on the site of an old Peter Pan’s playground from JM Barrie’s day. The piratical theme is a legacy of that park.
Review by Melanie Towers