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10 Best Free Parks for Kids in London

30 December 2022

Whether living in a big city or visiting with children, it is important to be able to find a good open space where they can play raucously and enjoy themselves safely. London is very well-served with parks and wide-open green spaces where kids can enjoy some freedom to express themselves, and hopefully use up some of their seemingly endless reserves of energy. We have listed 10 of the best free parks for kids in London below. 

Hyde Park

One of the best known parks on the list, Hyde Park is one of the most popular parks in London. It is a beautiful setting with open spaces for the kids to run wild and Speakers’ Corner, where anyone can come and speak on the subject of their choice. Fun fact: the statue of Achilles, which stands proudly in the park, was actually erected to commemorate the victories of Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington.  

Battersea Park

Battersea Park, which was opened by Queen Victoria in 1858, is full of interesting things to see and do. There is a boating lake, duck pond, running track and bike hire as well as the wonderful Battersea Zoo, though this does have an entry charge. The Peace Pergola is one of the most iconic places within the park and symbolises the commitment to peace between Japan and the rest of the world, following the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the second world war. 

Kensington Gardens

The home of the royal residence of Kensington Palace, this park is free to enter but to enter the palace itself does have a cost attached. The park extends to the border of Hyde Park and covers an impressive 107 hectares. Along with some of the other parks and gardens, it is said to provide the “green lung” of London. There are many attractions at Kensington Gardens including a bronze statue of Peter Pan and the Princess Diana Memorial Playground.

Hampstead Heath

Hampstead Heath feels a lot wilder than most of the inner-city parks and gardens, less carefully manicured and more rugged. You can lose yourself in nature and almost forget the proximity of city life for a while. If your kids are into climbing trees and being a bit on the wild side, this is definitely a park for them.  

Richmond Park

Boasting the largest Site of Special Scientific Interest in the city, Richmond Park is home to large herds of red and fallow deer which you can admire. The park covers a huge area with heathland, grassland, formal plantations and ponds, although young children may find it a challenging walk. It is definitely well worth a visit and the kids will fawn over the deer and varied wildlife. Just make sure to give the deer plenty of space, especially in autumn when the stags are rutting.

Regent’s Park

This popular tourist spot is one of the Royal Parks in London and contains trees, parkland, an ornamental lake where you can hire a pedalo or rowing boat, and also the world famous London Zoo. There are also other attractions including Queen Mary’s Garden, which is a treat for the senses in the summer months when the 12,000 roses are in bloom. Primrose Hill, which affords spectacular views over the city, is also within the confines of Regent’s Park. 

St James’s Park

This park is right next to some of the busiest attractions in London including Buckingham Palace, the Horse Guards Parade and the Palace of Westminster and is a welcome respite from the bustle of those places. Fun fact: There are pelicans in St James’s Park and there have been for around 400 years. 

Victoria Park

A popular location for all the family on a sunny day, Victoria Park has lovely canals and ponds and is a very picturesque spot to spend a few hours with a picnic. There are also fountains, statues, tennis courts and sports facilities. Fun fact: Victoria Park is the city’s oldest purpose-built public park, having opened to the public in 1845. 

Holland Park

This park covers around 54 acres and is situated in the Kensington area of the city. There are squirrels and peacocks roaming the park and there is a children’s playpark, giant chess set and tennis courts as well as two stunning Japanese Gardens, with a koi carp pond and stepping stones.

Greenwich Park

As well as being home to the Royal Observatory and the famous Meridian Line, Greenwich Park boasts some truly breathtaking views across the city and is home to a deer park, with red and fallow deer free to roam within the confines of “the Wilderness”.

Want to get close up with some animals? Check out our list of the top 5 zoos, top 5 city farms and best places to see ducks in London.

Looking for playgrounds? Check out our list of the top playgrounds in London parks.

Here's more ideas to entertain kids at the park.

Photo by Aleksandr Chalikov on Unsplash

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