Day Out – Burgess Park, London with Children

In London it’s easy to visit the famous parks and gardens and neglect some lesser known green gems that are a little bit off the beaten track and spot on for kids.

As we have relatives in the Elephant & Castle I was assured there was a great park nearby – if I’m honest I didn’t believe my mother in law as we pushed the buggy through a highly built up area past a dual carriageway.  But she was right.

She’d taken us to Burgess Park in the south east of London.  At over 50 acres it’s Southwark’s largest park.  It was a highly populated area full of factories and buzz but was badly bombed in WW2 so a park has slowly been built by reclaiming land over the years.  It was in part funded by the Abercrombie Plan, an optimistic post war goal to regenerate London, and it recently received a makeover and reopened in 2012 after £8 million pounds worth of restoration and investment so it’s worth a visit.

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When we arrived we walked past the lakes with large 30ft water fountains spraying jets into the sky as joggers and roller booters whizzed past the buggy and we soon reached the walled Chumleigh Gardens, one of three listed buildings in the park.  The gardens are said to reflect traditional English, Islamic, Caribbean, Oriental and Mediterranean planting but to me it just looked colourful, lush and rich.

The other listed buildings include a lime kiln, where coal and limestone were brought along the Grand Surrey canal and burnt to create quicklime, and the old library, baths and wash house which are currently used by the church and amateur boxing clubs.  There’s a fab online heritage trail you can explore making this park a rich find for social history buffs as well as hyper active toddlers.

We visited one of the three new playgrounds available, one for under 5s, one for over 5s and an area for 8-16 year olds including BMX ramps and slightly cooler stuff for the long suffering teenager.  Handily situated right next to the play parks is the Park Life Cafe with lots of outdoor seating if you get a cracking day like we did.

There’s also toilet facilities, free parking, a tennis centre, sports centre, Bar B Q zones and fishing on the lake.

On the walk back to the Elephant & Castle there are lots of independently owned small international shops so I ended up trotting home clutching bagfuls of ridiculously indulgent Polish cakes for after lunch.  Now that’s how you wrap up a walk to the park.

Additional Info – the nearest tube is the Elephant & Castle and the park is a 20-25 minute walk from there.

 

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11 Comments

  1. Reply

    joylovestravel

    April 10, 2016

    It definitely looks like a fabulous park – love the pictures. Great too that they have playgrounds to cater for different age groups.

  2. Reply

    Rashminotes

    April 10, 2016

    Looks beautiful!

  3. Reply

    bavariansojourn

    April 12, 2016

    It looks really beautiful. I lived and worked in London for years and have no idea this place existed! 🙂

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      April 13, 2016

      Visiting relatives always takes you to local places slightly off the predictable tourist track. All good!

  4. Reply

    Tanja

    April 12, 2016

    lovely park! #city tripping

  5. Reply

    Wander Mum

    April 12, 2016

    Yet another place in London I had no clue about! It’s certainly got an interesting background. What a lot of open space to explore and tons for children of all ages to do. And of course, the cafe with outdoor seating sounds spot on! Thanks for sharing on #citytripping

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      April 13, 2016

      I know. I confess I doubted my poor mother in law when she promised there was a park nearby with all these facilities but she was spot on. Relatives always take you a little off the predictable tourist trail which is always a bonus.

      • Reply

        Wander Mum

        April 13, 2016

        Oh definitely! Great find.

  6. Reply

    MummyTravels

    April 12, 2016

    I have lived in London for around 15 years and been visiting for longer yet I’ve never heard of this park. What a gorgeous place. Thanks for joining up with #citytripping

    • Reply

      tots2travel

      April 13, 2016

      That’s it. Wherever you go if you know a local with local knowledge you’ll discover little gems that otherwise would definitely pass you by. It also helped that the sun was splitting the sky.

  7. Reply

    Corinne

    April 13, 2016

    This looks like a lovely day out. It’s cool how there’s different parks for different aged kids!

    Corinne x

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