Despite the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground being open for over 20 years, we only made our first visit on a little break to London in the summer holidays. We only had ten minutes to spare, before our booking to Kensington Palace, but we promised the children we’d go back as soon as we could. At that time came at the start of September.
What is the Princess Diana Memorial Playground?
The Diana Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens is just a stone’s throw from both Hyde Park and Kensington Palace, Princess Diana’s former home. The playground was built as a really fitting tribute to the late Princess who always cherished the innocence of childhood.
The playground’s location, in Kensington Gardens, puts it on the The Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk. This is a seven mile walk, marked by 90 plaques set in the ground, that takes you past famous buildings and locations associated with the Princess during her life.
This includes places like Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, St James’s Palace and Spencer House, making the playground a great stop off point if you walk the trail too.
How do you get to the Diana Memorial Playground?
The playground is completely free and open all year round. It’s easily accessible by public transport and just a short walk from the nearest tube station, Notting Hill Gate underground station. There’s also car parking just outside the garden gates and plenty of bus routes nearby too.
The children love the playground – and it’s one of the nicest we’ve been to. The playground is inspired by Peter Pan and is absolutely huge, gated with staff manning the entrance and I think the presence of staff helps the playground to stay really clean and well maintained. It’s a really nice place to spend time.
The playground has so many activities, with the central part being a huge wooden pirate ship – complete with crow’s nest you can climb up to the top of. This was Little Man’s favourite part, with him climbing all the way up at least half a dozen times!
There are also swings, a sensory trail, teepees, play sculptures and just so many things to climb on and explore. The whole area is surrounded by trees and bushes, making it feel like such an adventure as well as a really peaceful space to play.
Are refreshments available at the playground?
At the entrance to the playground there’s the Broad Walk Cafe where you can buy everything from stone baked pizza to ice cream and soft drinks. There’s plenty of seating outside the cafe as well as dotted around the playground – and you’re allowed to take food and drinks inside with you too.
Most importantly, there are toilets just by the entrance to the playground so you don’t have to worry about taking the kids to the other side of the park when they need the toilet. Everything has been so well thought out, making it a really lovely place to spend time as a family.
We all really love the Diana Playground and know we’ll go back often on our trips to London. It does get busy – as you’d expect with such a lovely play area – so make sure you try to visit either early or late in the day.
You can find out more about the playground over on the Royal Parks website and for reference, the address is: Kensington Gardens, Broad Walk, London W2 4RU. You can also see more suggestions of free play areas in London here.