- Battersea Park is open to visitors, though everyone is reminded to follow COVID-19 government guidelines in order to enjoy it safely. Certain facilities may be closed, have limited capacity or require booking.
- Stretch out on the beautifully-manicured lawns or stroll through the idyllic flowering gardens at Battersea Park. Enjoy a walk around the gorgeous lake and pack a picnic to eat on one of the numerous picnic benches at the water’s edge.
- Let the kids run wild in one of the many adventure playgrounds, or take them to explore the Battersea Park Children’s Zoo, where they can marvel at monkeys, turtles, chameleons and much more.
- Fitness enthusiasts can visit the Millennium Arena, which houses a gym, athletics track, indoor sports fields and 19 tennis courts.
- Get your culture on at the Pump House Gallery, a visual art gallery situated by the lake that hosts exhibitions, workshops, talks, film screenings and other events.
A fine example of a proper Victorian park, Battersea Park is one of the most beautiful green spaces in London. Built between 1854 and 1870 and opened by Queen Victoria herself, the park is situated just south west of Central London on the south bank of the River Thames, and is a little less of a tourist-trap than some of its more central neighbours.
At 200 acres, there’s no shortage of space for kids to run about in, and a host of beautifully-kept gardens and walkways will delight family members of all ages. Take a stroll through the picturesque English Gardens and visit the Peace Pagoda, or take a pleasant riverside walk along the promenade, where you can look out over the city and the impressive Albert Bridge.
But you don’t just have to explore on foot; head to the boating lake in the park's south-west corner to hire a pedalo or rowing boat and enjoy a fun-filled family afternoon on the water. Or rent trikes, bicycles, tandems or recumbent bikes from London Recumbents (located near the Peace Pagoda) and zoom along the tree-lined lanes.
If the kids want to blow off some steam, there are numerous playgrounds to keep them entertained. Make sure to check out the state-of-the-art adventure playground in the south-west corner of the park, as well as the neighbouring play area. With three playgrounds to choose from, there’s something for kids of all ages at Battersea Park.
Aside from the beautiful landscape, Battersea Park is home to a vast array of attractions and amenities. Don’t miss Battersea Park Children’s Zoo, a smaller zoo especially good for younger kids that boasts otters, meerkats, monkeys and emus. Don’t forget to check out the live feedings, where you can learn a little something about these fascinating creatures and their habits!
Catch a show at the pretty Victorian bandstand, which hosts free live music and other community events throughout the year. Visit the miniature golf course, Putt in the Park, or, if you fancy something a little more hair-raising, swing your way through the treetop adventure trail at Go Ape Battersea Park, one of the adventure company’s most accessible UK locations.
If you’re in the market for a little culture, there’s tons on offer at the Pump House Gallery, originally a Victorian water tower, now Battersea Park’s beautiful lakeside cultural centre. The gallery displays a rotating selection of contemporary visual arts for you to enjoy.
And if that’s not enough, Battersea Power Station is just next door! Pop by for a coffee or a bite to eat at one of its trendy eateries or cafes, or check the event schedule for a whole host of cultural delights.
What to know before you go
- Park toilets will be regularly cleaned and staff will be on hand to supervise social distancing if crowds build up. Hand sanitiser/hand soap will be available. Face coverings will be required in the zoo gift shop and takeaway cafe and extra hand sanitising stations will be provided. Live keeper talks have been suspended at the zoo, but virtual talks will be made available via QR codes at multiple exhibits.
- Battersea Park is open 8am - dusk, with the gates open from 6.30am - 10.30pm for facilities access.
- Battersea Park Zoo is open 10am - 5.30pm (4.30pm in autumn and winter). Entrance costs £9.95 for adults and £7.95 for children. A family ticket is £32.50.
- Seeking refreshment? Kick back with a coffee at the pretty lake-side Pear Tree Cafe (open 8am - 10pm), which serves brunch, lunch, pizza, coffee and alcohol, and runs a BBQ station in the summer months. Or, if you’re looking for something to grab on the go, there are kiosks available by the playgrounds and the fountains.
- There are toilets by the zoo, fountains and Sun Gate; accessible toilets and baby changing facilities are available.
- There is a mother and baby feeding room within the zoo.
- Much of the park is made up of paved walkways and is therefore accessible to wheelchairs and buggies. The zoo is fully accessible.
- The main entrance for pedestrians is at Albert Bridge Road, Prince of Wales Drive and Queenstown Road (SW11 4NJ).
- The vehicle entrances are at Albert Bridge Road, Queenstown Road and Queenstown Circus.
- Off-street Battersea Park parking is located at Albert Gate (on the west side of the park), Rosary Gate (south side) and Chelsea Gate (east side). Parking charges start at £2.70 for one hour and rise to a £25 flat fee for more than six hours. Prices differ depending on the day of the week.
- The park is accessible via overground and railway (stops: Battersea Park Station, Queenstown Road Railway Station), and its closest Tube stations are South Kensington (Piccadilly, Circle and District lines) or Sloane Square (District and Circle lines), which are within about a 20 minute-walk (Victoria and Pimlico are also nearby).
- Alternatively, you can take the 137 or 452 buses from Sloane Square.
- Please follow the latest government guidelines if travelling by public transport.
- The entrance to Battersea Park Children’s Zoo is located by the Peace Pagoda, which is by the river (closest entrance gate: Chelsea Gate). Sloane Square is the closest Tube stop.
Images © Battersea Park, Battersea Park Children's Zoo and Frederick Tubiermon, under a Creative Commons license.