The Diana Playground is located just next to Princess Diana’s former London home, Kensington Palace. This is perhaps the most prestigious playground in the British capital. We’ll tell you more about what to look forward to and what to look out for in our review.
The centrepiece of the park is a massive pirate ship surrounded by a sand and water play area. Inspired by Peter Pan, this is a dream come true for kids getting to climb and explore an abandoned ship. This is also the busiest part of the park where most families end up. The ship and surrounding area is designed cleverly, giving older kids a challenge climbing the ropes and masts, younger kids on the main deck, while toddlers and babies can play in peace on the sandy beach. This works pretty well, but when it gets crowded children must be properly looked after to avoid injuries, especially when older kids, toddlers and babies mix up.
Besides the pirate ship
The different areas are divided by hedges and bushes, which is one way is good because families with toddlers and babies get shielded without the risk of being run over by older kids. The downside is that you need to be on the alert since it’s very easy to lose track of your child exploring different areas (read: running away). Some of the vegetation seemed overgrown, so definitely room to make the grounds more open while still keeping the separation.
A few of the areas also seemed to be in a need of an upgrade such as the Indian teepees that we didn’t find engaging, as well as some of the play sculptures that needed maintenance.
Is the Diana Playground worth a visit?
All in all Diana Memorial Playground is fabulous when not crowded. Families with young kids might want to avoid the area around the pirate ship at the busiest times, but other than that it’s a great free offer smack in the centre of London.
If you are a tourist planning a trip to London I wouldn’t necessarily prioritise this playground over other London sights. However, it does offer a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the city, especially for younger kids fed up with sitting in a pushchair.
The park is staffed and will restrict access when reaching full capacity. From the Royal Parks Website:
Admission and queue management at the Diana Playground
To ensure the safety and security of children, only adults supervising children up to the age of 12 will be admitted.
Children should not be allowed to enter or leave the playground without an adult carer.
On busy days when playground reaches full capacity, queue management will be in place. This is dictated by Health and Safety reasons.
On warm, sunny days the queue can start as early as 10:30 am and last until the last admission time.
Waiting times can range between 15 minutes up to one hour
Getting to the Diana Playground
Address: Kensington Gardens, Kensington, Greater London, W2 2UH, England
Web: Royal Parks webpage