You’ll find some fantastic South West London areas great for families looking for easy access to green space. From wild deer in Richmond upon Thames to meerkats in Battersea Park and from manicured Kew Gardens to a Tudor Playground in Hampton Court there is something for everyone in SW!
Things to do in South West London with Kids
The south-facing side of the River Thames is home to the SW district in London. The area is home to some of the country’s most luxurious and expensive residences, with some of the most desirable entertainment and shopping options in the capital. South West London is ideally located between Central London and the Surrey countryside that offers residents the best in city life, with an idyllic rural retreat right at your doorstep.
In Richmond upon Thames, you’ll find Richmond Park with natural woodland and herds of deer. Battersea Park offers a range of activities for kids, including a Zoo tailored to the youngest kids. A little further West, you can enjoy the perfectly manicured Kew Gardens, with its beautiful Children’s Garden playground.
If you want to motivate your kids to learn more about the Tudors, a visit to Hampton Court goes a long way. The castle comes alive with actors performing historical dramas during weekends and holidays.
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Family-Friendly Areas in South West London
According to an article by PNAS, high levels of life satisfaction is clustered in South West London in areas like Richmond upon Thames. That might not be a surprise, considering the high quality of life and the number of green areas available.
Kingston upon Thames
Kingston upon Thames feels like a town in its own right. It’s on the river and has a good historic atmosphere. It’s for you if you want to get off the beaten path.
Tudor Magic at Hampton Court
Hampton Court Palace is a fantastic place for children to get inspired to learn more about Tudor History. We love the events organised by Historic Royal Palaces, making the palace history come alive and making it so much more interesting for visitors. Right next to the palace you can enjoy the Magic Garden, which is one of our favourite playgrounds in South West London, complete with towers and turrets. Keep in mind that the queues can get long during weekends and holidays and that you only get 90 minutes slots during busy times.
So much to choose from in Battersea
Few areas in London are as family-friendly as Battersea. Battersea Park is flat and traffic-free with a circular 2 km cycling path which is a great starting point for kids just starting to learn to cycle or skate. Here you’ll also find a children’s zoo with adorable animals like meerkats and lemurs and if you’re up for a challenge, you can try out the Go Ape treetop challenge. For a unique animal experience, Battersea Dogs Home just next to the park is open for visitors but be warned: The cats and dogs are heartbreakingly adorable, and it will be hard to leave without adopting one.
Kew Gardens: A South West London Classic
Kew Garden is the perfect place for children to learn about plants and nature. Included in the ticket price is the Children’s Garden which is just simply magnificent. Not only is the garden beautiful to look at, but they have been able to integrate the play elements into natural surroundings letting kids explore and play in a safe environment.
Richmond upon Thames
Richmond is an upscale area with lots of shops, riverside pubs, and green spaces. It’s the perfect spot if you like exploring side streets and walking along the river.
Getting close to wildlife at Richmond Park
Besides a few planes crossing the sky, Richmond Park is just about big enough to get the feeling of having escaped the city. In reality, you’re still in London, but that doesn’t really matter when you can enjoy the sight of wild deer herds grazing in the woodlands. Richmond Park is also great for family cycling; as good as traffic-free you can follow a safe circular path around the park which is just perfect for the youngest cyclists. Bushy Park further west in Hampton is another great choice to watch wild deer in their natural surroundings.
Wimbledon is best known for tennis, but the village is worth a trip at any time of year. It’s perfect if you like a good high street, pubs, and green space.
To enjoy some cute farm animals, Dean City Farm in Wimbledon is free to enter with a small fee for pony rides and animal feeding. Check out our map of London’s city farms to explore more of the city’s awesome farm animals.
Vauxhall is transforming faster than almost any other London neighbourhood. It has unique cafes and nightlife, as well as a hidden lavender garden. It’s good if you want to stay central and explore a rapidly evolving area.