Author: Bob Handford
The memorial to Princess Diana that gets all the attention is the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, a rather conceptual affair dreamt up by a committee of the great and good. You can’t help thinking that this more practical children’s playground is more in tune with what Princess Diana herself would have wanted. The Princess Diana Playground is only 10 minutes walk from the fountain through Kensington Gardens/Hyde Park and is signed so you can easly compare the two.
Important : The memorial playground is not a standard tourist attraction. It is for kids under 12. Although free to get in, it is through a secure barrier. Unless you have small kids it is unlikely you will be allowed in. The play area is supervised, anyone taking photographs may well be challenged of their intent and asked to leave if a satisfacory reply is not given.
If you’re visiting London with small kids this is a great place to take a break. Over 750,000 children enjoy this free playground each year. Kids play, explore and dash about. There is a sensory trail, teepees, a beach around the pirate ship at the centre of the park and various toys and play sculptures; all set against a lush backdrop of trees and plants. There’s plenty of seating so the grownups can relax with their kids in a secure environment, plus of course toilets and somewhere to grab something to eat.
Logistics of Visiting The Princess Diana Memorial Playground
The Princess Diana Memorial Playground is at the north-west corner of Kensington Gardens/Hyde Park two parks that seamlessly are joined together. The playground is directly opposite Queensway Underground Station, a few yards inside the park gates. Kensington Plalace is only a couple of hundred yards furher into Kensington Gardens.
The playground is open daily at 10 a.m. Closing time changes according to time of year but is broadly around an hour before sunset, 7:45 p.m in the summer months.