Why You Need To Visit London Victoria Park This Summer!
London Victoria Park is situated in the London borough of Tower Hamlets and is the boroughs largest park and one of the city’s most visited parks, with over 9 million visitors a year! Here’s why you should be the next!
Victoria Park, also known as ‘Vicky Park’ or ‘the people’s park’, is split into an East and West Park. The park’s 218-acre land is free entry and is never short of things to do and see. Here are our top 9 things to do in Victoria Park this summer:
1. London Victoria Park Lake
Located in the West Park, of which the western area is dominated by London Victoria Park lake, a shallow lake loved by humans and ducks alike with an impressive fountain and three islands. The lake is also home to two Erno Bartha sculptures, works entitled ‘Bird’ and ‘Skyscraper’. They were commissioned by the Romanian Cultural Institute with the support of the Tower Hamlets Council. The lake has available pedalos for hire in the summer months for only £1!!
2. Pavilion Cafe
Also located in the West Park, the beautiful waterfront park pavilion serves organic produce breakfasts, lunch specials and sandwiches with a side of a perfect view and atmosphere!
3. Adventure playground and Splash Pool
Calling all parents and children as we move on to East Park. Immediately it’s blatant that the focal point of the east park is an enormous adventure playground for children. It has everything: three long slides to keep a variety for the youngsters, large climbing frames joined by a rope bridge, a fair few swings and smaller slides; and a large sandpit filled with mechanical diggers and other fun and engaging contraptions. And adjacent to such a fun-pact playground, you’ll find the Victoria Park Splash Pool which is only open from May – September.
4. The Hub Cafe
Yes, the park is so huge it has a cafe on each side. The Hub is the cafe at the heart of East Park, neighbour to the children’s playground, skate park and splash pool area. The Hub is a family-friendly, dog-friendly, community-friendly establishment – an authentic that brings together locals and visitors giving them a welcoming place to Eat, Play and Smile. The quaint cafe is run by two local mums, The Hub serves healthy homemade food at reasonable prices, with grab-and-go options available too, quality Italian coffee and a selection of cakes and pastries are available. Even housing a small situated play area with toys and books to cater to younger kids. There’s plenty of indoor and outdoor seating making The Hub a great place to enjoy a coffee or lunch at London Victoria Park, come rain or shine!
5. The English Garden
Originally laid out in 1916, Victoria Park’s The Old English Garden had become unloved and therefore untouched and left in its ruin. However, in 2012, a National Lottery grant allowed it to be re-planted and laid out once again for the public to see and admire. The Garden contains an interior parterre, which includes water features, benches and self-sustaining and sun-loving plants, and an outer border planting using the original 1930s arts and crafts design and a specimen tree and large hedge planting. Specimens residing in the garden include Lady’s mantle, Columbine, Deer Fern, Yellow Day Lily and Woodland Sage. It is a wonderful place to simply sit and bask in the sun or perhaps read a book.
It’s no surprise the park has its own Bandstand, which is home to a series of Sunday afternoon performances by rising local bands each year, it is located on the east side, found near to the Grove Road entrance. Performances usually run from around June to September, starting roughly around midday till the band decides to stop. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to see some local talent or perhaps even performing yourself!
7. Angling Lake
The second mention of a lake is hardly shocking at this point, located in the East Park, the Angling Lake is a local favourite especially amongst anglers if that wasn’t already apparent by the name. The small lake situated behind the adventure playground, complete with fishing platforms and stocked with bream, common carp, eels, perch, pike and roaches, is definitely the place to be if you like to fish!
8. Burdett Coutts Drinking Fountain
A drinking fountain in most cases aren’t anything worth noting but hear us out. The grand London Victoria Park Drinking Fountain, located in the centre of the East Park was designed in 1862 by Henry Astley Darbishire for philanthropist Angela Burdett Coutts. The elaborate fountain cost a whopping £6,000 to build and in 1862 that was worth about £500,000 in today’s value. However, the purpose of the fountain has definitely changed over the last couple of years as the pink marble and granite Fountain was used to dispense clean drinking water to London’s poor – who often drank from the nearby lakes. Today it is no longer an active drinking fountain but it is surrounded by benches and is surprisingly a popular spot for wedding photographs!
9. Festivals and Events
Each year (Pre- covid) Victoria Park holds a number of events, from the All points East Festival to the 10 kilometre run each August for the British Heart Foundation. The London Victoria Park now also hosts a Farmer’s market every Sunday between 10am and 3pm. With up to 50 stalls offering a variety of products and produce, such as seasonal fruit and vegetables, locally baked bread and freshly caught fish. The market has proved popular since it opened in June 2017. Nothing beats a good coffee and ice cream in plentiful supply and live jazz music creates a relaxed vibe. And we can’t forget to mention the annual fireworks. The extremely professional show lasts for about 25 minutes and is accompanied by the latest tunes. The event is funded by the council events team and each year has a theme, 2018 saw a Frankenstein theme. Dates for 2021 TBA. The park’s events and activities surely should be enough to keep you entertained this summer!