Play fountains in London

Make a splash in these cooling public fountains in London

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© Scott Wishart

In summer, the capital is sprinkled with water features that invite everyone to dive right in. Pack a picnic and spare set of clothes and get set to cool down in these refreshing jets.

Granary Square Fountains

This impressive courtyard offers a lovely escape from the bustle of King's Cross, and its expanse of playful fountains are just the thing for a hot day.

  1. off Goods Way, N1C 4AA
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Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain

Located in Kensington Gardens near the ever-popular Diana Playground, the fountain takes the form of a shallow stone ring of trickling water that's perfect for paddling. For more a more adventurous dip, there's also the children's section in the Serpentine Lido.

  1. Nr Black Lion Gate, Broad Walk, W2 2UH
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Edmond J Safra Fountain Court at Somerset House

Children never tire of running through the choreographed fountains – 55 of them – which erupt in the impressive courtyard at Somerset House from spring to autumn.

  1. Strand, WC2R 1LA
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Tumbling Bay Playground Fountains, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Opened to the public in April 2014, the new children's playground on the southern side of the park is a truly awesome-looking area, packing in play fountains and water pumps, swings, slides, stepping stones, sand play, and a big treehouse with rope walkways. Energetic kids will spend hours here. Exhausted adults will find it conveniently close to the outdoor tables at the Timber Lodge café.

  1. E20 2ST
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Appearing Rooms

  • Free

Back for another year (it first appeared in 2007), Jeppe Hein's interactive fountain is a refreshing addition to summer at Southbank Centre; find it outside the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Walls of water rise and fall randomly to create a series of constantly changing 'rooms', challenging visitors to keep their wits about them if they don't want to get soaked (unless they're kids, of course, in which case the aim will obviously be to get as wet as possible). Making a day of it on the South Bank in summer 2014 is as easy as pie – other free family attractions include the Festival of Love urban beach and the Sliding Gate giant slides. Find more play fountains in London

  1. Southbank Centre Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX
  2. Wed Jul 23 - Sun Sep 7
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John Madjeski Garden Fountains

The V&A's Italianate courtyard is home to a beautiful lake fringed with water jets. The oval shaped central water feature is surrounded by shallow steps which are perfect for little feet, and fragrant lemon trees fringe the garden lending an extra sensory dimension to the elegant space.

  1. Cromwell Rd, SW7 2RL
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Royal Academy of Arts Fountains

The nozzles of the courtyard fountain are laid out to match the position of the stars and planets on the night in 1723 when Sir Joshua Reynolds, artist and RA Founding President, was born.

  1. Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD
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The Scoop Fountains

The king of alfresco venues, The Scoop amphitheatre has it all: a riverside location, a seasonal fountain that delights kids with its gentle water jets and enough space for 800 picnicking people. Look out for summer events happening as part of the More London Free Festival.

  1. More London Riverside, between London Bridge and Tower Bridge, SE1 2DB
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Russell Square Gardens Fountain

This pretty garden square near the British Museum has a fountain at its centre that's just perfect for dashing through.

  1. WC1B 4JA
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Splash Playground by The Hub, Victoria Park

The Hub Playground, on the east side of the park, is equipped with a fantastically designed fountain featuring gently undulating hills, water jets and giant slides. It's open during the summer months, see the Tower Hamlets Council site for times. There's more water play in the V&A Playground on the west side of the park near Grove Road, which has toddler-friendly water pumps and a sandpit.

  1. Victoria Park Rd, E3 5SN
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Hyde Park's Joy of Life Fountain

The Joy of Life Fountain, next to Aldford Street North Gate, alongside Park Lane, is a popular spot for splashing around in when the weather heats up.

  1. W2 4RU
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Users say

1 comments
Peter Jay
Peter Jay

Actually the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain is in Hyde Park, not Kensington Gardens and isn't particularly near the Diana Playground.

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