This commemorative play area is easily the best bit of Kensington Gardens for a child. The popular playground for kids aged up to 12 now includes a sea monster sculpture, giant swing, turtle drum, storyteller's chair and tree carving by Daniel Cordell. Created in 2000, the area's main attraction is still the vast wooden pirate ship sailing a sea of sand. When children tire of competing for control of the ship's wheel and escapades involving cabins, pulleys and ropes there is a trio of tepees and a tree-house encampment with walkways, ladders, slides and ‘tree phones’ to provide inspiration for other imaginative games, and delightful play-sculptures hidden among the greenery that makes the place a treat for adults, too.
The provision of loos, nappy-changing facilities and a café makes this a place where it's easy to hang out for hours. Time your visit carefully as the playground can get very busy at the weekend if the weather's fine.
The area’s connection with Peter Pan creator JM Barrie is remembered in scenes from the story, etched into the glass in the Home Under the Ground. Many of the playground’s attractions appeal to the senses (scented shrubs, whispering willows and bamboo are planted throughout), and much of the equipment has been designed for use by children with special needs, including those in wheelchairs. There’s also plenty of seating for parents, and unaccompanied adults aren’t allowed in. A programme of free entertainment includes visits by clowns and storytelling sessions; check the website for details.