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. Much of the equipment has been designed for use by children with special needs, including those in wheelchairs.
The provision of loos, nappy-changing facilities and a café makes this a place where it's easy to hang out for hours. 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. Time your visit carefully as the playground can get very busy at the weekend if the weather's fine.