Crystal Palace Park
- Discover the rich history behind Crystal Palace Park at the Palace Park museum onsite.
- Get your skates on in one of the first skate parks ever built in the UK at the heart of Crystal Palace Park.
- The National Sports Centre within Crystal Palace Park welcomes people of all ages through its doors for some fun indoor exercise activities.
If you’re looking for an outdoor excursion, all the family will enjoy, Crystal Palace Park is the place for you! Built in the 1850's this park was designed with family entertainment in mind. To this day some of the original attractions remain available for modern-day visitors to enjoy, such as the maze and the dinosaur trail, as well as a few new facilities that have opened up since the Victorian era. There are many things to explore in this park; everyone in the family is sure to find something to love.
Step back in time and follow the dinosaur trail at Crystal Palace Park. With original sculptures that were restored from the 1850's, this area of the park was famously loved by the royal family, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were known to frequent this trail. Although the sculptures may not be as accurate of a depiction of dinosaurs as today’s children are used to seeing, they will still enjoy the fun outdoor excursion and meeting the dino friends.
Another great outdoor feature of Crystal Palace Park would be the gigantic maze. Since the 1870's, this large maze has been a source of entertainment and fun for all visitors to the park. The huge diameter of 160 feet makes it one of the largest mazes in the UK, so try not to get lost as you twist and turn your way through the hedgerows.
Not only is the Boating Lake at Crystal Palace Park a stunning piece of natural wildlife but there is also a fun pedalo service that runs during the weekend and school holidays. For a small price, you can pedal across the lovely lake with the family for half an hour, see all the sights and try not to fall into the water!
For a rural experience within the city, look no further than the Crystal Palace Farm. This urban farm is home to animals like goats, rabbits, horses, snakes and lizards and more. Children will love the interaction with nature and getting to learn how a working farm operates. The knowledgeable staff are on hand to answer any queries the curious kids may have as well as teaching them critical constructs about caring for the environment, differences in the seasons and the cycle of life.
Crystal Palace Park is a piece of living history, one of the features of the area that keeps the old stories alive is the Crystal Palace Park Museum. Open on Sundays from 11 am-4 pm this building houses a Crystal Palace exhibition with artefacts from the original site as well as large scale models of the building. These are on view to the public at no extra cost.
For even more activities, why not check out the skate park at Crystal Palace Park? One of the original skate parks built in London, this place held the first major skate competition in the UK in 1977. With a cloverleaf pool and loads of slopes with different angles, this place is perfect for both beginners and experienced riders to test their skills. Whether you like BMX riding, rollerblading, scootering or skateboarding this area of Crystal Palace Park caters for everyone with a need for speed.
If the weather outside is acting up, but you still want to get your exercise in, the Crystal Palace Park has you covered. Home to the National Sports Centre visitors can count on having a place to work out and enjoy themselves regardless of how the weather is. With three swimming pools, an indoor race track, a modern gym with new weight lifting equipment and a soft play area for toddlers, this place is perfect to fit an hour or two of exercise with the kids in your busy modern life.
What to know before you go
- Open from 9am - 5pm daily, the Crystal Palace Park Café is located on site. Designed by the Chris Dyson Architects, this stunning new building has two stories and a terrace which makes for some great afternoon tea in the open air.
- The park is mostly accessible to people with wheelchairs and buggies, with flat paths that guide you through nature.
- There are toilets, including wheelchair-accessible toilets, available for visitors on site.
How to get there
- The Crystal Palace Park is about 8 miles outside of central London. The park opens at 7.30am on weekdays, and 9am on weekends, closing time varies month to month.
- The nearest rail stations are Crystal Palace and Penge West; a few minutes' walk away from the park.
- By bus, the following routes stop nearby the park; 3, 122, 157, 202, 249, 322, 227, 358, 363, 410, 417, 432 and 450.
- If you plan to drive to the park, there is free parking for visitors available within the grounds of Crystal Park.