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Please be aware of government guidelines before setting off.Government Guidelines
Cannizaro Park is a 35-acre, Grade II-listed park in Wimbledon, London, and is much loved by the local community. It’s situated just off Westside Wimbledon Common, in the borough of Merton. The park’s history dates back to Duke of Cannizaro’s Estate and Cannizaro House, and it became a public park when Merton Borough Council adopted it in 1949.
The park is home to some rare and unique plants found in the park, which is what gave it its Grade II status. It has some superb trees and shrubs, which are attractive to everyone from horticulturalists and gardeners to families and children alike, especially if you want to have a picnic or enjoy some peace and quiet in the secluded areas of the park, of which there are many. These include the Sunken Garden, Herb Garden, Azalea Dell, Water Garden, Italian Garden, Mediterranean Garden and the Rose Garden. These open spaces are perfect for opening your senses up to a sweet paradise of picturesque beauty.
Cannizaro Park offers man-made sites too, home to sculptures and statues, and most famously, a stone bust of the Emperor Haile Selassie, who took refuge in Wimbledon once during his exile. See if you can spot all of these with the littles ones!
There is a hotel on site, called the Hotel du Vin Wimbledon, near the famous Wimbledon tennis courts. This 19th-entury house has been sensitively refurbished and still holds its historic charm. The hotel's eatery, Bistro du Vin, is one of many great restaurants in Wimbledon village. They are said to do one of the best Christmas lunches, so be sure to check it out.
Other festivities on offer at Cannizaro Park are Christmas carols. In fact, the atmosphere at Christmas time is nothing short of magic, where kids can play in all the open space, maybe even make snowballs if the weather permits, and enjoy some festive tunes with a hot drink from the café or restaurant.
You definitely don’t want to miss out on the open-air theatre, where every year theatre companies tour to give the best and most entertaining performances, like Mayhem Theatre Company returning for its ninth year to perform a medley of Shakespeare’s classics. For more cultural events, Wimbledon’s Cannizaro Art Festival, since 1989, takes place in summer at the grounds of the Italian Garden and is great for families.
The Friends of Cannizaro Park, a registered charity, offer events too, like family yoga and other fitness classes that offer a fantastic way to introduce yoga to the little ones and foster meditation, calmness and relaxation.
If you want something informative and educational, yet still fun, there are park walks, which are conducted by experts who will give you the lowdown on the specimen trees, flora and fauna, plus a some information on the birds and other wildlife in the park. For this, you could give the little ones little games and challenges to add some more excitement.
The park also offers downloadable guides that tell you about the insects, birds and mammals that inhabit the park. There is an aviary too that was built in 1976, which is popular for children. It does not have birds in it as they are bred in captivity to protect them, but it is still a beautiful structure, and definitely one worth taking some photos of.
Please follow the latest government guidelines if travelling by public transport.Government Guidelines