Days Out – Battersea Park

18 Sep

As a North-Londoner it takes a lot to persuade me to venture as far south as Battersea Park. But having visited there a lot recently as part of the volunteering work that I do for Charity Chance UK (www.chanceuk.com) it has definitely become a park that I would recommend. Here is a run-down of my favourite activities that can be done there:

1) Battersea Park Children’s Zoo (www.batterseaparkzoo.co.uk)

This is one of my favourite activities for children in London. The entrance fee if much cheaper than London Zoo as it costs around £8 for adults and £6 for children. The zoo is small, but filled with exotic creatures from friendly meerkats to angry ostriches. There are plenty of opportunities for children to pet the animals also. Added to this an array of play area are spread throughout the zoo to make this a fun day out. It has mini diggers and a full size fire engine, and all of this is included in the entry cost. The zoo is definitely worth a visit, even for adults as you can get very close to the animals and it doesn’t have that ‘touristy’ vibe that can be felt at London Zoo.

Verdict: 9 / 10

Children’s Zoo

 

2) Recumbent Cycling

Daisy daisy, give me your answer do…!  Battersea Park is well known for its tandem bicycles to hire, but I recently tested out its very modern recumbent cycles. (http://londonrecumbents.com/bikes_we_hire.html) These bikes are great exercise, and great fun, you are low down to the ground so do not feel afraid to test your need for speed, and you can look up and watch the clouds roll by. With adult and children’s sizes they are perfect for racing! The only downside is the price; it is £10 for an adult to hire a bike for an hour, and £8 for a child.

Verdict: fun factor 10 / 10 value for money 3 / 10

Recumbent Cycling

 

3) The Boating Lake
Let me tell you now, the rowing boats on Battersea Park may seem like the way to spend an idyllic summer’s afternoon. However fast forward ten minutes, and you will see the flaw in this plan. The boats are HUGE. Difficult to steer and the oars have really wobbly fittings. I was stuck on this lake in the midday sun, sweat dripping into my eyes – that is right blindness did not make the steering any easier – with the little girl I mentor shouting, let’s go faster! We never did go faster, and we never made it around the lake. We actually went so slowly that we attracted a whole flock of birds to the edge which was a great treat. Not to be defeated we went back the following week and hired a pedalow instead. While they look a little clunky and less elegant, they glide through the water much easier, and ensure a fast journey around the lake. Again, the only drawback to the activity is the cost. At £5 per adult and £3 per child it is much steeper than the boats in other London parks.

Verdict: Rowing 3 /10 Pedalow 7 /10

Battersea Lake

 

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