Battersea Park

Battersea Park (73)

Even though, because of its size, Battersea Park is not one of the biggest parks in the city, it is perhaps one of the most interesting. Situated on the bank of the Thames, facing Chelsea and close to an old power station, its creation in the 19th century was due to the need to create green spaces to improve the health of London, since as a result of the industrial revolution the population had grown massively in just a few years.

The park opened in 1858 in what had previously been called Battersea Fields, an area that was not the ideal place for going for a stroll. Its taverns and pubs were at that time a meeting place for characters of a disreputable ilk, and there were often fights and duels.

The creation of the park, with its splendid artificial lake, did a lot to clean up the area, and it is in fact practically the only park in London specifically designed for the citizens. Queen Victoria came to officially open it, and since then some of the most attractive infrastructures have been developed.

Starting with the lake, inhabited by ducks and cormorants, you can stroll along as far as the subtropical flora gardens, do some sport in any of the sports facilities there and finish off the day with a drink in the lakeside café. You can also visit the art gallery in the park, the Pumphouse Gallery, or cross your fingers that on the day you go they are organising one of the many open-air concerts often held here.

In 1985 one of its most peculiar elements was added to the park: a pagoda. This building, 35 metres high, was donated by a congregation of Japanese Buddhists.

Visitors who come to Battersea Park with children have lots of entertainment on hand, since the park also has a zoo especially with youngsters in mind, the Children’s Zoo, which is home to an endless list of animals such as otters, lemurs, capuchin monkeys and the odd emu.

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