Diana Memorial Pirate Ship Playground. Updated 2018.
You’ll hear the twinkling of musical chimes and bucketloads of children’s laughter before you catch a glimpse of the Princess Diana Playground in Hyde Park.
And then you’ll spy it.
The centrepiece of the Hyde Park Diana Memorial Playground, and the reason it’s nicknamed the “Pirate Ship Playground”.
Peter Pan’s Pirate Ship in full size. Ahoy Me Hearties!
- 1 The Pirate Ship Playground, Princess Diana Playground Kensington Gardens
- 2 More fun at Peter Pans Playground
- 3 More Pictures of Princess Diana Playground
- 4 Follow me to Music Land…
- 5 History of the Kensington Gardens Playground
- 6 Take Risks. Climb High. Know your Limitations. Grow in Confidence.
- 7 Watch our video of the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Playground
- 8 The Elfin Oak.
- 9 The Inside Scoop – Princess Diana Adventure Playground
- 10 Toadstool Rating (by the kids)- Princess Diana Playground Hyde Park
- 11 Looking for MORE SUPER DOOPER FUN Places to Visit and Things to Do with Kids in LONDON?
The Pirate Ship Playground, Princess Diana Playground Kensington Gardens
The Princess Diana Memorial Playground in Hyde Park is tucked away in a far corner of the grounds, on the Bayswater Road side of the park, just five minutes walk from Queensway Tube station.
The Pirate Ship playground (formally known as the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground) was inspired by the stories of Peter Pan. There’s tonnes of stuff to explore, do, climb, navigate, balance on, and play music on.
Throughout the Pirate Ship playground, you’ll spot lots of references to the Peter Pan story.
Most obvious, the giant Pirate Ship playground smack bang in the centre of a city-bound beach, with rope bridges, a steering cabin, port holes, and a ship’s mast just waiting to be climbed.
More fun at Peter Pans Playground
There’s smaller sailing boats that rock from side to side, a teepee village, and crocodiles …. (Yes, crocodiles!)
- rows of swings
- Flintstone-like log tractors
- miniature log cabins to play in
- life-size musical instruments
The magical space is beautifully divided into many different areas of fun and hidden lands, which helps to separate and manage the crowds so you don’t feel like you’re communing with half of London.
There’s secret pockets, pathways lined with brambly hedges, climbing frames, a sensory garden, rocking horses, and tunnels to move from place to place.
There’s one drawback to the size and layout of the Princess Diana Playground. Finding your kids in here when they have run off in different directions can be challenging.
Be sure to attach some kind of identification on them somehow, and be firm and insistent when you set the rules that they are NOT to leave the park or go out the front gate without you.
Best of all, there’s a water park too, operating during London’s warm summertime.
More Pictures of Princess Diana Playground
Follow me to Music Land…
Roam the Gnome and the boys made a beeline to the Land of Music they could hear. Hidden behind a labyrinth of trees, children could make music using a number of different instruments.
The best one… the jumping xylophone! All the kids wanted a go. (Watch the video below to see it in action.)
THIS is what we could hear as we entered the park, well before we had any idea where the playground was hiding. The spinning disc ride was also a hit.
History of the Kensington Gardens Playground
The Pirate Ship Playground in Hyde Park was opened on the 30th June 2000 as a permanent memorial to Diana, Princess of Wales, recognising her love of children.
Curated to ensure equal access to both able-bodied and those less able, the storytelling aspect of the playground was designed to capture to imaginations and hearts of children while supporting their play and physical development.
Take Risks. Climb High. Know your Limitations. Grow in Confidence.
Happily, risk taking -in a controlled play environment of course – is all part of the fun!
Playground staff are there to monitor children and families but also educate them on the importance of risky play.
Parents, guardians and grandparents are advised to be aware of this before making a trip. Helicopter parents need not apply.
Kids can climb RIGHT TO THE VERY TOP of the Pirate Ship’s mast (and it’s bloody high!)
Watch our video of the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Playground
The Elfin Oak.
The Princess Diana Playground Hyde Park is located next to Diana’s Kensington Palace home. The playground is a fitting tribute for a Princess who loved the innocence of childhood.
Take a peek at The Elfin Oak. It’s right in front of the entrance gates.
The Elfin Oak the stump of a 900-year-old oak tree, carved and painted to look as though elves, gnomes and small animals are living in its bark.
The hollow, donated by Lady Fortescue, originally came from Richmond Park, and was moved to Kensington Gardens in 1928 as part of George Lansbury’s scheme of public improvements in London.
Over the next two years the illustrator Ivor Innes carved the figures of the “Little People” into it.
These included Wookey the witch, with her three jars of health, wealth and happiness, Huckleberry the gnome, carrying a bag of berries up the Gnomes’ Stairway to the banquet within Bark Hall, and Grumples and Groodles the Elves being awakened by Brownie, Dinkie, Rumplelocks and Hereandthere stealing eggs from the crows’ nest.
The Inside Scoop – Princess Diana Adventure Playground
Correct at time of publication. Please check with venue for updates. We apologise in advance if there have been any changes we are unaware of.
Address: Broad Walk, Hyde Park, London, United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 300 061 2001
- May to August 10 am to 7.45 pm
- April & September 10 am to 6.45 pm
- March & Early October 10 am to 5.45 pm
- February & Late October 10 am to 4.45 pm
- November to January 10 am to 3.45 pm
Please note, last entry is 15 minutes prior to closing time. Closed Christmas Day. To ensure safety and security of children, only adults supervising children up to the age of 12 will be admitted.
Princess Diana Playground Entry Fees:
- Entry is FREE!
- Go early, or late in the afternoon. If you go at peak times (10am to 2pm) expect a queue. There’s limits on the number of children allowed inside at one time, and when it’s full, the staff will action ‘queue management’ and only let more people in as other people exit. Wait times can range from 15 minutes to an hour or more.
- Did you know over 1,000,000 visitors enjoy this free playground each year? WOW! Put the Diana playground at the top of your list of things to do in South Kensington with kids and join in too. Be prepared for a long stay.
How to get there:
- By Bus: Children under the age of 11 travel free on buses and trams. Plan your bus journey here.
- By Tube: Princess Diana Memorial Playground nearest Tube? We suggest exiting at Queensway station (Central Line) for the quickest walk. Bayswater Tube station is another option.
- By Car/Taxi/Uber: Exit at Bayswater Road & Orme Ct.
Parking: Try the Euro Car Park on Bayswater Road.
Nearest takeaway coffee and/or food options:
- BYO snacks, and water bottles.
- The Diana Playground Café (Broadwalk Cafe and Play Cafe) onsite serves fresh salads, stone baked pizzas, sandwiches and drinks including speciality coffee, and delicious hot chocolate. They also have a children’s menu.
Toilets: Yes, including disabled and baby change facilities.
Disability access: Yes
Shade: Lots of trees. Take hats and sunscreen in summer.
Enclosed: Yes, fenced all round.
Ground cover: Sand, concrete pathways, grassy fields, gravel, bark, stones
Picnic tables: Yes, near cafe.
Electric BBQs: No
Water Bubblers/fountains: Yes
Scooters and Bikes: Yes
This playground was last reviewed in August 2018.
Toadstool Rating (by the kids)- Princess Diana Playground Hyde Park
When in London with kids, the Princess Diana Adventure Playground should be the Number One playground on your list.
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