29 June 2013

A walk through Battersea Park

Much as I love going to the theatre, the afternoon or evening can always be made even better by using the journey to the theatre as an opportunity to do something else, something different.

This often involves a fair amount of walking as that is the best way to explore and when going to Theatre 503 in Battersea the obvious place to walk is through Battersea Park, starting at Queenstown Road and then walking the length of the park back the way the train went.

Entering via Queen's Circle in the south-east corner brought me almost immediately to the lake which occupies that corner of the park. The boats and cafe were both made popular by the good weather and this was the most crowded part of the park.

I was walking, not lingering, so I avoided the temptations around the lake and headed down one of the main promenades towards the bandstand that marks the centre of the park. It has clearly seen better, and busier, days but it still carries a lot of grandeur thanks to its artful design and prominent position.

Just to the north, and slightly to the west, of the bandstand is the Festival Garden. The period charm is extensive even when the fountains are quiet. It's a marvellous folly in the joyful post-war style that also spawned Portmeirion.

Exploring is about discovering new things and even though I had been to Battersea Park a few times previously I had not encountered the Old English Garden before.

My excuse is that it was well hidden among the trees just to the west of the Festival Garden.

It is a small garden, but then the show gardens at Chelsea are much smaller and they work.

Its setting keeps it tranquil and it is designed to encourage rest with seats, shade and gentle water. The borders are typically English, the garden lives up to its name, with heavy flowers jostling for position.

Battersea Park manages to achieve a great deal with its space and is able to cater for a wide range of sports as well as the sun-seekers and the walkers. I am sure that I have not discovered all of its mysteries yet but I hope to have the opportunity to do so.


  1. What's the total surface area of this park?

    1. Wikipedia tells me that it is is a 200 acres (83-hectare.).


All comments are welcome. Comments are moderated only to keep out the spammers and all valid comments are published, even those that I disagree with!