Monday, 14 July 2014

Secret spaces in South Norwood

I'm always going on about how there are lots of lovely outdoor places to play in London. I grew up in a suburb with a house and a garden where there were nice parks to play. When me and Hubbie were looking for a family home a garden was a 'non-negotiable', but proximity to open spaces was pretty important to us too. We've lived in this area for almost three years now and this weekend we discovered spaces we've never been to before practically on our doorstep.

Beautiful pond and garden

Firstly we went to an open afternoon at South Norwood station where they have a community garden that used to be a disused area behind the tracks. Volunteers have worked hard to make this a beautiful garden where children from local schools can come along and learn about gardening and grow flowers and plants from seeds.

Exploring the garden
Checking out the plants 

For those who don't have a garden it's a great opportunity to learn about gardening and growing as well as to just sit in a quiet place that is nice to look at. The event was hosted by the British Transport Police who have assisted with the garden development. The officers also shared safety tips and we met a London Transport Teddy who our boy was very taken with.

Transport Police Teddy
Reused station seats

After the station visit our boy was still itching to enjoy the sunny afternoon so Hubbie suggested we explore South Norwood Country Park. We weren't entirely sure where it was, so armed with phone maps and a vague idea of where it was we headed off. Miraculously the park is almost next door to where Hubbie and the boy go to watch Croydon play football, but it is like a little secret place hiding so much fun stuff to do. 

Fireman practice
He's the hot stepper 

As well as a picnic area and a pitch and putt they have a great kids playground for younger ones and a more adventurous one for the bigger kids. The screeches of joy coming from the park showed how much fun everyone was having. There are places to climb, to swing and to ride on and a small shop selling teas and ice lollies - what more could you ask for ?

Round and round he goes
I see no ships

There is a mini 'henge' - not entirely sure what that is about and a double swing that me and the boy had great fun riding on together. In fact a lot of the playground was being used by overzealous 'competitive dads' who were encouraging their kids to climb higher or use the zip wire. It was not easy to persuade the boy that it was time to go home for dinner with so many tempting things to play on.

Hubbie on the 'henge'
Double swing fun

Taking our boy out and about is one of the things we all love doing. Now that we've discovered a country park so close by I'll be going back in the summer holidays with my boy. Hubbie has said that on a Saturday afternoon when the football gets a bit dull he might be tempted to take him here to play golf instead :)

Jiggles on a wrecking ball (tee hee)

In a moment of silliness Hubbie decided to do a Miley Cyrus tribute using Jiggles the bear on a 'wrecking ball.'

This post is part of the fun #countrykids linky hosted by the lovely Fiona of Coombe Mill 

 Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall 


  1. How great to find two gems to visit so close by! The park looks perfect for all ages and the community garden looks like a great place to explore and learn. Thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.

    1. Always a pleasure Fiona :)
      It is lovely to find new places and hidden gems isn't it ?
      S xx