The Garden Landscape Guide

Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Playground

An earlier playground on the site was funded by J M Barrie (the author of Peter Pan lived nearby). The new playground was built as a memorial to Diana Princess of Wales (who also lived nearby). The playground has a beach cove, a rock with an imprint of a mermaid's tail, a pirate ship, other features associated with Barrie, a musical garden, a red indian camp. It is an object lesson in how to catch childrens' imagination - and escape the sterility of brightly coloured steel and plastic 'play equipment'. Sand is much better safety surface than ground car tyres. The designer Jennette Emery-Wallis (of Land Use Consultants, landscape architects - and a University of Greenwich Graduate) explained the scheme as follows: "We wanted to create an innovative playground, rather than take the traditional approach of tarmac and play equipment, which tends to be sterile. Everything here is natural; the paths are all bound gravel and the play areas are bark chip. Willow fences divide many of the play areas. The aim is to let children decide in which way they want to play, rather than having the way they play dictated by the landscape." [Note: unless accompanied by young children, access is only betwee 9.30 and 10 am).

See also Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain

Address: in the north west corner of Kensington Gardens

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The Pirate Ship

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