Old Ford Road, E3
Tel: 020 8985 1957
Victoria Park, laid out between 1842 and 1846 by architect Sir James Pennethorne, borders parts of Bethnal Green, Hackney and Bow and is definitely the finest park in the East End of London. It is split into two by Grove Road; the smaller, western section is perfect for quiet reflection with idylic lakes and fountains. There is also a typical old english garden overflowing with flowers and shrubs and a deer enclosure.
In the late 19th Century, Victoria Park became known as the 'People's Park' becoming the centre for political meetings and rallies. It became a crucial amenity for the working classes of the East End and was probably the only large open space that the children of East London ever saw. The Bathing Pond would have been the place where the people learnt how to swim in this era as public baths were still only communal washing areas.
Park facilities include children's play areas, children's paddling pool, Victorian teas rooms and public toliets.
Opening Hours: Daily 6am - dusk
Nearest Tube: Bethnal Green/ Mile End
By Jessica Worthington-Little (For the kids see www.Thameswatch.org )
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