Parkside poise: Your guide to Victoria Park

By Patrick Drew

Victoria Park! Covering a sprawling 218 acres, this green wonderland boasts tennis courts, a bowling green, fountains, cafes, and serene lakes. It’s also affectionately known as Vicky Park or the People’s Park by the locals. 

As we delve into this guide, consider it your passport to discover the essence of Victoria Park without the frills. No fluff, just the facts you need before embarking on your adventure through one of the best parks in London.

A brief history of Victoria Park

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Back in the 19th century, when petticoats were in vogue and top hats were considered casual wear, Victoria Park made its debut, spreading its leafy tendrils over a whopping 86 acres. 

Strolling through its lush landscapes, one could almost hear the whispers of corseted ladies and moustachioed gentlemen discussing the latest in steam engines and hoop skirts.

As time progressed into the 20th century, Victoria Park became the ultimate chameleon, adapting to the changing tastes of a more modern society. It hosted concerts, morphing into a natural amphitheatre where the sounds of the Beatles might mingle with the rustling of leaves.

Why visit Victoria Park: The park today

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Fast forward to the present, and Victoria Park has morphed into a dynamic urban haven worth seeing for anyone in London. Fitness enthusiasts can jog and cycle through lush trails, while yoga enthusiasts find serenity in open spaces. 

Cultural events and festivals now pulse through the park, making it a hotspot for entertainment and community bonding. Families revel in playgrounds and picnics, and the whole area is a visual feast for photography enthusiasts.

Best time to go to Victoria Park

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Victoria Park has its charms throughout the year, but the best time to visit largely depends on your preferences. Spring, from March to May, blankets the park in a riot of colours as flowers bloom, making it perfect for strolls and enjoying the vibrant scenery.

 If you relish outdoor activities and longer days, summer, from June to August, is ideal, offering opportunities for picnics, events, and basking in the sun.

On the flip side, autumn, spanning September to November, paints the park in warm hues as leaves change, creating a picturesque setting for reflective walks. Winter, from December to February, provides a quieter experience with a serene atmosphere.

Best things to do in Victoria Park

Visit the Children’s Adventure Playground 

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The Children’s Adventure Playground in Victoria Park is a portal to a world where slides become rocket launches, swings transform into daring escapades, and the sandbox evolves into a treasure trove of buried secrets (or, more accurately, buried action figures).

This haven of merriment isn’t merely a pitstop for parents seeking a breather (though that’s a bonus). It’s a kaleidoscopic nexus of fun and frolic, where laughter echoes through the air like the sweetest symphony. 

The playground seamlessly blends learning and play, turning each moment into a subtle lesson in joyous exploration.

Stop by the Old English Garden 

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In this haven of floral finesse, you’ll find yourself frolicking among the carefully curated blossoms as if you’ve stumbled upon a secret society of plants plotting world domination – one petal at a time. 

With Instagrammable corners that would make even the most stoic botanist break into a selfie-induced grin, you’ll even find your camera working overtime to capture the magic of this green masterpiece.

Take the Victoria Park Memoryscape Trail 

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Embarking on the Victoria Park Memoryscape Trail is like taking a stroll through London’s memory lane – but with a GPS, so you don’t accidentally end up in the Victorian era. 

Imagine sauntering through the park, armed not just with a map but with the power to unlock the stories hidden in every nook and cranny. The Memoryscape Trail is your ticket to time travel without the need for a DeLorean. 

As you wander, tales of Victorian picnics, Edwardian amusements, and maybe even a lost sock from the ’80s come to life – all thanks to the wonders of modern technology.

Go to Victoria Park Lake

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This aquatic gem is a respite for weary urban souls, a place where you can unleash your inner Wordsworth and let your thoughts ripple like the lake’s surface. 

And let’s not forget the ducks – those charismatic feathered celebrities stealing the show with their waddling antics. Feed them, befriend them, and perhaps you’ll be inducted into the honorary Order of the Duck Whisperers. Trust us, it’s a prestigious title (kidding). 

Visit Victoria Park Market 

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From handmade crafts that scream “Instagram me!” to vintage trinkets that tell tales older than your grandma’s secret recipe, Victoria Park Market is a shopping expedition with style.

Need a unique gift for your bestie? Done. Craving a gourmet snack that defies culinary norms? You got it. Searching for that one-of-a-kind hat that makes you the envy of fashion-conscious pigeons? Look no further.

And let’s not forget the ambience – the air is infused with the scent of creativity and the hum of vendors passionately haggling over the price of nostalgia.

Best restaurants near Victoria Park

The Thomas Cubitt Belgravia

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Location: 44 Elizabeth St, London SW1W 9PA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7730 6060

Pricing: £££

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 12:00 PM to 10:30 PM

Website

This gastro pub and dining room evokes a chic yet cosy vibe amongst its dark green leather banquettes and brass accents. And the food – oh the food! 

Their menu puts a delightful twist on British classics like their best-selling fish & chips made with sustainably caught haddock and minted mushy peas. 

But beyond the usual pub fare, one can find more elevated dishes that give a delightful nod to the seasons, incorporating herbs from their garden.

Wild By Tart

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Location:  3-4, Eccleston Yards, London SW1W 9AZ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3848 6240

Pricing: ££

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Thursday – 11:00 AM to 11:30 PM
  • Friday to Saturday – 12:00 PM to 12:00 AM
  • Sunday – 12:00 PM to 4:30 PM

Website

if it’s a smashing meal near Victoria Park you’re after, then simply dash your way over to Wild by Tart! The whimsically fresh flavours and ethically sourced ingredients have garnered this wee restaurant quite a reputation. 

As you set foot inside the orchid-lined doors, the buzzy yet inviting atmosphere delights the senses. One simply must start with their seasonal cocktails – perhaps the honeybee gin? 

Then on to the scrumptious shared plates, putting a creative spin on British produce like the foraged mushroom arancini or the pan-fried gnocchi with charred radicchio.

Browns Victoria

Location: 2 Cardinal Walk, Greater, London SW1E 5JE, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7821 1450

Pricing: ££

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Saturday – 11:00 AM to 11:30 PM
  • Sunday – 9:00 AM to 10:30 PM

Website

This British brasserie has been an East London establishment since the 1970s, winning over locals with their expertly executed classics. This historic setting pairs perfectly with Browns’ classic English menu putting a playful spin on traditional pub grub and posh nosh. 

Start off with a G&T featuring one of their artisanal gins before moving on to their best-selling beef Wellington encased in buttery pastry or their crispy beer-battered fish and chips. 

For the more adventurous foodie, indulge in game meats like pan-roasted venison or wood pigeon breast prepared exquisitely.

Phoenix 

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Location: 14 Palace St, London SW1E 5JA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7828 8136

Pricing: ££

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Wednesday – 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM
  • Thursday – 10:00 AM to 11:30 PM
  • Friday to Saturday – 10:00 AM to 12:00 AM
  • Sunday – 12:00 PM to 10:30 AM

Website

This isn’t your run-of-the-mill restaurant, it’s a culinary phoenix rising from the kitchen flames, ready to dazzle and delight. The vibe? Think trendy meets cosy, with a dash of “I just stumbled upon the coolest place in town”. 

Now, let’s talk about their pièce de résistance, the dish that’s got taste buds doing the conga – the Mighty Avocado Toast. It’s a toast-topping sensation that could convert even the most sceptical brunch enthusiast into an avocado aficionado. 

Imagine creamy avocado bliss, adorned with a sprinkle of chilli flakes and the zing of lemon, all on a canvas of perfectly toasted bread. It’s so good it might just inspire an avocado-themed sonnet.

Dim T

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Location: 56-62 Wilton Rd, Pimlico, London SW1V 1DE, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7834 0507

Pricing: ££

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Thursday & Sunday – 12:00 PM to 9:30 PM
  • Thursday to Saturday – 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Website

Why is Dim T one of the best restaurants around? Well, imagine a place where the ambience is as vibrant as a dragon dance during Chinese New Year, and the menu is a treasure map leading you to gastronomic delights.

Try the legendary Dim T Platter. It’s joy on a plate, featuring an exquisite array of dim sum delicacies that could make even a stoic food critic break into a happy dance. 

Pizza Pilgrims Victoria

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Location: 32-34 Buckingham Palace Rd, London SW1W 0QP, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3963 5800

Pricing: £

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Wednesday – 11:30 AM to 10:30 PM
  • Thursday to Saturday – 11:30 AM to 11:00 PM
  • Sunday – 12:00 PM to 9:30 PM

Website

Since opening in 2012, this neon-lit pizzeria has made quite the name for itself dishing out Naples-style pies made from the freshest British ingredients. 

The centrepiece here is the hand-built wood-fired oven turning out gorgeously charred and bubbly sourdough crusts. As for toppings, all pay homage to Italy’s icons from the Margherita to the pepperoni pizza pot pie. 

But do give their award-winning Nduja a go with its spicy spreadable sausage and sweet fennel sausage for a delightfully rich pie. And make sure to wash it down with one of their Italian craft beers, organic wines or spirited cocktails. 

Timmy Green

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Location: 11 Sir Simon Milton Sq, London SW1E 5DJ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3019 7404

Pricing: ££

Opening hours:

  • Monday – 7:45 AM to 11:00 PM
  • Tuesday to Saturday – 7:45 AM to 12:00 PM
  • Sunday – 8:00 AM to 10:30 PM

Website

This charming, eco-conscious cafe oozes wholesome vibes with its light-filled greenhouse dining room, reclaimed wood furnishings and living wall. The menu puts produce centre stage with vibrant salads, grain bowls and sandwiches bursting with flavours. 

Start your day with their breakfast tacos stuffed with smoky mushrooms, spinach and black bean salsa or their signature smoothie bowls. 

Their lunch menu brings dishes like the Falafel Mezze Plate with creamy hummus and baba ganoush or the Coconut Curry Bowl with brown rice and marinated tofu.

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