Can you believe how fast June is approaching already? I can’t deal! Before we know it, it’ll be the summer holidays! Speaking of summer holiday, I need to start planning whether we want to go abroad or not for mine and Little Man’s birthday. The idea was to go Athens but the cost of travelling, travel restrictions and spending money will have to be reviewed again.
Festival vibes in Greenwich this Platinum Jubilee Weekend
I can’t believe we are already celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. It didn’t feel that long ago that she had her Diamond Jubilee! As with every Jubilee there will be plenty of places all around London with joyous celebrations and street parties. The kids are SO excited and as the Thursday kicks off the bank holiday, I’ll get a chance to be off work early and take the kids out to places we’ve still been meaning to explore.
If you’ve never been to Cator Park Adventure Playground before then it’s definitely one park that you need to add onto your little bucket list of local outdoor places to visit with the kids.
I wrote a post last year about the launch of the Cator Park playground but wasn’t able to attend as I was at work and just never really ventured out to Cator Park until last month. So where is Kidbrooke? It’s actually very close to Blackheath, Eltham, Greenwich and Lewisham – even from North Greenwich, it’s only a single bus ride away.
Cator Park North Playground at Kidbrooke Village
The park has been open for a year now and is very popular with the locals. Kidbrooke is a lovely place to visit – the specific area, Kidbrooke Village, was created with sustainability in mind.
We visited the park with some friends who have been to the park before and was able to explore the grounds. We got there around 11am to try and beat the family crowds which helped because by 1pm it was quite busy. Kidbrooke Village’s Cator Park has two giant slides, climbing frames, tyre swings, and two giant wooden ‘treehouses’ which have a giant swirly tube slide each.
NOTE: This place is not to be confused with the Cator Park in Beckenham! I’ve realised that when you sometimes google search Cator Park, the Beckenham one shows up. This one is labelled on Google as Cator Park North and is in the Kidbrooke, SE3 area.
Children can really jump, climb, swing and slide to their little heart’s content! 🙂
Our kids were a little apprehensive at first with playing on the slides and so we started off in the park on the smaller slides and climbing frame. The kids then progressed over to the treehouses and were climbing away. Little Miss LOVES climbing so she was really in her element. She had a brilliant time and was even happier that we had a lovely day out with her nursery pals before starting school. Younger children may find the treehouses a little scary but the trick is to go on it with them a few times encourage them to explore. Over time the children will build up the courage and confidence to do it alone.
The playground is really well-made and very sturdy. The treehouses were my favourite and I even went on the swirly slide a few times with Little Miss. In one of the treehouses, there’s a set of strings which the children can strum and the sound vibrates all the way down the slide. It’s pretty cool!
What should I bring to Cator Park kids playground?
a bottle of water
something to eat plus lots of snacks
a picnic blanket or something to sit on
a light buggy or stroller if you have a toddler
Kids play is exhausting work so make sure you take some snacks along with you. There’s not really much around the park apart from new flat developments but there is a small cafe a short walk away from the park, a Sainsbury’s Local across the road and a few food truck vans. If you got little ones and plan to play for a few hours, make sure you bring at least water and snacks with you.
The food trucks are delicious but not cheap – the delicious burgers were £6 and oozing cheesy chips at £3.50. Prefer a sweet treat? Check out the waffles and crepes van for a range of tasty desserts.
PS. If you need to take the kids somewhere a little calmer, the green next to the park is perfect for chilling out. Sutcliffe Park is also just a 10-15 mins walk away and has lovely views of the river Quaggy and wildlife.
How to get to Cator Park North Adventure Playground
Address: Cator Park North Playground Kidbrooke Park Road London, SE3 9GN
If you’re lucky to live near enough to walk then yay! It’s walking distance for anyone living in the Kidbrooke Village area. If you live in Eltham it’d be around a 15mins walk if you live near Sutcliffe Park otherwise from Eltham High street, get the bus to Sutcliffe Park and walk the rest of the way.
by Bus I think bus is the easiest, most convenient and cheapest option (apart from walking) to the park. The two buses that I’m aware of that stop closest to the park are 335 and 178. Alight at the stop ‘Cranfield Walk’ (stop M if you’re coming from North Greenwich or Woolwich direction, stop L if you’re coming from Lewisham or Blackheath Park.) If you’re coming from Greenwich you can either get the 286 to Blackheath then catch the 335 to Cator Park, OR get the 129 or 188 to North Greenwich and catch the 335 from the station. If you’re coming from Woolwich or nearby, get any bus to Woolwich town centre and catch the 178 direct to Cator Park.
by Car You can type the address directly into your GPS navigation system and it’ll direct you to the park however there isn’t any parking nearby the playground. You’ll have to park at either Kidbrooke station and or near Sutcliffe Park using the pay & display machines and walk to the park from there.
by Train/Tube From North Greenwich underground station, catch the 335 bus directly to Cator Park and get off at Cranfield Walk stop M. If you’re getting the train, alight at Kidbrooke station and walk to the playground which is a short 5mins walk. It’s literally on across the road from the park.
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On Saturday 8th June, a new (and free!) outdoor play space, Cator Park, had opened up at Kidbrooke Village. Unfortunately I work the weekends and was unable to attend the launch but judging from the images below, the opening turned out a big success with many families enjoying the space and the sun! Lucky bunch!
Children can jump, climb, swing and slide to their heart’s content. The park also incorporates a series of stepping stones designed by local children, dotted around the park alongside a number of brass rubbings as part of an educational ecology trail.
There was also a fete going on at the launch opening which offered craft sessions and learning sessions about the local animals and wildlife with London Wildlife Trust. Families and children learnt about “how the ‘rewilding’ of the green space is helping to increase biodiversity and encouraging birds, mammals, amphibians and insects to make their home among the plantlife.”
It’s really nice to see that the local authority and government are trying their best to utilise the green spaces we already have and create refreshing new ones for the local community to enjoy.
To find out more about Kidbrooke Village and the new play space visit the Kidbrooke Village Community Facebook page (@kidbrookevillage).