The diamond in the rough

Unlike most of the Commons South London has to offer, Crystal Palace Park seems to go a little further to entice and entertain it’s visitors, whether that’s a family day out, a date that’s slightly off the beaten track or a random meander on a Sunday afternoon.

Pre-historic creatures
It might not boast the vast collection (or biological accuracy) of the Natural History Museum, but Crystal Palace was the proud owner of its very own Jurassic Park before the thought had even crossed Steven Spielberg’s mind. In fact, they were the first dinosaur sculptures in the world (revealed in 1854) , which is some claim to fame! A claim which may help you to overlook their slightly bedraggled appearance, but not to worry, they’re currently under renovation and should be back to their ‘earth ruling best’ in the near future.

Make sure you take a walk around the boating lake so as not to miss them.

Cost: Free

Boating lake
If you’ve ever seen Bridget Jones and fancied reading read Keats or reciting less than poetic limericks in a rowing boat (or pedalo for that matter), why not channel your inner Steve Redgrave and hire a rowing boat/pedalo for a short jaunt around the lake.

With the dinosaurs all located firmly on the other side of the lake, you’ll only have to focus on steering clear of fellow boaters to avoid an unexpected end to your fun in the sun.

Cost: £4 per adult (£2 per child) for 30 minutes
Opening hours: 10.30am – 5pm every weekend and bank holiday from Easter – October

Crystal Palace has one of the largest mazes in the country and in fact is London’s biggest maze. At 160 feet in diameter its quite a challenge to complete, so you might want to lay a trail of breadcrumbs on your way in, just in case. It’s also quite the sight to behold from above, so if you happen to be in possession of a drone, this might be the place to capture some great shots.

Cost: Free

If you haven’t come across geo-caching before, think treasure hunt for the digital age and you’re pretty much there. Using some

Geocaches are hidden all over the world (with no less than five in Crystal Palace Park) and take the form of small waterproof containers, with contents that vary according to their size. However you shouldn’t expect to find any long lost Aztec gold, they usually contain a logbook for signing (as proof of finding) and a small trinket.

Cost: Free

There’s also a small city farm, but I haven’t quite got to that yet, so watch this space


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