The Crystal Palace Park in London is an iconic attraction that has a lot of history and heritage attached to it. The Park was initially designed to house the legendary Crystal Palace after its exhibition at Hyde Park. The grounds were designed and planned with learning, education, discovery and innovation as its theme. The full scale models of the dinosaurs at the Dinosaur Court was the first artistic representation of these animals in the world. The models may look very different from the way that dinosaurs are portrayed today as the artist then knew only the size of these creatures.
There is a whole plethora of things to do and see at Crystal Palace Park London to keep you entertained for a few hours. There is the boating lake that is also great for birdwatchers to catch a glimpse of some rare birds. The Maze which can keep you lost in its confounding pathways for hours and the new Skating Park with its wide range of terrains for all levels of skaters are some of the activities enjoyed by visitors. Another major attraction here is the Crystal Museum which has preserved the artifacts of the original Crystal Palace and its grandeur. The National Sports Center at Crystal Palace Park has a wide range of facilities including a well-equipped gymnasium, 3 swimming pools, an indoor running track, and a Stadium.
The Crystal Palace and the Crystal Palace Park London was built by the Crystal Palace Company that belongs to Sir Joseph Paxton in 1852. The park was designed and created as a base for the Crystal Palace which had to be relocated after its participation at the Great Exhibition of 1851 which was held in Hyde Park. It was a prestigious project that aimed to promote the educational themes of Discovery and Invention. The full scale models of Dinosaurs were the first representation of these extinct animals. The construction and design of the palace was another work of art. In the coming years the Park hosted several community events and festivities that increased its popularity.
However, this did not last long as in 1936 the Crystal Palace was destroyed by a devastating fire and this led to a period of neglect and decay of the park. During World War 2 The Crystal Palace and the park was turned into a place to dismantle military vehicles. In 1960 the National Sports Center and Athletics Stadium was completed and brought about a new concept of 'sports park' to the UK. In 1986, the London Borough of Bromley took over the ownership of the site and the restoration work on the Crystal Palace Park started, bringing it to the position it is today.
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The Crystal Palace Park in London is one of the largest public spaces in South London. Children particularly enjoy this place as there are lots for them to do plus the open space to run and play. However, it is also a great place for grown ups to enjoy and have a fun time. There is the Crystal Palace Maze, the boating area, the fishing lake, the Terraced Gardens and lots more.
The Dinosaur Court is the most popular feature of the Crystal Palace Park London. The dinosaur models on display date back to the 1850s and they were the first artistic representation of these extinct animals in the whole world. The artist then only knew about the size of these creatures hence the dinosaur sculptures found here are quite different from how they are portrayed today. The sculptors and the gardeners of the park worked together to give a tropical setting to the area where these Dinosaurs sculptures are kept. Most of these are still in their original positions around the boating lake. Visitors to the park can learn more about these famous dinosaurs from an audio guide which is available for download from the London Borough of Bromley website.
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The new Skatepark at the Crystal Palace Park London is 1100 square meters in length, made up of a curved concrete band with terrains suitable for all levels and skating abilities. There is a lot of history attached to the newly constructed Crystal Palace Park London, one of which is the first major UK National Skateboarding Competition that was held here back in 1977. The new skate Park is built to accommodate BMX, quadl skating, roller blading, scootering and skateboarding. Riders of all ages and all levels will be welcome at this new Skatepark at the Crystal Palace Park.
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The Maze at the Crystal Palace Park London is the largest one, of its kind in the whole country. Right from the time it was built the maze has managed to confound quite a few visitors. The huge touring hedges and confusing network of pathways is open to all free of charge. The hedge was originally planted back in 1860 but after the unfortunate fire incident in 1936 the area was not so well maintained. The Maze that is there today was replanted following the original design in 1987. Further, in 2009 this historic Maze was completely redesigned and new artworks and Granite monoliths were added.
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The Crystal Park Museum tells the story of the Hyde Park and Sydenham Crystal Palaces with images, documents and other artifacts. Besides these there are large scale models of the Crystal palaces and several items which are associated with the original Crystal Palace. The Museum also features several remnants of the original building and there are showcases of the ceramics which were used in the Crystal Palace then. On the first Sunday of each month the Museum gives guided tours to the Crystal Palace site describing the glory and magnificence of the Palace.
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The National Sports Center is one of the major attractions at the Crystal Palace Park London. The center offers a wide range of activities at extremely affordable prices. It has a well equipped modern gymnasium with over 120 different gymming equipment offering excellent gym facilities to the local community at a relatively low cost. The gym has personal trainers as well to assist the people who are using the facilities. The Center also has three swimming pools - 50 m, 25 m and a child friendly paddle pool. There are swimming classes available for all levels and age groups as well as two diving schools and lifeguard training sessions.
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Location:Crystal Palace ParkThicket Road, LondonSE19 2GA, United Kingdom
Opening hours:Monday to Friday - 7:30 am to 8:30 pmSaturday to Sunday- 9 am to 8:30 pm
Best time to visit:The best time to visit the Crystal Palace Park London is in the early morning hours when the place is relatively less crowded and you can explore the grounds to your heart's content. Most of the visitors and tourists visit the Park between 1 to 2:00 p.m. making it a little crowded during this time.
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By train: Southern Services runs a train from Victoria London to Crystal Palace every hour. The Park is just a few minutes walk from the Crystal Palace Station or the Penge West Station.
By Bus: several buses from different parts of London will take you to the Crystal Palace Park, buses on this route are 3, 122, 202, 157, 227, 322, 249 and many more.
By Car: The Crystal Palace Park London is easily accessible by car and free parking is available along the Crystal Palace Park Road entrance, Anerley Hill and at Thicket Road.
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What is the best time to visit Crystal Palace Park London?
The best time to visit Crystal Palace park in London is in the early morning hours, as there is less crowd and more space for you to explore and capture. Visitors start their visit between 1 to 2:00 p.m. hence it may get a little crowded during this time.
What is special about Crystal Palace Park London?
The Crystal Palace Park in London is an iconic Park which was originally created to provide a base for the Crystal Palace after its relocation from Hyde Park in 1851. It is the largest Park in the London Borough of Bromley and is home to a number of natural and man made heritage sites including the National Sports Center. The park has a children's play area, the famous Dinosaur Trail, fishing lake, the Children's Farm, the Crystal Palace Museum, Italian terraces and sphinxes, a boating lake, a maze, the concert bowl and lots more.
Is there a children's play area in Crystal Palace Park London?
Yes, there is a children's play area at the Crystal Palace Park in London, the playground is large and spaces with excellent equipment around the highlight of the area, a large sand pit. With Dinosaur skeletons and eggs sticking out of the sand, children can pretend to be archeologists while they discover these eggs.
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Is there a parking facility at Crystal Palace Park London?
No, there is no parking facility inside the Crystal Park Palace London but free parking is available at a stone's throw from the park. You can easily find a parking space along the Crystal Palace Park Road entrance, Thicket Road or Anerley Road.
Are there shops inside the Crystal Palace Park London?
No, there are no shops inside the Crystal Palace Park in London.