Victoria Park is 86 acres of Victorian greenery in the heart of East London. It is regularly voted the nation’s top park and is enjoyed by millions each year. It opened in 1841, making it the first public park in the country and it has been benefitting East London communities ever since. The park brings huge benefits to health, community and housing. We love it. Here is our A-Z…
A - E
+44 20 8985 1957
Not short of an award or two, Victoria park picked up the Green Flag People’s Choice Award in 2014, also taking 2012’s top spot and coming in as runner up in 2013. The annual competition is held across 1,424 parks and green spaces in Britain. Victoria Park gained more than 13,000 votes to be named the nation’s favourite park, achieving the Green Flag status reserved for the best open spaces in the country.
In the early 19th century there were no open spaces in east London and due to overcrowded housing, poor sanitation and air pollution life expectancy was low. There was a strong need for a clean outdoor space.
A petition for a Royal Park was signed by some 30,000 people and presented to Queen Victoria in 1840. And in 1841 Victoria Park became the first public park in the county. From the very start the park was used as a meeting place for those looking to improve industrial and social conditions.
For some East End children in the 1880s, Victoria Park may have been the only large stretch of uninterrupted greenery they ever encountered. These days it’s dubbed ‘The People’s Park’ and is used for sports, play, relaxation, performances, festivals and events and remains an essential open space for people in east London to enjoy.
Guarding the main entrance at Sewardstone Road are replica statues of the Dogs of Alcibiades, the originals of which stood here from 1912 to 2009. Donated by Lady Aignarth, the sculptures are copies of a 2nd Century Roman statue of a Molossian hound. The dog in question originally belonged to Alcibiades, a 5th Century Athenian statesman and friend of Socrates.
Tower Hamlets has a vibrant arts scene and Victoria Park provides a natural home for it’s larger music festivals such as Lovebox, Field Day and Citadel. See Tower Hamlets event guide for more info.
For more info on activites such as fishing, boating and gardening see Tower Hamlets community events guide.
F - J
Tree walks, football, cricket, tennis, bowling greens, cycling and more. Find out all the ways to keep fit in the Tower Hamlets leisure guide.
Victoria Park is a key link in a green corridor that stretches from the River Thames at Limehouse, along the Regents Canal and through Mile End Park, along with the new Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park virtually next door. The benefits of green spaces are well recognised as having a positive impact on the environment and on people’s health. Here’s a list of excellent things…
- they provide important space for relaxation, restoration and social events.
- they encourage social interaction and cohesion
- they reduce stress and mental fatigue
- they contribute to rainwater storage and pollutant capture
- they improve air quality
- they increase land and property value for homeowners
The park is open 364 days a year and is staffed by a team of park rangers. London Live were given a tour by Community Park Ranger Sean Thomas-Stewart after they picked up the Green Flag People’s Choice Award last year. It gives a great insight into life at the park.
K - O
When Old London Bridge was demolished in 1831, it was decided with typical Victorian frugality to sell off some of the old bits and bobs of stonework.
There were originally 14 of these covered domes at the end of the piers. They looked rather like curved stone bus shelters and were so sturdy and useful that four still survive.
Two now stand in Victoria Park, having arrived here some time in the 1860s and offering a pleasant seat from which to view passing parklife or shelter from London rain.
Victoria Park Lido opened in 1936 and was an impressive swimming complex that could cater for 1000 bathers at a time. Despite it’s popularity the Lido was demolished in 1990.
If it’s a Victoria Park inspired film you’re after, the park makes a few cameo appearances…
- ‘Pride.’ Starring Imelda Staunton, Bill Nighy and Dominic West.
- ‘Good People.’ Starring James Franco and Kate Hudson.
Not forgetting the the 2014 John Lewis Christmas advert where Monty the Penguin can be seen around the West Boating Lake.
Bounded by Bethenal Green, Hackney, Bow and Stepney, Victoria Park is nestled in the borough of Tower Hamlets.
The Crown Estate purchased 218 acres (88 ha) which were laid out by notable London planner and architect Sir James Pennethorne between 1842 and 1846. A part of the area was known as Bonner Fields, after Bishop Bonner, the last lord of the manor of Stepney. The land had originally been parkland, associated with the Bishop’s Palace, but by the mid-1800s had been spoiled by the extraction of gravel, and clay for bricks. More on wikipedia
P - T
A petition for a Royal Park was signed by 30,000 East Londoners and presented to Queen Victoria in 1840. Vicky gave it the thumbs up and an impressive turn around saw the country’s first public park open in 1841. The original design included a grand entrance and driveway and was later improved by the addition of a boating lake and a pagoda.
Victoria Park was given a £12 million revamp in 2011. A major refurbishment in 2011 brought a new pagoda, an adventure playground and a café – bringing new life to the park.
Facilities like the Bathing Pond, later superseded by the park lido, introduced many to swimming in an era when many public baths were still simply communal washing facilities. Victoria Park Lido opened in 1936 and was an impressive swimming complex that could cater for 1000 bathers at a time. Despite it’s popularity the Lido was demolished in 1990.
The kids can still have a splash in the Victoria Park Splash Pool, which is open from 11am until 5pm from the last weekend in May until the first week in September.
U - Z
Mile End Tube Station
580 Mile End Road, London, Tower Hamlets, E3 4PH
12 mins from Victoria Park
Bethnal Green Tube Station
Cambridge Heath Road, London, Tower Hamlets, E2 0ET
13 mins from Victoria Park
Stepney Green Tube Station
Mile End Road, London, Tower Hamlets, E1 4AQ
14 mins from Victoria Park
Cambridge Heath Railway Station
Cambridge Heath Road, London, Hackney, E2 9EG
14 mins from Victoria Park
Bethnal Green Railway Station
Dunbridge Street, London, Tower Hamlets, E2 6JG , Underground lines: Central
18 mins from Victoria Park
London Fields Railway Station
Mentmore Terrace, Hackney, London, Hackney, E8 3PP
19 mins from Victoria Park
Docklands Light Railway
Campbell Road, London, Tower Hamlets, E3 4DS , Underground lines: DLR (Stratford Branch)
19 mins from Victoria Park
Pudding Mill Lane
Pudding Mill Lane, London, Newham, E15 2NQ , Underground lines: DLR (Stratford Branch)
24 mins from Victoria Park
Devons Road DLR
Devons Road, London, Tower Hamlets, E3 3PJ
24 mins from Victoria Park
Victoria Park Village is East London’s leafy little secret. Situated just north of Victoria Park, the two shopping streets, Lauriston Road and Victoria Park Road form a focus for this close-knit and diverse community. Find out what’s happening in Victoria Park Village
Victoria Park has it’s fair share of water features. You can go take a pedalo for a spin around the West Boating Lake, go fishing in the East Lake, take the kids to the Splash Playground or watch the toy boats on the Model Boating Lake.
Yoga Body of Light run an outdoor yoga session in Victoria Park every Sunday Next to the Pavilion Cafe by the lake. The session runs from 9.30 – 10.30am and you just have to turn up. Probably a good idea to take your yoga mat if you have one.
If you’re lucky you might just catch sight of the roaming herds of zebra in the park. They’re very shy but can be found by combining traditional tracking methods with state of the art camouflage.
Looking to sell your property?
Discover how much your property is worth if you sell it through Peach Properties
Want to rent out your property?
Find out how much rent you could receive if you let your property through Peach Properties