Local tourist: Crystal Palace Park

7 Aug

I’m a country bumpkin at heart and can often be found over in Crystal Palace Park getting my greenery fix. Ok, it might not be quite like my native Westcountry but it has grass, trees and farm animals… plus a few more exotic additions!

With summer’s welcome return to London in the last few days I thought I’d take a wander and give you a little guided tour of one of my favourite local sights.

Where first? Let’s start with the ruins of the Crystal Palace itself. Sadly it burned down in 1936 but the foundations of the once magnificent gardens are still there, along with a few statues that escaped the fire.I felt a bit sorry for this chap, missing out on the lovely view..

The Crystal Palace was built to house The Great Exhibition of 1851, which, as well as showing the industrial wonders of the Victorian age, had areas recreating the architecture of ancient civilizations including Greece, Rome and Egypt. Click here to find out more and see pictures of how the Palace once looked inside.
I must admit I was a little bit disappointed to see blackberries and rosehips ripening already!

Onwards to The Maze. Last time I went in I got lost for nearly an hour so I thought I’d better steer clear this time. Err, yes, it is designed for children.

Soon I was at the entrance to the Crystal Palace Farm I hadn’t been in before so thought I’d have a peep. There wasn’t a lot to see as most of the animals were hiding from the heat, but I was rather taken with these two.

A little further on I came across some less familiar wildlife…

This is the world’s first dinosaur park! It opened in 1854 – six years before Darwin published On The Origin of Species – and the depictions of the monsters caused outrage at the time. Modern paleontologists now think most of the dinosaurs here actually looked very different, but it’s amazing to think that people were already analysing the bones they found and coming up with theories about the creatures they came from all that time ago.

Phew, it was pretty hot so I thought it was about time I took the lead from Miss Piggy and found a way to cool down.

{all Decorator’s Notebook}

Yum, perfect!

Which sights or attractions do you never get tired of visiting?


10 Responses to “Local tourist: Crystal Palace Park”

  1. kateshrewsday August 7, 2011 at 19:04 #

    Oh, this is great! I love the stuff which is on our doorstep and which we rarely take the time to appreciate. The stories behind the places are wonderful, and Crystal Palace is particularly so.
    Loved the goat and the hog too :-D

    • Decorator's Notebook August 10, 2011 at 20:25 #

      Hi Kate, thanks for your lovely comment. I find it’s easy to overlook the great sights and activities right under your nose – I’m really going to try and take more notice and post some of my favourites on my blog. Hope you’re enjoying your visits!


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