Outdoors in East London with a (pre) Toddler: Leyton Jubilee Park

Leyton Jubilee Park is our home away from home. It’s just 5 minutes walk from our flat, so we are there most days. It’as great to have green space so close and means we have somewhere convenient to spend a quick 15 minutes or so outside, even on the busiest days.

The park itself is split into four main areas. The first is the play area, which includes a fenced area for under 7s, an amazing pirate ship for older kids, playing fields, a basketball court and a pavilion which can be hired for events. To be honest, we don’t spend too much time in this part, as it isn’t very wild. Tom usually gets a go on the swings though and I anticipate using it more once he can walk.

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The next area is a large green space that is sometimes used for events. It’s also the favorite area of the dog walkers and has a cafe and some picnic tables. The grass is kept pretty short, so it’s easy for crawlers to explore and because it’s open, Tom can wander quite a long way and still be easy for me to see. Plus when they cut the grass, you can give your baby a new hairstyle…

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The third area is up a slope (which can be tricky with the buggy) and is a wild meadow with paths cut through. This is my favorite part. You’d never think you were in London up here. Tom likes exploring through the long grass and investigating the differentplants, but he does find it a bit harder to get around it on all fours.

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The fourth area is a wooded part, with wide concrete paths (perfect for the buggy, but less good for crawling). There are plenty of brambles and even an apple tree, so it’s a great place for some urban foraging. I also like that it is a way to introduce Tom to another type of environment, but it would be better if there was a clearing of some sort he could get down to explore. As it is, he’s normally confined to the buggy or sling in this area.

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We are lucky to live so close to so many green spaces. More about wild places in East London to come in the next few weeks.

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