Park life

Gillespie Park

Summer has arrived – and we are more than ready to get back outdoors and soak up that sunshine. Islington has varied green spaces dotted across the borough, each of which has something different to offer. Luckily, IslingtonLife has put together a guide to help you make the most. Discover Islington’s best parks…

… for children
Many of Islington’s parks have fun playground equipment for children to explore. Barnard Park, Paradise Park, King Square Gardens, Highbury Fields and Whittington Park are great choices for the hot summer months as they have fun play features that spurt water! Escape city life and meet farm animals at Freightliners City Farm, or visit the Barnard Park adventure playground. For organised activities, join the storytime sessions for under-fives in Caledonian Park, or try The Garden Classroom’s free little explorers sessions, connecting children and families to nature in Whittington Park, Newington Green Gardens, and King Square Gardens.

… for quiet reflection
With summer upon us, many parks will be getting busier, making it more difficult to find a quiet spot to rest and reflect. Islington’s three nature reserves – Gillespie Park, Barnsbury Wood and Parkland Walk – are hidden gems, with cooling shade and a wealth of fascinating plants and wildlife.

… for outdoor exercise
Get some gentle exercise and meet new people with a dementia-friendly guided walk at Gillespie Park, which takes place at 10am on the first Friday of every month. Alternatively, join a free tour of the Caledonian Clock Tower or a health and history walk for all abilities at Caledonian Park. Want to step it up a bit? Visit an outdoor gym, with equipment for all abilities and fitness levels. You’ll find them in Arundel Square, Elthorne Park, Paradise Park, Rosemary Gardens, St Paul’s South, Spa Fields, Tufnell Park Playing Fields and Whittington Park.

 … for volunteering
Volunteering in a park is a fun way to keep active and meet new people, while getting stuck into pruning shrubs, creating bug hotels, planting, weeding and more. Islington Council’s community rangers host regular volunteering sessions at Spa Fields, Whittington Park, New River Walk, Rosemary Gardens, Caledonian Park and Gillespie Park. Or, consider joining a ‘friends of parks’ group, to improve your local park.

… for sensory gardens
Sensory gardens are green spaces that include plants and other features that purposely stimulate all senses. They are relaxing, therapeutic environments for people with mental illnesses, visual impairments, dementia, or developmental disabilities, but are highly enjoyable for anyone. Find them in Caledonian Park, Barnard Park playground and King Square Gardens.

Visit Islington Council’s parks web page for more information

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