Victoria Park

A lush slice of London life, Victoria Park and nearby Victoria Park Village allow you to escape from the hustle and bustle of the capital, and is one of the city’s lesser known hip hangouts (a hidden gem unless you already live in East London).

One of our favourite urban areas to explore at the weekends (as we can easily access it by cycling along the canal), we love nothing better than to relax in the park and grab some food from one of Victoria Park Village’s numerous stores, or visit the Sunday Market.

Green, gorgeous and gigantic – what is not to like?! Since moving to North East London, Victoria Park has become one of our regular haunts. It was also recently voted one of the best parks in the country in a public tourism poll and it is huge – more than 86 hectares / 213 acres of greenery. There is so much space and it never feels that full, even on hot summer afternoons (and you certainly can’t say that about nearby London Fields).

Situated between Tower Hamlets and Hackney, Victoria Park was built in 1842 and is the oldest public park in the UK. It was also known as the People’s Park and used for many rallies and political speeches, especially during the Suffragette movement.

Victoria Park Pubs

There are two pubs located right on the perimeter of the park. The People’s Park Tavern is the local’s favourite with a nice outdoor area, pop-up cocktail bar and BBQ kitchen – it also houses the Brew Lab from Laine Brewery knocking out ‘weird and wonderful’ craft beer collaborations.

Nearby, The Royal Inn on the Park is by the entrance to Victoria Park Village and has a beer garden that looks directly into the park.

Victoria Park Chinese Pagoda

It isn’t every London park that you find a Chinese pagoda! It moved here from another London Park (Hyde Park) after the famous Chinese Exhibition in the 1840s. Popular with picnickers and wedding couples taking photos, you are able to sit beneath it but the upper level isn’t accessible.

Victoria Park Boating Lake

You can hire a rowing boat or a pedalo (go for the pedalo – much more relaxing!) seven days a week during the summer months and can enjoy close up views of the Chinese Pagoda from the water. You can also grab snacks from the nearby Pavilion Cafe next to where you hire the boats from.

Victoria Park Sunday Market

The Victoria Park Market takes place every Sunday between 10am and 4pm on a pedestrianised street called the Nightwalk, located between Bonner Gate and Gore Gate. The stalls sell all kinds of gourmet goodness such as international street food, seasonal fruit and veg and sweet treats.

This one of the best alfresco markets in London and is always a lot less busy than the likes of Borough Market or Spitalfields Market – although do expect to queue a little for the most popular stalls, especially during the main peak lunchtime period.

Drinking Fountain

The Burdett Coutts drinking fountain is often used by local groups as an easily recognisable meeting point and is one of the few still standing structures that remain from when Victoria Park first opened in the 1840s (a lot of structures here were bombed during the war).

All Points East Festival

Victoria Park is also home to the annual All Points East festival, attended by thousands of revellers and launched in 2018 (alas the 2020 festival was cancelled due to covid19). We’ve been to All Points East festival twice and seen acts such as Metronomy, Beck and Bjork, and it is definitely one of the best organised day festivals we’ve been to in London.

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