Home to the famed Crystal Palace Exhibition that showcased the best of London’s Great Exhibition of 1851, the Crystal Palace Park has become one of the standout attractions of Bromley and today boasts an English Heritage Grade II-listed status.
Visitors will be treated to a wealth of unique attractions during their stay, with many sights to see and activities to enjoy throughout the year.
Have a great time at Crystal Palace Park
One of the largest green and open spaces in south London, Crystal Palace Park offers a welcome chance for lovers of nature to embrace the great outdoors during their time in the English capital.
Originally an ambitious project designed to display Victorian grandeur and innovation, the park was created by Sir Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace Company between 1852 and 1855, and was home to the astonishingly impressive Crystal Palace – a true feat of Victorian engineering prowess in glass and steel that was relocated from its Hyde Park position following the end of the Great Exhibition.
Today, the park continues to be a significant draw for thousands of visitors every year, with many of its attractions unlike any other.
Indeed, the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs are a group of sculptures of dinosaurs and extinct mammals that are complete with a ‘geological’ landscape, set in and around the tidal lake that can be found on the south-east side of the park.
Erected by sculptor and fossil expert Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and founder of the National History Museum Richard Owen, the sculptures were the Victorian equivalent of Jurassic Park and were (and continue to be) a real thrill for visitors.
Meanwhile, guests can enjoy getting lost in the park’s free maze that dates from around 1870 and covers nearly 2,000 square yards and is more than 160 ft in diameter.
The Crystal Palace Museum is housed in the only surviving building to have been constructed by the Crystal Palace Company, with the attraction offering a wide range of materials for those keen to learn more about the rich history of the park.
It is also a popular destination for individuals keen to enjoy outdoor pursuits, with the park being the starting point for the Green Chain Walk – a series of more than 300 linked green, open spaces that stretch from Crystal Palace Park to the River Thames, passing through four London boroughs along the way (Bexley, Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich).
The park is also home to the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, which is a large sporting and athletics venue that hosts numerous events every year.
With a capacity of up to 16,000, the stadium is one of five National Sports Centres in the UK operated on behalf of Sport England and resides on the same site as the former FA Cup Final venue, which was located here between 1895 and 1914.
How to get to Crystal Palace Park
Located in the London Borough of Bromley, the park also resides on the boundary of the London Boroughs of Croydon, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark.
Visitors planning journeys to this popular attraction should be aware that the park itself is outside the central London area and therefore the Underground Tube network does not stretch this far.
That said, there are plenty of options open to prospective visitors, with the London Overground rail service a perfect choice for those wishing to travel light. A number of nearby stations can be found on the London Overground network, including Crystal Palace, Gipsy Hill, Penge West, Anerley and Sydenham.
Other means of transport include local bus services, with an array of routes serving Crystal Palace Park and the local area. Regular routes include: 3, 122, 157, 202, 227, 249, 322, 358, 363, 410, 417, 432 and 450.
Meanwhile, individuals planning to drive to the attraction can also easily do so, with free parking available at the Thicket Road and Anerley Hill entrances to the park.
Other local attractions
It is not just Crystal Palace Park that draws crowds of visitors to the local area though, as the London Borough of Bromley also boasts such attractions as Norwood Park, the South Norwood Recreation Ground, Selhurst Park (home of Crystal Palace FC), Morden Hall Park, Langley Park Golf Course, Sydenham Hill Wood and much more.
The Horniman Museum and Gardens is arguably one of the most popular nearby attractions for visitors to the area, offering the chance for guests to enjoy an extraordinary collection of objects, with subjects ranging from anthropology and natural history, to musical instruments and the museum’s acclaimed aquarium.