This blog seems to be a bit fickle of late. Look, it’s raining! Look it’s sunny! Ah crap, it’s rainy again…welcome to the Great British Summer. Well, this week’s weather of choice is “sun”, so we’ve been out and about for a spot of water play. Monday’s venue was Myatt’s Fields, a patch of green in the triangle between Brixton, Kennington and Camberwell. Chances are, wherever you live, it’s further away than you think it is. Wandering down Camberwell New Rd, I kept thinking we were almost there but we didn’t turn off until we’d almost hit Camberwell. Funnily though, I remember it as being quite a trek from where we lived in Camberwell. It’s really only close if you live in that triangle made up of the Roads Camberwell New and Brixton, and the Lane of Coldharbour. Nathan’s work colleague WorkKate lives in just that triangle, so she came along and met us there. With her baby that looked a lot like Eva. Nathan assures me he hasn’t got his Kates confused.
Anyhow, all those geographical reasons mean that we haven’t been there very often. The only time I’ve taken Roo was on a freakily hot spring day last year, when the water wasn’t switched on and they wasn’t much shade. It was all new and shiny but oh, so hot. We visited the one o’clock club with a friend, her friend and her friend’s friend, all with kids attached. Somehow, I ended up looking after a 4-year-old belonging to the friend’s friend’s friend, while his mother had her hair braided in the playground. The climbing frames seemed perilously high and open-sided for my then 20-month-old and I desperately tried to follow him round, while the four-year-old hit other kids and their mothers blamed me. Fun times.
This trip was better. Way better. For starters, the water was on and I do love a water play. Secondly, I didn’t have to look after any kids that I didn’t know, with a subtle violent streak. In fact, it was my child that went missing and have to be retrieved by a friend. Whoops. It was VERY busy, OK?
So, what was there? Well, there were two climbing frames, including one shaped like a pirate ship. Neither seemed particularly hazardous but I guess that’s just that Roo has changed a lot since our last visit. There was a metal slide (see below) that was roastingly hot and had kids pouring water down it. The ground was also roastingly hot, which is a problem when your child wants to alternate between water play and any other play. Shoes on or off? Roo’s friends J&A had some handy fake crocs (Nathan calls them “focs”, which almost sounds rude but isn’t) which worked for both situations, so definitely something to consider if you visit somewhere with a similar setup. After a trip to Sainsburys this morning, Roo is also kitted out.
There was also an adventure playground corner, with what looked like an aerial runway. I went on one in Norfolk and had forgotten how much fun they are. I couldn’t persuade Roo on it though. The play area is all pretty new, and well designed. There is some shade, but it was crammed with buggies and people picnicking in between them. Better to do what we did, and find a bit of the wider park to sit in.
And there was water play! No paddling pool as such, but fountains , a water bubble (see Roo wrecking it above), arches which you can run through and get sprayed, and lots of other bits. It was a lot of fun but very VERY crowded on the first day of the holidays when the temperature has finally crept above 20c. Be prepared for a bit of splashing and a small freakout if your child is a timid type.
As we left the playground, someone had set up what looked like pirate DVDs along a wall to sell. You can never quite forget that this is Brixton…
VERDICT: A fun, not-quite-local water play area but very crowded. Didn’t check out the rest of the park, but there seemed to be a couple of nice looking cafes.