Visit our parks
Tower Hamlets has over 120 parks and green spaces for everyone to enjoy. These are treasured by the local community, whether they are small pocket parks, local parks or parks of national repute. The fabulous Mile End Park and the majestic Victoria Park have both been recognised as examples of great parks in the National Good Parks Guide produced by GreenSpace and the Royal Horticultural Society.
Your award winning parks include Weaver’s Fields, Island Gardens, Millwall Park, King Edward Memorial Park, Trinity Square Gardens, Altab Ali Park, Meath Gardens, Poplar Recreation Ground, St George's Gardens, Stepney Green Park, Mile End Park and Victoria Park. They have all gained the prestigious Green Flag Award, a mark of excellence in the quality of provision for parks and open spaces. Victoria Park has also won the Green Heritage Site award for its historic importance and has been voted the UK's favourite park, having won the People's Choice Award several times. The Bromley by Bow Centre, a community partner organisation, has achieved the equally coveted Green Pennant Award for ‘Bob’s Park’ in Poplar. Several other squares and green spaces have won awards for design and excellence.
When visiting your parks, you can expect to find an array of interesting features. Victoria Park contains historical lakes, the Burdett Coutts Memorial and two of the original London Bridge stone alcoves. Mile End Park provides a natural environment, containing both an Ecology and Art Pavilion, as well as a sports stadium and a go-cart track. Whether you're looking for historic churches, beautiful fountains or peaceful gardens, our parks have more than enough to explore. This is just a snap shot of what your parks can offer.
An overview map of the borough's parks.
Find out more about hiring our parks for events.
Enjoy the parks
The borough’s parks host a variety of events and activities throughout the year. The council’s events team co-ordinates and supports a programme of large festivals, funfairs, arts, music and dance events in the parks. For listings of borough wide events visit the Arts and Events pages.
The community park rangers regularly hold outdoor community events including guided walks, arts and crafts workshops, bulb planting, play events, meadow seed sowing and other activities. The Art and Ecology Pavilions in Mile End Park regularly host arts and environmental exhibitions and events and are also available for private hire, while Victoria Park is a key venue for music and cultural festivals. The outdoor environment adds something special to all of these events and provides an opportunity for the whole community to get together for leisure and entertainment.
The parks also provide venues for a number of fund raising events for charities such as sponsored walks, fun runs and cycling.
Play areas and staffed play facilities are very popular with children, young people, parents and carers. The council has been improving these facilities to make them more accessible and attractive for everyone.
Find out more about current park developments. If you would like more information on facilities and events or want to find out about the plans for further improvements please do not hesitate contact us.
History of our parks and open spaces
The parks and open spaces of Tower Hamlets have come into being through a variety of processes. Some public open spaces were the result of deliberate design or policy, while others were the result of historical accidents. There were broadly three periods during which public open spaces were created in Tower Hamlets.
The first, was the deliberate creation of Victoria Park in the mid 19th century, the late 19th century saw the second period with the conversion of churchyards into public gardens and the most recent was in the mid 20th century after World War II.
Many churchyards, particularly in the west of the borough, have become public open spaces managed by the local authority. Having been closed to further burial use because they were full, they were converted in the second half of the 19th century into public gardens.
In the 1990's the London Docklands Development Corporation created a number of river and dockside spaces, and the creation of public spaces continues to today with new areas continuously arising.
Find out more about the history of parks & open spaces in Tower Hamlets
Get healthy with parks
You don’t have to run around your park to improve your health, though you are welcome to do so! Parks are great places to unwind; just sitting and relaxing in a pleasant green environment and spending a moment in touch with nature is proven to help to reduce stress levels and improve your feeling of well-being.
Tower Hamlets parks also offer a great variety of opportunities for a more active lifestyle. The sports and play facilities available can be found under each park listed in this guide.
Discover the great outdoors on your doorstep! Walk Tower Hamlets have eight walking groups across the borough that anyone is welcome to join. Find out more about walking in Tower Hamlets. If you are interested in improving your health and fitness but don’t know how to get started, our Healthy Lifestyles team can offer advice and information on a range of activities.
Run & Walk a mile in Mile End Park - Mile End park run is free but you must register in advance. It is a 5km run - it's you against the clock, and takes place every Saturday at 9am. Find more information on the Park Run Mile end course page.
For more information please visit the parkrun page.
A number of our parks are currently in the process of having outdoor gyms installed.
We do not allow barbeques in our parks and open spaces because it does permanent damage to the grass.
We appreciate this may seem extreme to those people who are careful and do not allow their cooking to burn the grass or leave cooked food waste which is very hard to clean up. Unfortunately however we have had numerous fires caused by ill supervised barbeques and much damage caused to our parks, sadly we cannot rely on common sense and responsible usage amongst the whole population of park users and have nowhere near enough staff to monitor use of barbeques across our parks.
So in the interests of park users and in order to maintain our parks to a good standard we do not allow barbeques. We hope you can appreciate the wider issues involved and thank you for your co-operation.
Parks for people and wildlife
Parks in Tower Hamlets perform an essential role in nature conservation by providing habitats for wildlife.
We are aiming to improve the wildlife value and habitats within parks. Creating areas for nature not only encourages wildlife, it provides ‘spaces for reflection’ – quiet areas, screened by trees and shrubberies with wild flowers where people can enjoy the natural surroundings.
At present there are two local nature reserves, Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park and the Mudchute Park and Farm. These nature reserves are examples of excellence in nature conservation and provide spaces for local volunteers to be trained and gain new skills.
Find out more about wildlife and nature conservation in our parks, and view our local biodiversity action plan.
Mile End Park and other parks: firstname.lastname@example.org
Park Ranger Team
Tel: 07951 321051
Mile End Park Play Pavilion
Tel: 020 7364 52027
For Arts/Ecology Pavilion bookings (only)
Tel: 020 7364 3115
Victoria Park: email@example.com
Victoria Park Ranger Phone (during park opening hours):
Tel: 020 8985 5699