Before moving to Lewes 2 years ago, I spent the previous 5 years living in houses in the Queen's Park/Hanover area of Brighton. I've spent many sunny, and not-so-sunny, days in Queen's Park - meeting friends, walking the dog, barbecuing, drinking cider, sledging in the snow. But it's only since going there with my toddler that I've fully appreciated all it has to offer. Here's a quick run through:
Table tennis tables. Obviously for quite a specific target audience. My husband definitely sits in that bracket and was very excited to discover these.
A very extensive kids' playground with something suitable for pretty much every age. I'm talking zip wires, sand pits, at least 4 different size slides, big wooden climbing frames, little boat shaped climbing frames, all sorts of swings, trains to sit in and climb on, water and sand games - and spread out over a huge area, which means the little ones don't get trampled on by the big ones. Much. Here's Jola running as fast as her little legs would carry her when she clocked the fun to be had:
There's also a little cafe and plenty of picnic tables, but I couldn't tell anything much about the food as we didn't have any. And likewise with the toilet block, but at least there is one.
There is a large duck pond too. Just be careful with little ones as it's unfenced. And not really that many ducks. A couple of geese and then mainly seagulls. But my little one doesn't yet know the difference between a duck and a seagull so she's happy!
This is now the third time we've made the journey into Brighton for the specific purpose of going to Queen's Park. It's ace! On one previous occasion East Sussex Fire Service were there with one of their engines for the children to explore. We've also been there for little J to leg it about and then have a nap in the pushchair as we walk into town and hit the shops, without feeling guilty about it not being fun for her. The Hanover area is largely free parking too (although not the immediate roads around the park), so useful if you're going to be a while and don't mind a short walk and the hill.
A quick word of warning: whilst we were seated on a bench happily munching on sausage rolls a seagull swooped down and grabbed the sausage roll out of my husband's hand! Beware!