Read about Arundel Square, Caledonian Park, Laycock Open Space, Milner Square and Thornhill Square, with more write ups to come soon!
* Arundel Square This square was remodelled very recently in order to extend the space over the railway line as new flats were built. A great deal of thought went into the look and layout of the area, with hardy flowerbeds that survive small childrens stomping, a large flat grassy area and ‘hillocks’ for climbing. There is an adventure-style playground that could be mistaken for tellytubby hill, safely tucked away behind a fence, and basketball area, ping pong table and chess/draughts table. The piéce de resistance is a fantastic, enormous tree house with adult sized fireman’s pole! Depending on your little one’s size/your bravery, your heart might be in your mouth watching them tower 12 feet above your head, but they are safe and sound as the whole thing is enclosed. On sunny days, this square is understandable very popular.
* Caledonian Park Historically, this was the site of the largest cattle market in north London. The old clock tower remains at the centre of the park, and is a landmark that can be seen from various parts of Islington. A few times during the year, it is opened to the public, and apparently has some great views. See the Islington website for details of this. The area is a big green space, surrounded by a well kept path, trees and a little woodland walk – so perfect for a walk with the pram, or for entertaining toddlers who like to explore! There is a children’s playground, but the main event here is the lovely expanse of grass – you can really escape the hustle and bustle.
* Laycock Open Space This grassy area, opposite the doctors’ surgery, most often serves the Primary School children at 4 o’clock! A playground can be found at the Upper Street end of the park, but depending on the time is often a haunt of teenagers. Islington have thoughtfully enclosed an area of the park as dog free, which is excellent as there are usually a lot of dogs being exercised. This dog free area is clean and pretty with well kept flower beds – good for a picnic on a sunny day with treats bought on Upper St, or a run around.
* Milner Square This is a super square to bring toddlers. Despite its proximity to Upper Street and Liverpool Road, it is very quiet and leafy, and usually only has residents’ cars coming through. There is a large area with hard surface, perfect for ball games and scooters, and a playground aimed at small people, with a roundabout, small climbing frame and a couple of swings.
* Thornhill Square Hidden between Caledonian Road and Hemingford Road is Thornhill Square, a smart, quiet space with lots of trees. St. Andrew’s church and West Library are also on the square. There are large grassy areas for running around or picnicking, a hill to run up and down, and a playground that has been zoned into four different areas: toddlers and toddler swings, and the ‘big kid’ area and swings! These are all safely fenced off from the rest of the park.