Coram's Fields: Where Adults Must Be Accompanied By A Child

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By M@
Coram's Fields: Where Adults Must Be Accompanied By A Child

There's a seven-acre park in central London that's freely open to the public, yet also off-limits to many.

Coram's Fields in Bloomsbury carries the unusual restriction that adults must be accompanied by children. You can't go in unless you have a kid. Those with bikes and dogs are also forbidden.

Set beneath a canopy of mature plane trees and peppered with architectural relics of the Georgian era, the park is a lovely place to explore — so long as you meet the qualifications.

Obviously, it's a child's wonderland, with swings, slides, sandpits, ropeswings and climby climby things to suit all ages. Our little one had a great time.

Our pint-sized reviewer tries out the humpy-climb thing.

Over to the west, a Pets' Corner is home to goats, chickens, rabbits and other animals. Opposite, a small cafe offers baguettes, jackets and refreshments. These and other facilities are housed in an attractive colonnade, which surrounds three sides of the park. To the rear are sports pitches for teens.

These lands have long been a sanctuary for children. This is the site of Thomas Coram's Foundling Hospital, which gave shelter to unwanted children from 1739 until the 1920s. You can learn more about that institution at the nearby Foundling Museum.

After the Foundling Hospital moved out, campaigners ensured that the land would continue its child-friendly ways. Coram's Fields opened in 1936 and continues today as a charity. The organisation puts on regular activities and drop-in sessions — check its website for details.

Coram's Fields can be found on Guildford Street, nearest station Russell Square. Entrance is free, open 9am-dusk.

Last Updated 26 April 2017