London has several play fountains that are perfect for cooling down on a hot summer’s day. Here’s a quick look at the best public play fountains in London for a free day out over the summer holidays.
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Appearing Rooms at South Bank
Riverside Terrace, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX | Website
A summer favourite on London’s South Bank, the Jeppe Hein’s Appearing Rooms installation is back on from 7 June to 3 September 2023. The fountain shoots jets of water into the air, creating rooms that quickly disappear.
Kids love moving from each space, trying to dodge the fountains. This summer, the Appearing Rooms will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and open Wednesday to Sunday (subject to weather conditions and maintenance) from 10am to 9pm.
Combine a visit to the Appearing Rooms with sightseeing along the river, the Jubilee playground and family activities at the Southbank Centre.
There are many family friendly restaurants along the South Bank to choose from, including Wagamama, Giraffe and Honest Burgers near the Southbank Centre and Wahaca at Queen Elizabeth Hall. Street food trucks are usually parked along the riverside too serving up fish and chips, barbecue, hot dogs and more.
Granary Square Fountains
Granary Square, Kings Cross, London N1C 4BH | Website
Located in the heart of King’s Cross, Granary Square is a large open space with a spectacular water feature that is one of the best play fountains in London. The 1000 water jets squirt and splash in patterns throughout the day, and at dusk, the fountains are illuminated with multicoloured lights, creating a brilliant light show.
The Granary Square Fountains is one of the best spots to spend a summer day out in London. There is loads of space for children of all ages to enjoy splashing about in the water.
You’ll find plenty of restaurants, food trucks and ice cream shops around Granary Square. Facilities include picnic tables, a Waitrose grocery shop and toilets at the Coal Drops Yard.
More London Fountains
1-2 More London Riverside, London SE1 2AF | Website
More London is part of the London Bridge City riverside destination and is surrounded by some of the city’s most famous landmarks. The Riverside fountains consist of 200 water jets springing from limestone pavement.
This is a fantastic spot to enjoy the sightseeing, with riverside views overlooking Tower Bridge. Popular attractions nearby include Borough Market, the Tower of London and HMS Belfast. There are plenty of options for food and drink along the river, such as quick eats from Five Guys, Itsu and Leon.
Diana Memorial Fountain
Hyde Park, West Carriage Drive, London W2 2UH | Website
Located in Hyde Park in West London, this oval stone fountain is a unique memorial to Diana, Princess of Wales. Built with Cornish granite, the Diana Memorial Fountain aims to reflect Diana’s life, with water flowing from the highest point in two directions as it cascades and swirls to a calm pool at the bottom.
The Diana Memorial Fountain is a popular place for locals and tourists to relax and reflect year-round. From April to August, the Diana Memorial Fountain is open from 10am to 8pm. This is a great spot to enjoy a picnic too, although the area does get very busy during the summer months.
Combine with a day out the Princess Diana Playground in nearby Kensington Gardens or a visit to the Science Museum or Natural History Museum in South Kensington.
John Madejski Garden Fountains at V&A Museum
Cromwell Rd, London SW7 2RL | Website
Another popular spot in London to cool off during the summer months is located in the Italianate courtyard of the Victoria & Albert Museum. The courtyard’s oval-shaped water feature is fringed with water jets with steps leading in so that it functions as a paddling pool in hot weather.
There is usually an ice cream van and refreshment stand in the John Madejski Garden as well during the summertime, making it an ideal spot to take a break from sightseeing and enjoy the warm weather.
Pin for Later – Play Fountains in London
This post was updated on 2 June 2023 with new information for this year’s summer season.