Friday 18 April 2008

Ruskin Park, Denmark Hill, south London

Ruskin Park is a large, slightly-dilapidated green lung running down the gentle slope from genteel Herne Hill to gritty Brixton and Camberwell. Gangs of mouthy teenagers sometimes hang around the battered playground and football pitches, where wannabee pit bull terriers take their early evening exercise. Even so, avenues of mature trees, a hundred year old bandstand and distant views of the city from the top of the slope, mean Ruskin Park maintains some of its original Edwardian dignity. At the northern end, adjacent to Kings College Hospital, there is a pleasant wooded glade and gardens planted with plenty of flowers and shrubs, but the edgy atmosphere means you may not want to linger too long. 6/10