Tuesday 22 June 2010

Coram’s Fields, Guilford Street, central London

A large central London square dedicated to children, Coram's Fields is an oasis of fun in the otherwise refined and intellectual district of Bloomsbury. In these seven acres you'll find everything from astroturf football pitches to elaborate playgrounds to depressing cages occuped by goats, sheep, rabbits and birds. There is probably too much tarmac and concrete for some adult tastes, but children under twelve will be impressed. The main playground, padded with bark chippings, has an imposing and solid four-storey wooden climbing frame built to resemble a house. From the top, children can glide down a twisting, enclosed metal chute. It is surrounded by other large wooden contraptions, including frames for a large swinging tyre and a row of noisy bell chimes. There is also a disappointingly-sluggish zip wire, which needs an energtic adult to gain any momentum. Other smaller swings and slides are dotted around the patch of worn grass at the heart of Coram's Fields, which is fittingly off-limits to adults without children. Dogs are also barred. On a Sunday, most of the visitors are white middle class kids hurtling around the playgrounds and engaging in a bit of argy-bargy. 7/10