Me {Wesley at 15}


Hornimans is an open access Adventure Playground that was set up in 1969 by the local parents and community in the North Kensington area. We provide a free play resource for children and young people aged 5-16 years. Please note that your child MUST be aged 5 years from 1st September following their 5th birthday.

I’m Wesley, I’m too old to come to Hornimans these days, but I still drop in and volunteer.   I’m kind of busy these days with acting and film production. From the age of 5, I was an everyday child at Hornimans right up to 16 year old.  After school and in the holidays: I lived, breathed and loved being a part of Hornimans, still do!   This place was a second home to me and my two brothers.  It was and still is, a place where I feel at home, eating far too much, playing guitar or having fun with the children when I volunteer. It’s a big place, with lots going on – it’s like a family within the community. It’s bright and colourful and a happy place to be and there’s plenty to do here for all children..

The playground is colourful because the workers make an effort to ensure that the children who come here have a say in the stuff that you see on the walls, painted structures and in the rules. The wall project is getting a well-deserved update. Thankful to The Childhood Trust and their amazing volunteers repainting the walls, prepped for new children’s designs. Staff at present are fundraising for the materials and equipment needed to complete “The Best Of Me” portraits. A fresh set of faces on the wall panels that surround the playground, a big reminder that this place is and always will be child orientated.  A celebration of childhood, making memories for thousands of kids over the decades.

The wall project is a continuation of just one of the great ideas developed by the children who use Hornimans. The wall mural will represent the people who use the playground, the familiar faces who are part of Hornimans family and part of our community.

Let me tell you a little bit more about what we do here at Hornimans. The best way is to show you are in photographs throughout the site.

A visiting group leader on finding a handful of bark in one of her kids pockets was heard to say  ‘Put the bark back, you can’t take the magic with you!’If you want to see more in our gallery, you will have to register and wait for your account to be approved.  This is because we want our site to be as safe as it can be on the web.  Not always easy to do and a big challenge. Anyway, I digress…

Yeah, but do you have swings?

Yes we do! We have different ones on the adventure. At the moment we were lucky to fundraise and to be given grants from RBKC 106 Fund to replace our old border swing. The Post Code Lottery kindly funded a inclusive community swing it’ll be a swing for all abilities and all ages and will be used easily by younger/older children and children with disabilities.

Max Muller and his team from London Play Designs, with the help from The Children’s Trust and their amazing volunteers are carrying out the building works. Both projects completes in June.

We have the Tango, a swing that turns the nicest of children into contenders for the tango Olympics (translation: demons) It’s wild, it’s fast and it’s all about Chaser’s Rules! Can anyone tell you what the rules are? Not really, as we grow up, the younger ones reinvent the rules. The one thing you need to know is that the rules are made by the kids!  You can always listen to the Tango Song that the children wrote, sang and recorded at Hornimans. That will give you some of the swings history.

There is an Ariel Runway and a huge pyramid with a small climbing wall on one side and a crazy tunnel slide.

We have a fly trap climbing structure, a higgledy pigildly camp structure for climbing and chilling in with a grass roof and wind vein.

We have our mini herd of Pygmy goats.  (I say a herd…. There are three of them) Barry White, Harry his twin and the silver fox himself Freddy.

Under 5’s

I keep getting reminded to add important information to my write up.  I’ve just been handed a list to make sure I don’t forget some of the real important stuff, like Under 5’s.  I want to explain why Hornimans can’t register under 5’s. The outside adventure is an amazing play space for children aged between 5 and 16 years, so why no under 5’s? it has been asked by many a parent. We not insured for that age range to play on the structures. A child must be in their first year of school.

As much as many parents feel that their under 5’s are able to use the large structures and swings, in our experience we know that many aren’t. We make it clear to visiting parents/guardians that we welcome the under 5’s to pet the goats but parents must stay with their children at all times.


The play workers also keep this a child oriented play space, which also means that parents are asked not to take over and use areas that are meant for the children, such as the large table on the adventure playground or taking over table tennis. We know the magic of Hornimans and most adults can’t resist. So we ask all adults to be mindful that this is a child’s space.


The playground is by law required to have annual Health and safety checks to keep the adventure a safe and exciting place the staff perform daily site checks and regular maintenance of the structures, outside area and building.


We really hope you pop in with your child/ren to see us.