Last weekend was entirely dedicated to our London dog areas project. Argo, my husband and I went and visited 12 enclosed dog areas around London (6 in South London and 6 in the North and North East) in order to test them, take measures and photos of each. Around 14.5 hours over two days, 39 km (24.2 miles) walked and many trains and buses later, with the tireless help of the official dog park tester, I collected much information to share with you.
Since I haven’t covered any North London enclosed dog areas yet, I thought to start and provide you with the reviews of four dog parks located in the Borough of Camden.
- Camden Square Gardens (NW1) ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
- Judd Street Open Space (WC1H) ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
- Kilburn Grange Park (NW6) ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
- Purchese Open Street Space (NW1) ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Dog areas in the Borough of Camden
In the Borough of Camden there are currently four enclosed dog exercise areas: in Camden Square Gardens (Camden), Judd Street Open Space (St. Pancras), Kilburn Grange Park (West Hampstead) and Purchese Open Street Space (King’s Cross). From the information I got, there may also be an enclosed dog area in Clarence Gardens, but I have not had the chance to go and check in person yet (so updates will follow).
I visited the latter three earlier last year – so please bear with me if the photos of the other dog areas are not great: at the time the dog area review project was not as developed yet -, while we enjoyed Camden Square Gardens last weekend.
Until recently, there used to be one more dog park located in Cantelowes Gardens. Unfortunately, during the refurbishment of the Gardens it appears that the dog area was removed. I was aware that discussions about the future of the area were ongoing, but it was only this weekend, when I visited the Gardens to take some better photos of the dog area (which I had earlier visited), that I found that the dog area was no longer there. Apparently there had been complaints about the negative impact of anti-social behaviour and noises on neibouring properties.
In addition, there was previously another dog park in Talacre Gardens. The Council confirmed that, following a request from the Friends of the Garden’s group, the dog area was absorbed into the wider park.
1. Camden Square Gardens
Camden Square Gardens are located in Camden Square and the closest station is Camden Road overground station. While dogs are not allowed in the main Gardens, there is a large dedicated dog exercise area in the south part of the park, with two accesses from two sides of Camden Square.
Size and facilities
The dog area is fully enclosed by a metal bar fence and has an almost square shape. The Council confirmed that the dog park measures 1,811 square meters (approx. 19,493 square feet), which is a very good size and allows plenty of runs and playing. The area has two benches and two waste bins.
Two sides of the dog area look over the Square, while the South side borders with a children playground and the North side edge looks over the main Gardens.
Fences and gates
Border with the Square and the children playground
The fence on the edge with the street is 170 cm high (66.93 inches), with space between bars of 12 cm (approx. 4.72 inches). Under the gate there is a space of around 7 cm (approx. 2.75 inches). A high and tight green metal fence divides it from the children area.
There are two gates on the road, both in use and which locks work fine.
Edge with the main Gardens
A low metal bars fence divides the dog park from the main Gardens. Such fence is approximately 86 cm high (approx. 33.85 inches), with space between bars measuring 10 cm (approx. 3.93 inches). It has three gates, one of which is locked, while the other two do not have locks and one of which tends to open.
I personally find that the fence with the main Gardens is too low for a large dog. You can encounter children playing football and if you have a dog that loves balls I reckon it would very easy for it to jump over the fence and run in the Gardens. Another thing to consider is that other entrances to the Gardens are located very close to the low fence dividing the dog area from the rest of the park. Therefore I would recommend some extra caution if your dog is keen on jumping over fences.
From the entrance of the dog area from the street there is not a perfect visual over the three gates with the rest of the gardens, therefore it may be a good practice to have a walk and check that all gates are closed before letting your dog off lead. When we visited the Gardens, for example, one of the gates was completely open and we couldn’t see it from the entrance.
The area is well maintained. At the time of our visit we didn’t see any rubbish nor dog mess around.
3. Judd Street Open Space
Judd Street Open Space is located on Judd Street, just a few minutes walk South from the British Library and the Reinassance Hotel (official webpage of the area on Camden Cindex). The nearest tube station is King’s Cross St Pancras.
We visited it last year and found that the Open Space hosts a playground, a green area and a dog exercise area. I would classify the dog area as small/medium sized; according to the Council it measures approximately 690 square meters (approx. 7,427 square feet). As you can see from the pictures, the area develops in lenght and has some trees, grass and some muddy areas.
A metal bars fence which is 1 meter high (around 39.3 inches) encloses the area from the rest of the Open Space, while there is a higher fence on the edge with the street, which also has a stock fence in the lower part in order to prevent small dogs slipping through. Finally there is a brick wall on the border with the residential area. There are two gates on opposite parts of the dog area, which locks at the time of our visit were not working perfectly and there is some space under the gates. Unfortunately I had not started to measure and record this measures at the time, so I cannot provide such data.
In terms of manteinance, at the time of our visit we found some pieces of rubbish here and there and a few muddy parts under the trees, although it was not too bad overall.
4. Kilburn Grange Park
Kilburn Grange Park is located just off Kilburn High Road and the nearest tube station is West Hampstead. The dog area is located in the South West part of the park, near the entrance from Grangeway and develops in lenght, as you can see from the pictures.
According to the Council, I have been in contact with, the dog area measures 823 square meters (approx. 8,858 square feet). Although this is a good size, having some trees with low branches, does not make it the ideal place for playing ball fetch.
The fence with the rest of the park is 90 cm high (35.4 inches), which is very low for a large dog, that could easily jump over. On the contrary, the fence and the brick walls on the edge with the residential area are high and safe.
The dog area has 3 gates, which are located at the ends of the area and in the middle part of it respectively. In terms of maintenance,
5. Purchese Open Street Space
Purchese Street Open Space is located on Purchese Street and Brill Place, just a few minutes walk from St Pancras station (its official webpage is available here). It hosts an enclosed dog area which, according to the information the Council has provided me with, measures 400 square meters (approx. 4,305 square feet).
Purchese Open Street Space’s dog area is definitely one of the worst Argo and I have ever visited: when we went there last year we found it badly maintained, dirty and unsafe.
The metal bar fence on the side of the Open Space, which is 1 meter high (around 39.3 inches), had some broken parts, one of which was tighten with rope and tape. The two gates were also not working properly and one had been fixed with a rope. In addition, in the dog area we found broken glasses, beer cans, other rubbish and a lot of unpicked dog mess (unfortunately you can’t see it in the photos). At the time of our visit the dog area was quite muddy.
The edge with the street is enclosed by a high brick walls and fence.
Apparently the contractor for the mainteinance of Camden’s grounds has recently changed, so maybe there is hope that they will do a better job…
I hope this information has been useful!
I would love to hear about your experience and any suggestions you may have about how to improve these dog areas reviews! You can get in touch leaving a comment below or via email at hello(at)thelondog.com
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