A large Edwardian-era park located between Camberwell, Brixton and Herne Hill, which still contains many of its original heritage features.
Ruskin Park has a children’s playground, sports pitches, seasonal paddling pool, refreshment kiosk, outdoor gym and toilets. It also has a charming wooden bandstand, a central ornamental pond, community garden, a wildlife area containing a pond and orchard, and a diversity of both young and mature trees.
Ruskin Park has a rich history dating back to 1907 when it first opened as a public park based on a design by J.J. Sexby, a famous landscape architect. It was named after the Victorian writer and naturalist John Ruskin, who grew up locally and often wrote about its wild beauty.
The oldest part of the park is on the site of a series of grand houses and gardens, which lay along the western side of Denmark Hill. Many of these were absorbed into the park, as seen in the ornamental pond, terraced gardens, a curious Portico Shelter and the Coach House. An additional section was added to the park in 1910 on its western side, which provided playing fields and additional fencing.
Ruskin Park is adjacent to two of London’s main teaching hospitals, King’s College Hospital and the Maudsley Hospital, and plays a crucial role in providing hospital staff, patients and visitors with a safe and welcoming space to exercise and relax.
Ruskin Park was recently declared a ‘Health Park’ in recognition of its health benefits, along with numerous on-site initiatives including a new outdoor gym, partnerships with mental health groups and an active volunteering programme.
Ruskin Park is also a Borough "Site of Importance for Nature Conservation" (or SINC) for the London Borough of Lambeth, in recognition of its importance not just for wildlife, but also for people living in both Lambeth and London to enjoy access to nature.
Ruskin Park is one of Lambeth's Green Flag Award-winning parks, as well as a holder of ‘Park of the Year’ award from London In Bloom. These awards recognise the achievements made to provide visitors to and residents of Lambeth with a clean, safe, welcoming and popular open space they can all be proud of.
Ruskin Park tree walk and guide
In partnership with the Friends of Ruskin Park, the Camberwell Society have produced a 'Ruskin Park tree walk'. This walk, which was officially launched on 6th March 2022, consists of a series of essays based around six stopping points within Ruskin Park. Four of the points are associated with various remarkable trees found in the park, and the other two with impressive views.
More information on the tree walk, which is self-led and based around a colourful map as well as excerpts from the essays, can be found on the Society's website.
A short narrated film version of the tree walk is available as a YouTube video called "A tree walk through Ruskin Park with John Ruskin".
Other useful information
Friends of Ruskin Park - Friends of Ruskin Park
Green Flag Award - Green Flag Award
London in Bloom - London In Bloom
Tennis in Ruskin Park - see booking tennis courts in parks and open spaces
Booking other sports facilities in Ruskin Park - see Lambeth Parks Sports Facilities | Courts, Pitches & MUGAs | Better