London has a lot of underground venues these days, from wine bars, to farms, theatres, museums, cinemas, and Mexican restaurants disguised as sex shops.
And now, at last, it’s got its own subterranean fairground too.
And yes, it’s got rides and everything. There’s even a rollercoaster. It’s called Babylon Park and you’ll find it underneath Camden’s brand new Hawley Wharf development. There are apparently already two other Babylon Parks in Israel and Siberia, so make of that what you will. Perhaps funfairs in Siberia need to be indoors. Whatever. Either way, we should make it clear upfront that, yes, this place is absolutely designed for kids, but that it is nevertheless also extremely fun to have a jaunt around if you just want to revel in unfettered childlike glee for a while.
So what have they got down there? Well, after wandering in (there’s no entry fee or anything) you’ll jump on an escalator descending into the depths of Camden, walk through a mezzanine, and take a second escalator down into the huge, double-height, blue-soaked, alien-themed fairground itself. The place is absolutely stuffed with dozens of arcade machines, air hockey tables, funfair games, and child-sized fairground rides. You’ll even find what is, undoubtedly, the world’s smallest Ferris wheel.
If you want to take a spin on anything, you should head to the bumper cars, the drop-tower, and the all-important rollercoaster, which snakes its way around the entire venue. Along the way it goes on loops and whirls, though it never quite hurtles along at a breakneck speed.
If you want to check it out and have a laugh then we’d highly recommend pre-gaming at one of Camden’s best pubs, and perhaps getting a bite at the excellent casual steak place (The Black Cow) in Hawley Wharf itself. And if anyone doesn’t like that plan?
NOTE: Babylon Park is open seven days a week, 10am-10pm. There are no bookings, and no entry fee. You can find out more at their website right here.
Babylon Park | 8-10 Castlehaven, NW1 8QH
While you’re there… you might want to check out the rest of Camden Town.