Named after the prodigious glass-and-iron palace erected for the Great Exhibition in 1851 and moved here from Hyde Park in 1854, this huge park makes for intriguing exploration. Designed by Joseph Paxton, the palace burned down in 1936 with spectacular ferocity, the radiance of its conflagration visible across 10 counties. The Times reported that in just a few hours the palace was reduced to a smoking ruin and its lovely goldfish had disappeared, presumably boiled to death.
Nothing today remains of the Crystal Palace except the Victorian terrace and its crumbling Sphinx statues. The park is great for kids though, who will have fun discovering the dinosaur sculptures dotted about; the first dinosaur sculptures ever made, they date to the mid-19th century, so display anatomical inaccuracies representing the more limited scientific knowledge of their day. The statues are Grade I listed monuments. Find out more about the palace at the Crystal Palace Museum down Anerley Hill.