Liverpool’s parks are the best in the world – and here’s why…
Spring is in the air! The clocks are going forward and we’re starting to think about going out and about to get some fresh air and make the most of the lovely, longer days. And Liverpool is lucky to have the very best parklife in which to do it!
The city has more than 2,500 acres of glorious green space; plenty of parks and open areas so there’s no shortage of places to go whether you’re planning a picnic, taking the kids for a swing in the play area, or enjoying a stroll in the beautiful surroundings and a time to chill.
Here’s our six of the very best…
The historical park in Toxteth was Liverpool’s first public park and, dating back to the 19th Century, it still has the former carriage drive. With 110 acres there’s plenty of play room as well as a fishing lake and the foundations of the former Grade II listed boathouse to add interest. A permanent memorial to Nelson Mandela is being created with a bridge across the lake, a pavilion and stonework inscribed with quotes from Mandela who was made a Freeman of Liverpool in 1994. The pedestals represent oil drums he used to grow an allotment on the rooftop of Pollsmoor Prison, and the memorial his love of gardens and horticulture along with his struggle for freedom, equality and humanity.
You’d need more than a day to explore all of Sefton Park because, with 235 acres, the Grade II listed park isn’t short on space. Host to the annual Liverpool International Music Festival (LIMF) in summer, there’s an abundance of quiet spots for a picnic or field games with the family, as well as places to explore. Explorers can check out the grotto, well-known as Old Nick’s Caves, the Fairy Glen or make a bee-line for the playground which has swings, a slide a climbing frame and more; and not forgetting the boating lake, the bandstand and the stunning restored Palm House.
The Japanese garden has got to be one of the jewels in this Liverpool park, but it’s not the only thing to shine in this 94-acre green space. It’s also home to old English gardens and an impressive oak tree that’s 1,000 years old. There’s a lake which means little-ones can feed the ducks and the grown-ups can fish (providing they have an angling permit). There’s a large play area for kids with an adjacent wooded area with climbing frames for older children; the Storybarn – an interactive story centre for children to explore, share and discover a love of books, an ice-cream parlour and café. Don’t forget too, the Miniature Railway which runs every Sunday.
Croxteth Hall and Country Park
Once home to the Earls of Sefton, Croxteth Hall is open to the public from April to September, but all year round there’s tons to do in the 500-acre country park in West Derby. It boasts woodland, pastures, ponds and streams to explore on a network of paths and trails – and it’s a great place to look for wildlife though, of course, there’s plenty of that in Home Farm, a traditional working Victorian farm and is one of the leading conservation farm parks. As well as regular events held at Croxteth, there’s a beautiful walled garden (also open April to September), an adventure playground and outdoor exercise equipment, a café and gift shop – and it also features Jungle Parc activity centre with Tarzan swings, tree trekking and zip wires.
Where else can boast such a stunning park in the middle of two of the country’s top football clubs? Dividing Anfield and Goodison, Stanley Park is a Green Flag and Green Heritage award-winning venue with Grade II listed features like the 1899 Gladstone Conservatory, restored and renamed the Isla Gladstone Conservatory. You can happily while away a few hours here whether it’s having fun in the playground, taking in the fragrance of the famed rose gardens or exploring its many wildlife habits. The park, designed by Edward Kemp who worked as a garden apprentice at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, also has a large lake and a fairy tale bandstand which hosts events such as the Liverpool Bandstand Festival.
St James Mount and Gardens
Not your average park we admit, but the sunken and secluded cemetery gardens in the shadow of Liverpool’s magnificent Anglican Cathedral are definitely worth a visit. The park was formerly a cemetery, and a stone path lined with recycled grave stones goes through a short tunnel on entrance to the garden, between the Oratory and the main entrance of the cathedral. The Grade I listed gardens include historical features like the stone arch between Garden Lodge and the steps up the Mount, the Huskisson Memorial, a natural spring and a system of broad ramps lined with catacombs. It’s a perfect place to sit, relax and take in the amazing architecture which surrounds it.
What’s your favourite park in Liverpool? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook and tag us in your pictures of our parks on Instagram.
By Janet Tansley. Copy Media