Park Life

by Northern Life

Short of ideas on how to entertain the little ones this summer on a budget? Well here’s a round-up of Family’s favourite parks, perfect for play, picnics or even parties!





Aireville Park is a large open space with sporting facilities and play areas in the heart of Skipton. Wheel park for BMX, skateboards and rollerblades, multi-use games area, offering football, tennis, netball and basketball, new children’s play area, 14-hole pitch and putt course.


Alkincoats Rd, Colne.

Alkincoats Park was first awarded a prestigious Green Flag in 2009, and has maintained it ever since. It is an open park with plenty of recreational space. The main attractions of the park are the four tennis courts, the bowling green, the bandstand, the children’s play area, the picnic areas, and a cafe.


South Meadow Lane, Preston PR1 8JT.

Avenham & Miller Parks are located in the heart of Preston’s city centre. The parks are connected by beautiful and scenic paths, creating one large and diverse park. The parks create a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the city and are perfect for a tranquil stroll mixing the natural beauty of the river with landscaped gardens, exotic trees. Also, home to a children’s play area and vast green spaces.


Goosnargh, Preston, Lancashire PR3 2NL.

The Beacon Fell Country Park consists of woodland, moorland and farmland. The Beacon Fell summit is 266 metres above sea level and offers spectacular views of the Forest of Bowland and Morecambe Bay. On a clear day it is even possible to see the Isle of Man.


Beaumont Park Road, Crosland Moor, Huddersfield HD4 7AY.

A magnificent park with ornate features, cascades, grottos, steep cliffs and picturesque woodland walks for all the family play areas for younger & older children, bike paths, football goals, basketball area cafe. (Take away service).


Bolton Abbey, Skipton BD23 6EX.

Enjoy a fun day, for all the family in the great outdoors. Wander across the moors and along the woodland and riverside paths. Visit Strid Wood and the Strid. This ancient woodland is one of the most visited in the Yorkshire Dales and is home to a myriad of wildlife including roe deer, otters, kingfisher and spotted woodpecker. Car park, toilets and takeaway snacks.


Brimham Rocks Rd, Summerbridge, Harrogate HG3 4DW.

Brimham Rocks and its heather moorland are both sites of special scientific interest and are a magnet for geologists, naturalists, climbers and walkers, as well as families who love the freedom to explore this amazing place. Some of the most iconic rock formations can be viewed only 10 minutes’ walk from the car park, and it takes around four hours to explore all of this fascinating site. Car park, kiosk and toilets.


Preston New Rd, Samlesbury, Preston PR5 0AG.

Whether it’s on the iconic floating Visitor Village or out on the 250-acre nature reserve, Brockholes is full of nature moments which are just waiting for you to discover. You can take a walk along the River Ribble, explore the ancient woodland and amble around the lakes. Open daily.


Spring Gardens Lane, Keighley.

A beautiful park situated next to Cliffe Castle Museum. The excellent facilities, including cafe, children’s’ play area and aviary make Cliffe Castle Park a great day out for all ages.


Forest of Bowland, Gisburn Forest, Slaidburn, Clitheroe BB7 4TS.

Gisburn Forest, in north east Lancashire, in the heart of the Forest of Bowland and is a great place for mountain biking with 4 fantastic cycling trails to really test your skills. Rather walk? There are six different signposted walks you can take. If you’ve got little kids, you should definitely give the A Shaun the Sheep Movie, Farmageddon Glow Trail a go! Various play areas, picnic areas, BBQs and cafe.


Otley Rd, Bramhope, Leeds LS16 8BQ.

Set in 179 acres of mature woodland with gardens surrounding an attractive lake. Many varieties of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. A popular park, well known for its circular lakeside walk. Free car parks off Otley Rd & Arthington Rd. Toilets, dog friendly, cafe with outdoor seating.


Haigh Woodland Park, Haigh, Wigan WN2 1PE.

Haigh Woodland Park’s 250 acre is a magical place for all the family. Take a walk through the woodland or stroll by the canal. Take a walk, take a ride, enjoy a climb, picnic, chill out and spend precious time with family and friends.



Happy Mount Park is proud of its reputation of being a traditional park for people of all ages. You can sit and relax and have a picnic or take a stroll in the attractive parkland setting, pay a visit to the popular cafe or partake in any of the park’s other attractions/activities.


Gibson Mill, Midgehole Rd, Hebden Bridge HX7 7AW.

This wooded valley was once known as ‘the Switzerland of Yorkshire’, and with its rugged woodland, trickling waterfalls and tumbling streams it’s easy to see why. Hardcastle Crags is a haven for wildlife, with rare birds, roe deer and insects. The valley is crisscrossed with over 15 miles of footpaths, just waiting to be discovered. Leaflet available at car parks. Car parking, toilets, cafe open for takeaways.


Valley Drive, Harrogate HG1 2SZ.

Valley Gardens in Harrogate is another favourite Yorkshire park. It offers English Heritage Grade II Listed gardens as well as woodland walks, a great play area, skate park, pitch & putt golf, crazy golf, tennis courts, boating pool and café.



Riverside gardens is a popular place for families to relax and enjoy the surroundings. Perfect for a walk, picnic and for playing with the kids on the fantastic play equipment.


Nova Lane, Birstall, Batley WF17 9LG.

This place has a lot of different trails for all types of families. Whichever way you go it’s always an adventure. It has a great kids play area too and some great views. There are paths for prams and also trails with steps and bridges. The open grounds are the ideal play space for children and dogs. Free car parking, toilets & café.


North Bay, Scarborough YO12 7TR

Peasholm Park, voted 6th Best Park in the UK and 25th Best Park in the whole of Europe in the Trip Advisor Traveller’s Choice Awards. Peasholm Park has been designed with an oriental theme with waterfalls, tree trial, boating lake, putting green, it has been named one of the UK’s top 10 parks. Open air concerts and naval warfare display in summer.


Philips Park Local Nature Reserve, Whitefield M45 7QJ.

Take a walk in the park at Philips Park Local Nature Reserve. A mosaic of wildlife, rich woodland and grassland habitats on the boundary of Whitefield and Prestwich to the south of Bury. Locally renowned for its woodland since at least the Victorian period it is still the ancient woodlands birds and wildflowers that mark the park as a regionally important wildlife site. With a play area, the River Irwell and mill ponds to explore why not relax and enjoy the outdoors.


Mansion Lane, Leeds LS8 2HH.

Roundhay Park has over 700 acres of rolling parkland to explore plus lakes, woodlands, formal gardens as well as cafes, two playgrounds, and Tropical World (entrance fee applies). Toilets and free car parking. Entrances to the park and all paths are wheelchair accessible.


Myers Farm Storrs Lane, Silverdale LA5 0SW.

This popular nature reserve is home to a variety of wonderful creatures from birds and bugs to bats and otters. If you are lucky, you may even spot our largest residents, the red deer. There’s plenty to do at Leighton Moss, explore nature trails, take a stroll around our sensory garden. Parking, toilets, cafe.


Shibden Hall Rd, Halifax, West Yorkshire HX3 9XY.

Shibden Park has lovely grounds and a fantastic play area and biking path, you can hire boats or take a ride on the miniature railway in the summer. You can also tour the historic grounds of Shibden Hall (admission fees apply). Parking. Cafe (take away services only.) Plenty of picnic benches available.


Park Drive, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY3 9HQ.

Stretching across 390 breath taking acres, this oasis of elegance boasts a magical blend of architecture, horticulture and recreation area, containing children’s play areas and sports facilities, from pedal boats to a game of pitch-and-putt, train rides to trampolining, BMX to bowling, Stanley Park has an impressive array of family attractions and play facilities for children.


Bingley, West Yorkshire BD16 1BA.

For the nature lovers, it’s a wildlife heaven over 500 acres with a mix of wooded areas, sculpture trail, pine plantations, meadows, moorland and ponds. For the casual ramblers, there are many paths crisscrossing the estate, making it very dog friendly. The estate is also the home to a massive adventure playground and has many picnic areas.



Hundreds of acres of open and garden land with a family-oriented farm/zoo Join our nature trails, perfect for walking, cycling and horse riding. Take a picnic by the lakeside gardens or have some family fun in our adventure playground.



Wharfemeadows, one of the most well-known sights in Otley, lies alongside the River Wharfe and has beautiful gardens where you can take a leisurely walk, get on to the river on a boat or pedalo, or just sit and watch the world go by. Extensive playground for the children. For older children there are the added attractions of a skateboard park and the recently installed outdoor gym.


Quernmore Road Lancaster LA1 1UX.

Home to the iconic Ashton Memorial and 54 acres of beautiful parkland with enchanting woodland walks, play areas and breathtaking views to the Fylde Coast, Morecambe Bay and the Lakeland Fells. Venture into Fenham Carr and explore mature and varied woodland providing habitats for birds, bats, invertebrates and wild flowers.


Blackburn, BB2 2TP

Around half of the park is a mixture of parkland and woodland, while the rest is either farmland or rough grassland with open access. A visitors’ centre features stables with exhibitions of old horse drawn farm machinery, farm hand tools and a natural history room. A mammal centre houses shrews, voles, ferrets, rabbits and other animals, which are on display.


Trawden, Colne BB8 8SX.

Wycoller Country Park is one of the prettiest country parks in Lancashire. The exclusion of cars from the village and the attractive appearance of the many preserved old buildings create a unique feeling of tranquillity which is rarely experienced today. There are many footpaths leading to local beauty spots which include Bank House and Wycoller Beck.


River Rd, Thornton-Cleveleys, FY5 5LR.

Scenic riverfront park featuring an innovative children’s play area, walking trails, wildlife habitats and picnic areas. Award winning Wyre Estuary Country Park offers year-round activities and events for all the family including ranger led walks, environmentally themed activities and annual events like the Family Sculpture Day.


Off Birkacre Rd, Chorley.

Chorley’s increasingly popular Yarrow Valley Country Park is a 700-acre facility, run by Chorley Council, including a café and information centre. Yarrow Valley Country Park has been home to ‘Yarrow Rocks’, a new play space in which young people are encouraged to challenge themselves and take calculated risks.


West Bretton, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF4 4LG.

The 500 acres of historic parkland and formal gardens are open to enjoy around 80 modern and contemporary sculptures in the open air. Booking essential. Restaurant closed but Centre open 10am – 4pm for coffee, teas and a range of cold foods to take into the park. Car park. Open daily.