The historic park has so much to offer, from a model village and bandstand to top-class sports facilities and a boating lake
When tens of thousands of people make the effort to vote for something they love, it usually means there’s something pretty special about it. And that is certainly a sentiment that rings true for Blackpool‘s historic Stanley Park. Well, more than one in fact as it’s going absolutely loads going for it.
The Grade II-listed public park was recently named the best in England by Fields of Trust, with 30,000 people voting in support of their favourite green spaces from large country parks to major city spaces. And as a result it now officially has ‘National Treasure’ status by organisers.
Here, we take a closer look at why the 96-year-old Stanley Park sticks out from the rest, like a tree still in bloom in winter.
Gorgeous gardens and great green space
The park is 390-acres of green space, including playing fields, horticultural brilliance, Rose and Remembrance Gardens and ornamental Italian Gardens. Its size makes it suitable for large groups and families to meet while others looking for a tranquil or serene walk and a quiet spot to read or enjoy lunch, are catered for, too. The plants, flowers and trees attract a great deal of wildlife
It is open every day from dawn to dusk, and is easy to navigate as the main areas are split into four – eastern area lake and woodland, the south stretch/children’s play areas and sports facilities.
Talking of sport, its a haven for that
Stanley Park is a beacon for top sports clubs, with its own athletics track and a plethora of facilities of several sporting activities, such as tennis. You can find Blackpool Cricket Club’s home ground where elite team Lancashire also play a handful of ‘home’ games each season, when their regular ground Old Trafford isn’t available.
Blackpool Netball Club is also based at the park, with the seaside town-raised England shooter Eleanor Cardwell first learning to play there. There’s also space to ride your BMX bike and a pitch and putt green.
Art deco at its finest
Pop to the exquisite Art Deco Cafe for a spot of afternoon tea, a light lunch or slice of cake. The cafe overlooks the Italian Gardens and is one of the most historic and striking buildings in the park.
You can’t miss the two Medici lion statues, guarding the entrance to the venue at the top of the steps, while the building and surrounding area also boasts a number of other interesting features, including the Cocker Clock Tower – a memorial to Blackpool’s first Mayor, Dr William Cocker, flanked by two bronze lion head drinking fountains.
Make sure you take in the amp theatre and the bandstand, which are both nearby.
Did you know?
Each side of the 85ft tall clock tower faces almost exactly north, east, south and west. There is a door on the northern side.
Explore the model village
Visit the Blackpool Model Village and Gardens and prepare to be wowed by the minute detail in the hundreds of scenes created there. See how a cluster of thriving communities have been imagined in miniature form, with a Scottish castle, a working railway and station, Tudor village homes, a cricket pitch, shopping centre and a Cornish fishing village.
The two and a half acre attraction first opened in 1972. It opens from April to November.
Stanley Park is a classic example of ‘prime location’. It is a short drive from the seafront, town centre shops with off-street and on-street parking (charges apply).
It is also close to Blackpool Zoo and only a 10-minute drive from Blackpool Tower and the Golden Mile attractions. The park is accessible, open to all and free to enter.
- 10:41, 4 SEP 2022