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Attractions in Gateshead in general
Member Name: clairebear1984
Attractions in Gateshead in general
Date: 29/09/08, updated on 29/09/08 (1054 review reads)
Advantages: Big Park, Safe for children
Saltwell Park was actually opened in 1876 where it was named the peoples park. Over the years we have seen major restoration of the park, where better safety and order have been issued to make the park an enjoyable place for families to visit.
The park itself has been restored in order to bring back the feel of the Victorian times and we can see nearly 100 Victorian- style seats and a newer addition would be Saltwell towers, a building where we can now sit and have a coffee or a cup of tea while admiring the beautiful flowers of the park.
Here are a few of the facilities that Saltwell Park has to offer:
Public Sports Facilities:
The Park has Tennis and Basket ball courts that are free to use all year round.
The Broadwalk and the Northern Fields:
The Northern field area is where you can sit and have a nice picnic and admire the scenery. The Broadwalk is basically the flower displays
This is the part of the Park where you will find the refreshments kiosk (only open in the summer months) and you can also find the toilet facilities here.
The lake is quite large, and it has undergone some major restoration since 2005. Here you can walk right up to the sides or use the small wooden pier to feed the duck's and swan's. It is also lovely to take a row or pedal boat ride around the lake. I particularly like the idea of the swan shaped pedal boats, as they are very fun for the children.
There are 2 play areas in total. The first is for the toddlers which has a sand-pit with a small climbing activity, a definite favourite for the kids. There's also 2 climbing activities the first is small and has 2 slides, it does have bridges for the children to cross but due to the plastic having sand on it that has been trailed from the pit, this certain frame tends to get quite slippery. I noticed my Daughter seemed to be struggling a bit to walk on the sand. The bigger of the frames is definitely loved by my Daughter, it again has 2 slides with one being bigger than the other. Iit has wooden bridges and platforms as well as ropes and tunnels, a firm favourite for the kids.
The Bowling Green:
Saltwell Park actually has 3 bowling greens in total. I have never used them and I have to say everytime I visit the park, nobody else seems to use them either.
The Rose Garden:
This is a beautiful part of the park to have a walk through and see all of the different coloured roses.
The towers hold a mix of gothic, Elizabethan and French styles and as I mentioned before, they hold the café. You can also pick up information from the towers about different up and coming events the park will be hosting.
My Daughter loves to come to the park and see the animals. You can see everything from peacocks and birds to rabbits and guinea pigs. You aren't allowed to feed the animals which is a bit of a shame although I can understand why. The cages are always kept fairly clean too so you can stand comfortably around them.
This is the woodland part of the park where you can go over bridges and walk down the small rocks by the side of the stream, which has pools, cascades and a lily pond. It is definitely worth a walk through here.
The Education Centre:
This is not a part of the park that I have used as it is basically for use by schools or colleges.
This is basically a part of the park that is decorated with clumps of trees. You can also have picnics here too as it doesn't get as busy as the northern field and it is closer to the car parks.
I used to love this facility when I was a child as we used to run around chasing each other through a tree filled maze coming to dead ends when trying to find a way of getting out. This has also undergone some major work. New plants and trees have been added and it is still as fun for the children and adults too. I would advise though that I did find a lot of prickles and nettles when I visited the maze yesterday. They should definitely be cut down.
This is the lawned area behind the towers and it is used for open- air performances.
South Dene Nursery:
This is an allotment that is open to the public and you can buy plants and gardening supplies.
The grove is a seating area around a bandstand. In the summer months bands can be heard on a Sunday afternoon. It can also be used for events. I visited yesterday and the park held a wooden sculpture day where families could get involved and build their wooden sculptures. It was great to see everyone getting together and building. Some of the sculptures were very good indeed and if they were small enough you were able to take them home. A band was also playing.
As I mentioned before the park does have a car park, which is very secure, as it is covered with CCTV that also extends to the park itself.
The security in general is very good in the park as there are grounds men always wondering around to make sure there is no trouble. This Means that the park is directed for families and not a place that gangs will hang around.
In the summer months there will be extra activities available for the children, for example bouncy castles and inflatable slides. The prices are also very reasonable, it cost me £2.00 for my Daughter to bounce on all 3 castles until she was ready to come off. You can purchase balloons for around £1.00, Bubble swords for £2.00 and duck food for 50 pence. The bouncy castles are located directly beside the lake so after a bit of fun you can go and feed the ducks and swans with the food. I am not actually too sure what the food is as it strangely resembles cornflakes and seems to sink before the ducks even get a bite. In my opinion a cheap loaf is a better option.
The wildlife in the park isn't shy either, as you will see a lot of squirrels running around hiding pieces of dropped food. There is a hot food van located at the park where you can buy chips, hotdogs or burgers as well as hot and cold drinks. I would advise that it may be best to eat before hand or if it is warm to bring a picnic as the van is very expensive.
You will also find a few ice cream vans dotted around the park. The prices are fair.
If you decide to do a full circuit of the park and take in all the scenery it will probably take around 1 hour. If the weather was nice I would definitely recommend doing this as it is very peaceful and relaxing. A lot of people actually take dogs around the circuit for walks. The park is an ideal place to take children on their scooters and bikes, as they are safe to pedal freely with no fear of any roads.
Throughout the year Saltwell park holds a few events, one being the Saltwell explorers event, if you are interested to know how people used Saltwell park during the Victorian times or the plants cycles then you can go along to this particular learning event. There are lots of other events held for all of the family with regular crafting at Christmas, Halloween and Easter. Other events include spring planting, hanging bird feeders and guided walks.
Saltwell Park is definitely a great place to visit on bonfire night for an amazing bonfire and fireworks display. The bonfire is usually lit around 7.00 followed by a 20-minute firework display. The site is safe and monitored by Marshall's. A great part of this event is that it is totally free and saves a lot of money on all the fireworks you would purchase for home.
If you are interested in finding out about any of the yearly events you can email Events@gateshead.gov.uk
The advisors are helpful and can give you details on any events you may be interested in.
Over the years the park has won many awards ranging from the green flag award to the Britain's Best Park award. I can't say I'm surprised as the park is very popular and during the summer months it does get very busy.
The park is usually open from early morning till 7pm including all public holidays. As the darker nights start to set in the park tends to close a bit sooner.
Overall Saltwell Park definitely gets the thumbs up from me.
Summary: Great park with lots of facilities and activities
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