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A Family day out at Roundhay Park
Roundhay Park (Leeds)
Member Name: Joselena
Roundhay Park (Leeds)
Advantages: A big park with lots of space and beautiful views and impressive gardens
Disadvantages: children's play park was disappointing
Roundhay Park was a favourite place of mine during childhood. It's a beautiful park made up of 700 acres of green fields, a lake and woodlands and the home to a mixture of wildlife including, woodpeckers, foxes, roe deer, voles, moles, rabbits and squirrels.
My recent visit with my 2 children and husband was enjoyed thoroughly because we ended up in their Tropical World, home to tropical plants and exotic creatures and butterflies, which you must visit if you go to Roundhay Park (see my separate review on Tropical World).
You will find a nice pleasant lake house café which overlooks Waterloo Lake and during our visit we saw people rowing in the lake and wondered if they were practising for the Regatta!
There were a couple of people fishing and children were enjoying feeding the ducks and swans. There is a long path that follows the lake all the way round and I know that this is a popular meeting place for running clubs and mother and baby groups who meet to walk around the lake and then have lunch in the Roundhay Fox pub/restaurant.
At the end of the upper lake a waterfall meets the Gorge for a pleasant and peaceful walk along footpaths surrounded by natural woodland that is both refreshing and exhilarating.
In the Summer the park is an ideal place to go on a nice hot summer day and in the Winter it is great to wrap up warm and walk around enjoying the scenery. In September you can go just to collect the conkers that have fallen from the trees. The vast amounts of space and hills are very appealing for sledging in the snow and flying a kite on a windy day. A picnic in the park and a game of rounders or cricket with my pals on a sunny Sunday is what I have planned for future trips to Roundhay Park.
A visit in the summer is definitely a must just so my kids can have a ride on the Roundhay Rambler train which runs daily throughout the summer months.
I must say that I was disappointed with the children's play area. This is a huge park and surely they could have provided a better place for the young children to play in. When I think of the great play parks I have been to I was expecting a lot more. The feedback from my 5-year old son was very negative; he thought the children's play park was boring. If you take into account the available space in the park I really think they could have used some of the £8.2m lottery funding to build a much bigger more exciting play area!
Whilst in Roundhay Park you must visit the Mansion - years ago this was a great pub but now this grade II listed building is now a visitor centre for the park with a free exhibition area open from 10am - 6pm in the summer and 10am - 4pm in the winter. It is an impressive building inside and out with a fantastic grand entrance and beautiful staircase dominating the entrance of the building. There is a gift shop and public toilets and it is also now a spectacular venue for corporate events, civil ceremonies, wedding receptions, dinners and conferences.
As we left the path following the lake we climbed up the grassy hill that was scattered with mole holes and stumbled upon the Canal Gardens. There you can sit by the canal and enjoy the fountains. In the spring the lower side of garden is full of crocuses and daffodils and the canal has 3 small jet fountains which my kids enjoyed watching.
While you are walking around the Park you will come across some great features such as; Barrans Fountain, The Friends Garden, The Alhambra garden. Across from the Barran's fountain you will find the Victorian ornamental shelter so take a rest and enjoy the view.
Roundhay Park has also been a venue for some great pop concerts. I was there for the Michael Jackson Bad concert in 1988 and the Dangerous tour in 1992 as well as the fabulous Madonna concert in 1987. Previous years have hosted Bruce Springsteen, Genesis and the latest was Robbie Williams.
It also has a fantastic Bonfire event and firework display every year so if you haven't been to a Roundhay Park bonfire before I highly recommend it. Admission is free and it's not just a bonfire there will be entertainment and lots of stuff for the kids to do.
Roundhay Park is situated 3 miles north of the Leeds city centre off the A58 Wetherby Road at Oakwood and buses number 2 and 12 from Leeds will take you there.
Summary: A pleasant place to visit at any time of the year.
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