I think that there had ought to be some way that the disabled, can get through to all the park it is most unfair also discriminate to the disabled and the elderly, who would like to enjoy this park.but cannot walk far, with out pain.
Is it not possable that a pass could be obtained, and scanned at each gate, so that they can get entrance.
Why should they be prevented from seeing the beauty of all this park.
Before the birmingham to sutton railway was built in 1862
visitors to sutton and the park came by omnibus-- a journey whith took the horse buses about 80 minutes.
In the 1840s an added attraction was the construction of a race course
in sutton park covering the plateau above blackroot gravel pit and extending from north of holly knoll to just beyond the present railway line--which at that time did not exist.In 1847 it was the venue for the birmingham races and where Tiny Wells a popular jockey of the time
won his first race.For over 20 years racing was held there and was very popular and a grandstand was built to accomadate the punters.
But sutton corporation had misgivings about the impact on the park
and with the structures erected-- and in 1849 ordered them to be taken down.Racing ceased there when in 1868 a new racecourse was constructed between westwood coppice and longmore pool.
Over 139 years later evidence of the old first racecourse can still be seen
take the right fork over the bridge by park house--past holly knoll
and further up on our left the curve of the track can be seen sweeping through the cutting the section behind is now overgrown with trees and bushes.If you want History about the Park Go To
At some point in history, what is now Sutton Coldfield was completely covered in a huge forest which spread throughout most of The Midlands. Sutton Park is one of the very few areas of this forest which still remain today. Sutton Park covers a whopping 2400 acres making it, without a doubt, the biggest park in Birmingham and one of the biggest in the whole UK!
I love this place. Because the park covers such a vast area, there are several entrances to choose from and each will take you into a different section of the park. For example, going in the entrance which is closest to Sutton Coldfield Town Centre will lead you to the small funfair, onsite pub and one of the large lakes in the park. Another entrance opens into part of the forest itself, while yet another entrance will bring you to a fantastic kids outdoor play area complete with tyre swings and ice cream van.
Entry into Sutton Park is free, although on weekends and bank holidays theres a nominal car parking fee of £2.00 for any length of time. A lot of people say the car parking should be free, but I really dont begrudge paying this small amount and cant blame the park for charging on the busiest days of the year as the money raised through the parking fees goes back into the park in one way or another.
The park is made up of some very different areas. The forest is by far the main attraction of the park and its pretty much left alone by the park staff, when trees fall theyre generally left on the ground (unless theres a safety issue) and the woodland plants grow in a haphazard fashion throughout the park. Sutton Park is totally unspoilt in the main; the park authorities have improved and developed the outskirts of the park but left the heart of it unchanged.
Theres more than just trees to see in Sutton Park, however. Theres an original roman road which travels a short distance through the park, and mounds which have been tested and proved to be of prehistoric origin. Youve got seven lakes to visit, all of these youre allowed to fish providing you have a valid angling license. My fella fishes and has caught some decent fish in these lakes, following the unwritten rule of throwing the fish back to keep stocks plentiful for next time.
Talking of fishing, one of the best places is the lake which is right next to The Boldmere Gate. Here youve a gorgeous lake (complete with battleship replica in the centre) which houses some fantastic (according to my fella) fish, and sits alongside the LA Reserve pub. You can literally buy your pint and carry it to the lakeside, and after youve finished fishing pop in for a reasonably priced meal.
The Boldmere Gate is probably the best entrance to the park overall if youre visiting as a family. Not only do you have the lake, but theres one of those cheap fairs which the kids love. You know, 50p a go on the (slow) carousel and an ice cream - my kids love this place. Also, this gate gives you the Sutton Park cows. Honestly, a herd of cows walks around Sutton Park during the day and theyre not shy at all. My kids love going up and stoking them although Im very aware of how close to cow pats theyre treading!
From whichever entrance you choose, a short walk is all thats required to get you into a countryside setting. Pathways are brilliantly laid out, linking one significant area of the park to another allowing you time and distance to take in the prettiness of the place. These pathways are also ideal for cyclists, both my children learned to ride their bikes on the Sutton Park track ways and (unbeknown to the rangers) my nine year old recently learned how to steer her quad bike in the lesser known regions of the park.
A favourite day for us is a picnic and a wander around Sutton Park; it really is the ultimate in cheap days out. Well choose a route at random and walk around seeing something new every time, how many places can you say that about? Hidden deep within the park are ruins of some long gone building, a spring which is so clear you can let your kids sip water from it, a forgotten lido of the 60s. There are also some very olde worlde wooden fingerposts along the pathways of the park, each leading you to one of the more developed areas and giving you some much needed orientation. Another thing worth mentioning, the car parks are all linked via the pathways and fingerposts so dont feel afraid to wander around the park because you really wont get lost!
Theres a very basic visitors centre within the park. We live a short walk away from the park and have gotten to know it pretty well, so dont often come to the visitors centre. For first time visitors Id suggest a look as there are some printed routes around the park which point out some of the main attractions, nothing that you wouldnt find for yourself though so dont worry if you cant find the (well hidden) visitors centre.
Sutton Park caters for everyone. I love walking around seeing the general greenness of the place, my partner goes for the fishing and the steak dinners at LA Reserve and the kids just adore the freedom of the park. Disabled visitors and pushchairs are catered for as much as it possible, the pathways are all pretty straightforward but because of the nature orientation of the park some areas are completely inaccessible to anyone with mobility problems.
So go on, summers coming and Sutton Park is a cheap, if not free, day out. Head into Sutton Coldfield from Birmingham City Centre, if youre travelling by car take the A38 North and follow the signs. By train from the City Centre grab the Lichfield train from New Street Station (Birmingham) and get off at Butlers Lane Station, a quick 10 minute walk will take you to Sutton Park.
One of the largest urban parks in Europe with a mix of heathland, wetlands and marshes, seven lakes, extensive ancient woodlands (covering approximately a quarter of the Park), several restaurants, a private 18-hole golf course on its western edge and a municipal golf course to the south, a donkey sanctuary, children's playgrounds and a visitors' centre. In 1997, English Nature designated most of Sutton Park a National Nature Reserve and it features on English Heritage's list of recognised historic parks and gardens. In July 2005 a 20-year 'Keepers of Time' scheme was announced, which will eliminate alien species from ancient woodlands and restore native varieties like oak, ash and beech. The Sutton Park House is a charming and lived-in house, built of mellow brick in 1730 by Thomas Atkinson. The House contains beautiful eighteenth century furniture, paintings mostly from Buckingham House, now Buckingham Palace, and an important collection of porcelain. Magnificent plaster work by Cortese. The House is a fine example of early Georgian architecture overlooking beautiful parkland. It is filled with a rich collection of treasures all put together with great style and always filled with flowers from the garden.