27 Jun 2011

Queen's Park, Bolton

Queen's Park has always had a bit of a dodgy reputation, especially at night-time, so I haven't been in ages to the park.

However, one sunny day we decided to take the kids to the park and I have to say I absolutely loved it.


Car parking                                 *****
Toilet facilities                              *****
Entertainment value for kids         *****
Entertainment value for adults      *****
Possible extras (£s)                     *****
Overall rating                               *****

Car Parking (5 out of 5)
Perhaps it's because I live close to the park that I know where to park but there are endless places to park and they're free.  We always park on Chorley Old Road right outside the main entrance.  If you go at the weekends there should be loads of space.  I believe there is an actual carpark into the park but I don't know if they charge.  The park is in a residential and business area so during the weekends all the business traffic isn't there and the residential areas tend to have driveways to park on so no problems here.

Toilet facilities (1 out of 5)
I gave 1 out of 5 because they actually had loos but the fact that they were padlocked obviously meant we couldn't use them, so half out of 5 would've been better.  The park is in the middle of being done up so I assume their toilet facilities will improve.

Entertainment value for kids (4 out of 5)
There are hills after glorious hills on this park and they're great for rolling down.  They're also great for sledging in the winter, though maybe some are too steep, there's a river at the bottom of some hills! There's lots of places to play hide and seek, loads of places to picnic, which is what we did, a pond that's full of ducks and birds, and a great play area for kids, but young kids.  It's got sand pits, sand diggers, slides, climbing frames (a very big one too, which looks pretty scary), play equipment in the sand pits, swings, balancing beams and a mini assault course and a death rope slide, though that wasn't working when we went. Your kids may get bored though if they're over 8 years.  

They are still renovating the park and the old play area, but I'm not sure what they're putting on there, perhaps I'll have to pay another visit.

Entertainment value for adults (3 out of 5)
Who doesn't like rolling down hills!  We love it and the park is pretty clean so hopefully not much dog poo on the grass (urgh).  There's loads of space so you can have a picnic without hearing the next person's conversation or smelling their sandwiches!  The pond is nice and I always like feeding the ducks.  There are tennis courts and bowling greens too though not sure if you have to pay or how much, or actually how to get a court, sorry.

Possible extras (5 out of 5)
When we went there was nothing else you could spend your money on.  It was great!  I'm sure in the height of summer there will be an ice-cream van but there wasn't on this day and it was a scorcher.  So nothing that could make the kids jump up and down crying 'I want one'.  Just as I like it.

Overall rating (4 out of 5)
OK, perhaps the weather made this a much better experience than normal.  The only way of knowing would be to go on a miserable day, though this may make it even better as we'll have the park to ourselves.

I believe the park got a grant of approximately £7,000,000 just before the new government got in so they can keep the money and they're really making it all new and shiny.  As long as they do the essential amenities, i.e. the toilets, then I'll be happy.

Is it FREE - yes absolutely.

Is it EASY -  another yes.

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