on September 20, 2012
Victoria park in Haslingden is around a ten minute walk from where we live. There is a park closer to us but we do like to visit Victoria park because it is probably a better park for children and just a nicer area to walk around as well.The park is around a mile from Haslingden town centre and is best accessed from Helmshore Road. There are buses which pass down this road but it is very easy to just walk down from Haslingden and it isn’t a bad walk at all as it is pretty much on the flat all of the way down.I have fond memories of this park as a child myself and so it was natural that I would start to take my son there as well. I used to regularly pop him in the pram and go for a walk around the park but I would say here that the main walk around the park does feature an uphill climb on the way back be it if you go through the woods are around the other footpath you will find it is uphill. The paths are all really wide though and so there is no issue with squeezing through an area even if there is a group of you really!When we get to the park my son and I usually head down through the wooded area in which there is a good wide footpath which leads all of the way around the park. There is a big bandstand in the middle of the wooded area which doesn’t actually get used now and I do tend to tell my son to avoid that area because it can sometimes be littered with cans and glass as teenagers will drink under their as it is a sheltered area. The wooded area must be home to many small wild animals but the only ones we have ever seen is the occasional squirrel but I think they generally keep well hidden as many people walk their dogs in this park too.At the bottom of the hill through the wooded area there is a reasonably sized grassy area. Many children just run down the grassy hill to get to the play area of the park but you can follow a path round should you have a pram or just not want to risk falling on your bottom! The park was actually modernised not too long ago and a new children’s play area was born and I have to say it was very much needed as much on the park was in a state of disrepair previously. The main play area for children is fenced in so that dogs cannot get in there and this is something I am very much in favour of because some people just aren’t responsible when with a dog and there is nothing worse than walking on a park and stepping in dog muck. The park is pretty much split in to areas which I would consider suitable for different age groups. For the younger children there is a small activity frame, swings, rockers and a roundabout too. This part is probably suitable for toddlers right up to children around seven or eight years. The equipment is colourful and inviting for a child which is nice. Outside of the fenced area there is a revolving almost swing which flares right out as it is spun and a zip wire as well which is really popular with children aged around five right through to teenagers I think! Whilst I think the modernised play area is a massive improvement in most ways at this park I would say that there are a huge amount of really muddy areas when it rains. Whilst I appreciate parks do get muddy this park did not used to be so bad but since they have obviously dug up areas of the grass and such like it does seem to be a lot worse and I can often end up taking home a child who is completely covered in mud! There is a lot of grass around the park which means children can go ahead and play a game of chase or something and you will know that they are safe as you watch them which is nice as a parent as you want your children to be out and about, enjoying the fresh air and basically having fun.Also on the park is a caged in football and basketball area which is really popular with the older children as well as a flood lit skate park which is always really busy with teenagers whenever I have visited the park and so it seems a good place for them to hang out legitimately.There is a bowling green at this park but I can genuinely say that I have never seen anyone play bowls at this park so I am not sure if it is active or not! It seems a waste of space if it is not used though. A lovely feature of this park which I noticed on my last visit there in the summer holidays was a memorial orchard where trees and plants have been put in memory of a little girl who lived in Haslingden and who sadly lost her battle with cancer last year. I hope that people do respect this area and keep their dogs and children out of it really because it is a nice memorial for her family and other people to remember the little girl.Victoria park features lots of grassy areas around the park and whilst many of them are on a hill or a slant at least it does still make a nice park to take a picnic and just have a chill on a sunny day. In terms of being a wonderful park it is never going to be up there with those in large towns or cities which have money thrown at them but for a small town like Haslingden I think Victoria park is a good place to visit. I do wish that parks in general would have toilets in them now because children being children do always seem to need the toilet when you are out and about so I think perhaps a toilet where you have to pay to use it so to avoid misuse would be an excellent addition to this already good park.Thank you for reading my review!
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