Located a mile inland from Blackpool’s bustling seafront, tranquil Stanley Park covers 104 hectares and is one of the largest municipal parks in North West England. It offers plenty of activities for families including bowling greens, miniature golf, pitch and putt, a boating lake, tennis courts and more.
It was designed by landscape architect Thomas Mawson and opened in 1916. It is named after Frederick Stanley, the 16th Earl of Derby and MP for Blackpool in the late 19th century.
Art Deco Café
Stanley Park’s historic Art Deco Café opened in 1937 and retains many of its original features. It is situated in the centre of the park, close to the public car park and Visitor Centre.
The café is fully licensed and offers a good selection of drinks (including wine and beer), and hot and cold food (sandwiches, salads, toasted sandwiches, jacket potatoes etc.).
An outdoors seating area provides excellent views of the beautiful Italian Gardens. Live musical performances are held on Sunday afternoons.
Stanley Park Golf Course
The Stanley Park Golf Course is an 18-hole, 6048 yard course at the northern end of Stanley Park. It opened in 1925 and was designed by famous golf course architect Dr Alister MacKenzie (designer of the Augusta National). The course is a municipal pay and play facility with a relaxed dress code. Facilities at the clubhouse include a bar and restaurant.
Stanley Park also offers miniature and pitch-and-putt golf courses.
The circular Italian Garden is the centrepiece of the park. At its centre is a large lily pond with fountain and statues of seahorses. It is surrounded with pergolas built from stone columns and timber beams.
A pair of 18th century lion statues stands at the northern entrance to the Italian Garden. They are copies of the statues found at the Villa Medici in Rome. They were donated to the park in 1926 by Bolton brewing company Magee, Marshall and Co.
The park’s 22 acre Boating Lake is situated just east of the Italian Garden. At the centre of the lake is an island linked to the shore by two ornamental bridges. It is an important habitat for a number of waterfowl such as Mallard Ducks, Moor Hens, Canada Geese, Mute Swans, Coots, and Grey Herons.
Boats can be hired from the boat stage on the western side of the lake.
To the north of the lake are 2 boathouses. They were built in 1935 and used for storing and repairing the hire boats.
The areas of woodland around the lake are home to a variety of birds (Chaffinch, Blackbird, Wood Pigeons etc), mammals (Grey Squirrels, Wood Mice, Foxes, Weasels etc.), and trees (Common Oak, Cherry, and Silver Birch). In the summer it’s a good area to spot butterflies Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Peacock etc.)
The Bandstand lies on the southern side of the lake. It was built in 1829 and offers an amphitheatre that can accommodate 3,000 spectators.
The Bandstand has an active events programme that includes performances from brass bands, rock and pop groups, opera and more. For further details visit the Friends of Stanley Park website.
This formal sunken garden is set around 2 lily ponds and is located next to the main entrance.
There are 6 bowling greens at Stanley Park; four crown and two flat. Facilities include a club house, changing rooms, and toilets.
Cocker Memorial Clock Tower
The 85 ft Portland Stone clock tower stands on the path running south from the Italian Garden. It was built in 1927 and named after the town’s first mayor Dr William Cocker.
Blackpool Sports Centre
Blackpool Sport Centre is the town’s sports and leisure centre. Facilities here include a gym and fitness studio, all-weather pitches (football, hockey, etc.), sports arena with 8-lane 400 m synthetic running track, climbing wall and bouldering room, and netball courts.
Blackpool Cricket Club
Blackpool Cricket Club is based at a 5,000 capacity cricket ground on the western side of Stanley Park. Each year the club hosts a popular bonfire night fireworks display.
Adventure Play Area
The £500,000 children’s adventure play area is a relatively new addition to the park. Located next to the Blackpool Sports Centre is offers swings, slides, a tunnel, zip wire and more.
A BMX track, built to national competition standards, is set to open in 2011.
There are 12 tennis courts; 6 grass and 6 hard.
Blackpool Model Village
The Blackpool Model Village is a private attraction set in 2.5 acres of attractive gardens.
Staff at the Visitor Centre can help with enquiries about the park. Leaflets giving information about events, concerts, and walks are also available.
The Visitor is located in the centre of the park, close to the Art Deco Café.
All the main buildings in Stanley Park offer full disabled access; the Visitor Centre, Art Deco Café, Blackpool Model Village, Blackpool Sports Centre and the Blackpool Park Golf Club.
Stanley Park is open daily from dawn until dusk.
Blackpool Zoo is situated to the east of the park, on the site of the old Stanley Park Aerodrome.
Stanley Park is located east of Blackpool town centre, next to the Victoria Hospital. It is well signposted. There are 16 entrances to the park but the main entrance at the junction of West Park Drive and North Park Drive is the only one offering vehicular access to the free car park.
Cyclists should note there are bike racks next to the car park.