Queens Park has been a cherished recreational area since its opening in 1866. With its proximity to the town centre and wealth of amenities such as walking areas, tennis courts, and playing fields, it is no wonder that this public park continues to be one of the most visited destinations in Bolton.
Significant improvements have been made in recent years thanks to money from the Heritage Lottery Fund. These restorations helped preserve the park’s original Victorian features and gave it a fresh lease on life for future generations.
Features of Queens Park
Queens Park Bolton boasts various recreational facilities, such as playgrounds, outdoor gyms, football pitches, and tennis and basketball courts, catering to multiple age groups and interests.
The park also features a picturesque lake and a Cenotaph dedicated to fallen soldiers. The River Croal runs through it and adds to its natural beauty.
Visitors can enjoy the historical aspects of the park through its statues. The sunken garden offers a serene environment for relaxation or contemplation.
Adjacent to the Spa Road car park, the playground offers many engaging activities for children. It features swings, a huge pyramid climbing frame, a woodland adventure course, and a zip line.
The playground benefits from proximity to essential amenities such as public restrooms and the Queens Park Cafe. Parents can enjoy refreshments while keeping an eye on their children.
This all-weather facility is fully equipped with exercise equipment that targets different muscle groups and promotes overall well-being.
The gym is accessible at no cost, allowing visitors to engage in physical activity in a picturesque setting.
The football pitches provide an ideal space for friendly matches or organised competitions. They are at the southern end of the park.
Tennis Court and Basketball Court
A tennis and basketball court are located near the Park Street car park. The courts have all-weather surfaces and are free to use.
It is important to note that these facilities cannot be booked in advance.
The picturesque lake, nestled on the park’s western side near Bolton School, is one of the park’s major attractions. Visitors delight in feeding the ducks and geese that call this serene oasis their home.
The park also features several small angling ponds. They are located at the park’s southern end, near the town centre.
Commemorating the brave soldiers and officers of the 5th Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, the Cenotaph stands proudly near the Chorley New Road entrance.
The Cenotaph was erected in 1920. The memorial pays tribute to those who fought valiantly during World War I and other conflicts that have ensued since then.
The River Croal runs through the southern end of the park. A nature trail follows the course of the river.
Along its route, visitors can expect to encounter several wood carvings that complement and accentuate their surroundings harmoniously.
The restored Dobson Bridge stands out among the other river footbridges due to its unique design and historical significance.
Adorning the terrace at the park’s centre, several statues and memorials offer a glimpse into the rich historical tapestry of prominent figures and events.
Among these are the statues of James Dorrian (1828-1895), Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881), and John Fielding (1849-1896). Each of these individuals holds an important place in history, with Dorrian being a notable doctor, Disraeli serving as a renowned British Prime Minister, and Fielding recognised for his work as a trade unionist. These statues allow visitors to appreciate their contributions to Bolton and the nation.
In addition to these individual tributes, the central terrace also features the Gallipoli Memorial. This poignant monument serves as a solemn reminder of all those who lost their lives during World War I’s Gallipoli Campaign, one of the most devastating military engagements in modern history.
Located directly ahead of the entrance on Chorley New Road, this sunken ornamental garden is ideal for those wanting some peace.
Its captivating design features an array of vibrant floral displays and manicured lawns, providing a visually stunning setting that invites guests to unwind and soak in its calming atmosphere.
This Victorian park opened in 1866. It was initially called Bolton Park and was built to provide employment opportunities for thousands of laid-off cotton workers in the town.
The Cotton Famine was a period of economic depression in the 1860s century caused by a shortage of raw cotton in the textile mills of Britain, primarily in Lancashire. The shortage resulted from the American Civil War, which disrupted cotton exports from the southern United States, the primary source of raw cotton for British mills. The blockade of southern ports by the Union Navy made it difficult for British mills to obtain cotton from other sources.
The Cotton Famine significantly impacted the Lancashire region, which relied heavily on the textile industry for employment and economic stability. Many workers were left unemployed as mills shut down or reduced production due to the shortage of cotton.
The UK government responded to the crisis by providing low-cost finance to councils to finance public works. The Bolton Improvement Act of 1864 gave Bolton Council the authority to build Queens Park, providing much-needed employment.
The park underwent a name change in 1897 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
The Chadwick Museum of Natural History once stood within its boundaries. It opened in 1884. Samuel Chadwick funded the museum through his legacy. A statue in his honour stands in Victoria Square in Bolton.
The museum was demolished in 1957, and its contents were transferred to a new location on Le Mans Crescent in the town centre.
Paths are well-maintained, enabling ease of use for wheelchairs and pushchairs. However, the steep slope between the upper and lower sections of the park may pose a challenge for individuals with limited mobility.
Queens Park Cafe
Queens Park Cafe offers refreshments and amenities. It is situated at the southern end of the park, near the children’s playground,
Its extensive menu allows patrons to enjoy drinks, ice cream, and hot and cold snacks. It’s an ideal spot for breakfast or lunch.
In addition to its culinary offerings, Queens Park Cafe also provides toilets. Meeting/conference rooms are available for hire at affordable rates.
The outdoor seating area is particularly well-received on sunny days. The cafe takes pride in being dog-friendly by providing fresh drinking water for canine companions accompanying their owners.
Visiting The Park, Location, Parking, and Getting There
Queens Park is free to enter and open every day of the week. It is located just outside Bolton town centre.
The main entrance is on Chorley New Road, at the park’s northern end. There is no car park here. There is free street parking on Chorley New Road, but it is often busy. This entrance is a long way from the playground.
The main car park can be found at the end of Spa Road, adjacent to the playground and cafe. Parking is free. For those relying on satellite navigation systems, use the postcode BL1 4SL to find the car park.
A smaller car park is located at the park’s northern end, near the tennis court and bowling green. This car park can be accessed via Park Street off Chorley New Road.
Bolton Train Station and Bolton Bus Station are both approximately one mile away, giving easy access from locations throughout Greater Manchester. It’s an easy walk through Bolton town centre to reach it.
The park is owned and managed by Bolton Council.
The park enjoys a central location in Bolton. There are many nearby attractions and activities.
One such attraction is the Bolton Museum, Art Gallery & Aquarium, just half a mile from Queens Park. It houses one of the largest collections of Egyptian artefacts outside London, offering visitors an insight into ancient Egypt’s fascinating history and culture. Art enthusiasts can admire the vast selection of artworks on display in the gallery, while families with children will enjoy exploring the aquarium’s marine exhibits.
For individuals fascinated by industrial heritage, Bolton Steam Museum is only 0.6 miles from the park. It houses the UK’s most extensive collection of working steam mill engines.
Other Parks in Bolton
In addition to Queens Park, Bolton boasts several other parks and green spaces.
Jumbles Country Park offers stunning views of its picturesque reservoir, making it an ideal location for nature lovers. The park features walking trails that meander through the scenic landscape, providing ample opportunities for birdwatching and spotting local wildlife. However, Jumbles Country Park does not have a playground.
Moss Bank Park and Leverhulme Park offer various amenities, such as well-maintained gardens, playgrounds, and sports facilities. Moss Bank Park also features a mini steam railway.
Doffcocker Lodge provides visitors with serenity amidst its scenic lake setting. It is perfect for leisurely walks or peaceful contemplation but lacks playground facilities.