Short of ideas on where to go this summer? In the third in a series of occasional features, we’re highlighting the ‘best of the west’ (west Leeds) – and encouraging people to check out some of the stuff they never realised is on their doorstep. Here, our #hometourist takes a trip to Pudsey Park …
As a local lad, Pudsey Park brings back a lot of memories for me. I used to go there with my mum and grandma as a nipper in the 70s and 80s – and I now take my little boy there. So why should you spend an afternoon there?
1. A park with history
Pudsey Park has a great history. It was opened at the end of the 19th century and had a lake (no longer there) and a bandstand (now has a new one). Apparently thousands used to gather there. The children’s playground was opened in 1937 top commemorate the coronation of George VI. Remember the famous Pudsey Roller?
2. West Leeds Country Park Visitors Centre
The park’s always had aviaries dating back to before I was born. Now it’s got the impressive West Leeds Country Park Visitors Centre which featuring more fish than you can shake a, well … fish finger at! Not only does it have an impressive aquarium but there’s rabbits, frogs, field mice and rats. Yup, dozens of big fat rats! Lots to keep adulkts and kids of all ages amused – and you get to learn a bit about the natural habitat of local creatures in places like the Leeds-Liverpool Canal.
3. The big greenhouse
The ‘big greenhouse’ (pictured at the top of the article) is fab! Lots of exotic plants (bananas!) under one big roof. Don’t get me wrong, this is no Tropical World. But it goes back years and it’s a fun little thing! Each year I count my blessings that it hasn’t been closed due to ‘cuts’.
4. Children’s playground / bowling green
They used to come from far and wide to Pudsey Park, my mother used to tell me. Not so much these days, but it’s still popular. For the kids there’s the playground featuring loads of swings, see-saws etc etc which is well served by the old refreshment kiosk which has been there (literally) decades but serves ice creams and drinks. And for the big kids there’s a popular bowling green. I wonder whatever happened to the little stone statue of the lion I used to sit on and ride as a kid?
5. It’s beautiful!
Parts of the top end of the park are beautiful. Simple as. Lovely bandstand with some great gardens – a credit to the cvouncil’s parks department! Bring a picnic, chill out and spend the day here. It’s got history and memories to spare …