“ Country: England / Destinations National / World Region: UK & Ireland „
I was born and grew up in Luton so Wardown Park is somewhere very familiar and very special to me. I used to go and ride my bike there every Saturday morning with my dad and brother and although it has changed and improved somewhat now it still holds its original charm and beauty.
Wardown Park is located on Old Bedford Road near to the town centre and sits on the River Lea, the river that runs through Luton. The park is steeped in history, something that can be seen all around the park which is fairly large at over 10 acres. The park dates back to the 1800's when it was initially had a farmhouse in private residence with grounds. The farmhouse still stands today and houses the Luton museum, another wonderful place full of Luton history and more.
The park has quite a big car park so its nice to know you can always come here and park and its free so you don't have to worry about paying and only spending a certain amount of time here. The car park is located very near the museum at one end of the park so if you want to visit this too you have easy access. I like to think of the park being split into two parts, the part with the children's playground on one side and the green area on the other side. These two sides are separated by a man made lake in the middle of the park and a wonderful old hump back bridge that lets you cross from one side to the other.
The lake has lots of ducks, geese and birds on it so it is always worth bringing some bread with you to feed the ducks with. At one time when I was young you could hire a boat and go out on the lake but unfortunately you have not been able to do this for a number of years now. On the green side of the park there are lots of places to sit and relax and enjoy the views. Here you will find a nice fountain which makes the park look nice and there are paths and trails for you to wander around the park on. There is nothing to say you must keep to these though and you can wander around freely at your leisure.
As you cross the bridge to the other side you will encounter the ice cream kiosk which is always open whenever I am there although I have no idea of the opening times. Here you can get Mr Whippy ice cream as well as packaged ice creams and drinks, always a nice treat when you are at the park on a hot day.
The children's play area was refurbished in 2005 and is much nicer than it was in my day. The floor is covered with that bouncy asphalt which is nice if kids fall off the equipment as it makes for a bit more of a softer landing. There is an enclosed section which has a climbing frame, slides, swings for both babies and big kids and a roundabout. There is also a wooden train which you can sit on which has a slide at the end.
The trees are really beautiful in this park and really big as they have had hundreds of years in which to grow. This is a really pretty park and although it is located in Luton (hey, I love the place but not many outsiders do) it is really worth a visit.