HAPPY MOUNT PARK
If you've seen the name ‘Morecambe’ and thought “Oh No!!” I could easily understand why!
I have lived near to the Lancashire seaside town of Morecambe for many years and have witnessed its sad demise over the last 20 or so years. While the town itself doesn't really have much to offer these days to the average tourist and seems to be full of either run down hotels that have been turned into shabby flats or empty shops, it does have a little jewel of an attraction in the form of the wonderful Happy Mount Park that is located in the area known as Bare at the eastern end of the Promenade.
The park has been in Morecambe since the 1920’s and has been a constant favourite for me for over 60 years. This park is the complete opposite of most of what Morecambe has to ‘offer’ – it is the epitome of an old fashioned English park with pretty, well-tended flower gardens, brass bands, easy walking, lots of places to sit and watch the world go by, putting greens, crown green bowling etc. but with all sorts of little extra attractions to make it a favourite with all ages.
JUST WHAT ARE THESE ‘LITTLE ATTRACTIONS’?
GARDENS, WALKS AND TRAILS
Whatever the season, Happy Mount Park is perfect to enjoy some lovely scenic walks through attractive woodland and the lovely gardens are well worth a wander around too. Plenty of seating around the park gives you the opportunity to enjoy the fresh air in lovely peaceful surroundings and to observe the interesting assortment of wildlife, plants and birds all year round.
There are plenty of flat, even paths that are perfect for bikes, scooters, prams or wheelchairs.
There is a lovely area that holds a Japanese Garden with pools, and a little woodland walk with plenty of picnic tables dotted around. In these gardens and walks there are colourful and informative signs that point out plants, wildlife etc.
A Free Admission
The Aqua Park or Splash Park is fantastic fun area for children. It replaced the paddling pool that used to be in the park and is a flat, safe plat surfaced area full of water jets, fountains, pipes and buckets of water. The Aqua Park is situated in a fenced area and surrounded with a grassy area that has seats and picnic tables, with plenty of trees around to shelter under in hot weather – it is the perfect place for a picnic on a hot summers day – we have spent MANY hours in there with the grandchildren; we take a picnic and
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Happy Mount Park, Lancashire
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are able to have a wonderful free day out!!
Don’t forget to take a towel – you will get wet!!!!
In the summer season there is an ice cream kiosk which sells ice cream, lollies, sandwiches, sweets and hot or cold drinks.
This attraction gets very busy during hot summer days.
There is no toilet or changing area in the Aqua Park – which is the only disadvantage.
INDOOR PLAY AREA
The ‘Pirates in the Park’ is a family run in door play area, situated next to the café. It is a lovely soft play area with a pirate theme and comes complete with a Galleon Bouncy Castle, there is also an area for younger children. This area is open every day of except for Christmas Day and is perfect for birthday parties. With food served in the adjacent café in a special birthday area the birthday child then leads their guests from the party table, across the walk the plank rope bridge, to the soft play area. Play leaders involve the children in games like pass the parcel, musical statues, etc.
CAFÉ RASTELLI – THE CAFÉ IN THE PARK
The large café that is adjacent to the play area has ample indoor and outdoor seating; this café is open 7 days a week all years. It serves a good assortment of reasonably priced home cooked hot and cold meals, snacks, sweets and cakes; there is a great hot drink selection with a wide selection of coffees made with Rastelli's coffee beans which are roasted to an original Italian Recipe.
The café accepts payment by credit or debit card – the only disadvantage is that there are no toilets in the café you need to use the pay toilets in the park.
NATURAL ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND
A Free Attraction
For many years there was a large golf area, several years ago this was transformed into a magnificent large play area. Made with all natural materials there are several little sections of this playground, all with plenty of seating, there are swings, a large sand pit, slides, a zip wires, climbing frames and several unusual swinging type attractions. Another perfect place for a picnic.
VICTORIAN SWING BOATS
A popular attraction near to the entrance of the park are the traditional brightly coloured swing boats; children or adults can enjoy a ride on these old-fashioned swing boats.
One Free Admission and one Charges Applicable
Close to the swing boats there is a small free play ground especially suitable for younger children; this is in a secure fenced area and there is seating around it for the adults.
In the centre of the miniature railway is secure, enclosed play area where for £1 per child under 12 the youngsters can run riot in a safe area filled with bouncy castles, slides, swings, climbing frames, drivable tractors and cars. Lots of picnic tables and make it perfect for a family picnic while the children are kept busy.
Another attraction that was used first by me as a child, then my children and now my grandchildren is the lovely little miniature railway. Parents are allowed to sit on the train with little ones and a trip to Happy Mount Park doesn't seem complete without a trip on the train. In fact when I go with my husband – sans children – I feel like borrowing a toddler so I can have a ride!!
There has been a crazy golf course in the poor for as long as I can remember – I first went on it 60 years ago!! However a couple of years ago the old crazy golf was completely refurbished and made into a pirate themed course to match the Pirates in the Park theme. This is an excellent course that keeps both adults and children entertained for a good while. The outdoor seating for the café is situated next to the course so it is handy for any of the party not participating to sit with a drink while the rest of the party play a game.
As a change from the crazy golf there is a well maintained 18 hole putting green] this is perfect for older children and adults, there is plenty of seating around the green.
CROWN GREEN BOWLING
The bowling green is very popular, especially with the older visitors, you can take your own bowls or hire them from the park. With ample seating you can spend a pleasant hour or two sitting watching the bowlers with a drink or ice cream.
The popular little train has been a regular attraction in the park for as long as I can remember – kids and adults alike can all take a ride on the train for £1 per person.
Another very popular attraction – that my children and now my grandchildren enjoy are trampolines – thankfully located right next to the outdoor area of the café, this means that while the kids bounce you can sit and enjoy a drink while keeping an eye on them.
This is for children only and a height limit exists.
Next to the trampolines is the traditional Victorian roundabout which is perfect for toddlers and smaller children.
FLOODLIT MULTI- PURPOSE PITCH
Older children and more energetic adults can hire balls and equipment to play five-a-side football, roller hockey, basketball or tennis. Alternatively if you have you own ball you can play football or basketball free of charge.
BANDS IN THE PARK
A Free Attraction
Every Sunday afternoon there is free open air entertainment with brass bands from around the Northwest playing from 2.30pm.throughout the summer various brass bands play on Sundays at 2.30pm–this year these will be on from 03/05/2015 - 30/08/2015. There are good old fashioned deckchairs are available to sit and enjoy the music, perhaps while enjoying an ice cream from the permanent ice cream van in the park.
=== FACILITIES ===
The park is perfect for wheelchairs – there are a few steps around – but they are mainly decorative, there are disabled toilets and baby changing facilities. The toilets are all coin operated.
First aid supplies and an emergency telephone are available from a kiosk in the centre of the park near to the multi-purpose pitch
Dogs on leads are welcome in the park and there are plenty of doggy bins located around the park.
There is some free parking along the beautiful promenade as well as a large pay-and-display car park close to the park entrance, complete with a refreshment kiosk that sells hot and cold snacks, drinks and ice creams .
Entry is free to the park which is open daily from 8.30 am all year round, the Aqua Park is closed from autumn until April
The closing times vary throughout the year – they are:
May, June, July: 9pm
November, December, January: 4.30pm
HOW TO GET THERE
You can find the park on this link http://www.streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=345703&y=465330&z=1&sv=345703,465330&st=4&ar=Y&mapp=newmap.srf&searchp=newsearch.srf
Or put the postcode LA4 6AQ into your sat nav.
If you are travelling by car leave the M6 at Junction 34 and follow the signs for Lancaster. Follow the one way system around Lancaster (beware the traffic CAN be horrendous) and continue following the signs to Morecambe over the Greyhound Bridge; then follow the brown leisure signs for the park along the promenade on Marine Road East
There is a good bus service run by Stagecoach in the area; the number 5 ,Overton to Carnforth, bus passes the park and the number 3 and 4, Lancaster to Heysham), stop at the end of Princes Crescent which is only a five minute walk from the park
If you are visiting by train Bare Lane Station is only a ten minute walk away; details of the trains can be found at National Rail Enquiries on 08457 484950
Happy Mount Park,
Marine Road East,
If you are looking a good day out in the Morecambe area I can thoroughly recommend a visit to Happy Mount Park; there is plenty for anyone of any age to see and do.
You will also be able to take in the beautiful view across the stunning Morecambe Bay towards the Lake District – especially recommended at sunset!!
Take a picnic and a football and for a few pounds for some of the other attractions you can spend an inexpensive good family day out; it MAY even change your mind about Morecambe!!
I've visited Happy Mount Park a few times but most recently just last weekend. There always seems to be plenty of things happening at the park. On Saturday it was a lovely sunny day so of course it is going to be a more pleasant experience. There was a brass band playing as we entered the park which made it feel like a lively and fun place as soon as we arrived. The flowers near the park entrance were blooming really well and so created a good impression. The park was busy and lively but also had some quiet spaces to escape to. In summer there is usually at least one ice cream van in the park to keep kids and adults alike happy.
The park has a wide selection of play equipment for children including an obstacle course. The equipment is unusual and has large climbing frames, a small zip line and different types of swings.
There is also an aqua play area which was really busy and the kids seemed to be loving it. Basically it's a large area with water jets and fountains for kids to run around in their swimming cosies and throw water at each other.
There's also a miniature train, bowling greens and tennis courts.
There are some woodland trails signposted but if you're someone who does a fair amount of walking like us, then you may soon bore of this because it isn't a big woodland.
For families with children I would say that there's enough in the park to keep you busy all day!
I have been going to Happy Mount Park since I was a very little girl, so I
have seen it change alot over the 20 years I have been visiting the park.
Happy Mount Park is situated on Marine Road East Morecambe, it's very easy to find, if your coming out of Morecambe, towards Carnforth, and go along the main road out of Morecambe, you will see it on your right not far after the Gala Bingo hall! The only issue we ever find is parking, especially as the car park which always was there, has now been changed into flats...so if they're planning on making a new car park I don't know, but at the minute you may find it easier to either take a bus from the town centre to Happy Mount Park, or walking...its around 1.5-2miles from the town centre, and a nice walk along the front!!
When I first went to Happy Mount Park when I was a little-un, it was great, there was a paddling pool, which was great as it was only around a foot deep, so was perfect for kids, a miniture village, a play area with a small train going around it which was around 50p a go, trampolines, a little cafe, mini golf, a big golf course for the adults, swing boats (you know the ones I mean, old fashioned ride where two people sit in a wooden "boat" which you move by alternately pulling ropes), there was also a "mr Blobby House", you must remember Mr Blobby....!!!! It was a great day out for all the family, and at certain times of the year there was a special light show, like Blackpool, but smaller in Morecambe, and Happy Mount park made a display for this and this was turned on by a "celebrity" and it made for good watching.
But sadly, a few years later it all went downhill, the mr Blobby thing all went, when Blobby went out of fashion completely. The paddling pool went dirty and manky, the prices of everything went up, you started to have to pay for the play area, which was no more than a couple of slides and swings, and everything started closing down. We stopped going much at all, as you just couldn't spend the day there anymore, the light display stopped coming around as Morecambe lost its popularity, and with it, Happy Mount Park just went completely rubbish! It was sad as it was somewhere which held alot of memories for me as a child.
But, a couple of years ago, we had my nephew who was only about 5, and took him to the park so he could go on the little train and the carousell which were still there, and found that they were doing alot of work, the place was looking a little tidier, with flowers in the pots, and paint work on the golf etc, but we noticed the pool had been filled in, which made us a little sad as it was somewhere to go in the summer, but everywhere else was starting to look a bit better, so for the next year we would go every now and again to see what else had happened, and now you wouldn't believe the state it had been in a few years ago!
Where the pool has been there is now a fabulous "splash park" as it's called, where instead of a pool, there are lots of little things which spray water out at different angles and strengh, like a small water park, it's all been landscaped around it too, so you can sit around in the sun and have a picnic or just sunbathe, there is a small take away place there where you can buy coffees and teas and small snacks and pop, this isn't particularly cheap at around £1 for a cup of instant coffee with no milk or sugar, but they have to make a profit somewhere...
The place is much tidier, the cafe has been done up and sells lovely food and drinks. You can once again go to Happy Mount Park and spend the day there, whether your going to play in he splash park for the day, or just going round there for a nice walk, going there to take the kids on the train, the trampolines, to play on the park (which you still pay for but which is much better now....and there is a free park now too!!!) to go on the swing boats, etc.
Now one thing which I hate about Happy Mount Park is that the toilets there used to be free, they're the only ones which are there, there are no toilets in the cafe, or anywhere else in the park, but now you have to pay 20p everytime you want to use the bathroom which can get expensive when you have few people with you, especially kids, and last time we were there, the cafe didn't have any 20p's :-S So we only had 3 toilet trips in a whole day...!!!!! Very annoying to have to pay to wee!!!
But all in all the place is great! If you went a couple of years ago and thought it was a tip, and there was nothing there, I would definitely suggest going again now, it really has improved and it's great fun!!! :-D