Carlisle Park, Morpeth
also known as: Morpeth Park, Paddling pool, Park, Turner Garden, William Turner Garden.
On this page you will find information about Carlisle Park, Morpeth
Carlisle Park is a multi award winning park in the heart of
Morpeth, Northumberland. Situated on the south bank of the River
Wansbeck, it contains The
William Turner Garden, formal gardens, an aviary, play areas, a
paddling pool, ancient woodland, picnic areas, toilets, tennis
courts, bowling greens, a skate park, and much more.
Carlisle Park is owned by Northumberland County Council and
managed by them in partnership with Morpeth Town Council and Active
Click here to
download the Carlisle Park Leaflet.
Carlisle Park Office
Off Castle Square
Telephone: 01670 623509
Get involved at Carlisle Park
If you would like to get involved at Carlisle Park why not come
to the next user forum meeting? They are held quarterly at the
bowling pavilion, click here to email and
join our mailing list for the user forum dates and other park
Contact us for more information or to enquire about volunteer
opportunities on 01670 623509, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Carlisle Park is open all year round and free
- there are no admission charges.
- The William Turner Garden is open 8am till 8pm
Monday - Thursday, 8am-6pm Friday - Sunday, or 8am - dusk,
whichever is earlier.
- The Toilets are open daily 10am till 6pm from
1st April until 31st October, closed during
the winter season.
- The Paddling Pool is open daily from the
second bank holiday in May until the end of the school summer
holidays in September.
- The Bowling Pavilion is open daily from April
- The Tennis Courts are available to hire all
Enquiries and Information
For play areas, paddling pool, skate park or toilets contact
Morpeth Town Council by telephone 01670 514314 or click here for the Morpeth Town
For bowling greens, tennis, the putting green and associated
clubs contact Active Northumberland at the Riverside Leisure
Centre 01670 514665 or
click here for the Leisure Centre website.
For all other enquiries contact Northumberland County Council on
01670 623509 or 0345 600 6400 or click here to email the
Carlisle Park office here.
Getting Here and Local Facilities
Morpeth bus station and train station are both within 15 minutes
walk of Carlisle Park, and some bus services stop outside the
formal gardens at Castle Square.
Metered car parking is available throughout Morpeth, There is no
parking in Carlisle Park. However, a drop off point can be arranged
for visitors with special needs, contact the Park Office on 01670
623509 for more information.
Postcode NE61 1YD and grid reference NZ1985 bring you to the
Morpeth is a vibrant town with a good range of shops, coffee
shops and cafes, restaurants and pubs. For more information about
Morpeth, including places to stay, please contact Morpeth Tourist
information on 01670 623455 or click
here to visit the Morpeth Tourist Information website.
Click here to
download the Access Statement for Carlisle Park and The William
A Brief History
The Countess of Carlisle donated the land on which Carlisle Park
sits to the town of Morpeth in 1916 and the park was opened on
11th September 1929 by the six year old Earl of
Carlisle. The Park has become a treasured possession of the people
of Morpeth and draws visitors from miles around.
However, the site of Carlisle Park has been an important
location for Morpeth for much longer. The park contains the remains
of Morpeth Castle, originally built in the 13th and
14th centuries, and an 11th century motte and
bailey, both defended the town against invasions from the north,
and are now scheduled ancient monuments.
The formal gardens, lodge house, park cottage and landscaping
were created in time for the 1929 opening of the park. The garden
designs were done then, and always have been done, by the park
The bowling greens and tennis courts were opened in 1926, with
the pavilion built in 1951. The paddling pool opened in 1955 and
remains one of the most popular features of the park, along with
the aviary which can be found in the formal gardens.
Carlisle Park received £2.1 million from the Heritage Lottery
Fund in 1999, and work began on revitalising this much loved area.
Paths, woodlands and play areas, were improved, the bandstand was
built and the William Turner Garden was created.
Park progress never stops, and now the Carlisle Park User Forum
and Volunteers and Morpeth Bowling Club work with Northumberland
County Council, MorpethTown Council and Leisure Connections to keep
improving the park for all visitors.
Carlisle Park has successfully achieved the Green Flag Award in
2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. The
park regularly wins gold medals in Northumbria in Bloom and was a
key part of the town's Britain in Bloom success in 2013.
Features within the Park
The Formal Gardens
A mixture of lawns, annual bedding and herbaceous borders, with
specimen trees such as monkey puzzle, gingko biloba and maples
provide a beautifully colourful place to relax and enjoy the view.
A small aviary, which houses budgies and cockatiels and other
birds that have been rehomed by people who no longer want them as
pets, is located in the formal gardens.
An 11th century motte and bailey that towers to the
west of the formal gardens. It originally had a wooden tower at the
top and was built to defend Morpeth from invasions from the north,
as at that time the whole town lay to the south of the river and
the park. It’s a great place to get a view of the William Turner
Garden and Morpeth, especially in the winter when the trees are
bare. There are steps to the top of Ha’ Hill from the Postern Woods
and from behind the sports area.
Ha' Hill is home to a small flock of rare breed Shetland sheep
who are helping us to manage the hill as the steep, grassy mound it
was intended to be. The sheep graze the mound and save us the job
of trying to control the vegetation by mechanical means. Please
don't feed the sheep as we need them to eat the vegatation and if
you're taking dogs on to the hill please keep them under
Built in the 13th and 14th Centuries the
castle replaced the tower on Ha’ Hill with a much more solid stone
building. Following the siege of 1641 and centuries of neglect, all
that remains is the Gatehouse and a very small section of castle
wall. The Gatehouse, which was a council house for a short time,
was taken over and restored by the Landmark Trust in the 1990s and
is now a very popular holiday home.
Play Areas and Paddling Pool
Carlisle Park contains one of the few remaining working paddling
pools in the north east and it proves to extremely popular for
plodging (Northumbrian for paddling) with kids of all ages. The
play areas by the river contain a range of equipment suitable for
children aged from toddler to 13. A small toddlers’ only play area
is located on the south west border of the park adjacent to the
Bluebell Rise estate. The play areas and paddling pool are
maintained by Morpeth Town Council - 01670 514314 or click here to visit the Morpeth
Town Council Website.
Extremely popular with skaters, bladers and BMXers, the skate
park is between the tennis courts and Ha’ Hill, with access from
the Ha’ Hill side. It is maintained by Morpeth Town Council - 01670
514314, click here to visit the Morpeth
Town Council website.
Just over the footbridge from Morpeth’s Riverside Leisure
Centre, the bowling greens and tennis courts provide a space for
formal sports activities. Please contact Active
Northumberland at the leisure centre for all
enquiries. Phone 01670 514665 or
click here to visit the Leisure Centre website.
William Turner Garden
A charming herb garden and knot garden created to celebrate the
achievements of William Turner the Botanist, who was born in
Morpeth around 1508. Click here to find out more on the William Turner
The best place to spot wildlife in Carlisle Park, the woodlands
stretch from the River Wansbeck, to the Formal Gardens. A mixture
of mature and younger trees, including oak, beech, ash, sycamore
and hazel provide some great habitat in the centre of the town. If
you are lucky you might see fox, roe deer, rabbits or grey
wagtails. Listen out for great spotted woodpecker, chiff chaff,
robins and many other birds. Visit in spring for bluebells, wild
garlic wood anemones and wood sorrel. Please let us know if you see
a squirrel - red or grey.
Use these links to visit the webpages of other organisations
involved in the management of Carlisle Park.
Carlisle Park Management Plan