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

General Background

Pinic in the Park event

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 Northumberland.

Click here to download the Carlisle Park Leaflet.

Contact Details

The William Turner Garden

Carlisle Park Office
Carlisle Park
Off Castle Square
NE61 1YD

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 information.

Contact us for more information or to enquire about volunteer opportunities on 01670 623509, email

Opening Hours

  • 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 until September.
  • The Tennis Courts are available to hire all year round.

Enquiries and Information

Carnival in the Park

For play areas, paddling pool, skate park or toilets contact Morpeth Town Council by telephone 01670 514314 or click here for the Morpeth Town Council website.

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 formal gardens.

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 Turner Garden.

A Brief History

Morpeth Castle

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.

Carlisle Park was awarded the Green Flag in 2010

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 gardeners.

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

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.

Ha’ Hill

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.

William Pym bird sculpture

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 control.

Morpeth Castle

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.


Skate Park

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.

Sports Facilities

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 Garden webpage.



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