Local parks & gardens

Northumberland has a variety of parks in our towns and villages where local people and visitors can enjoy a relaxing day out.

Northumberland has a wonderful array of parks and gardens for locals and visitors to enjoy in their leisure time.

Further down this page you will find information about the Northumberland County Council-maintained town and village parks, gardens and outdoor facilities.
Astley Park is located in the mining village of Seaton Delaval, in the south east corner of Northumberland.

The park is home to a new pavilion and provides play and sports facilities to the local community, as well as natural features such as herbaceous and shrub beds.
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.
  • Fun Fair at Carlisle ParkCarlisle Park is open all year round. There are no admission charges.
  • The William Turner Garden is open 8am to 8pm, Monday to Thursday, and 8am to 6pm, Friday to Sunday (or 8am to dusk, whichever is earlier).
  • The toilets are open daily 10am to 6pm from 1 April until 31 October but are closed during the winter.
  • 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.
Carlisle Park is owned and managed by Northumberland County Council, in partnership with Morpeth Town Council and Active Northumberland. 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. 

Flower bed at Carlisle ParkFormal gardens
A mixture of lawns, annual bedding and herbaceous borders, with trees such as monkey puzzle, gingko biloba and maple provide a beautifully colourful place to relax. A small aviary is located here, which houses birds rehomed by people who no longer want them.

Ha’ Hill
Ha’ Hill is 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. It’s a great place to view the gardens and the town. Steps to the top of Ha’ Hill are from Postern Woods and behind the sports area.

Ha' Hill is home to a small flock of rare breed Shetland sheep who help to manage the hill. Please don't feed the sheep as we need them to graze on the vegetation, 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 solid stone building. Following the siege of 1641, all that remains is the gatehouse and a small section of castle wall. The gatehouse was recently restored by the Landmark Trust and is now a popular holiday home.

Play areas and paddling pool
Carlisle Park contains one of the few remaining working paddling pools in the North East, which is popular with children of all ages. The play areas by the river are suitable for children aged up to 13. A toddlers-only play area is located on the south west border of the park.

Sports facilities and skate park
Just over the footbridge from the Riverside Leisure Centre, the bowling greens and tennis courts provide a space for sports activities. Please contact Active Northumberland at the leisure centre for all enquiries. 

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.

William Turner Garden
A charming herb and knot garden created to celebrate the achievements of William Turner, the botanist born in Morpeth around 1508. 

The best place to spot wildlife in Carlisle Park, the woodlands stretch from the River Wansbeck to the formal gardens. 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 and wild garlic. Please let us know if you see a squirrel - red or grey.

Morpeth bus station and train station are both within 15 minutes’ walk of Carlisle Park and some bus services stop outside Castle Square.

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.

Morpeth is a vibrant town with a good range of shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs. Address: Carlisle Park Office, Off Castle Square, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 1YD
Carlisle Park hosts various events that are organised by partner organisations such as The Morpeth Gathering.
These events always take place on the weekend after Easter.

Picnic in the Park, organised by the Greater Morpeth Development Trust takes place every July, featuring a whole host of Morpeth music groups and community projects.

For further information about future events taking place at Carlisle Park, contact the park at carlislepark@northumberland.gov.uk or call 01670 623 509.

Doctor Pit Park is located in the historic market town of Bedlington in the south east corner of Northumberland.

The park provides bowls, sports and play facilities, as well as a quiet green space away from the hustle and bustle of the busy town. The park is Green Flag Award rated.

A photo of Doctor Pit ParkThe site is named after the Doctor Pit, which was sunk in the 1860s, on land which is now known as Gallagher Park and adjoining housing estates to the west of Doctor Pit Park.

The park was established in the early 1930s, on farmland purchased by the Bedlington Coal Company, to provide recreational facilities for local miners and their families.

The park is now owned and managed by Northumberland County Council, as space for play and recreation and is open seven days per week.
Another photo of Doctor Pit Park

There are three entrances into the park. The main pedestrian/vehicular entrance is situated on Park Road, accessed from Beech Grove. There are a further two pedestrian entrances next to Whitley Memorial First School and off Hollymount Square. The entrances are DDA compliant.

The park has good public transport links, with bus stops nearby.

There is limited public parking within the park and surrounding streets. There is a large free public car park to the rear of the Market Place which is only 200 metres from the park.    
Mature broadleaf trees and conifers at Doctor Pit parkDoctor Pit Park offers a variety of features. The formal garden area is home to annual flower beds, shrub planting and a rockery. Around the park there are mature broadleaf trees and conifers.

The play area, which is Neighbourhood Equipped Area for Play (NEAP) standard, has equipment suitable for all ages from toddlers to teenagers. The wheeled sports area and basketball areas prove to be particularly popular with older children.

The Pavilion provides a meeting room, bowling club room, kitchen, park keeper’s office and public toilets. The pavilion is home to the local bowling club who play on the green.

On the southern edge of the park is Welfare Park, the home of Bedlington Terriers Football Club since 1966. The football club has close links with Doctor Pit Park. 

 The park is managed by the Neighbourhood Services, Northumberland County Council.
A project to put the heart back into Doctor Pit Park has began in early 2016.  Funding was secured to make the play area and to install a new multi-use games area.

Other improvements include:
  • Planted more bulbs, flowers and trees throughout the park for colour and wildlife value
  • Removed overgrown conifers
  • Widened the footpath through the Toddler’s play area to the Gordon Terrace entrance (by the school)
  • Improved footpath surfaces throughout the park
  • Removed the barriers by taking out the hedge by the wheeled spots area, and the fence between the two play areas
  • Improved the entrances at Park Road at Gordon Terrace
  • Improved the Rockery and making it a space to be explored and played on

Eastwood park lies on the eastern edge of Prudhoe, or West Wylam, and was originally known as the West Wylam Welfare. The park has two play areas, football pitches, a cricket strip and pavilions. The Eastwood Park Improvement Project is currently underway and will see much needed upgrades of play and other facilities within the park.

Eastwood park has existed since 1919 as a sporting facility and even after West Wylam Pit closed in 1961 the park has continued to be central to the sporting life of the area.

Prudhoe Town FC played there until 1987 when they moved to Kimberley Park, nearby.  Since then  Prudhoe Youth Club FC have played here and have fielded many teams of varying ages throughout the years. They now have over 20 teams and make use of at least 5 football fields across the town
The park also has a cricket pitch and was home to Prudhoe Cricket Club for many years. There has been a Cricket Club based in West Wylam since at least 1960 and probably long before that.  The pavilion appears on maps dating from around 1919 and was upgraded and rebuilt at varying points over the years.

Lawn bowls was also played on the southern part of the site from at least 1932 until around 1998, when the club moved to Prudhoe Waterworld and the bowling green was redeveloped into a children’s play area.
Eastwood Park lies just to the east of
Eastwoods Road
NE42 5DE

There is a car park in the park, and all access is off Eastwoods Road
Northumberland County Council and Prudhoe Town Council are working on a project to improve the play and other facilities within Eastwood Park.  

Currently we are asking people what they would like to see in the park, gathering views and ideas.

An exhibition of early ideas and potential improvements will be held in the Pavilion in the centre of the park on Monday 12th September.  

It is a drop-in event, and you can come along at any time between 3.30pm and 7.30pm.  A presentation and question and answer session will take place during the event from 6.30pm until 7.00pm.

Please complete our survey about the park to tell us your views now, click here to go to the survey.
Eastwood Park is a popular place for dog walkers, it also contains two children’s play area and is home to many children’s football teams, as well as being a great space for informal sport and play.  The football pitches are located in the centre of the park and, as they are also public open space, are used to exercise dogs too.  

We are particularly interested in your views on dogs in the park as we have to balance the needs, health and safety of all visitors to the park, and it is unfortunate that all dog owners do not clear up after their dogs.  

One idea being considered is the creation of a Dog Zone and Agility Area at the north end of the park.  This will provide a sizeable space for dogs to be off lead and also to be able to play on agility equipment.  This will NOT be a space for dog owners to leave dog mess, the same clean-up laws will apply in this space as anywhere else in the county.  

Tell us what you think by completing the park survey. Click here to go to the survey.
Haltwhistle Memorial Park, also known as Haltwhistle hospital grounds and Greencroft Park, is on Westgate in Haltwhistle Town Centre.

The park offers a pleasant green space in the centre of Haltwhistle to reflect and unwind. Visitors are welcome to sit and enjoy the pleasant surroundings or read the names on the war memorial roll of honour and show their respects. The listening posts are pedal-powered devices which will tell you about the history of the area in the words of local people.

Two children point at a ceramic mosaic centrepieceThe park was created following the Great War, when a large house and gardens became a public memorial park and hospital.

The memorial cenotaph was unveiled by Colonel Riddell in 1926, four years after the house behind it re-opened as a memorial hospital after its remodelling.

The park was kept as a locked feature of the town and only opened during memorial services such as Remembrance Day. In recent decades, the practice of locking the park became relaxed.

In early 2014, the council upgraded the paths to enable wheelchair access and changed planting to offer year-round colour. The hospital site has been replaced with a state-of-the-art building.

Whistle Arts Stop and the community partnership worked with local people to decide on the finishes and layout of the park. Whistle Arts Stop also held workshops with residents to create a ceramic mosaic centrepiece on the theme of remembrance and memorial. Two listening posts were designed by the Klarty Kids Club and can be found in the park and the market place.

No vehicles or bicycles may be used in the park and dogs must be kept under control. The park is not suitable for ball games. Public toilets can be found on the roadside to the right of the park. The library and tourist information centre is along the same street.

To visit their websites, click here for the library and click here for the tourist information centre.
  • The park is on Westgate, the main road through Haltwhistle town centre. The postcode is NE49 9AJ.
  • Haltwhistle railway station is 150m away.
  • Haltwhistle Westgate bus stop is immediately outside the gates.
  • Free car parking can be found immediately outside the gates.
There is a cycle park on the roadside to the left of the park, by the BT phone box.
Hirst Park is situated in the centre of the busy Northumberland town of Ashington.

Hirst Park contains woodland, formal gardens, bowling greens, tennis courts, community pavilion, herbaceous and shrub borders.

The Park is in the development phase of an improvement project revitalise the entire park. An application for £2.5million funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery's Parks for People programme is being prepared.

Tell us your views - complete an online survey about the park as it is now.  Click here to go to the survey.
A photo of Hirst Park, AshingtonOriginally opened in 1915, Hirst Park was developed by the former Ashington Urban District Council as a 'green oasis' in a rapidly expanding coal mining neighbourhood. Since then it has been lovingly used by generations of local people enjoying its green open spaces, flower beds and recreational facilities such as tennis courts, bowling greens and children's play areas.

The park is known locally as The Flower Park, in reference to the vibrant floral displays of days gone by, and it has a significant mining and footballing heritage too.

Football legends Jackie Milburn and Jack and Bobby Charlton all played on Hirst Park’s football pitches.  

England football star Jack Charlton, OBE, was spotted playing at Hirst by scouts from Leeds United. He said: “The football pitches where we played were created on the ash tip from the colliery and these were our first training grounds – our very own Wembley. The park was a precious place where me and Bobby learned our craft, training and playing for fun, before going on to join Leeds and Manchester United and then playing in the world-cup winning England side in 1966.  Hirst Park made it all possible for us and we would play all day if we could… and we often did.”

Hirst Park is managed by Northumberland County Council and is currently in the development phase of a Parks for People funding application to revive the whole park.

The park is currently open between 8.30am and dusk, seven days a week.

There are public toilets in Hirst Park Bowling Pavilion, open when the park keeper is on site. The nearest additional public toilets are approximately 300m west of the park.

The park is situated in the busy town of Ashington in Northumberland and can be accessed from a number of main streets from the town centre. There are four entrances in total, two of which are both vehicular and pedestrian. All park entrances are DDA compliant.

The nearest bus stops are located on Hawthorn Road and Ashington bus station is a five minute walk. Car parking is available at the park, accessible from Fourth Avenue.

The park is currently open between 8.30am and dusk, seven days a week.

There are public toilets in Hirst Park Bowling Pavilion, open when the park keeper is on site. The nearest additional public toilets are approximately 300m west of the park.

  • Bowling green at the parkFormal gardens and gates: the formal gardens consist of lawn, flower beds and herbaceous borders.
  • Community pavilion: the pavilion is home to the neighbourhood service park-keeping team.
  • Trees: there are more 200 specimens in the park, covering a range of species, including some of the last remaining elms in the urban area.
  • Play areas: inclusive equipment to neighbourhood equipped area for play (NEAP) standard is provided within the flower park. It is divided into three zones: toddler, mid-range and teenage activities.
  • Bowling greens: two county standard greens, including one with an organic management regime.
  • Public toilets: open when the park keeper is on site.
  • Litter bins, dog bins and salt bins: all maintained by Northumberland County Council.
Unless otherwise stated, the park features are managed by Northumberland County Council’s neighbourhood services team.
A long-term project to improve Hirst Park is being worked on by Northumberland County Council, supported by Ashington Town Council, Active Northumberland and other partners.Flower bed at Hirst Park

Parks for People funding is being sought to radically revitalise the whole park, which includes the Flower Park and the Rec.  Greenhouses and training facilities will be returned to the space behind Hirst Park House, while horticulture, landscaping, footpaths, seating and signage will be improved throughout the park.  Play and outdoor activities will be vastly improved, and dedicated park staff will be employed to help everyone enjoy the park and discover its heritage.

There are several funding stages to be completed before work can start in Hirst Park, these are:

September 2015 – Submit Round 1 funding application
This was successful, and Northumberland County Council was awarded a development grant of £139,000 in December 2015.

January 2016 – February 2017 – Development phase of project
TGP Landscape Architects have been appointed to help develop the detailed funding application for the actual park improvement works, to be submitted in February 2017.

June 2017 – Funding decisions announced
If successful, further detailed design work will be required, followed by the appointment of main landscaping contractors. ‘On the ground’ work is expected to begin in late 2017.

Parks for People is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery and is dedicated to improving parks that have fallen into decline.  Group photo of Hirst Park Revival team and stakeholders with Jack CharltonClick here to learn more about Parks for People.

Hirst Park Ashington logoHeritage lottery fund logoJack Charlton helped the Hirst Park Revival team and stakeholders announce the award of £139,000 Parks for People development phase funding in January 2016.
You can get involved at Hirst Park in a number of ways:
  • Complete our survey to tell us your views of the park.  Click here to go to the survey.
  • Share your memories and old photos of the park by email or phone
  • Join the Friends of Hirst Park to help shape the Hirst Park Revival Project
  • Join the mailing list to keep up to date with events and project progress
For more information email hirstpark@northumberland.gov.uk or phone 01670 623852.
On this page you will find information about the William Turner Garden, which is located in the formal gardens of Carlisle Park in Morpeth.

The William Turner Garden is an oasis of tranquillity within Carlisle Park in the heart of Morpeth, Northumberland. The garden is free to visit and holds a Green Flag Award.
Gazebo at the William Turner gardenBorn in Morpeth in around 1508, William Turner is known as the ‘father of English botany.’ He was the very first person to record, in English, the names and medicinal uses of plants in his three-part Herbal. The gardens contain plants Turner found during his travels in Europe.
The gardens feature elements of a 16th century Tudor garden, a knot garden and a viewing mound. Medicinal plants are housed in the physic beds, which were used to treat illnesses and ailments. The knot garden is more formal, with interwoven box hedges and ornamental yew trees.

The Woodland Bank, in keeping with the Tudor tradition of gazing down on a garden, provides the perfect viewing area for the garden. The William Turner Garden is open every day, except Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
  • April to September: 8am to 8pm, Monday to Thursday and 8am to 6pm, Friday to Sunday
  • October to March: 8am to dusk
William Turner Garden is located within the formal gardens of Carlisle Park, off Castle Square, Morpeth, Northumberland.

Postcode NE61 1YD and grid reference NZ1985 bring you to the formal gardens.

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. Check the Traveline website for information.

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. Ring the park office on 01670 623509 for more information.

The William Turner Garden is wheelchair accessible.
Northumberland County Council community toilet scheme.

Great community spirit in spending a penny

Some fantastic businesses are doing their bit to welcome visitors to Northumberland by joining the council's 'You're welcome to use our loos' campaign.

It's a wonderful voluntary scheme where traders pledge to open their toilets to the public, making it convenient for visitors and locals to spend more time in our towns and villages.

The businesses receive the sticker, pictured left, to place prominently in public view, in so doing inviting people to use their facilities without the necessity of purchasing anything.

It helps promote Northumberland as a welcoming, friendly and accessible place and makes it likely visitors will stay longer and return more often - boosting the county's economy.

What do businesses get out of it?

> free advertising from the county council
> a 'you're welcome' sticker enabling the public to identify participating businesses
> likely increase in footfall
> the potential for more customer sales
> a sense of community spirit

Any businesses interested in joining the voluntary scheme can seek further information by contacting Northumberland County Council on 0345 600 6400 or by email to yws@northumberland.gov.uk

You're welcome scheme - business locations

Here you will find information on children’s play areas and outdoor sports facilities in Northumberland.

All of our outdoor play areas are maintained to a high standard, so children can play in a safe space. There are many play areas, sport and recreational facilities in Northumberland. Click on the following links to find out about play areas near you: Please note: play areas in Northumberland are generally managed by your local town or parish council or housing association.