Bowling Park

  • Bowling Hall Road, Bradford, BD4 7TL
  • Open 24 hours a day, all year round.
  • Bowling green
  • Children's play area
  • Fitness equipment
  • Tennis court
  • Walking routes

Bowling Hall Road, Bradford BD4 7TL, UK

Quick description

A large leafy park, complete with a play area, bowling green and great view over the city centre.  

What’s there?

Just a short distance from City’s centre, the park provides far-reaching views across the district. It’s a park that’s run by the community for the community. The Friends group is the key ingredient in ensuring that this space is used to bring people together. Based at The Hut, they regularly organise activities, events and gatherings.

Sitting adjacent to the Bolling Hall museum, this space is the perfect setting for a day out. The park boasts play areas, sports courts and a pitch and putt, offering ready-made entertainment for the whole family. The tree-lined vast open landscape also provides many opportunities for adventure. This could be walking, running, cycling around the winding paths, or tobogganing down the slopes.

Play areas  

There are two play areas, including one that was recently refurbished. 

Sports pitches  

Includes a five-a-side pitch/basketball court and two tennis courts that sit side-by-side.    

Mini pitch and putt  

Free to use and spread across an open green surrounded by trees.  

Bowling green and pavilion  

There are three well-maintained bowling greens and a clubhouse.  

Outdoor gym  

Neatly compact fitness area offers a space to exercise in the fresh air, surrounded by nature and with no membership required!   

Cycle route  

Cycle route 66 runs through Bowling Park. For more information, visit: https://fourpointmapping.sustrans.org.uk/westyorkshirecyclemap/westyorkshire.html  

The Hut 

Hub of the park community and home to the Friends of Bowling Park, who coordinate various activities, including gardening, walking and litter picking. The Hut hosts a daily youth drop-in service and is also open event weekend in the summer months for refreshments. In addition, equipment to use on the park’s tennis courts and pitch and putt can be hired from The Hut.  

Monument  

The former water fountain in Bowling Park is dedicated to Councillor J R Johnson. He heroically played a leading part in helping to carry 55 patients to safety from a fire at the Bradford fever hospital on Leeds Road before it was destroyed. He later dies from contracting smallpox.  

Fossilised tree  

To the south-west of the fountain there is a fossilised tree stump and roots which the 1926 description (ibid) of the park records as being found in the stone quarries at Clayton.  

Bowling Park Community Orchard  

The orchard is developed on six disused allotment plots adjacent to Bowling Park. There area is home to a variety of fruit trees, including apple, pear and plum.  

The orchard is managed by volunteers are Bradford Environmental Education Service (BEES), who work closely with the Friends of Bowling Park Community Orchard group.  

For more information, visit: https://bees-ymca.org.uk/index.php/places/orchard  

The Lodge  

Community owned, this multi-use space consists of a café and a communal room and cabin that can be hired for parties and events. For more information, visit: https://bowlingparklodge.org/community/  

History

In the late 1870s, Bradford Council purchased large areas of land to create Bowling Park, which includes part of the former grounds of Bolling Hall, Bradford. 

Previously, in the 19th century, part of this land had been mined for coal and ironstone. 

Competitive plans for a new public park were invited in March 1878, and those of Kershaw & Hepworth of Brighouse were accepted in June of that year.  

The park was opened two years later, in 1880, by Angus Holden: politician and former Mayor of Bradford.  

The design of the park differed significantly from Kershaw and Hepworth’s plans. Missing features include a croquet lawn, a cricket ground and a large reservoir bordering the park in the east. 

Natural history

Some of the wildlife that can be found at Bowling Park in Bradford include foxes, badgers, rabbits, birds of prey, and occasionally bats. Additionally, a range of other common British wildlife such as squirrels, hedgehogs, and various species of birds can also be found. 

Resources

Friends Group  

Visit the Friends of Bradford District Parks page to find out more about the Friends of Bowling Park.   

A Better Place park

The Better Place initiative is a component of the Better Start Bradford project. Better Place identifies and oversees improvements to local parks and outdoor spaces with the aim of providing a healthier and happier environment for babies, young children and families.

To find out more, including which parks have benefited, visit: https://www.betterstartbradford.org.uk/project/family/better-place/

What’s on

Visit the things to do area for details of all events.    

Park run  

A free, fun, and friendly weekly 5k community event. Every Saturday at 9 am. Visit the Parkrun website for more information: https://www.parkrun.org.uk/bowlingpark/  

Friends of Bowling Park  

The Friends of Bowling Park group organise various activities and events, including a youth drop-in service, gardening and walking clubs, litter picking, and a weekend café at The Hut. Events are regularly posted on the Friends group Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/IloveBowlingPark  

Events at Bowling Park

See our things to do page

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