Sunday 29 May 2011

Roundhay Park

We've had a lovely day today at Roundhay Park. Being over 700 acres, it is one of the largest parks in Europe. It was spitting with rain when we got there, but we took our chances and unfortunately for us, there was a downpour not long after. I'm glad we decided to see it out though as the sun came out, and although it was very breezy, it was a lovely sunny afternoon.

It will always be somewhere special for Mick and I as we held our wedding reception here in 1990. The Mansion House was built between 1811 and 1826 for Thomas and Elizabeth Nicholson. It was bought by the City of Leeds in 1871 and was leased out by the council as a hotel and restaurant. It's recently undergone a major refurbishment and is once again playing host to brides and grooms. We didn't arrive in anything quite as loud as this double decker bus which was parked outside the building today.

Why is it that whenever we come across trees, my two feel the need to revert back to primates?

Roundhay Park is a fantastic place for dog walking, there's so much open space away from busy roads, and Archie had a wonderful time running off his lead.

There's two lakes, the first is smaller and can be viewed from The Mansion.

The second, Waterloo Lake, is huge. It's a fantastic feature of the park.

Isn't this bandstand wonderful? Sadly, there was no band playing today but I can imagine days gone by with music drifting out to those spectators sat listening on the grass.

We came across rhododendrons literally buzzing with bees. I couldn't resist a photo opportunity.

One of the main reasons for visiting Roundhay Park today was to visit the recently installed gardens. Leeds City Council have been building gardens for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show for quite a few years now and some of their past gardens are now on show at Roundhay Park.

2008 was 90 years on from the end of WWI and the Leeds City Council garden for Chelsea in this year was built to commemorate those who fell. The Largest Room In The House was based on the garden at Talbot House in Poperinghe near Ypres in Belgium. Recuperating soldiers were offered a peaceful respite away from the horrors at the front at Talbot House between 1915 and 1918.

The Hesco Garden 2009 highlighted problems caused by climate change. By using locally sourced Yorkshire stone and plants which thrive in wet conditions, it illustrated how we can manage these conditions. This is my personal favourite of the Leeds City Council RHS Chelsea gardens.

The Hesco Garden 2010 celebrated links between people visiting the parks of Leeds and their health and wellbeing. The focal point is a pair of seeping lock gates. This garden won a gold medal at Chelsea.

Another garden on show at Roundhay Park is the Monet Garden. Here, the central pathway running from Monet's garden gate to his house in Giverny is recreated.

The Alhambra Garden is a reproduction of the Patio Acequia.

I loved the planting in this garden, lots of herbs mingled amongst the flowers, and I couldn't resist taking lots of photos.

If you get a chance to go to Roundhay Park and visit these gardens I would definitely recommend it, you won't be disappointed.


  1. Good for you persevering on your day out!

    As for the candles it really was simple to do in the microwave. Like you said I always saw talk of double boilers and things but this was as easy as making a cuppa!

    Victoria xx

  2. I know Roundhay Park really well...I used to live just around the corner when I first moved to Leeds! It is a magnificant park and LCC has made some really beautiful gardens for Chelsea. Occasionally there is a grumble about LCC funds going on the Chelsea projects but most people agree that it is very good for the city and then we all get to enjoy the gorgeous gardens when they are placed at Roundahy xxx

  3. I like Roundhay Park. We too had our wedding reception in the Mansion.

    I think the Hesco garden looks lovely and will have to have a visit to Roundhay to have a look at that. Lovely pictures Jo.

  4. What a fabulous day out destination, so many stunning gardens. Good to hear the bees were out and about given what we know about them being in decline.
    Lisa x

  5. We've never been to this park it looks like a really nice day out, let the kids just run. Yes ours turn into primates as well we were in HardCastle crags at the weekend and they all want to run off the path and into woods and longingly look at the river. Nice pictures.

  6. Thank you for all your lovely comments.

    Andrea - This year's garden is going to Roundhay Park too. I'm really proud that our city presents a garden for Chelsea, there's been some lovely ones there.

    Karen - My sister and my sister-in-law had their receptions there too. 21 years for us in July.

    Gail - I shall look up Hardcastle Crags, I've never been there. I love to put new destinations on our 'to do' list.

  7. Lovely post, wonderful photos and the double decker bus brings back lots of fond memories! Flighty xx

  8. Thanks, Flighty. I'm sure we'll be back to Roundhay Park very soon, it was such a lovely day.

  9. Jo, I think you and I were sisters in a former life!! This is spooky reading this! I have done several posts on the same topics as you without being aware of yours!! I've decided I need to check out your blog right from the beginning when I get chance!

  10. I think it's inevitable really seeing as we live quite near to each other. I enjoy reading other people's take on the same subjects as I've written about.