Parklife: Setting up home near stunning Liverpool greenspaces
It goes without saying these days that Sefton Park is among Liverpool’s most popular areas to live and enjoy the great outdoors.
The historic park and events hotspot is, however, just one of the city’s diverse and character-filled destinations which can hugely enhance the lifestyles of those on the doorstep.
Here’s our pick of glorious Liverpool greenspaces worth setting up home nearby.
Words by Natasha Young
Croxteth Hall and Country Park
Muirhead Avenue East, Liverpool, L12
Best for: Green-fingered enthusiasts and those looking to combine rural life with city living.
What’s there? A hub for community groups, volunteering opportunities, historic attractions and high profile events, North Liverpool’s Croxteth Hall and Country Park has lots to offer if you’re living a stone’s throw away.
Squeezing exercise into your schedule and budgeting for gym memberships needn’t be an issue thanks to the park’s weekly organised 5K Parkrun at 9am every Saturday and activities such as the Cycle for Health events on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Local residents of all ages can also get to grips with horse riding as the 500-acre site is home to the well-established, family-run Croxteth Park Riding Centre; and Croxteth Park Farm further enhances a hint of rural life in the city as it enables visitors to get up close to animals.
And if your own outdoor space is limited or lacking in gardening potential then fear not, as this is a park that welcomes a helping hand. For local residents with green fingered enthusiasm, or those looking to enjoy the much talked about holistic benefits of the activity, the Croxteth Park Volunteer Group (CPVG) maintains the popular greenspace, which features a Victorian Walled Garden housing the city’s historic botanical collection with stunning blooms like the jade vine on show.
The Croxteth Park Volunteer Group maintains the popular greenspace, which features a Victorian Walled Garden housing the city’s historic botanical collection.
A recent social media post by Croxteth Hall hails “fresh air, exercise, green fingered skills, a cup of tea – and the joy of helping in these surroundings” as positives of lending a hand in the picturesque space.
Meanwhile the site’s Grade II*-listed country house, formerly home to the Earls of Sefton who founded the Grand National, could be on the up after Liverpool City Council recently announced plans to breathe new life into the estate with a strategy to strengthen its future and maximise its appeal.
A new food, drink and hospitality provision and more frequent events such as concerts, seasonal fairs and artisan markets are among the proposals for Croxteth Hall and Country Park, after the local authority decided to keep hold of the destination rather than hand it over to an external operator.
A major family event is already in the pipeline for 3-5 August, highlighting the park’s credentials as a popular location for large scale goings on as the BBC stages its first ever outdoor kids’ festival with the CBBC Summer Social.
Walton Lane, Liverpool, L4
Best for: Those seeking a healthy, active lifestyle
What’s there? Sandwiched between the famous stadiums of Liverpool and Everton football clubs, this is a city space that needs little introduction. However, there’s so much more to Stanley Park than surroundings that have played host to landmark sporting moments.
Whether you’re setting up home in an established nearby North Liverpool community or eyeing the new homes that are helping to shape a revamped Anfield as part of its ongoing regeneration, this Green Flag and Green Heritage award winning park has plenty to boost your lifestyle.
There’s no park neighbour too young to take advantage of Stanley Park’s health and fitness benefits, as the greenspace is home to Liverpool’s first Junior Parkrun – a free weekly 2K run for four to 14- year-olds.
If you prefer strolling to sprinting, Breckfield and North Everton Community Centre (BNENC) uses the park for its regular community walk which local residents can book on to, and the group also arranges longer walks periodically.
Plus the bandstand outside the striking Isla Gladstone has been playing host to free outdoor yoga classes on Tuesday mornings now that the warmer months are underway thanks to Liverpool’s wellbeing collaborators Positivity Inc.
And the scenic lake within the Grade II*-listed greenspace makes a beautiful centrepiece to admire whether you’re embarking on an energising group activity or simply enjoying some time outdoors. As with all of Liverpool’s park lakes, an angling permit is required if you fancy taking up fishing there.
If all that exercise leaves you in need of a pit stop, Kemp’s Bistro in Stanley Park’s ornate Isla Gladstone glasshouse is on hand to serve up home-cooked breakfasts, lunches, afternoon teas and treats.
The eatery is also a hive of social activity for tiny local residents, as it hosts weekly Story Time sessions for under-fives and their grown-ups.
Otterspool Park and Promenade
Otterspool Road, Liverpool, L17
Best for: Families & admirers of the waterfront
Set up home near South Liverpool’s Otterspool Park and you’ll have the city’s famous waterfront close by to admire without the hustle and bustle of more central tourist-filled locations.
The sprawling greenspace overlooking the Mersey, along with its wooded areas and promenade path, makes for a scenic route for local strollers, cyclists and those with four-legged friends to regularly walk.
Thanks to its exposure to the windy waterfront, the park’s vast lawn has also become a favourite for kite flyers to frequently flock to, with the Northern Kite Group’s ‘Otty Flyers’ holding their regular meet-ups at the site. Even if you don’t fancy trying the flying yourself, the activity makes for a spectacle which only enhances Otterspool as a great Mersey viewpoint.
Younger nearby residents won’t be bored with the park and promenade in close proximity, as it features attractions including a skatepark and the action-packed Otterspool Adventure Centre.
There’s a handy café for family-friendly socialising close to home and parents can get little ones out of the house for some stress-free fun in the site’s wooden play area, which is free to enter alongside a host of other paid for activities.