Advantages Plenty of recreational land, free to visit
Disadvantages Can get very busy at times
|Is it worth visiting?|
Peasholm Park is a large public park located in the North Bay area of the East Yorkshire resort of Scarborough. It is not just the largest park in the town it is also the oldest public recreation area and over the years it has become a major tourist attraction, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Peasholm Park is clearly sign-posted from almost everywhere within Scarborough so it is never hard to find no matter whereabouts you are.Despite dozens of visits to Scarborough over the years I visited here for the very first time only recently. The first thing that I noted was that this is effectively two different parks, separated by a main road, the A165 known locally as Burniston Road. The park to the east of this road that extends to the coast is the smaller of the two halves and the first part of Peasholm Park that I discovered. The other half of the park I did not discover until a little later that same day.
The eastern side of the park features a large pond but this is full of pondweed and algae so it is certainly not the sort of place that you would take a swim. The main feature of this area is Peasholm Park Station, which is the train station for the North Bay light railway line which terminates here. The highlight of my visit here however in August 2008 was a Kingfisher that I watched at very close range fishing in the pond whilst the crowds walked by oblivious.One thing that puzzled me a little was the rows and rows of steep steps dug into the grassy banking overlooking the pond. These are now overgrown with grass and look somewhat odd. I was to discover when I read an information sign in the park that when the park was created before the First World War it was a popular venue for shows and firework displays. In these days there was no pond and the shows took place where the pond is now located. These shows and displays proved so popular that terraced seating was constructed into the banks of the park to accommodate the huge crowds.
The other half of the park which I discovered during the afternoon of the same day that I visited the other part of the park is larger and more commercialised. The whole park has an Oriental theme and was quite a surprise. There is another pond and a large boating lake where the pedalos are in the shape of dragons whilst the buildings inside the park are all shaped like pagodas and there are fancy Chinese bridges. These pedalos can be hired out and are extremely popular. Apparently, twice a week during the summer months a naval battle is re-enacted in this part of the park which is based on the Battle of the River Plate. Whilst on a Sunday a big brass band plays in the bandstand.The Oriental theme to Peasholm Park was the brainchild of a man called Harry W H Smith who was a local councillor back in 1911 when the council acquired an area of wasteland known as "Tuckers Field" He had the vision of creating a Japanese Garden although these days it has a more Chinese rather than Japanese feel to it. The council purchased a number of authentic Japanese statues and others were brought here from nearby Killerby Hall, which is now the location of Flamingo Land theme park. To compliment these statues exotic flowers were purchased and wonderful flower beds were created. The result certainly works and does not come across in the least bit tacky.
I certainly enjoyed my visit to Peasholm Park and therefore I would recommend it to others.
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