THEY SAY: Visit Hull’s largest park, one of the premier park venues in the north of England.
WE SAY: Fab day out, whatever the weather and best of all it’s all free.
We love East Park and visit often – mainly because it’s free! We can rely on it for a day out, whether it’s for some summer fun with ice creams and donkey rides or a winter’s walk to kick the leaves, East Park is always open.
As soon as you are through the gates and into the 130 acres of open space, it feels a world away from the busy city that surrounds it.
For me, as I’m sure it is for many locals, the park is a place full of childhood memories and now somewhere my children are making their childhood memories.
It was opened in 1887 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee and recently underwent a £10m transformation.
We usually start in the play park. It’s got everything from swings and slides to a zip wire and trampolines.
The last time we went, my four-year-old son Oliver was having such fun on the trampoline that his trousers fell down!
We always have a go on the donkeys when they’re there too. It’s usually about £1.50 for quick go which is a rip-off because you don’t get long at all, but the kids love it!
No visit to East Park is complete without a visit to the animal education centre. If you’re feeling brave, get up close to the indoor collection of snakes, tarantulas, millipedes and beetles.
You can walk through the centre and into the outdoors again at the other side, where you will find everything from peacocks, guinea pigs, rabbits and goats to deer, alpacas and wallabies.
There is also a walk-through aviary, which is one of the largest in the country and includes Koi carp, waterfall gardens and exotic birds.
Visitors are reminded not to feed any of the animals and birds because they are on special diets and the wrong food could be harmful. You can talk to the parrot though, and he will talk back!
Thee’s plenty of places to have a picnic so you can take your own and use the picnic benches or sit on the grass.
There’s also a steel musical instrument section which encourages the children to pretty much bang as loud as they can – what’s not to love?!
There’s often ice cream vans parked in the park, or there’s a side street opposite the splash boat which does a great Mr Whippy!
The splash boat is just one of three in the country and has been providing thrills and memories for visitors since 1929.
A footpath runs alongside the length of the water chute so viewing is made a lot easier, and wetter.
The splash boat is now back up and running which is a must for most children.
There is also a 16-acre boating lake which was dug out by unemployed locals after World War I. Now, you can take a peddle around the lake during the summer in a swan pedallo boat, or enjoy a trip in a more traditional row boat.
All boats run from the wooden jetty in front of the boathouse and charges apply.
There’s also the land train for a small charge which takes you on a little ride around the park. Don’t expect to see too much though as it’s mainly open fields it takes you to!
If you enjoy hearty homecooked meals, visit the family run Pavilion cafe. The cafe is popular with local community groups and welcomes residential home outings.
There is also a wide selection of specially adapted bikes for use by children and young people with disabilities and their families and carers in the park. The scheme is also open to adults with disabilities.
The water play area is still closed while the council consider it’s long term future.
NEED TO KNOW…
LOCATION: Holderness Road, east Hull, HU8 8JU.
OPEN: The park is staffed daily from 7.30am until dusk. Times depend on season.
PRICES: Free entry.
CALL: 01482 300300.