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Saltwell Park, Gateshead

4.6
#1 of 8 in Parks in Gateshead
Saltwell Park is a Victorian park in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, England. Opened in 1876, the park was designed by Edward Kemp and incorporates the mansion and associated grounds of the Saltwellgate estate owner, William Wailes, who sold his estate to Gateshead Council for £35,000. Upon opening, it became known as "The People's Park". The park was expanded in 1920 when the council purchased the adjacent gardens to the Saltwell Grove estate and added these to the park. This extended the park's total size to 55 acres (22 ha). Towards the end of the 20th century, the park had fallen into disrepair, but between 1999 and 2005, it was subject to a £9.6 million restoration project, funded collaboratively by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Gateshead Council and is now host to around 2 million visitors per year.
The park is split broadly into three sections. Saltwell Grove, the southern section, is an area of grassed open space with a bandstand to the western corner. The central area contains the centrepiece of the park – Wailes's former home, the Grade II listed Saltwell Towers and its surrounding belvedere walls. These have been fully restored and are now a visitor centre. There are also three war memorials, a yew-tree maze, a dene and an area containing several species of caged animals known as Pet's Corner. The largest section of the park is the Northern Fields section which contains a four-acre boating lake with a wooded island at its centre, as well as three bowling greens and two pavilions.

Saltwell Park has been presented with numerous awards in recent years, including being named "Britain's Best Park" in 2005 and Civic Trust Park of the Year in 2006. It has won a Green Flag award every year since 2006 and in was 2013 re-listed as one of fifty-five Green Heritage sites in the UK. The park has been a social hub for over a century; an annual public bonfire night display was first held in 1883, a circus in 1886 and the park hosted the Holidays at Home programme during World War II. Today the bonfire display has grown into one of the largest in Tyne and Wear and is attended by thousands of people every year. In October 2012, Saltwell Park was the site of the first British Legion Field of Remembrance in North East England. It also plays a role in local sport and recreation; it has hosted a fundraising day in support of Sport Relief, a Race for Life for a number of years and in November 2012 a "green gym" was installed at the park – one of only two in Gateshead.
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Saltwell Park Reviews

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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
814 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Was here before COVID 19 lock down to play football with my friends. The park was fun and I enjoyed looking at the birds. It’s a bit filthy though.  more »
  • Stunning park. Great for families or if you want a nice stroll. Gardens are beautiful. Plenty of wildlife  more »
Google
  • Great park for all the family, was a red hot day and there were squirrels roaming in the trees, ducks at the pond, as well as some animals like peacocks and parrots etc in a small section. There was a decent little maze and plenty of interesting different sections. Spent a good few hours here having a nice walk and enjoying the wildlife.
  • Great park close to the centre of Gateshead. Nice grounds to walk in. Doggy play area, kiddie Kay areas, lots of seating and well kept. Tea room for when you want a drink. Car park isn't huge, but is free... Can park on the surrounding streets too..
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