The last time I was in Willow Park was for the local craft fair, so it was nice to head back to the park when it wasn’t trussed up with tables and bunting. Towards the end of this post, St Peters Church gets an honourable mention as the church itself is too lovely not to photograph.
As I previously mentioned, I’ve never explored Willow Park without an event going on at the same time – so it was refreshing to go on a day where the only people there were the odd child, and the odd adult discreetly playing on their phones. I’m not going to lie, I went with the little Guy primarily to try and catch some Pokémon but we were disappointed with our Poké-haul this time – thankfully the park itself is a quaint little space.
The space in Willow Park is maintained well – this area was covered in stalls and people not too long ago, and the grass isn’t looking too hard done by. I did notice that a lot of people used the park as a cut through which usually dismays me, but the cleanliness and general upkeep of the park doesn’t reflect that – its obviously a well loved hub for children meeting friends and families out for a walk.
I love seeing the wild in spaces like this – some flowers can be referred to as weeds, but it gives the natural population of towns like this to run wild. I know some folks prefer formal gardens with regimented planting, but personally, a few spaces where nature can just run wild is perfectly okay with me. I think its because a lot of the city parks in Bradford didn’t really have the rustic charm of Willow Park, so I appreciate it a little more.
As we ventured deeper into the park, it allowed the children to venture off on smaller pathways that didn’t lead too far away from us so we could keep an eye on them. Mike and Megs were ahead of us taking photographs at this point, as we were still attempting to look around for the local Pokémon population. (I do know Pokémon has popped up a lot in my latest posts – but its great, as I mentioned in my Lymm Dam post, for getting the children engaged in the world around them!)
Everyone I have met since moving to Newton-le-Willows, has a story involving this hole. Whether its being mischievous as children and throwing things down it, or the local horror stories involving it.. But nobody told me what it was.
Thankfully, after a good while googling my way around the internet, I discovered its a rather bizarre looking weir – not a dungeon, as people had previously tried to make me believe. I have to admit, I did wonder why the sleepy town of Newton would ever need a dungeon but it made me extra wary when I moved here..
This part of the park is incredibly busy and well loved! We saw families feeding the ducks and geese, even on the grey day we decided to visit. The birds are very used to humans.. When we went to explore with the camera we accumulated a gang of expectant geese following us!
No doubt we will be visiting again soon with a few bags of duck food – something I admire about the town is that there is an emphasis on bread being bad. Not everyone listens (as you can tell by our photo!), but many people come out armed with duck feed and frozen peas which are much better for our feathered foodies.
After we’d wandered the park, we started back towards the high street to the car – and we couldn’t resist taking a few moody snapshots of the local church which sits at one of the entrances to the park. Its worth mentioning that there is a car park here also, if you don’t want to park too far away.
St Peters Church, Newton-le-Willows (website)
The church is one of the first things you see when you arrive in town, and its one of the first landmarks I remember seeing when all those years ago I got off of the train to meet my ‘date’ for the first time. Yes! Back in 2011 I responded to a family friend who asked me out, and here in 2016 we still share the same breathing spaces. Its hard to believe that it really has been that long as we’ve lived in Bradford for a good five years of that time.. But here we are living in Newton passing that church every day.