Worden Park is the largest in South Ribble, and it attracts around 300,000 visitors every year.
As well as offering more than 60 hectares of meadows, woodlands and playing fields, the park also includes a range of attractions in its historic grounds.
First opened to the public in 1951 as part of the Festival of Britain celebrations, Worden Park is now Grade II listed by English Heritage.
The park once formed the estate of Worden Hall, owned by the Farington family who laid out most of the landscape that can be seen today. Following a devastating fire in 1941, Worden Hall was eventually demolished leaving behind only one remaining wing, the outbuildings and the walled kitchen garden.
Today, the remaining historic buildings have been transformed to house local businesses, each offering something different to visitors.
Worden Park's landscape includes mature woodlands, 11 sports pitches, wildflower meadows and three historic ponds. The park is a popular destination for school groups, and it makes a beautiful “outdoor classroom” for field trips.
Worden Park has won many accolades, and it is the only green space north of London to have earned a prestigious Green Flag Award since the scheme began in 1996.
Worden Park attractions
Model Railway - The Leyland Society of Model Engineers provide free rides to the public, operating on Sunday, bank holidays and Tuesdays during school holidays (all weather dependent). The Leyland Society of Model Engineers can be contacted on 01772 455580.
Formal Gardens - Originally designed by the landscape architect William Andrews Nesfield, the formal gardens provide a quiet space for visitors to sit and enjoy the peaceful surroundings, surrounded by colourful bedding displays.
Hedge Maze - This historic feature is open to the public at all times and is one of very few such mazes which is free of charge to explore. The maze was designed for the Farington family by Nesfield and is now around 150 years old. Worden Park's maze has the extra feature of having two entrances, one being the “real” entrance and the other being false, leading only to dead ends in either direction.
Playground - The playground is the largest in Leyland and has 22 pieces of equipment for toddlers (ages 0-6) including swings, climbing frames, springy toys and a large sand pit complete with sand diggers. There are also 14 pieces of equipment for juniors (ages 7-12) including swings, a see-saw, climbing frames, slides, rope climbing frame and cableway.
Walled Garden - This historic feature encloses an area just less than one acre is thought to date back to 1777 and once formed a crucial part of the Worden Estate. The walled garden has now been brought back into production by a partnership between South Ribble Borough Council and the Brothers of Charity. A range of produce is available for sale from the walled garden on Mondays to Fridays and a range of seasonal events are held throughout the year.
Shaw Brook Italian Walk - Running the entire length of the park close to the southern boundary, the 'Italian Walk' was originally built for the Farington family. The walk meanders its way alongside Shaw Brook and sturdy footwear is advised when ground conditions are wet.
Finding Worden Park
Address: Worden Lane, Leyland, Lancashire, PR25 3DH.
The park is easily accessible by both public transport and car. It is approximately two miles from junction 28 of the M6 motorway and 25 minutes’ walk from Leyland Railway Station.
The park has a large car park accessed from Worden Lane on the eastern side of the site, and is ten minutes’ walk from the town centre car parks. Please note that while the car park is free, restrictions do apply during the week:
Parking on the main car park is free, but is restricted to three hours with no return within three hours, 9am - 5pm, Monday - Friday except school and bank holidays (except disabled badge holders and permit holders). This also includes the overflow parking area when it is open.
Parking on the hall car park is restricted to disabled badge holders and permit holders only, Monday - Sunday, 9am - 5pm.