Crow Nest Park, Dewsbury Review For Families

Crow Nest Park is a Green Flag awarded public park. One of the oldest and largest parks in Dewsbury, covering an area of 70 acres. It is a popular destination for families who want to enjoy some outdoor fun and relaxation. 

As a family who loves to explore and enjoy the great outdoors, we recently decided to spend a weekend at Crow Nest Park in Dewsbury. With a keen sense of curiosity and our adventure-spirited kids, Matilda and Barney, in tow, we were set on uncovering all that this serene park had to offer. 

Having recently spent a delightful afternoon there with my family, I am excited to share our experience and discoveries with fellow parents looking to plan their next family outing.

Where is it located?

Not to be confused with a mere patch of greenery, Crow Nest Park is a historic gem nestled comfortably on Heckmondwike Road. Its convenient location means it’s just a stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle of Dewsbury’s town centre – perfect for families looking to escape the concrete confines without straying too far from home comforts.

History of Crow Nest Park

Our walk through the park became more meaningful as we considered its rich tapestry of history. The origins of Crow Nest Park date back to the 16th century, when it was nothing more than farmland. Over centuries, it has morphed into the idyllic expanse it is today — a testament to the foresight of those who transformed it into a public haven during the industrial boom of the 19th century.

By 1893, it officially opened its gates to the public. The mansion house, which once signified the private luxury of a country estate, was repurposed into a museum and tearooms, collectively acting as the park’s heart. The introduction of an ornamental lake, terraced walks, and a conservatory was not merely for aesthetics but served as a green-lung sanctuary amidst the smokestacks of textile mills that characterised the era’s industry.

Even as we wandered past the two remaining park lodges, it was easy to envisage the bustle of the early visitors who, like us, sought respite in this urban countryside. The legacy of adding facilities such as tennis courts, playgrounds, and allotments continued well into the 20th century, ensuring the park’s status as a multi-generational treasure.

What is there to do for families?

There are plenty of things to do for families at Crow Nest Park. Here are some of the activities that we enjoyed during our visit:

Adventure Awaits at the Playgrounds

The park presents two wonderful play areas. Dual playgrounds mean double the fun at Crow Nest Park. The charm of the adventure grounds unveils itself on sunny Saturdays, providing imaginative and physical challenges for eager little explorers like Matilda and Barney. Meanwhile, the everyday playground serves as a reliable stage for spontaneous playdates and sibling races.

There are swings, slides, climbing frames, seesaws, and a zip line. Matilda and Barney had a ball here, challenging themselves on the swings and climbing frames and they made some new friends too.

The playground is surrounded by grassy areas, where we could sit and relax, and watch the kids have fun. There are also some benches and picnic tables, where we could enjoy some snacks and drinks.

Outdoor Gym

Just by the playground, we spotted outdoor gym equipment. It’s ingenious, really – parents can sneak in a mini workout while keeping an eye on the kids. I did a few pull-ups, feeling a tad smug about multitasking like a pro.

Ornamental Lake

No visit to Crow Nest Park would be complete without time spent by the side of the ornamental lake. With an array of ducks and the rustle of wind through the leaves as the soundtrack, this was a tranquil reprieve from the day’s cheerful exertions.

Bike Friendly Paths

The park has some bike-friendly paths, which are perfect for cycling around the park. We brought our bikes, and we explored the park on two wheels. With Barney just getting the hang of his bike without stabilisers, the bike-friendly paths were a win. They’re smooth enough for little cyclists and it provided a safe environment for Barney’s wobbly moments.

Matilda, too, was thrilled to cycle along the paths, waving at passersby and revelling in her sense of freedom. Indeed, we didn’t cover the whole network, but what we explored got a thumbs-up from the kiddos.

Visiting the Museum

Another attraction of the park is the Dewsbury Museum, which is located in the Crow Nest Mansion. The museum showcases the history and culture of Dewsbury and the surrounding area, through various exhibits and displays. 

Here you can learn about the industrial, social, and political aspects of the town, as well as the lives of some famous people who were born or lived in Dewsbury.

Facilities At Park

Our family appreciated the essential amenities like free parking, which is critical when you’re planning a day out. Open green spaces and seated areas made for a comfortable visit. That said, the closed café was a letdown. 

Packing snacks ahead is advisable, as amenities might be scant. And while parking is ample and convenient, it’s best to arrive early during the peak of summer fun to secure a spot.

Areas For Improvement

Every coin has two sides, and while our experience was primarily positive, there were certain aspects of the park that, if improved, could make it an even more enjoyable destination for all.

Restroom Facilities

Access to clean restrooms is a basic necessity, especially for families with small children. The park’s restroom facilities were either non-functional or in dire need of attention. On more than one occasion, a pleasant stroll had to be interrupted in search of suitable amenities.

Café and Refreshments

The charm of a park café is unmatched — a little hub within the greenery to satiate hunger pangs or to enjoy a hot beverage. Unfortunately, the closure of the park’s café limited our options and surely detracted from others’ experiences too. A functioning café would be a welcome addition to help visitors refuel and relax.

Pest Control

Pest control, too, necessitates attention. The presence of rats around the pond and garden areas, although a common issue in urban parks, should be addressed to ensure the health and safety of all park-goers, as well as to preserve the natural habitat.

Would you recommend it?

Crow Nest Park has its shortcomings, but the overall offering is still very charming. The tranquil atmosphere fused with the opportunity for active play makes it an excellent spot for families. We’d love to visit again, hopefully finding a few of the gaps filled, like an open café and improved facilities. 

But for a day of adventure and bonding, Crow Nest Park is a good local place to visit. Just come prepared, especially regarding bathroom facilities, and you’ll have a great time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below, we have compiled some commonly asked questions about Crow Nest Park to help you plan your visit.

Is there a café?

Yes, there’s a café, but it was closed when we visited. It’s always a good idea to bring your own snacks just in case.

What is your favourite part?

The playground without a doubt! It’s so wonderful to see kids being active and enjoying themselves in a safe, outdoor environment.

Is it suitable for Dog walkers?

Yes, dogs are welcome on-site, and we saw many dog owners enjoying the park alongside their canine companions, which added to the park’s friendly and inclusive atmosphere. Please keep them on leads and be mindful of other park users.

Can we bring our bikes?

Indeed, this is encouraged. With extensive bike paths that are safe for children and away from traffic, it’s an excellent place for cycling.

Is there parking available?

Limited free parking is available. However, it can get crowded, so arriving early can ensure a parking spot.

Is there any entrance fee for visiting the park?

No,  the park is open to all, free of charge, reinforcing its status as a community cornerstone.

Pros & Cons


  • Great walking routes
  • Nice cycle paths
  • Good facilities (outdoor gym)
  • Enjoyable playground.


  • Cafe not open on the day of our visit
  • Lack of overall facilities.

Park enjoyment rating


Last Updated on January 8, 2024 by Ryan

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