Locke Park, Barnsley Review For Families

If you’re looking for a short &  peaceful weekend getaway, Locke Park is your next destination. 

We recently had the pleasure of visiting Locke Park, a hidden gem nestled right in the heart of Barnsley, South Yorkshire. As a family always on the lookout for exciting destinations, we couldn’t wait to explore this spacious park and create lasting memories.

With its interesting history, fun-filled activities, and convenient facilities, Locke Park proved to be the perfect spot for an unforgettable family day out.

It’s a place where our kids Barney, Matilda, and our whole family can have endless fun and adventures, and the best part? It’s absolutely free!

Where is Locke Park Located?

Locke Park is conveniently located in the heart of Barnsley, South Yorkshire. Its lush green expanse is easily accessible from the town centre, making it a can’t-miss attraction. And if you’re relying on Sat Nav to get there, just punch in the postcode S70 6NF and you’ll pull up right at the park’s entrance.

The Fascinating History of Locke Park

Before we dive into the park’s exciting activities, let’s take a moment to appreciate the rich history that makes Locke Park truly special.

The park was a generous gift given to the people of Barnsley by the widow of Joseph Locke, Phoebe Locke in the year 1861. What started as a 17-acre park has grown into a magnificent 47-acre picnic spot over the years, thanks to additional donations. It’s incredible to think that some of the park’s structures are even listed as Grade 2 historic landmarks. 

There are several interesting things to look at, the Grade 2 listed bandstand, the grand Observation Tower, the Joseph Locke statue, the fountain, and the alphabet steps.

So as you explore the park, remember that you’re walking through a place steeped in history and community love.

What is there to do?

Locke Park offers a plethora of activities and attractions that will keep the whole family entertained and create lasting memories. From exciting play areas to picturesque bike paths and serene green spaces, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. 

Let’s dive into the various highlights that await you at Locke Park.

The Play Area

When it comes to family fun, Locke Park knows exactly how to keep kids entertained. The highlight of the park, without a doubt, is its delightful play area. It’s no surprise that Barney and Matilda couldn’t contain their excitement when we arrived at the park. The children’s play area is conveniently located opposite the park café, making it easily accessible for families. 

As we made our way toward the play area, we were greeted by an open space adorned with various types of children’s play equipment. From climbing frames and slides to swings and more, the play area offered a diverse range of activities to suit different interests and ages.

As Barney and Matilda eagerly explored the play area, we noticed the thoughtful design and attention to detail. The surface surrounding the play area varied, providing a mix of tarmac, rubber, and grass. This ensured a comfortable and safe play environment for children, allowing them to run, jump, and play without any worries.

Bike-Friendly Paths

When we visit any of the parks, we always bring our bikes along for an extra dose of fun and adventure. It’s a tradition that adds excitement to our family outings, and Locke Park provides the perfect playground for our cycling escapades.

The best thing about Locke Park is that there are paved pathways everywhere, creating a cyclist’s paradise for enthusiasts of all ages. Our energetic duo, Barney and Matilda, absolutely loved exploring these pathways on their bikes. 

The flat, clear, and safe surfaces make it an ideal place for children to scoot, skate, or bike. Whether your little ones are just starting out or seeking a thrilling ride, they can roll around without any worries or obstacles. It’s a nice experience that combines fun, freedom, and the joy of outdoor exploration.

Green Spaces for Explorers and Picnics

Locke Park isn’t just about play areas and bike paths; it also offers plenty of green spaces waiting to be explored. 

The clean, green, and wide-open expanse of the park has got you sorted out for the day. You can walk around with your partner or take your dog along. There are plenty of benches for you to take a break, sit and admire the beautiful views of Barnsley.

Although the weather wasn’t very nice when we visited last time. But we still enjoyed every bit of it. You should visit the place on a long summer day. It’ll be worth it.

Spectacular Views from Locke Park Tower

There is a 70 ft high tower inside Locke Park known as the Observation Tower – erected in memory of the widow of Joseph Locke, the donor of Locke Park. 

Designed by Richard Phene`Spiers, the tower provides a panoramic view across Barnsley from the top. Although we faced a little difficulty in getting to the top, once we reached it, the view was simply mesmerising, to say the least.

Events At Locke Park

Locke Park also holds events like parkrun and parkrun junior every Saturday and Sunday morning at 9 am. There are events like classic car shows and musical concerts at Locke Park Bandstand. The recent car show was a fun-filled day and to top it off, the weather also ushered its blessings upon the attendees. Although we’ve never been to those events, I’ve heard the parking gets really busy on those days. So, you need to drop early and book your spot.

Facilities for Families

Locke Park goes the extra mile to ensure that your visit is comfortable and convenient. Here are some facilities you can take advantage of during your time at the park:

Café and Ice Cream Stand: 

The on-site café offers a delightful selection of hot and cold drinks, snacks, and light meals. 

Whether you’re in need of a warm cup of coffee or a quick bite to recharge, the café is the perfect spot to satisfy your cravings. And for a delightful indulgence, don’t miss the adjoining ice cream stand. While the range of flavours may be limited, both of our kids couldn’t resist grabbing a delicious ice cream treat from there!

Picnic Benches:

If you prefer to bring your own food or enjoy a picnic in the park, Locke Park provides picnic benches in convenient locations. You can spread out your blanket, unpack your tasty snacks, and dine al fresco amidst the natural beauty of the park. It’s the ideal setting for a relaxed and enjoyable family meal.


Locke Park understands the needs of families with little ones, and they have thoughtfully placed toilets in a convenient location. You’ll find the toilets right next to the picnic area, ensuring easy access for those much-needed restroom breaks. 

However, do keep in mind that these are the only toilets available onsite, so plan accordingly.

These facilities at Locke Park are designed to make your visit hassle-free and provide you with the necessary comforts during your day of exploration and fun.

Would you recommend it?

Absolutely! Locke Park is a real gem in Barnsley. It’s the perfect spot for an affordable family day out, offering a bit of everything to keep all ages entertained.

The well-maintained play area provided fun and laughter for Barney and Matilda, while the bike paths allowed them to explore and gain confidence on the wheels. The green spaces offered a tranquil setting for picnics and games, and the panoramic views from Locke Park Tower was really enjoyable.

With convenient facilities, including a café and toilets, Locke Park ensured a hassle-free and enjoyable experience for all. Plus, it’s a lovely spot for a leisurely stroll or a picnic. Thumbs up from us!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a cafe?:

Yep! Locke Park has a delightful on-site café that serves hot and cold drinks, snacks, and light meals. It’s the perfect spot to take a break, refuel, and enjoy a leisurely lunch during your visit.

What is your favourite part?:

While it’s difficult to choose just one favourite aspect of Locke Park, the play area truly stood out for us. It’s a haven for little ones with lots of different play equipment, and it’s safe and well-maintained too.

Is it suitable for Dog walkers?

Absolutely! Locke Park is a fantastic spot for dog walkers. There are always families with their dogs walking around the park. Just remember to keep Fido on a lead in busier areas and make sure to scoop the poop to help maintain the park’s cleanliness and beauty.

How much is it?

Well, the best part about Locke Park is it’s completely free to enter! You can enjoy a full day of fun without worrying about entrance fees or car parking. The only expenses you may have is if you choose to purchase refreshments or goodies from the café, or if you decide to participate in any paid events that may be happening.

Pros & Cons


  • Free parking available
  • The entire park is beautifully maintained.
  • Playpark is excellent.
  • Plenty of open green space.


  • Cafe service is quite slow (was a busy day)
  • Car park can be a little hectic.

Park enjoyment rating

Last Updated on June 28, 2023 by Ryan

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