Shibden Park, Halifax Review for Families

Nestled in the picturesque landscapes of West Yorkshire, Shibden Park stands as a true gem for families seeking a day of adventure and relaxation. We recently had the pleasure of experiencing the captivating charm of Shibden Park and Hall. Having visited regularly as a child it was our first time there as a family and we were keen to explore what there was to do.

In this comprehensive review, I will share our family’s experience visiting Shibden Park and highlight all the wonderful things it has to offer.

Where is Shibden Park Located?

Situated at Godley Lane, Halifax HX3 6XG, Shibden Park offers a convenient and easily accessible location for families in the area. We had no trouble finding it using our sat nav/google maps. It’s important to note that the entrance for the park is separate from the one for Shibden Hall.

History Of Shibden Park

Before diving into the plethora of activities, a brief detour into history enriched our visit. The park’s origins date back to the early 19th century and its historical significance is beautifully preserved within Shibden Hall. Walking through the corridors of the hall felt like a journey through time, with each room unveiling a different chapter of its past. Our kids were fascinated by the stories of Anne Lister, an influential resident whose legacy adds an extra layer of intrigue to the park’s history.

What is there to do for families?

As we explored Shibden Park, it became clear that it offers something for every member of the family. The variety of activities is astounding, ensuring that boredom is nowhere in sight. We divided our day into delightful segments, each offering unique experiences:

Playground Fun for All Ages

One of the highlights for our children, Matilda and Barney, was the large play area in the park. The playground boasts a big tube slide, swings, climbing structures, and more. It provided endless entertainment without any additional charge. 

Barney, with his fun-loving nature, embraced every opportunity to try out the different play equipment, while Matilda joined him and explored the more age-appropriate parts of the park. The play park truly provided hours of entertainment and outdoor fun for our family.

Exploring the Grounds

As a family, it’s important to reflect on the brilliance of experiencing the outdoors together. We had a great time traversing the well-maintained paths, and enjoying the scenic views of the lake, woodlands, and historic grounds. There was plenty to see and do and both our children enjoyed exploring.

Tranquil Boating Lake and Miniature Railway

The boating lake at Shibden Park is a true gem. We didn’t decide to hire a boat at this time but watched as plenty of families did. Maybe we will as Barney gets older!. There are options for larger rowing boats and even pedalos. The prices were reasonable and the boats were easily accessible.

Another attraction that caught our attention was the miniature railway. For just £2 per person, we hopped on the train and embarked on a scenic loop around the park. It was a nice little ride that offered stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Both children really enjoyed this.

Bike Friendly Paths

Being an avid cycling family, we were thrilled to discover the bike-friendly paths within Shibden Park. The park offers paths of varying difficulty levels, catering to both beginners and experienced riders. Matilda absolutely loved cycling here, and the paths allowed her to showcase her skills.

We can’t emphasise enough how important it is to experience the park from the seat of a bicycle. It adds a layer of excitement and freedom that’s hard to replicate.

Explore the Fascinating Shibden Hall

For those interested in history and architecture, a visit to Shibden Hall is a must. This remarkable Tudor house showcases stunning half-timbered frontage and is steeped in centuries worth of stories. Inside, we marvelled at the dark oak panelling and wooden flooring, transporting ourselves back in time. The rooms, including the kitchen, hall, bedrooms, and study, provided a glimpse into the past.

After exploring the hall, we ventured into the extensive workshop area behind the house. We were intrigued by the various displays and even stumbled upon a bar. It was an intriguing experience that allowed us to appreciate the history and heritage of Shibden Hall.

Picnics and Playful Moments

Shibden Park offers ample grassy areas for picnics and relaxation. We found a cosy spot to enjoy our lunch outdoors, savouring the beautiful surroundings. The park is truly designed with families in mind, providing plenty of picnic benches and open spaces for families to spread out and enjoy quality time together.

Facilities at Shibden Park

Shibden Park also offers a range of facilities that enhance the overall experience for families. 

Here are some key amenities we found:

The park features a well-maintained and accessible cafe, offering an extensive menu of hot and cold food and drinks. If you’re planning to bring your own food, there are picnic benches scattered across the park, inviting you to have a leisurely meal amidst nature’s beauty.

Toilets are available throughout the park, but we did notice that only one was open during our visit. It’s an area for improvement, as having more available facilities would ensure convenience for all visitors.

Areas for improvement

While our overall experience at Shibden Park was excellent, there were a few areas that could benefit from some attention. One aspect worth mentioning is the waiting time at the cafe. We found ourselves standing in a long queue just waiting for ice cream. Although the business of the park is not the fault of the cafe owners I would suggest a few more staff members would make it move much quicker.

Another area that could be improved is the availability of toilets. More open and accessible toilets would enhance the visitor experience, especially during busy times.

Would you recommend it?

Absolutely! As a family, it’s important to embrace the brilliance of experiencing the outdoors together. Shibden Park offers a fantastic blend of natural beauty, historical significance, and exciting activities suitable for all ages. We had a memorable outing, and we highly recommend visiting this family-friendly oasis in Halifax.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a café?

Yes, Shibden Park has a cafe that offers a variety of hot and cold food and drinks. We found the menu to be extensive and reasonably priced. It’s a great option for a quick bite or a refreshing drink during your visit.

What is your favourite part?

There were many highlights during our visit, but our favourite part was definitely the boat ride on the lake. The laughter, joy, and sense of adventure created lasting memories for all of us.

Are dogs allowed?

Unfortunately, only assistance dogs are permitted within the park. If you plan on visiting with a furry friend, it’s important to make alternative arrangements for their care.

Can we bring our own bikes?

Absolutely! We brought our own bicycles and thoroughly enjoyed exploring the park on two wheels. The park offers bike-friendly paths, providing a wonderful opportunity for families to cycle together and appreciate the great outdoors.

Is there parking available?

Yes, there is a free car park at Shibden Park. We had no trouble finding a parking spot, and it was conveniently located near the lake and cafe. It’s always reassuring to have accessible parking when visiting with the whole family.

Are there any entrance fees for visiting the park?

No, visiting Shibden Park is absolutely free. While certain attractions within the park, such as the miniature railway and boating options, may have associated fees, the park itself does not require an entrance fee.

In conclusion, our family outing to Shibden Park was a resounding success. We relished in the beauty of the park, explored the historic Shibden Hall, and created unforgettable memories.

Pros & Cons


  • Shibden Hall exploration
  • Great play park
  • Boating lake and miniature railway.


  • Cafe is just ‘ok’.

Park enjoyment rating

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Last Updated on September 19, 2023 by Ryan

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