Older people often appreciate the tranquillity and beauty of a well-kept garden or park. It can calm them and give them a chance to see something different from their normal surroundings. That’s why our Care Professionals at Home Instead Leek and Moorlands often like to take clients to gardens in the area. We’ve chosen five of the ones we like best and hope that you’ll like them, too.
Birch Gardens (also known as Birches Gardens) is a small but peaceful ornamental garden off Prince Street, Leek, north west of the town centre. It’s a little haven that’s well looked after and is populated by beautiful specimen trees and flower beds. It’s a very tidy and tranquil place to take your older friend or relative for some quiet contemplation.
Birch Gardens was opened in 1935 as a memorial garden for those who fell in the First World War. There’s a seating area in the centre of the garden. The whole space caters well to those with limited mobility, as there’s wide access for wheelchairs and the paths throughout the garden have a good surface and are flat.
Another charming place worth visiting in Leek is Brough Park. This has formal landscaping, with flower displays, numerous trees and shrubs, and a lake. It also has a picturesque bowling green, where your older guest might want to stop and watch for a while (if there’s anyone playing bowls!). There are other recreational facilities, including tennis courts, a multi-use games area, and a skate park. Brough Park is situated on Vicarage Road, and there’s a network of paths linking it to the town centre.
The entrances to the park are wide enough for wheelchairs, and the paths that run through it are mainly flat. However, there is a steep hill to the south of the bandstand. Dogs are welcome in the park. There’s parking at the leisure centre or in the Vicarage Road pay and display car park.
If you’re looking for a lovely garden in Matlock, you need look no further than Sparrow Park, near Victoria Hall Gardens. This is a very peaceful and well-kept garden, where you can share some fantastic views over Matlock with your older guest. The land (originally rough ground known as Allcocks) was purchased by Matlock Council in 1896, in the run-up to Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. However, the park didn’t fully appear as its present size until after World War I.
Most of the paths in and around Sparrow Park are suitable for wheelchairs, although they can be a little narrow and rough in places. There’s some on-street car parking available on the road in Smedley Street.
Another place well worth visiting in Matlock is Hall Leys Park. This is a stunning, large park with beautiful ornamental gardens – an ideal area that your older loved one can enjoy. It also has a small boating lake for children, a bowling green, play areas, a skate park, a miniature railway, and a pleasant café, with both indoor and outdoor seating.
It’s a great place for anyone with a wheelchair or slight mobility problems, as the park has numerous, well-surfaced paths. It also has plenty of benches, good lighting, and some clear open spaces. There are entrances to the park from the surrounding roads. In 2021, the park received its 14th consecutive Green Flag award, marking it out as one of the best parks in the UK. There’s parking nearby, although charges may apply.
Derwent Gardens is a formal park with a strong emphasis on water – it features water gardens, thermal springs, fountains, pools and intriguing grottoes and alcoves. It can be found on the south side of the Pavilion in Matlock Bath, overlooking the River Derwent. The garden is also the home of Derbyshire Dales District Council’s Illuminations festival in the autumn.
Your older visitor can simply enjoy the peaceful surroundings or watch the rowing boats on the River Derwent. There are many good, gravel paths around the area as well as a sprinkling of benches. Some car parking (for a fee) is available at the Pavilion, which is only a short walk from the gardens.
When you look closely, it can be surprising how many large open spaces and public gardens you can find in busy towns like Leek and Matlock. We hope you enjoy exploring one or two of them with your older loved one.
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