Looking for the perfect spot for a picnic, a leisurely walk, or a family outing in Romford? Check out our guide to the top 4 local parks and gardens.
Romford may be known for its bustling city centre and vibrant nightlife, but it also has plenty of green spaces where you can relax and unwind. Whether you’re an older adult looking for a peaceful spot to sit and read, a family seeking a fun day out, or a caregiver searching for a safe and accessible place to take your charges, Romford has a park or garden to suit your needs.
Raphael Park, located in Romford, is a wonderful park that is loved by many locals and visitors alike. This park is a beautiful oasis in the middle of a busy town, offering a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. With its picturesque lake and abundant wildlife, visitors can enjoy a lovely afternoon here.
The park’s stunning natural scenery and numerous amenities make it an ideal place to spend a relaxing day with friends and family, participate in community events or simply enjoy some time in nature.
Lodge Farm Park is a highly utilised community park, primarily catering to sports activities and passive recreation. The park boasts four entry points, with the main gates situated on Main Road and featuring a small pay-and-display car park. Similarly, the southern end of the park, accessible via Carlton Road, also offers a small pay-and-display car park. Pedestrian access points can be found at Kingston Road and Lodge Avenue.
The park features two functional bowling greens, one of which is used by Havering’s Miniature Railway Club. Black’s Brook runs along the park’s western boundary and is managed by the Council’s Flood and Rivers Officer and the Environment Agency.
The park also has a meadow area and butterfly border, which have increased the park’s wildlife value, providing a home for crickets, grasshoppers, bees, and butterflies during summer.
Harrow Lodge Park is an open park with various access points, including informal entrances from the public highway or alleyways. There are three vehicle entrances with car parks located on Hornchurch Road, Warren Drive and Upper Rainham Road. The Hornchurch Sports Centre, situated in the north of the park, is owned by the council and managed by SLM as part of a borough-wide sports management contract.
The park’s landscape features woodland areas, amenity grassland, conservation areas and two lakes, fed by the River Ravensbourne from the northern boundary. The park also includes the ‘Secret Garden’ located beside Harrow Lodge house and shrub beds throughout. The park has large conservation areas to the north of the lakes and extending down to Upper Rainham Road, alongside a good mix of amenity grassland to provide both a natural and formal environment.
The park boasts three wildflower meadows, with the first created in a disused paddling pool and the second in the area behind the Boathouse Café. The lake in Harrow Lodge Park, created in the mid-1950s by the widening of the River Ravensbourne, is home to a variety of aquatic bird species, including Mute Swans, Canada Geese, Egyptian Geese, Grey Heron and Cormorant.
Central Park is a sizeable 17.23-hectare park that offers both formal and informal recreation facilities. The park features a skate park, BMX pump track, large children’s play area, multi-use sports area, cricket pitch, kiosk with picnic area and Parkour area.
The main entrance to the park is located on Petersfield Avenue in Romford, with additional entrances at Dagnam Park Drive and Swindon Lane. The park was restored with funding from Havering Council and Veolia North Thames Trust in 2014/15 and has an area of conservation grassland managed with an annual cut. Paine’s Brook river is visited periodically by the Council’s in-house flood and rivers management team and the Environment Agency.
The park’s wildlife is wonderful; crickets, grasshoppers, bees, butterflies and bird species like thrushes and mammals like hedgehogs. The park is home to Sage Wood and Long Wood, important wildlife areas that are grazed by local fallow deer, which improves the impressive Bluebell display in spring.
To sum up, Romford has some of the best local parks in the UK. Whether you’re an older adult looking for a peaceful spot to enjoy nature, a family looking for a fun day out, or a caregiver looking for an accessible and safe location, there’s a park for everyone. So pack a picnic, grab a blanket, and head to one of these beautiful parks today!