The Park

Rowntree Park in York

Rowntree Park is on the south side of York city centre. A 15 minute walk from the centre along the River Ouse, Rowntree Park has a lot to offer for all ages.

A 10 hectare site with play parks, tennis courts, a skatepark and basketball court, table tennis facilities, duck ponds, wildlife walks and trails and a cafe/library.

Please not – this website is the Friends of Rowntree Park. The council ‘manage’ the park and have overall responsibility for the park.

The park was opened in 1921 as a memorial park. It was essentially York’s first municipal park. Since it was first laid out, alterations have been carried out and there have been changes over the years, but the Park survives still in much the same form as it was first conceived.

In 2003, a £1.8 million Heritage Lottery Grant funded refurbishment of the park. Many historical features returned to their original condition and new additions were made like the sculptures, skatepark and basketball court. Since that time additional features have been added. However there are o longer YC staff based in the park and funding has been cut. Volunteers have had to take on a larger role in helping maintain and improve the park.

How to find Rowntree Park

Rowntree Park is just 15 minutes walk from the city centre. A lovely riverside walk or cycle: The address is -Terry Ave, York YO23 1JQ
The park can be accessed from a number of entrances including: Terry Avenue, Lovell Street, Richardson Street, Butcher Terrace and Cameron Grove.

You can reach the park easily via public transport. The 11, 21 and 26 bus drop on either direction next to Richardson Street and the tour buses go south from town stopping at Richardson St too. The 66 drops on Nunnery Lane and it’s just a short walk to Lovell street entrance. For buses that drop in Fulford near Maple Grove, the park is just a short walk over the Millennium Bridge. 

There is a pay and display carpark with 2 disabled bays. The carpark is open the hours the park is. In summer this is until 10pm at night (and open from 7am weekdays and 8am weekends). The park is accessible for prams and wheelchairs. There is a steep path up to the cafe/down from the Richardson Street entrance.

Car Park access April 2021-Dec 2022 (may be longer)

Due to Flood Defence work at Clementhorpe, the usual route to the park carpark has changed. The park car park can still be accessed but via Butcher Terrace. Terry Avenue is temporarily open for two-way traffic for the compound, carpark, caravan site and hotel access only. It’s important you do not park on Terry Avenue itself. The diversion route is labelled on road signs. Butcher Terrace is YO23 1LS – head there and then down slowly turning left at the bottom before the bridge following the diversion. This takes you along Terry Avenue to the carpark.

It is essential that if accessing the carpark you drive carefully and slowly down Butcher Terrace, a residential street. At the bottom there are many pedestrians and cyclists who use this as a route to the park and Millennium Bridge.

Whilst the Environmental Agency works are taking place, there is no cyclist or pedestrian access along Terry Avenue from town to the park, and park to town.

The park is owned by York Council. However, the Friends of Rowntree Park are responsible for the maintenance of some of the areas and also run community events in the park. The council remain responsible for the overall park including health and safety, emptying bins, locking up and basic maintenance.

Rowntree Park Reading cafe is run by York Explore. Rowntree Park Tennis Club are responsible for the tennis courts and the courts need to be booked in advance via the club’s website/app. Please contact the relevant organisations regarding facilities in the park.

Rowntree Park and flooding

Because of the low-lying nature of the land, when the Ouse floods, Rowntree Park fills up with water. The park is a flood plain. When the park floods or is at risk of flooding, the park is closed by the council. Park users have to wait for the Park to drain, partly by gravity (through one-way valves in the flood walls) and partly by pumps. The Friends aim to keep the public aware of the situation, as much as possible, via their Facebook page.

“Rowntree Park is an enormous park near the centre of York. Me and my children have spent many amazing hours there”

Alice Scawthorpe