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“Fabulous Open Space” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Gadebridge Park

Gadebridge Park
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Hemel Hempstead, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
47 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Fabulous Open Space”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 May 2013

As a family we regularly visit park for bike rides and play area. Kept clean in general and there is always something going on, to watch or participate in.

Visited May 2013
Thank SazzleRazzleDazzle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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100 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
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  • Any
English first
Watford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Nice open space, but not secluded.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 May 2013

The park is pleasant. It is fine for a stroll or picnic, the flower gardens are pretty and there are some bits for families like the mini-golf and play area. It isn't a massive park and it is surrounded by roads. If you want to get away from the town completely, a trip up to any part of the ashridge estate might suit more.

Visited April 2013
Thank alibmoss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
135 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 April 2013

Brilliant in the Summertime - lots of pretty flower beds

there is an august bank holiday fair that attracts all of the olcals..

Visited February 2013
Thank michellecoston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
198 reviews
63 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Open space with history”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 February 2013

Gadebridge Park is a large, popular and flexible green space created in 1963 mainly out of the wooded gardens of Gadebridge House, and also the garden of Bury House (now the registry office). It has two main sections either side of Leighton Buzzard Road - the sloping side on the west is where Gadebridge House was located; the flat side to the east is nearer the town, and contains the main facilities - toilets, car park, bowling green, etc, and also has a giant chess set.

In the north, near Galley Hill, a Roman villa was discovered when the park was being created, and the Leighton Buzzard Road was being laid out. The villa started life as a farm before the Roman invasion, then was taken over and developed as a villa with the largest bathing pool outside of Bath. The pool lies underneath the road, with the villa itself extending up the slope on the west. After two excavations, the site was recovered both times, so there is no visible sign of what lies beneath.

Gadebridge House was a large house situated where the Sovereign Heights housing estate is now. By 1811 it was occupied by Sir Astley Paston Cooper, a notable surgeon, and his family continued to occupy the house until 1904. By 1914 the house had become a school, which it remained until 1963. As a youngster I used to play in the overgrown gardens of the school, where odd remains of the house could also be found. Occasional steps, or pieces of ornamental statues.

The walled garden in the eastern part of the park, near the town entrance, was part of Bury House. The original building existed at least as early as 1289, though the white tower, locally known as Charter Tower after a legend that it was from here that Henry VIII granted Hemel with its Royal Charter, was built in the 16th century by the Combes family. The final Bury House was built in the 17th century and is now used as the registry office.

The River Gade passes through the middle of the park, and has been popular with children hunting for little fish, newts and frogs for 50 years. The flow of water was slowed down in 1997 to allow vegetation to grow along the banks and provide a habitat for a wide selection of wildlife, though there are still spots where direct access to the water can be found. The white iron bridge over the Gade was built by local engineer Joseph Cranstone in 1840 for Sir Astley Paston Cooper to provide better access to Gadebridge House. Until then, access had been through a ford.

This is a very pleasant park, offering a range of views and activities, and providing much history if one knows where to look, or has some knowledge. The walled garden in particular is a charming spot. And the 200 foot high spire of St Mary's church overlooks the park, providing an attractive point of interest.

Visited February 2013
Thank RunningSteve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cheshunt, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
365 reviews
178 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 429 helpful votes
“hilly piece of land surrounded by busy traffic lanes....it was like a park on a roundabout”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2013

As a regular rambler in Ashridge Estate, I was looking for a local park which would allow me to walk the dog in wet weather. The Ashridge Estate becomes unpassable in some higher ridges and I wanted a park that was accessible regardless of the weather conditions. This park, featured on many utube clips was not a safe and secure park to freely allow the dog to run. There are no secure perimeters and the dog was able to jump onto one of the large walls directly onto the busy road. I felt like I was on a park in the middle of a busy roundabout, the noise of the rushing traffic and the local housing estate did not make this a relaxing place to unwind. It is a neglected park, damaged walls, grafetti on the walls and dog poo. There were no dog poo bins in the main park area. The car parking was free but given that most of the park has become a boggy, soggy large puddle there was little to visit here. I walked the park in less than 1hr. I visited the small baby memorial garden which was well presented. I would not visit here again.

Visited January 2013
Thank Denise S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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