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Thompson Park

Main entrance off Ormerod Road, Burnley 

A formal Edwardian urban park. Retains most original features: boating lake, Italian gardens, Ranger centre, and playground.

Thompson Park is more ornamental than Burnley's other parks with large numbers of flower beds and the large rose garden. This has created quite a different pattern of use compared to the other parks in the borough with more people coming purely to see the flower displays, and for the safe environment for children to play (please note dogs are banned from the park).

There are two main recreational facilities, the boating lake and paddling pool, which are the only ones in the borough. These attract large numbers of people especially during warm weather.

If you wish to see a site map of the park please click here


Burnley Council has received a confirmed grant of £861,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) towards the £1.19 million costs of restoring Thompson Park, it was announced today.

The project aims to restore the Grade II listed park and to celebrate its heritage, from its opening in 1930 to the present day. 

Designed for relaxation, entertainment and exercise, the park still fulfils these roles and retains almost all of its original facilities. The park’s original design is intact with only minor alterations and additions.


The restoration project will focus on three key areas:


  1. Restoring the park’s traditional recreational facilities
  2. Restoring the parks buildings and structures
  3. Celebrating the social and cultural heritage of the park


The proposed works include:


  • Restoring the pavilion café for use as a multi-purpose community room with kitchen, disabled toilets and park ranger office. It will be used by visiting schools, volunteers and for Friends activities, etc.
  • The boathouse will be converted into a café with tables and seating to create a pleasant area to sit overlooking the lake.
  • Refurbishment of existing toilets to include an improved disabled/family toilet, tiled floors and new sanitary ware.
  • The Paddling pool is one of the few remaining in the North West. The pool, steps and paving will be resurfaced and repainted and a new pipework installed to facilitate filling/emptying.
  • Play area: Major re-vamp including introduction of sand and water play and new play equipment to replace old and worn out items.
  • General improvement to the gardens and park: Restore the Italian and rose gardens, repairing bridges, resurface paths and replace noticeboards and signage
  • Car parking: Create new pay and display car park with improved access from Colne Road and adequate disabled parking spaces.


The council will also launch an activity programme, working closely with local volunteers, Burnley College and Burnley Leisure on projects to explore the history of the park and surrounding area, and promote a series of weekend and school holiday sports activities.


Council officers will work with volunteers of all ages to support the maintenance of the park, including planting and other gardening work, as well as promoting its natural history.


Work on the restoration will start in early autumn 2017 and will be complete by Easter 2018.


  • Children's play area/Paddling Pool
  • Boating lake
  • Italian garden
  • Miniature railway
  • Beech garden
  • Refreshment kiosk
  • Putting green
  • Ranger base
  • Toilets

Main Features

The main feature of the Park is the boating lake that is approximately 3 acres in extent.

The River Brun bisects the Park, which, in addition to providing the water for the lake, is also an additional point of interest as it provides habitat for various water birds as well as attracting the odd fisherman.

Two ornamental bridges cross the river, both well-preserved original features.

There are approximately five kilometres of paths in the Park.


The Rose Garden consists of 40 rose beds and is situated next to the lake.

The Italian Garden is a sunken garden consisting of 15 flower beds

Boating Lake

Prices from 01-Apr-09

  • Boats £1.00 per person.

  • Model Boat Permit (free of charge, call  01282 477232 to register).

The boating lake is open every weekend, bank holiday and school holiday from April to October.
Opening hours are from 12pm till 5pm

Paddling Pool

The paddling pool is a great place for kids to cool off on a hot summers day. The pool is filled at weekends and school holidays between April and September on days when the weather is warm and sunny. If you want to check if the pool is full please call the Ranger Service on 01282 831053. There is also a large sand pit adjacent the paddling pool.

Burnley and Pendle Miniature Railway Society

The miniature railway has been developed by the Burnley and Pendle Miniature Railway Society over recent years and was completed in 2005.

The railway operates on Sundays and Bank holidays throughout the year from noon until 4pm (weather permitting). Rides cost £1 and the income is used to support the ongoing development of the railway.

The railway can be booked for children's parties.

We now have wheelchair coach available.


For details of this years events in Thompson Park and other parks in Burnley please click here (same events document)
Thompson Park is licensed for outdoor entertainment.

Friends of Thompson and Queen's Park

The friends group has been active since 1998 and meets every month in the ranger base in Thompson Park. Details of meetings can be found on the notice board in the park and are open to all.

The Friends have supported many improvements in the park over recent years including developing the miniature railway, providing a launching platform for model boats, funding sculptures, planting an orchard and helping to organise many events in the park such as Christmas and Easter activities, brass band concerts and the Ranger Open Day.

Contact Michelle Wolfenden on 07759 739360 for more information on the friends group or visit the facebook page here

Contact Information;

Nick Williams, Parks Officer


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