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Thompson Park

Image: The Italian Garden


Thompson Park

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 unique 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 was awarded a grant of £861,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) towards the £1.2 million costs of restoring Thompson Park. Work began on site in Autumn 2017 and is nearly complete.  There are still some outstanding items of work to do but it is now once again a fun day out for the whole family.  Please click here to complete a short survey which will help us see how we are doing.

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

Important notice - For updates and photographs please visit the Burnley Borough Council Facebook page

For the first time in its history, Thompson Park now has an official car park! 

This has been made possible through the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Big Lottery Fund and Burnley Borough Council.  Parking has always been an issue with restrictions on Ormerod Road and Colne Road, and the nearest car park is at Bank Hall.  This will help those who travel from further afield, who want to bring the whole family or friends for a day out, and it will ensure people with disabilities can visit the park.

Opening hours

The car park will be open from 8.30am and remain in operation during daylight hours throughout the year.


Phone Pay only

Please click here for conditions and payment instructions

Volunteering Opportunities

There are various ways you can get involved in volunteering at Thompson Park.  If you wish to know more about volunteering opportunities please get in touch with Green Spaces and Amenities by calling 01282 425011 or email

Click on the link below to see a video about the park:


  • 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

The Boathouse


Rowing Boats  £4

Canadian Canoe £4

Double Kayak  £4

Single Kayak £2  

Boat hire is for 25 minutes.

The boating lake is open every weekend, bank holiday and school holiday from April to October.

Opening hours are from 12pm till 5pm

For hire to schools and community groups for more information contact.

01282 477167 or email

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.

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;

Sean Kerr, Parks Officer


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