Originally owned by Kirkstall Abbey and then bought by Leeds City Council in 1891, Cross Flatts park is the beating heart of the community. It is a place people can find enjoyment and relax. A vital resource for those that don’t have their own green space.
Take a look around
Things to Note
Cross Flatts Park has the following on-site or nearby:
- Accessible Toilets
- Dog Waste Bins
- Nearby Food & Drink
- Nearby Parking
- Pushchair Access
- Rubbish Bins
- Wheelchair Access
Cross Flatts Park covers an area of 44 acres in the heart of Beeston, a suburb south of the city centre. The park is in a elongated fashion, and sits between Beeston Road and Dewsbury Road – two of the busiest routes into Leeds city.
Cross Flatts is a traditionally urban park that’s been created to provide the local community with recreational enjoyment and respite.
Things to Do
Looking to Volunteer?
The friends of group are the volunteer life and soul of the park. Working with Leeds City Council the group invest their time in keeping the space maintained, tidy and clean and this makes every park users experience so much better. It’s a great place to build relationships; complete practical work; fundraise; host events and generally promote the green space. Sign-up to volunteer with Friends of Cross Flatts Park.
Running at Cross Flatts
Cross Flatts Park is great if you are looking for a place to run near you. The circular route around the park is 1.2 miles long. This can be added onto a run of the area, or time your loops for training. Take a look at the Cross Flatts running route on Leeds Run Routes.
For those people less inclined to take part in competitive sport then parkrun may be what you’re looking for. This weekly event has revolutionised peoples’ approach to taking up running. And this supportive environment encourages both walking and running and is the ideal place to cultivate a new exercise habit. You can join the event for free every Saturday from 9am at Cross Flatts parkrun (and if you are interested, this is the Cross Flatts parkrun Route).
Skating at Park Roll
LSTEN host a junior park roll session every Saturday 10-11:30am on the concrete basketball court.
This session offers free roller-skate coaching and skate hire. Sometimes the group even play some roller hockey. Book your place and skate hire by midday on the Friday before from LSTEN.
There are 2 adult sized grass football pitches with fixed goal posts. Holbeck Moor Football Club host an inclusive football team here; it open to both men and women whatever your ability.
Cross Flatts Park has a concrete basketball pitch with court markings and nets.
There is a relatively new all weather cricket pitch towards the bottom end of Cross Flatts Park. It was installed in 2017.
Cross Flatts park Bowling Club play all their games on a crown green bowling pitch in the park.
Taster sessions for ‘new bowlers, lady bowlers and young bowlers’ are hosted daily from 1pm except Wednesday and on weekends.
Cross Flatts Park has 3 hard courts which are free use. The courts are located next to the playground and basketball courts and are fully accessible to everyone including full time wheelchair users. There is no booking system. Simply turn up and play.
The outdoor gym is located at the Watsonian Café. The exercise machines including steppers, walkers and other callisthenic equipment is spaced out to make a training route. There is also a small rock climbing wall for younger children.
The park boasts a large play area for young people and a smaller one for the babies and toddlers. These areas include your staple play equipment including a slide and seesaw for the little ones and a large climbing frame for the older ones.
Walk Around the Gardens
Dotted around the park are beautiful green spaces that people using the park can help grow and maintain. One group that love to grow are Beeston in Bloom. Their mission is to make the area look more attractive using the beauty of flowers.
Beeston in Bloom have also helped with special garden spots in Cross Flatts like the Millennium Garden and the Community Orchard. These spots are little places of respite for park users to enjoy. If you want to get involved in the planting and pruning you can join the Beeston in Bloom team.
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Every month over at the Watsonian Pavillion you can join a family friendly games night. Or pick from the craft and food market hosted on the last Saturday of each month.
Every year the park hosts the annual dog show; a gala of whos who when it comes to the most eye catching breeds and groomed four legged furry friends. Pedigree and non-pedigree dogs compete in fun competitions like the ‘dog with the waggiest tail’. But, the show is more than a dog ogle, the real purpose is to spread the message of responsible dog ownership, while having lots of fun!
Bands in the Park
This yearly music series is hosted by Friends of Cross Flatts Park every July. Every Sunday a different set of musicians take over the Watsonian Pavillion to bring listeners sounds from all over the world. The soundtrack can take you from Latin America to the Caribbean to canine influenced pop music. Yes, you guessed right, the later is all about the dog show!
Celebrating life and diversity in the Beeston community; Cross Flatts is swarmed by 4,000 people revelling in music, dancing, bazaars, food, activities and a parade. Check out the Beeston Festival video for a snapshot of the festivities. You won’t want to miss this event in June, keep an eye out on the Beeston festival website for more information.
Launched in 2013 and hosted by Churches Together in Leeds 11, the Lantern Festival is a celebration of the light over darkness at Christmas time. In December hundreds of people participate in public displays of light and collaborative art activities. It’s a great way to invite the light in at a time of year that can be gloomy and dark. Visit the Lantern Festival page to find out more about the event.
Way back in the medieval period, Beeston was predominantly pastures for sheep farming, tended to by the monks of Kirkstall Abbey. As the area became a settlement of people and housing built by the state, the local council bought the land we now know as Cross Flatts Park for a bargain deal of £12,000 – this was grandiosely opened to the public in 1891.
Cross Flatts was written into the history books during the Second World War for one of the worst aerial bombardments the city witnessed throughout the war. Beeston received the biggest payload of German TNT and most of it landed on the park. Some of that shrapnel is still embedded in the ground!
These days the park is a much safer place for the people of Beeston. The famous Watsonian Pavillion – that includes the Bridge Café – is the latest version of what was the Victorians love of bandstand music. Musical notes can still be heard ringing out on a summer day.
Accessible toilets are located in the café, open daily in the Watsonian Pavillion. Any dog walkers using the park can make the most of the patches of green spaces in-between the activity stations which are dotted throughout the park.
Rubbish and dog waste bins are available along the paved walking routes.
Food and Drink
A great place to get some food and drink before or after your visit to Cross Flatts Park is the Dolce Vita Craft and Kitchen.
It’s a family feel run café that goes beyond your usual greasy spoon grub. The food is fresh and the menu expansive. For every classic dish is one with a little more of a gourmet edge. The café is a 10-minute walk from the park.
There is no dedicated parking for Cross Flatts Park. However, due to the park sitting in the centre of a residential community, there are plenty of side streets to park on. We recommend:
The park paths are accessible for wheelchair and pushchair users and are well maintained. Yet, the park is on a hill which can make it a challenging climb at points. The toilet in the Watsonian Pavillion has been designed as an accessible toilet through the recent refurbishment and upgrades. And the park is on multiple public transport routes – off Beeston Road and Dewsbury Road – with First Bus Leeds catering for bicycles, mobility scooters, and wheelchair access.
How to Get To Cross Flatts Park
The Leeds First Buses 1, 2, 3A, 75, 86 from the city centre and the city suburbs past near or close to Cross Flatts Park. Use the First Buses journey planner to plan your route to Cross Flatts Park. A taxi ride from Leeds City Centre will take you just over 10-minutes one way.
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