Valentines Park is a late 19th century park which was formed through the amalgamation of gardens and farmland during the 18th and 19th centuries, and it has experienced extensive development since.

Spring is officially upon us, and as the weather has become better and the flowers have started to bloom, I decided to spend an afternoon to take the opportunity to visit Valentines Park.

Valentines Park is the biggest open green space within the London Borough of Redbridge, spanning an impressive 52 hectares of land and stretching between Gant Hill and Ilford. The park was originally owned privately, but was acquired for public use after several purchases and gifts of land throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. The local officials of the area decided that an area of ‘relaxation and pleasure’ was needed amid a rapidly growing urban population in order to preserve some of the nature. Since then, the park has witnessed widespread renovation and improvement, funded by the Heritage Lottery fund, the owners of the park and the borough council.

The park is considered by Historic England as a Grade II site, and is filled with scenic gardens and grounds. Throughout the park there are well-kept lawns and shrubs, with beddings of beautiful flowers scattered around the area. The park is home to many species of trees, with many mature trees towering impressively above. A key landmark of the park is the Long Canal and a pond home to many ducks.   

Valentines Park is unsurprisingly an esteemed local treasure, cherished by visitors for its nature, heritage and facilities. The park often hosts events, and provides opportunities for formal recreation such as cricket, basketball, tennis, rowing and cycling. The local Valentines Café is also widely popular for its charming atmosphere, not to mention its delightful selection of food and drink.

The London Borough of Redbridge rightly prides itself in being a ‘premiere award winning park’ which ‘has been given a Green Flag Award and was voted 6th in the country out of 1582 green spaces in the People's Choice Award 2015.’ If you get the chance, I would highly recommend you head down there so you can experience the beauty and history of the park.