Victoria Park, Cardiff

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Victoria Park

Victoria Park is a public park in the Canton district of Cardiff in south Wales at Cowbridge Road East.

As its name suggests, it is a traditional Victorian era park named after Queen Victoria and has retained much of its original charm. The park was created as a municipal recreation ground by Cardiff City Council through a city charter between 1897 and 1898 to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee marking her record sixty years on the throne. The park is located on the a small part of the extensive traditional Canton Cross common lands that had originally been used as a substantial fresh food and livestock trading market six days a week from the medieval period. Victoria Park was the first municipal park established within Cardiff and was one of the first in the country.

Sculpture Billy the Seal in Victoria Park

The park covers nearly twenty acres and still contains the original model boating and paddling pool which remains a very popular attraction in summer, plus a playpark for younger children. At the very north of the park there are tennis courts and a 5-a-side football astro turf field. The original 1898 bandstand had fallen into disrepair and had been demolished but, in 1998, a replica of the original bandstand was erected on the original site to mark the park's centennial celebrations.

There are a large number of mature trees and blossom trees in spring, together with crocuses and daffodils and flowerbeds that burst with colour during summer. There are wide paths and a refreshment shop by the pool. Public music events, markets and fairs take place throughout the summer months. There is also a whimsical monument to Billy the Seal[1] who lived (many years ago) in what is now the paddling pool.[2] The park is one of the few remaining UK parks where the park keeper still lives in an on-site lodge.

Victoria Park is recognised as one of the best maintained in the Cardiff area and has received a Green Flag Award;[citation needed] it has been used for location filming for Doctor Who episodes, namely Forest of the Dead and The Lodger, as well as Mark of the Berserker for the related Sarah-Jane Adventures.[3]

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Coordinates: 51°29′06″N 3°13′08″W / 51.485°N 3.219°W / 51.485; -3.219