Thompson Park is bursting with things to do, making it a great day out for all the family.

Set in beautiful surroundings, the park boasts many attractions; a boating lake, ice cream café, miniature railway, Victorian paddling pool, Italian gardens, and an awesome playground with sand pit and zip line.

Under the mature woodland, wildflowers skim the park and the flower beds bloom in the summer, making it a haven for birds and squirrels. So, whether you want to make a splash and try kayaking, or sit quietly on a bench and take in the surroundings, there’s something for everyone at Thompson Park.

Thompson Park is particularly family friendly as it has no vehicle access and dogs are banned within the grounds.

More Info

The Boathouse Café

This fabulous ice cream parlour is open between Easter and September on Saturdays and Sundays and every day during local school holidays, from 12pm-5pm.

On offer are a range of hot and cold drinks, ice creams and snacks. Why not take a seat on the lake terrace and enjoy some much-needed refreshments after a busy morning on the playground?

Boat Hire

Boats are available for hire between Easter and September on Saturdays and Sundays and every day during local school holidays. The first boat is at 12pm, the last is at 5.30pm (subject to instructor availability). All under 18’s must be accompanied by an adult.

Prices are as follows for a 25-minute hire:

Single kayak – £5
Canadian canoe (3 people) – £6
Small rowboat (4 people) – £8
Large rowboat (5 people) – £8

Boats are not able to be booked in advance, simply turn up on the day and you will be allocated a time slot should a boat not be immediately available.


For group bookings for boats or paddle boarding, such as team building days or school trips, please contact

A History of Thompson Park

Arthur Race designed Thompson Park after James Thompson, a local cotton spinner and manufacturer left £50,000 in his will to Burnley Corporation to create a park for the people of the town on Bank Hall grounds in 1920.

The park opened 10 years later after being largely constructed by the unemployed. They underwent the task of digging out the boating lake, and building the ornamental bridges, Pavilion building, Victorian paddling pool, conservatory and Italian gardens.

The Pavilion building was used as a tearoom where visitors could relax on the terrace, overlooking the boating lake. Today the building has undergone a Heritage Lottery restoration and it had been restored to its former Art-Deco glory. The space is used by community groups and is available to hire for celebrations.

The Italian gardens were built in the classic style, with columns and geometric flower beds. Originally this space housed a pond, complete with coy carp swimming through the lily pads, this was drained during World War II and used for growing vegetables for the community, as was much of the rest of Thompson Park. During the war, the only bomb that fell in Burnley was in Thompson Park, near the conservatory.

In 2001 the miniature railway, nicknamed The Lollipop Line, opened for its first passengers. The train is a fun 7-minute ride through the park and is suitable for all ages.


There is now a car park for visitors to Thompson Park which is signposted from Colne Road. Payment is by smartphone only via the MIPERMIT app. Gates to the car park open at 8.30am every morning and remain open during daylight hours.

Did you know that The Pavilion which overlooks the boating lake can be hired as a venue for celebrations? Contact for more information on what we can offer.


01282 664400


Car parking is available in the park via the Colne Road entrance. The cost is £2 all day, and tickets can be purchased using a cashless system on your phone only.


For Boating Lake enquiries please email:

For Boathouse Cafe enquiries please email:

The Boathouse

Burnley BB11 2RZ

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