20090304_Coventry War Memorial Park Walk
When : 4th March 2009
Who : Just Me
Where : Coventry, England
Map : Ordnace Survey Explorer Map 221, Coventry & Warwick, Grid Ref. : 32,77
(Map not needed, but good way of pin-pointing where it is).
Approx Distance : Not worth noting really but I prob’ walked about 1 mile (1.75 km)
Heights : None … The park has virtually no relief at-all.
Parking : 3x Car Parks
1-very large, off The Kenilworth Road, GR323,773
1-small, off The Leamington Road, GR329,777
1-small, Coat-of-Arms Bridge Road, GR324,767
Public Transport : Yes, The large Car Park serves as Park and Ride for Coventry City Centre, so there’s a good bus service from the city centre. Also Coventry main-line Rail Station is an easy walk away/on the bus route. http://www.networkwestmidlands.com/parkandride/indexparkandride.aspx
Facilities, Etc, : Café ; Tennis Courts ; Skate Board Park ; Children’s play area ; Water fountain play area (when working) ; Pitch & Putt Golf ; Football pitches etc ; Aviary. http://www.coventry.gov.uk/ccm/navigation/environment/land-and-premises/parks-and-recreation/war-memorial-park/
Summary : A lunch time wander around the park … And an excuse to take my new camera for another outing (new toy, must play !).
It was a lovely day for early March, quite spring-like, so, instead of staying at work for lunch, I decided to take my sandwiches “off-site” and go for a play with my new camera (Pentax K200D DSLR), get a breath of fresh air, and see what this year’s display of early spring bulbs was like in the Park.
Getting an hour for lunch, I could just about get there in about 10 minutes (and 10 minutes back) plus a little extra to ensure being back at my desk in good time, so I figured I’d have a little over 30/35 minutes for a walk around the park and I managed to squeeze into a space in the Leamington Road car park.
The small grassy area with some mature trees was as pretty as a picture and I tried to do justice to the colourful display with my new camera. I then entered the park at the wide main gates and then turned right to pick up a wide tarmac’d path rising gently between an avenue of large conifer trees.
All the time my gaze was pulled to my left, to the tall obelisk tower of the War Memorial Cenotaph itself … quite impressive against the bright blue sky and fluffy clouds. There are several paths that radiate out from the memorial but I chose to ignore these for the time being although it was tempting to be drawn down the rows of trees to the structure (each tree with its own dedication plaque). I really liked the shadow patterns of the bare branches on the paths.
After passing the pristine bowling greens, I stopped for a moment or two to admire a piece of art-work sculpture, where a dead tree’s trunk has been carved with four poppies, obviously the artists inspiration taken from the park name and the much loved symbol of remembrance.
This brought me to a row of old stone pillars and carvings. I’m not sure where these originate from, but they look like they could be from a large ancient building, perhaps the old cathedral destroyed in the 2nd World War ? It would certainly be a fitting place for them, but I can’t help thinking they looked a bit lost and forgotten (almost forlorn) near all of the modern gaudy playground stuff. I did like the way the shape of one such stone kind-of mirrored the shape the central obelisk in the distance though.
If anyone has any definitive info’ on these stones, I’d be interested to update this post.
Well I’ve managed to find some extra info … if you’re interested, here are some links :-
I carried on past a small and not really very well kept pond, (Coventry City Council, this really could do with some work doing on it) to reach the perimeter path near at the southern edge of the park (bounded by the Coventry-Leamington railway line) and turned left to continue in an anti-clockwise direction … The trees here again leading the eye to the central memorial obelisk.
Eventually, I turned off the perimeter path to get a closer view of the memorial, then turning right down the main approach “road”, I soon reached the car park, but not until I’d read the commemoration stone to the memory of Arthur Hutt V.C. a salient reminder of why the park is called “The Memorial Park”.
I wonder how many visitors actually even notice the dedications around the park. I know most times I’ve been there it’s been with the kids, or to play tennis, or just to enjoy the green oasis just outside the city centre. Perhaps having the camera and being on my own got me seeing things normally just passed by unseen.
Anyway, in a city oft referred to as a concrete jungle (it’s where The Specials’ Ghost Town was written about), The Coventry War Memorial park is a green oasis for the people of Coventry, the jewel in the crown of the city’s parks and open spaces.
All in all, I probably covered about a third of the park, having ignored the wide open spaces of the sports pitches, to stay closer to the Memorial itself. I know it’s pushing the bounds of a “walking diary”, but hey whatever, it was an enjoyable stroll.
I hope you enjoyed my scribblings ….
Next walk = 20090314_Cawston Woods Walk
PS : According to Cov City Council, the perimeter path is about 1.6 miles all round. https://tothehills.wordpress.com/2009/07/24/coventry-war-memorial-park-perimeter-distance/