Homestead Park is located 1.5 miles west of York City Centre at 40 Water End, Clifton, York YO30 6WP. There is pedestrian access from Water End and Shipton Road.
Vehicular access is via Shipton Road only (use postcode YO30 5RE for satnavs). There are cycle racks at both entrances to the Park.
We can also be accessed by a number of bus routes, including the Rawcliffe Park and Ride. These can stop at Ouse Lea, opposite the entrance to our car park on Shipton Road, or at Water End which is opposite the pedestrian access gate.
The park was opened in 1904 by English social reformer Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree, son of Joseph Rowntree. He was owner of Rowntree’s Chocolate Factory. Homestead House was the home of Seebohm and his family from 1904 until 1936. As soon as the house was inhabited, he made an announcement in the Yorkshire Gazette. The fields behind his house would be made available to children attending York Elementary Schools for outdoor activities. The house was greatly extended in the late 1970s and converted into offices. It is now the head office of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Visiting Homestead Park
To ensure that we can keep the park open safely, we will be monitoring the usage of the park and if necessary may need to close certain areas, facilities or the whole park if it is not possible to keep visitors and staff safe. We ask that all visitors adhere to the latest local restrictions at all times.
For up-to-date information on the park, make sure you follow our Facebook page.
The park is open all year except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day. It is free to all.
Note: The children's play area is locked 45 mins before the main park.
Winter opening times from 31st October 2021
Monday - 9.30-4.30
Tuesday - 12.30-4.30
Wednesday - 9.30-4.30
Thursday - 12.30-4.30
Friday - 9.30-4.30
Saturday - 9.00-4.30
Sunday - 9.00-4.30
Known for its glorious seasonal floral displays, the park’s main features include:
- Herbaceous borders.
- Prairie border.
- Medieval garden.
- Circle garden.
- Main lawn.
- Extensive shrub borders.
- A tree-lined avenue.
- The Backhouse Pond and rock garden.
- Wildflower meadow.
- Woodland and an extensive range of native and ornamental trees.
There is also:
- A popular children’s play area,
- Pop-up café.
- Plenty of seating.
- Picnic area.
- Notice boards.
- Signage and toilet facilities.
Homestead Park is a fantastic place to view a wide variety of wildlife. There is a leaflet suggesting some wildlife you may see on your visit. We also offer various tree-trail walks around the park. There is an informative guide to the design and choice of planting for the medieval garden. All leaflets can be collected at the park’s noticeboards, or download a copy below.
The park enters the annual Yorkshire In Bloom Awards in summer. In 2011 and 2013 it was awarded a Silver-Gilt and in 2012, and 2016 a Gold award. In 2014 Homestead Park was awarded Gold and a Special Certificate of Achievement. This was for a floral bedding display commemorating the centenary of World War 1. In 2015 the park was awarded Gold and Best in Category for Country Houses, Estates and Parks and Gardens.
Frequently asked questions
Is cycling allowed in the park?
Cycling is permitted through the park (except the Backhouse Pond footpath). Please note pedestrians have priority at all times.
Can we have a BBQ in the park?
Fires are not permitted in the park but disposable BBQs can be used by prior arrangement. Please ring the Garden’s Office on 01904 406251 or speak to a member of staff or security.
Are dogs allowed in the park?
For everyone’s health and safety, dogs must be kept on a lead at all times. No dogs are allowed in the children’s play area except for assistance dogs. Dog water bowls are provided near the toilets and café area. Please plan your visit and do not leave dogs in hot cars.
Can I have a memorial for my parents in the park?
Yes, we are able to help you choose a suitable bench or tree that will provide a lasting memory of your connection with the Homestead Park. There is a leaflet in the download section below - have a read and get in touch if we can help you.
You can leave us feedback and suggestions about the park by emailing [email protected] or speaking to a member of the Landscapes team.