Homestead Park

Frontify Asset Url
homestead park new walk
Homestead Park is a beautiful 14-acre garden in Clifton, York. It is owned, managed and maintained by our parent organisation the Joseph Rowntree Foundation for visitors to enjoy.
Frontify Asset Url
homestead park new walk

About Homestead Park


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

The park is open all year except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day. It is free to all. The children's play area is locked 45 mins before the main park.

Summer opening times from 31 March 2024

Monday - 9.30am to 7.45pm
Tuesday - 12.30pm to 7.45pm
Wednesday - 9.30am to 7.45pm
Thursday - 12.30pm to 7.45pm
Friday - 9.30am to 7.45pm
Saturday - 9.00am to 7.45pm
Sunday - 9.00am to 7.45pm

Park facilities

Known for its glorious seasonal floral displays, the park’s main features include:

  • Herbaceous borders.
  • Prairie border.
  • Circle garden.
  • Main lawn.
  • Extensive shrub borders.
  • A cherry 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,
  • A pop-up café run by Explore York from spring to autumn.
  • Plenty of seating.
  • Picnic area.
  • Seasonal plant sales run by the Blueberry Academy.
  • Notice boards.
  • 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.


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 and barbecues are not permitted in the park. They damage the ground and can too easily spread when the vegetation is dry.

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 or speaking to a member of the Landscapes team.