This is an extra page to illustrate (and celebrate) a couple of Dundee's splendid parks in the springtime, where you can enjoy a relaxing stroll in a lunchbreak or stopping off when travelling through Dundee. I was heading for home one Friday evening in early May, and was captivated by the colours of the spring foliage. I had never stopped to walk around Stobsmuir Ponds before, and hadn't really appreciated that there is an expanse of grass and cherry trees beside the two ponds (with rose bushes that come into their own later in the summer).
Sure, for the hardened mountaineers and seekers after wilderness, urban parks may not be what they think of when considering a walk, but for most people a walk in the park can be very therapeutic.
These two parks are easy to find. Baxter Park lies just the other side of Pitkerro Road, to the east of the city centre, and the parks lie just inside the Kingsway ring road. They would make splendid places for a picnic, and Baxter Park has a well-equipped children's play area and a new Urban Ranger centre with information on the wildlife which you might see. You can park in the streets close to the parks, and walk from one to the other. The lower end of Baxter Park can also be accessed from the Arbroath Road, although parking is not as easy around there.
Baxter Park has been undergoing major restoration, with the benefit of funding from the National Lottery, helping to recapture the glories of its heyday in Victorian times. Now of course many of the original trees are even more magnificent than they were then. The railings around the park have been replaced, and the main pavilion is being renovated. It will have a cafe, and be used for civic functions. The park was originally opened in 1863, gifted to the people of Dundee by Sir David Baxter, owner of one of the largest linen businesses in the world. It was designed by Sir Joseph Paxton. Full details of the restoration project are on this City Council website.
Also the subject of major restoration works was Morgan Academy, another fine legacy of Victorian years (see this Dundee City Council web page). It was ravaged by fire on 21st March 2001, but the frontage was saved and a new school has been constructed behind it, designed to meet the needs of the 21st century. It incorporates some state of the art renewable energy features.
Contributed by: Andrew Llanwarne
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White cherry blossom at Stobsmuir Park
And another view of the cherry trees
The upper pond
And two of the local residents