Where do you go when you want a bit of peace and quiet, or simply somewhere calming to help ease the stresses in your life?
For me, one of my favourite places is a park that lies not far from us. Hazlehead Park in Aberdeen, is a nice calming place for me. I started to go there when my puppy arrived fourteen years ago, and until she died, it stayed one of her favourite places to go. We’d just have to turn the car into the road leading to the park, and she’d start yelping with excitement.
Granted, it’s not showing its glory on the winter drab day we’ve just had, but imagine this when it’s in full bloom over spring to autumn and you can imagine why I enjoy going there.
The park is over 180 hectares in total, and includes a couple of golf courses and a pitch and putt on top of the other things you’d normally find in a City park. It has a lot of trees, so is great for hide and seek with small children, also letting them see lots of wildlife with the flowers and bushes.
Every year, Hazlehead Park also hosts the Aberdeen Highland Games in June, with the traditional Scottish events such as caber tossing, highland dancing, hammer throwing, piping and tug of war. There are often upwards of 10-15 thousand visitors that day, so leave the car and take the bus if you’re going.
In the park, there’s also the Piper Alpha Memorial Garden. Dedicated to the 167 men who lost their lives in the North Sea on the 6th January 1988, as well as to those who lost their lives trying to help the men in trouble.
I don’t let my children forget either. We do visit on occasion, to remind ourselves how men and women put their lives in danger every day, just to give us a better life. In summer, this garden is beautiful, fully blooming with rich colours.
I see this garden as a place to relax and unwind. In the summer months, I’ve been known to sit there with a flask of coffee and a good book, just to blow the cobwebs out of my hair. Dotted around the garden are some memorial benches that are perfect for enjoying the garden, and doing nothing more than enjoying the odd nice day that comes our way.
I do go with my kids too, as there’s plenty for them to do at Hazlehead Park. A nice big maze keeps them busy for at least half an hour a time, while I usually sit outside with my trusty kindle, listening to them shouting for each other as they get lost inside.
Sadly, the visit today meant we were too late to visit pets corner, so we went for a late lunch in the cafe instead.
There’s plenty for kids to do, as there are several open spaces and two huge fields down the back for football or rough ball games. As well as that, there are climbing frames, swings and even a couple of little diggers that keep middler amused for around an hour.
I think almost everyone that lives in Aberdeen has visited. There are usually activities and gatherings over the nicer months, and in the afternoons, finding a spot on a sunny day can be challenging, so I have tended to go when I dropped the kids off at school, before the crowds of new mums and toddlers arrive for the day. There are often dog walkers and joggers out at that time, doing the same thing as I do.
If you’re in Aberdeen on a nice day, make sure you visit.
This #BetterPlaces post is in support of the Syndol Headache Relief Find Your Better Place campaign with BritMums. Syndol Headache Relief is now formulated for headaches. Visit www.syndol.co.uk for online resources with information about headaches and how to restore calm in your life.