Lister Park

in Bradford

Address: North Park Road, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD9 4NR

Phone: +44 01274 431564


Visit Website

Lister Park is Bradford’s most popular park with over 1 million visits a year and is included on the English Heritage Register of Historical Parks and Gardens, with seven of its buildings Grade II on the listed buildings register. Indeed in 2006 it was voted Britain’s most popular park. It provides a great day out for all ages and has a wide variety of features and activities which are detailed below.


The dominating feature of the park is the grand Cartwright Hall which houses Bradford’s civic art gallery and offers an exciting programme of contemporary exhibitions, with four permanent galleries displaying works from Bradford’s art collections. It is closed Mondays, except summer bank holidays. Open Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm, Sundays 1pm – 5pm. For more information, visit the Bradford Museums website.

Brief History

The Park was sold to Bradford Corporation in1870 by Sir Samuel Cunliffe Lister a local mill owner (who also purchased Swinton Park, near Masham in 1888) for well below its market value. In 1904 Cartwright Hall was built on the site of the former Manningham Hall, with the aid of a major donation of £40,000.00 by Lister (then Lord Masham). The opening of the Art Gallery was part of the Bradford Exhibition held in the park. It was said to attract 2,417,900 visitors over its 6-month opening.

In 1997, Bradford was awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £3.2 million to regenerate Lister Park as a contribution towards a £4.5 million restoration scheme. The restoration project involved the community at every stage, with a friends group emerging independently of the Council. The restoration of the park has produced numerous successes, particularly notable being the park’s innovative Mughal Gardens, something that emerged directly out of the community consultation


Play Area

Two lions protect the entrance to the fantastic play area with the toddler/ junior area dominated by a pirate ship with other swings and play features around it . Then up a ramp into an area for slightly older children with a superb net climbing structure, a rope swinging feature and a climbing unit. There is rubber safety surfacing throughout and the area is regularly checked by staff. It is free to use and there is no entry allowed to persons over 14 unless supervising a child. Guide to Lister Park Play Area (PDF 3.7mb)

Multi Use Games Area

These are tarmaced areas with a rigid 2.5 metre rigid steel mesh surround and are free to use. Area includes: 5-a-side, Basketball, Cricket.


There are two courts available which are free to use and are open all hours.


Crown green bowling on three greens is open 1 – 5pm from April until September and the fee is payable onsite at the bowls pavillion. You can also hire equipment here for a deposit of £5. Booking the green is recommended – Contact David Cansfield (Area Parks Manager) on 01274 431564 for further details.


There is a large lake in the park which is 300 metres long by about 60 metres wide. Boats can be hired during the summer.


To hire a boat go to the ticket office window. Row boats – £5 per hour for 2 people. Pedal boats – £4 per hour for 2 people. Open from April – September, 12 noon – 7pm. October 11am – 5pm (Weekends only). Waiting times for boats may vary due to demand.


There is a privately run café in the Lister Park boat house which serves hot and cold drinks, food and ice-cream. It is open April – September 12 noon -7pm. October 11am – 5pm (weekends only). If the weather is good you may find the café open outside the usual hours! Telephone 01274 487312.

Flower Gardens

Lister Park contains a variety of flower gardens throughout the park.

Botanical Gardens

The botanical gardens are a beautiful feature of the park, with a geological trail winding throughout the various beds, which are themselves based around the stream. Extensive landscaping from 2001-2002 brought the beds back to their original 1903 design.

Mughal Water Gardens

This eye-catching garden which was the first of its kind in northern England is a synthesis between Islamic and Indian architectural styles, combining terraces and paths, grassed areas and avenues of trees divided by water channels, cascades, fountains and pools in a traditional rectangular design.


The bandstand has been restored to its former glory during the park restoration and has a generous viewing area. There are concerts on some Sunday afternoons during the summer. Check our events page for details.


There are Geocaches within the park with GPS available by prior arrangement.


The Lister Park Ranger arranges activities including walks, talks, hanging basket workshops etc. See the park notice boards for details. There is a Parkrun every Saturday at 9.00 am which is run by volunteers and is part of over 30 Parkruns operating nationally. There are also cycle races held in the park each summer and a number of charity fun runs. Non-council organisations use the park as a venue for a wide variety of activities.

Car Park

The car park is free to use and is open from 7am until dusk. The vehicle barrier is locked at 6pm. Vehicles still in the park can leave via the one way flaps. There is strictly no overnight parking. There is additional disabled parking for visitors to Cartwright Hall at the rear of the building.


There are toilets (including disabled) on Oak Lane that cost 20p. Free toilets (including disabled) are available in the boating pavilion & Cartwright Hall (when these facilities are open).

Related Accommodation

The Abbey Lodge Hotel

62 Kirkgate, Bradford, BD18 3EL, United Kingdom

Emerald Apartments

716, Bradford, BD1 2NH, United Kingdom

Livit Serviced Apartments

Manager's office, Poplar Court, Princeville Street, Bradford, BD7 2AB, United Kingdom

Related Attractions

Zouk Tea Bar & Grill

1312 Leeds Rd, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD3 8LF

Tong Garden Centre

Tong Lane, Tong Village, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD4 0RY

National Science and Media Museum

National Science and Media Museum, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 1NQ