The Park has many interesting features some saved as the hospitals were being demolished and cleared, others added more recently to enhance the park.
A large proportion of the park could be described as Parkland, a landscape of open grassland, specimen trees and wooded areas. Much of this can be traced back to the Edwardian gardeners who planted the hospital grounds. A tree trail has been created taking the visitor around the park and introducing them to 40 of the trees in the park. A separate leaflet is available showing the route and describing the trees.
Orchards and apple juice
There are two orchards one at the most northerly part of the park and one in the most southerly part. The latter has an unusual example of fruit tree training called ‘Arcure’ a cordon system which involves bending the main stem into an “S” to encourage more spurs off the main stem in a given space. The Trust produces Apple Juice which is available from the Park Office.
Gardens in the Park
There are a number of gardens within the park including the Hill End Hospital Community Garden which has been planted as a sensory garden, a woodland garden and a Mediterranean Garden with drought resistant plants and two Petanque courts. There is also a small Rose Garden commemorating Cell Barnes Hospital and a maze constructed 2000 and planted with copper beech.
The former hospital cemetery is also part of the park now named the Hill End Garden of Rest. This area has a stone sculpture, commemorative arch and information boards to commemorate the poor souls who lie here. It has been designated a County Wildlife site and the majority of the site is managed for wildlife.
There are two woods Winchfield, part of which is ancient woodland having existed since 1600 with lovely bluebells and Hither Wood, a Jubilee Wood planted in 2012 to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Sport in the Park
Highfield Park is the home of St Albans City Youth Community Football Club (SACYFC), there are eleven football pitches to suit players from 7 to 18. During the summer there is archery in the park organised by Elswood Bowmen Archery Club.
The park also boasts nearly 100 allotments let to local residents.
The Trust runs a number of fundraising events throughout the year to enable it to maintain the park and fund developments. These have included apple day, a summer fete and a bunny hunt. The park has also hosted an outdoor cinema, outdoor theatre, a circus and sport relief events.
Access / Parking
The park is open 24 hours 365 days a year.
Parking available near West Lodge (8am – 6pm weekdays only) and YMCA Health Club, Russet Drive (24/7 all year)
Address and contact details
For more information on aspect of the park and latest events please visit our website or contact the Park Office:
West Lodge, Hill End Lane, St Albans
Postcode: AL4 0RA
Tel: 01727 847242
Highfield Park Trust, West Lodge, Hill End Lane, St Albans