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10 of the best skateparks in the UK

The skateboarding stereotype has been broken, as more people realise it’s a sport that welcomes everyone. From the home of British skateboarding in London to a remote escape in Scotland’s northernmost reaches, we recommend 10 of the best UK skateparks.

BIPOC- and queer-led skate crew Melanin Skate Gals & Pals runs sessions at London's Queen Elizabeth Park on a weekly basis.

Photograph by Hannah Bailey
Photographs By Hannah Bailey
Published 28 Aug 2021, 06:06 BST

Skateboarding is experiencing a boom. Having showcased for the first time as an Olympic sport at Tokyo 2020 — where 13-year-old Sky Brown scooped a medal for Team GB — passion and interest for the sport has reached an all-time high. An increasing number of girls and women are taking to the sport for the first time, and involvement from other sections of the community who've traditionally been under-represented in the skate scene is up too. Groups like Doyenne Skateboards, a women-run skateboarding brand in Glasgow, and London-based Melanin Skate Gals & Pals, which caters to marginalised communities, are two such examples of community-led organisations inviting beginners to skate. So, whether you’re picking up a board for the first time or returning to a former favourite hobby, we’ve selected 10 of the best skateparks to check out across the UK – suited to every type of skater.

1. Southbank Undercroft, London

For professionals or spectators 

This skate spot on the Southbank is one of most iconic in the UK. Often referred to as the birthplace of British skateboarding, skateboarders have hung out here since the 1970s. In 2013, the spot was under threat from a proposed building development, but thanks to Long Live Southbank, a not-for-profit organisation formed by local skaters, the space has been safeguarded for future generations. It’s a free-to-access and always-open concrete underpass with a variety of legendary ledges, flatground space, banks and the famous stairset. If you’re looking to get inspired by watching long-time skaters, or fancy just seeing what it means to be a technical skater, this is the place to go. It regularly draws a crowd of spectators.
Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XT

2. Radlands Plaza, Northampton

For a nod to the past

Radlands, in Northampton, was initially constructed as an indoor park in 1992, but closed down in 2004. It was — at the time — one of the largest parks in the UK, stretching out over 10,000 sq ft. Eight years later, Radlands Plaza was born, thanks to the support of the local council and the formation of Northampton Skate Park Action Group. This all-concrete outdoor skating destination features everything you could possibly need as a skater and is considered one of the UK’s best skate street parks. A fantastic project made possible thanks to skateboard heritage.
Bedford Rd, Northampton NN1 5PE

Read more: How skateboarders have reclaimed an abandoned Olympic stadium in Athens

3. Campus Skateparks, Bristol

For rainy day skating

A Bristol hotspot, this indoor skatepark is converted from an old swimming pool in the south of the city. It retains its original characteristics, but built on top is a world-class concrete skate park, with a birch plywood mini ramp in a separate room. There’s something for everyone here, and the owners are welcoming to skaters both old and new. They host weekly sessions including a girls-only block on Wednesday evenings. Campus is a non-profit organisation that uses the positive energy and influence of skateboarding to engage with children and young people in the area; so when you pay to play in this park, you’re giving back to a great cause. 
Watleys End Rd, Bristol BS36 1QG

Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire, Wales is the local park for WCMX (wheelchair motocross) champion Lily Rice, who advocates for accessibility in skateparks.

Photograph by Hannah Bailey

4. Haverfordwest Skatepark, Pembrokeshire, Wales

For accessibility 

In 2014, Maverick Skateparks opened this free, outdoor concrete park suitable for all abilities. This is the local spot for WCMX (wheelchair motocross) champion Lily Rice, who advocates for accessibility in skateparks. It's accessible to all riding communities and includes multiple bowls, street elements and flowy transition, all right on the banks of the River Cleddau.
Freemans Way, Haverfordwest SA61 1TP 

5. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London

For beginners

Not a skatepark, but more a reclaimed area, the flat expanse of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is the perfect place to try standing on a skateboard for the first time. BIPOC- and queer-led skate crew Melanin Skate Gals & Pals runs sessions here on a weekly basis. There’s lots of space and a welcoming atmosphere, with no features or transition to intimidate beginners. Just you, your board and the ground. 
Westfield Avenue, London E15 2DU

6. Lerwick Skatepark, Shetland Isles

For a remote escape 

Head to the north of Scotland, keep on going and eventually, you’ll reach Shetland, where lies Lerwick’s skatepark. It’s the first concrete park on Shetland, and arguably it’s the best. It may be small but there’s something for both street and transitional skaters. It’s just a short walk from the town centre and minutes away from the coast. If you’re not on the island already, you’ll have to take the long ferry or a flight to get there, which makes for a great adventure.
Knab Road, Shetland Isles ZE1 0AX

Dean Lane is a concrete lover’s dream, with ramps and banks, curved bowl corners and a huge pump bump in the middle.

Photograph by Hannah Bailey

7. Dean Lane, Bristol

For city-dwellers

Another famous spot with roots in the ’70s, Dean Lane is a concrete park built on top of an former coal mine pit shaft. It’s a community hub for local skaters, who not only meet to skate there but also look after the space: it’s truly the heart of their city. A concrete lover’s dream, it has ramps and banks, curved bowl corners and a huge pump bump in the middle. If you’re a playful transition skateboarder, this is the skatepark for you, but it’s also worth the visit just for the history of the space. Documentary The Story of Dean Lane Skatepark immortalised its story; filmed by Dan Higginson, it was released in 2019 to raise awareness of its prestige. A fundraiser on crowdfunding platform GoFundMe aims to expand the park.
Southville, Bristol BS3 1BP

8. The Level Skatepark, Brighton

For the smoothest concrete

Right in the centre of Brighton exists skateboarder’s dream The Level. It’s one of the city's busiest parks and best-used open spaces, and a skatepark has been part of it since the '70s. It has a rich history, and in 2013 a brand new concrete plaza was opened, with two bowls and a street section. When the sun is out, this park can get busy as it’s the heart of the skate community. But it’s well worth the visit if you want to experience that smooth concrete.
Richmond Terrace, Brighton BN1 4ZN

9. House of Vans, London

Another indoor option, House of Vans is a multi-use events space covering 3,000sq ft of Waterloo tunnels in London. It’s free to use, but ticketed to prevent it getting too busy, making it great for beginners who want to try the mini ramp or bowl. Tunnel 4 features the only indoor concrete bowl in London, with a design that’s straight out of California. The space runs various skate sessions for beginners and girls only.
Station Approach Rd, London SE1 8SW

10. Livingston Skatepark, Scotland

For those who like it gritty

When it was built in 1981, the design of the park was ahead of its time and made Scotland a bucket list destination for skaters around the world. Iain and Dee Urquhart, pioneers of the Scottish skate scene, are the reason the park became a reality. They travelled to California to research and make connections with the pros, ahead of planning and constructing the park back in Scotland. In the late ’80s, former pro skater Tony Hawk even came for a skate here. It was extended in the ’90s and 2013 saw further additions, but it’s the classic ’80s elements that make it a go-to for those who like it gritty (cracks run through it all). A BBC documentary by Parisa Urquhart about the history of the park and the new wave of skateboarders, Long Live Livi, is worth watching ahead of your visit.
Almondside, Livingston EH54 6QU

To find skateparks around the UK and learn more about them, head to skateparks.co.uk

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