“This is by no means a top 5 list of skateparks in the UK. It’s a top 5 list of skateparks that we visited in a single year. 126 collectively as a group throughout 2019, and 120 personally skated myself. It was all for a good cause – our new skate video ‘Cementurians’, where we set a challenge to visit 100 parks in one year and film at least one trick at each of them. You can imagine how tough it got trying to skate a new park every 2.89 days for an entire year. We went to some proper shit parks to boost the numbers. But let’s focus on the positives: here are my 5 favourite parks of the challenge.” – Phil from Fuck Mountain
5. Melton Mowbray
Melton Mowbray skatepark is the closest park to us in this list so we’re quite spoiled to have it nearby. It was the 3rd park we went to last year and at the time I think we took it for granted. (Like I said we went to some PROPER shit parks…) Melton is a sizeable park, with a good mixture of street and tranny. It has a half bowl and a launch ramp to keep the scooters busy so skateboarders can set up camp on the big bank, the manny pad and marble ledge and also see if they can make it over the brick vert wall channel gap. Don’t forget to grab a proper pork pie from the town centre while you’re there.
I had no idea what was at Kettering skatepark when we set off, so I was pleasantly surprised when we pulled up on a scorching hot summer’s day. Kettering has all the basics covered: euro gap, hubba, hip, half bowl, bank, handrail etc, but obstacles like the rainbow ledge, DIY vert wall and a GIANT megaramp-esque quarter pipe make it stand out. We made the mistake of coming here first on a trip and the other parks that day really paled in comparison. Check Cementurians for a giant layback FS rock & roll by Jonny McManus, and I challenge you to film any other legit ramp trick on it.
3. Lady Bay, Nottingham
We skated Lady Bay the week it was finished so it was in pristine condition. It’s a really well thought out park with plenty of lines to hit without getting in each other’s way. Sometimes these new parks popping up are just crammed full with obstacles and random bumps and boobs with no flatground space. Lady Bay sticks with the basics and is probably the best park in Nottingham now. It even features some marble from the OG Lady Bay that was there before. A nice touch from the council. We need to go back for a longer sesh though as again, it was first on our list of 5 parks to skate in one day. That slick blue paint job is very easy on the eye too.
Trying to cram in as many parks as you can in one day is sometimes a curse, because it can be difficult to come across a park as good as Desborough and have to pry yourself away from it to get back in the car to skate the next 3 or 4 parks that day. This park had been newly built next to the existing one, which was already better than half the parks we visited last year anyway. A decent 5ft wooden halfpipe and some flat ledges and rails would have kept us happy, but the new concrete park with its ledges, hips, handrails and even a Pier 7 style ledge and manny pad make Desborough a top park. Perhaps what it’s most famous for locally though is the concrete pump track. Great for distracting local scooter kids and toddlers to keep the real park clear, not so great for skaters with ageing knees like us.
Mansfield skatepark (or plaza) is reminiscent of an American plaza you always see some guy from Braille skating on Youtube. It’s been there for a long time now but I’d never been and I had no idea it would quickly become my favourite park of the year. It was supposed to rain that day but the Skate Gods were smiling down on us and we arrived to an empty, bone dry park. It’s more the way the park is laid out on two levels that makes it interesting as opposed to its individual components. It feels like you could host an SLS competition here and you could hit up each varying obstacle in the park in a 2 minute run. It has lots of quirky, unique gaps, ramps and ledges dotted around. You’d probably find new ways to skate it every time you went there.
To be honest I could pick any of these top 5 parks as the number 1 spot – every park is different and has something to offer for every kind of skater. Honourable mentions go to Clifton, Long Lawford, Acton, Syston, Flo, Stockwell, Loughborough – all great parks too. It’s a shame we didn’t make it out to the more well known titans of UK skateparks like Radlands in Northampton, Concrete Waves in Newquay or Stoke Plaza. But sometimes half the fun is skating somewhere new and different and a little less well known. And if you’re thinking of taking on the 100 skatepark challenge with your crew, take my advice – start the day somewhere shit and end it at a decent park.