Monday, 22 February 2016

Bretton Skatepark

Bretton Skatepark was definitely the most difficult skatepark in Peterborough to find.  I couldn't find it on Google Earth, I couldn't find it listed anywhere else and for a large chunk on Saturday I didn't think I would find it at all.  I drove around the Bretton part of Peterborough looking for any of the usual hints that there might be a Skatepark nearby but found nothing.

Eventually I found myself behind a pub that looked like it would do well as a location in post apocalyptic zombie film.  In a rubbish-strewn car park I took my chances and asked some locals who were loading their spawn into a car if they knew where Bretton Skatepark was.  At first they said they had no idea, and the reaction to the very possibility of a skatepark being a 'thing' at all seemed to get them a little agitated.  They asked exactly what I was looking for and I had to break it right down for them. I told them I was looking for a patch of concrete with some slopes on it.  Wow.

The female component of the couple had some sort of epiphany and told me that yes, there is such a place as Bretton Skatepark.  Not be be outdone the bloke decided he did know what I was talking about.  He gave me some directions so complex and convoluted I nodded politely along, made no effort to commit anything to memory.  After what seemed like an age I thanked the couple earnestly for their help, and drove away at a speed I thought should be fast enough for them not to catch up with me and find out I was ignoring their advice.

I bore you with a detailed account of the next half an hour or so, but it ended with driving down a mud track through some trees and finding myself in the car park for Peterborough rugby club.  I have no idea if there's more than one rugby club in Peterborough, but this one had television cameras so it must be a fairly big deal.

I decided to continue the search on foot and parked up the car outside the rugby club changing rooms.  I know they were the changing rooms because the smell of Lynx deodorant was strong enough to knock small birds out of the air.  While having a look at something called Peterborough Water Park, which was like a big empty puddle with signs informing all that nappies must be worn, I spotted the first sign that Bretton Skatepark might actually exist.  A protrusion of graffiti covered concrete.  A very soggy trudge across a municipal playing field I found it.  The legends were true, there IS a Skatepark in Bretton.

The layout at Bretton Skatepark is pretty cool.  There's a partial bowl and one end, a decent size bit of glass smooth concrete, a grind box and a taco shell at the other end.  Beside the main part of the bowl there's a quarter pipe with a spine connecting it to the main bowl.  The end of this quarter pipe that connects to the wall of the main bowl is sculpted in a roughly bowl type fashion.  Each sculpted 'scoop' leads up to the platform around the back wall on one side, and another platform where the bowl ends before the flat bit of the park starts.  Phew, now that's a hello of a think to explain.  You're far better just looking at the photos and videos below.

Sadly I didn't skate Bretton Skatepark because the rain was persisting it down.  My daughter had a rare old time on her scooter though.  Is she more hardcore than me?  Probably.

One slightly odd quirk of Bretton Skatepark is that it's partially under some trees.  I visited at the tail end of winter so I'd expect a few leaves in the bowl, but trees drop crap all year round.  I can see why some kids hide brooms and other cleaning tools in the shrubberies near skateparks.

On the whole Bretton is a small, but nicely diverse little skatepark.  I'm sure there's parking nearer than where I parked.  If you're reading this and you're local feel free to point out where you're supposed to park for Bretton Skatepark in the comments section below.

I'm looking forward to hitting Bretton Skatepark when the weather is better and the ground is dry.  I skate all year round, but heavy rain and tree debris made Bretton a 'no go' for me today.

Bretton Skatepark Photos

Bretton Skatepark Videos

Bretton Skatepark Maps

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