Victoria Park crowned the UK’s favourite park

Victoria Park is now a two-time winner of the People's Choice Award. Pic: Kathryn Sunnucks

Victoria Park is now a two-time winner of the People’s Choice Award. Pic: Kathryn Sunnucks

Victoria Park in Tower Hamlets has been crowned the nation’s favourite park in this year’s People’s Choice Awards.

Now a two-time winner of the prize, it was awarded best park in the country with a record-breaking 32,694 votes being cast in four weeks.

EastLondonLines went to find out why Vicky Park park is cherished by so many.

Joe Gallenara, actor. Pic: Kathryn Sunnucks

Joe Gallenara, actor. Pic: Kathryn Sunnucks

Joe Gallenara, an actor living locally said: “I come to the park mainly to play football and run. Here you can use the football facilities for free, whereas a lot of other parks around have closed off areas to kick a ball around.”

He added: “You can only compare it to Regent’s and Hyde Park, but for me it wins because of its sport facilities”.

Henry Westbury, 71. Pic: Kathryn Sunnucks

Henry Westbury, 71. Pic: Kathryn Sunnucks

Henry Westbury, 71, retired, said: “The park is very peaceful, it’s almost like being in the countryside. It’s very near to where I live, it has nice facilities and it’s very relaxing. I thing the award for the best park in the country was very well merited.”

Lauren Stuart, professor at Goldsmiths. Pic: Kathryn Sunnucks

Lauren Stuart, professor at Goldsmiths. Pic: Kathryn Sunnucks

Lauren Stuart, physiology professor at Goldsmiths University of London said: “I am here regularly with my three-year-old son because the playground facilities are fantastic for him. Living in Clapton, this is the nearest park, it takes about 10 minutes by bus. There is a real mix of people, always something to see here.”

She added: “I am not surprised at all that the park won the award, I am very proud.”

Patrick Clarke, retired carpenter. Pic: Kathryn Sunnucks

Patrick Clarke, retired carpenter. Pic: Kathryn Sunnucks

Patrick Clarke, a retired carpenter said: “I come to the park in my leisure time to do a bit of fishing in the canal. I like to bring the grand children here over the weekends as it has good activities for children.”

He added: “I think the award is absolutely brilliant and the park deserves all the fame it can get.”

Daniel Keating, park gardener. Pic: Kathryn Sunnucks

Daniel Keating, park gardener. Pic: Kathryn Sunnucks

Daniel Keating, 29, park gardener said: “I work in lots of parks and this is by far my favourite. Everyone is so friendly, which makes it a really nice place to work. I have not worked here for long, but I know I will be here for a long time.”

Marcus Appleby, student. Pic: Kathryn Sunnucks.

Marcus Appleby, student. Pic: Kathryn Sunnucks.

Marcus Appleby, a student of drawing and silver smithing said: “I come to the park because it reminds me of my home in Colchester, Essex. I came here today for a uni project which was to draw a place that we enjoy going to”.

The People’s Choice Awards vote was organised by Keep Britain Tidy environmental charity, which has already granted Victoria Park with four Green Flag Awards.

In second place was Mote Park, in Maidstone, Kent and in third place was Margam Park, in Neath, South Wales.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, said: “I am delighted that Victoria Park has been recognised nationally for this prestigious award. The park recently underwent a multi-million pound refurbishment and played a starring role during the London 2012 Games as a live site.”

With its natural areas and open grass lands, the park offers something for everyone. The space is used as a concert venue and hosts many festivals. This year it hosts the Winterville festival in the run-up to Christmas.

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