Whether you are an experienced or novice skater, conquering a challenging rail, bowl, or other obstacle is a rite of passage you will not soon forget. And, what better way to do so than checking out some of the best skate parks in the UK.
While determining the best skate parks in the United Kingdom is highly subjective, a few make the top of the list based on variables such as size and experience, the history of the park, and the impact on the surrounding community. Regardless of your top choice, there’s definitely something for everyone.
Let’s get to the list and learn where to find a few of the best indoor and outdoor parks in the UK.
- Five of the Best Indoor Skate Parks in the UK
- Five of the Best Outdoor Skate Parks in the UK
- Indoor vs. Outdoor Parks — Is One Better than the Other?
- Final Thoughts
Five of the Best Indoor Skate Parks in the UK
The list below is by no means exhaustive, and it is arranged in no particular order. But these are definitely a few indoor skate parks in the UK worth nothing, and ones you’ll want to plan your next vacation around, without a single worry for the unpredictable weather.
House of Vans, London
One of the reasons House of Vans made the list is due to its uniqueness, built through five unused tunnels underneath Waterloo Station. If you take a quick check of the website, you’ll find that this skate park is where “Off the Wall” lives — European edition.
The skate park is known for two of its tunnels, four and five, each a world-class skate park in its own right, with concrete bowls, mini ramps, and a street course.
Tunnel four offers a deep concrete bowl for pool-style skating, while tunnel five is a perfectly built concrete mini ramp that is simply a pure skateboarding experience.
It’s a hub of culture and community, celebrating music, film, and independent artists, creating a place that inspires creative expression, whether through skating, BMX riding, or street culture. There’s also ample opportunity for learning and education.
House of Vans doesn’t only celebrate skating, but rather combines it with community and culture.
It’s a pretty close walk to another popular outdoor spot on our list that you can read more about below, SouthBank.
Ramp 1, Warrington, Cheshire
We’d be mistaken not to mention Ramp 1 on a list of top skate parks in the UK. It’s one of the largest at 50,000 square feet, boasting nine separate areas. Each section is distinct from the other, creating space for every style and experience level.
There is a beginner section with two micro ramps that provide a safe place for less experienced riders to build confidence — just note that this section is reserved for those under the age of 10 on weekends, which means you can bring your kids along, too.
There is a BMX rhythm section, a 40-foot extreme tunnel, and a 165-foot, Las Vegas-themed street plaza as well — the latter with just about every obstacle you can think of for those who are more advanced, including artificial grass and palm trees.
Another unique aspect of this indoor park is the elevated viewing area that allows you to watch the action below, or on the 60-inch TVs sprinkled throughout the café area.
There is a small admission fee at Ramp 1, and it is generally closed on Mondays for private sessions and the like, though open until 9 pm most other days.
Rush is another known for its epic size, only a bit smaller than Ramp 1 at 40,000 square feet of warehouse space. Again here, there’s something for everyone with four sections, each one unlike the other. It’s one of the key factors in determining a great skatepark — the distinctness and creativity in design.
At Rush, you’ll find “The Street,” “The Park,” “The Bowl,” and, finally, “The Resi and Jump Track.” The tag line on Rush’s website reads, “Feel the Rush.” All you’ll need to do is take a look at a few of the images to know that you will feel it.
The Resi and Jump track is epic, the street huge, the park wide-open, and the bowl exactly what you’re looking for — a solid series of quarter pipes set in an arrangement that allows you to flow back and forth.
The park section here is unique in style, separated into two halves — the first more traditional while the other is a large vert wall running along one side.
There is an admission fee at Rush, but you are supporting a great cause by visiting.
BaySixty6 is noted by quite a few as one of the best parks. With three different sections catering to different levels and styles of riding, its ramps are of the highest quality, recently sponsored and refurbished by Nike SB.
It’s not fully indoors, but it is undercover — the only problem you’d run into if it’s raining would be at the edges of the park. There are street-style ledges, rails, flat banks, ski jumps, wallrides, a large bowl, and plenty of space for beginners.
The large bowl is not concrete, but rather made out of wood using hexagonal-shaped panels that make it both faster and smoother. Another unique aspect of Bay Sixty6 is that it’s ever-changing, with new pieces added all of the time.
There’s plenty of space throughout, with a fairly infamous vert wall in the street section that you will certainly want to check out.
However, one thing to keep in mind is that you must be a member to use the skate park. But, not to worry, it’s free to join, and you simply need to register.
Unit 23 Skatepark, Dumbarton
Open since 2002, Unit 23 skatepark is one of the largest indoor skateparks in the UK at 56,000 square feet with three separate halls, each with its own unique, characteristics.
Hall One is for more traditional or freestyle skating, with plenty of rails and ramps, while Hall Two has an outdoor feel, reminiscent of street style skating. And, the third hall boasts a foam pit, perfect for trying out a few new tricks without risking injury.
One of the best features of Unit23 is that it is specifically designed for both experienced and newer riders, offering plenty of challenging features while also providing coaching for those hoping to learn something new.
There is a cost associated with entrance and a consent form (which is pretty standard), but it’s open almost every day, except for the Christmas holiday.
Five of the Best Outdoor Skate Parks in the UK
At this point, we’ll take it outdoors because you cannot visit a skatepark in the UK without experiencing at least one of the epic outdoor hot spots. Again, the list here is in no particular order — just be sure to choose at least one for your next trip abroad.
Livingston “Livi” Skatepark, Scotland
For those familiar with Livingston Skatepark, it’s called “Livi.” To the rest of us, there’s a lot to learn about this incredibly unique, influential space. It’s not just about finding the best park when it comes to this one — it is also about the transformative nature of skateboarding itself.
Livingston is home to the Livi Pure Fun Skate Party, one of the longest-running events in the skateboarding world. The event brings in massive crowds, many camping on the grass in anticipation of the event that has been a cornerstone of skate culture in the UK and, potentially, the world.
The community is central to Livingston, and the locals are some of the friendliest you will meet.
Other features of the park include two new transitions-based extensions with new bowls and hips, as well three other sections — one wider and shallower for newer skaters, the second deeper with a metal coping edge, and the third with two large open-sided, circular bowls with a joining roll over.
It’s free, it’s outdoors, and it’s a place you’ll want to say you’ve been.
Radlands Plaza Skatepark — Northampton, England
Radlands Skatepark has an awesome history and has prevailed through some tough, unprofitable times, which, in and of itself, is a good reason to visit. Closing its doors in 2004 as the first-ever indoor park in Britain, Radlands reopened in 2012 in the same location, only this time fully outdoors.
It functions as a giant, diamond-shaped, street-skating plaza with a multitude of opportunities to ride rails and ledges, as well as manny pads for practicing, sliders, and banks of numerous varieties.
In the center, you’ll find a middle strip that connects to the outer looping sections with stair sets, more rails, and other intense obstacles designed to allow you to practice your newest trick or simply coast through the plaza.
There is no cost to ride at Radlands, though you will need to keep in mind that visiting is weather permitting as a fully outdoor park. You can also plan to ride anytime, but the park’s floodlights do turn off at 9:30 pm.
The Level, Brighton
If you’re looking for something beautifully serene amidst greenery and shady, nationally significant Elm trees, the Level is where you want to be.
It’s a skate park, sure — but it’s also a beautiful, open green space surrounding a pretty epic, newly renovated, smooth concrete course. It’s not just for skaters — bring your family too because the park is massive, with a children’s play area, flower beds and a rose walk path, and two cafes (source).
The distinct attraction to The Level is its center-situated large bowl made up of three elements — the north section shallow and mellow for beginners, the east section a rectangular bowl, and finally the south section, the deepest, most challenging area. The variety and change in structure cater to riders of every experience level.
Outside of the bowl, you’ll find a traditional yet progressively built street plaza that doesn’t boast size as much as design, an equally important element. It’s free and open nearly every day.
Projekts MCR, Manchester
Known as one of the best skateparks in the North-Western part of England, Projekts MCR is directly in the center of the city underneath the Mancunian way flyover, with easy access from a nearby train station.
Projekts is a large concrete arena which has just about everything you’d want to see in an indoor or outdoor park, and it is perfect for both young and old, veteran and new riders.
Here, you’ll find a lengthy list of coaching sessions that cater to every experience level, as well as female-only skate sessions offered once a week for a low cost.
This one sits a bit in the in-between indoor and outdoor parks in that, while it is outdoors, most of the facilities are protected by a flyover roof, which means that even during the ever-present rainy season, it’s a perfect place to spend the day.
And when you need a break, the Café offers coffee and food, alongside an ideal view of the park.
There is an admission fee, but it’s a small amount per hour, or you can opt for a monthly pass if you plan on spending more time in the city.
Southbank Centre (Undercroft), London
Recently renovated and refurbished, Undercroft at the Southbank Centre sits under Queen Elizabeth Hall. Similar to Projekts above, it’s not fully outdoors — there’s characteristically and beautifully defining mushroom-shaped columns that support an above building, displaying pretty awesome graffiti art.
Undercroft has been a center for skateboarding since the 1970s and is known to be one of the longest, continually running skate spots. Some of the original obstacles are still present, retaining the park’s authentic character, though each has been restored, and most of the paving replaced.
One of the notable aspects of Undercroft is its significance in the community, building a dialogue about how we use free and open space. Recently, Undercroft received protected status under the UK Localism Act. Long Live Southbank, a non-profit organization, successfully safeguarded the space, creating a movement that celebrates a community learning to evolve creatively.
There are plenty of reasons for a particular skatepark to be the best, but this is one that you want to check out not only because it is indeed one of the great ones but also because of its cultural and historical heritage. You won’t be disappointed.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Parks — Is One Better than the Other?
One of the best features of any skate park is that it’s likely nothing like the last one you visited. A new challenge awaits every stop. In contrast to other sports arenas or football fields that all look and feel the same, the opposite is true when it comes to finding and dominating a new skate park.
And the good news is that these days, with the rise in popularity of the sport and increased demand for unique spaces, there’s plenty to choose from that won’t have you running from security.
Before we get into the best skateparks you can find in the UK, there are a few things you’ll want to know upfront — including whether it is an indoor or outdoor park — especially given the unpredictable weather in some parts of the country.
Not every skate park is free, and often those that are indoors are going to cost you a few dollars, but not to worry — find a good one, and it’s worth every penny.
Indoor Skate Parks
When you think about the best skate park, you may not be thinking much about the indoors. Part of the thrill and excitement is being outside soaking up the sunlight as methodically as the originators of the sport did riding waves.
But most of you likely want to skate year-round, and not everyone lives in a temperate climate that allows for outdoor skating mid-January. Thus, one reason for the rise of indoor skate parks — enabling you to stay committed rain or shine.
But that’s not the only reason. Like we said at the start, every skatepark is different, and each one is designed with purpose, focusing on meeting the needs and desires of different skating styles.
Some indoor parks even cater to beginners and small groups who are just learning, offering coaching and smaller, simpler ramps for experimenting.
We’ll get into the unique characteristics and design features of some of the best indoor parks below. First, though, there are a few things to keep in mind when comparing indoor and outdoor facilities, starting with costs.
Many indoor parks will charge an admission fee, unlike those that are outdoors and more likely free, supported by city or local funds. While this seems a disadvantage, one thing to remember is that the people who built the park need your help to keep it running with the lights on.
While there’s a pretty significant range, an indoor park can cost around $45 (£34) per square foot to build, which means a park around 8,000 square feet will end up at about $360,000 (£272,758) in construction costs alone.
Remember, you’re supporting a good cause, and one you don’t want to lose.
Quality of Ramps and Rails
Interestingly, and not without dispute, some indoor parks have better quality facilities. In part, this is due to that admission fee allowing for better upkeep, not to mention protection from outdoor elements.
Also, most indoor skateparks are privately owned, and likely by an enthusiast him or herself. With that in mind, features of ramps, rails, and bowls are meticulously planned and arranged, setting up structures in a way that creates the best experience for everyone.
Safety and, Unfortunately, Lines
Floodlights are often utilized for night skating at a few outdoor parks, but not all, and some are only open during daylight. So, if you’re planning to skate all hours of the day, and night, an indoor park may provide a bit more security and safety both for yourself and your belongings.
We’d be remiss not to mention waiting in a line here and there at an indoor park. But if a bit of a line is indicative of a great experience, it’s worth the wait. For the most part, indoor parks are smaller, which means limited capacity and more skaters at peak hours on a regular basis.
But who knows, you might learn a thing or two when you strike up a conversation with the person in front of you, especially if you are traveling to a new city.
Outdoor Skate Parks
The first skate parks were outdoors and in locations where warm weather and skate culture came together, taking skating off the streets and onto organized facilities publicly owned and funded by the city in which they were built.
Because they are generally community funded, outdoor skate parks are not going to require an admission fee, which is undoubtedly a plus. So, if you’re looking for something free, outdoor is the way to go.
In contrast to indoor parks, you’ll find that most of your outdoor facilities are concrete versus the plywood structures often used indoors. The design features mimic a street skating environment with pools and bowls, handrails, stairs, and, in some places, even park benches.
The idea behind outdoor parks is to provide a safe place for skaters to practice the sport, regardless of style, as well as a place that often becomes central to the community’s culture.
Whether indoor or outdoor, skate parks come with vastly different characteristics, each unique from the other, varying in size, style, and capacity. So, to answer which is the best is a bit subjective, and it’ll depend on what you are looking for — and, quite frankly, what the weather is like on any given day.
Nonetheless, from here, you’ll find a list of some of the best places to skate in the UK. And, no doubt you’ll find a few to add to your list.
The skateparks we mentioned are certainly part of a shortlist and in no way exhaustive. But the features that make them the best are as unique as the parks themselves.
Whether you are looking for something that’s boasted as the biggest in the UK, or perhaps one with a more significant story, there’s something for everyone. Check out a few,both indoor and outside, and map your visits accordingly. One thing is for certain — you will be glad you did.
And, once you’ve crossed a few of these off of your list, be sure to visit some of the top skate parks in the United States next.