A large community park maintained by Banbury Town Council in Oxfordshire, Spiceball Park offers somewhere to play, to walk, to run, to lie in the sun, or just to potter around. A beautiful, safe, well-planned park with both man-made attractions and areas of 'wilder' nature, this lovely park is an oasis of calm in a busy town.
The park is laid out in three main sections, with something for everyone. At the south end are the most formal aspects. a children's play park sits next to a skateboard ramp to amuse teenagers. Picnic tables are scattered around, and there is also a set of football goals. A couple of sheltered tables offer people somewhere to gather in inclement weather, and there is also a kind of mini obstacle course for boards / bikes beside them.
Part of the park covers a former refuse tip. You would never know it. In fact, the park goes out of its way to provide extra information and resources and be as friendly, welcoming and accessible as possible. There are benches and bins (including specific dog mess ones) around the whole park. Half way down the East side is a pond with information about what is in it - the park becomes a learning resource.
The park sits between the Oxford canal and the River Cherwell which meet up at either end. You can get out of the northern end and onto further land leading to Grimsbury Reservoir, and access the canal at various points, but the water offers a natural boundary to this area.
A bridge over the waterway to the east of the park, by a weir (beware)
A full circuit around the perimeter is just under a mile (1.5km), which makes for a good gentle stroll. The eastern side has a reasonably good path, with designated cycle lanes to protect cyclists and walkers alike.
Access includes via a pay and display car park at the south end, or via the canal (which runs along the west side). It is less than ten minutes from the train station on foot, and even closer to the bus station.
Joggers, families, dog walkers, cyclists, and skateboarders all have something to enjoy in the park; it really does offer a community heart and hub. The gentle wooded perimeter path, the formal play areas, and the large expanses of grass all make for a park with something for everyone. Throughout the year various community events happen here too such as the Banbury and District Show, so it is always worth keeping one's eyes on the local news.