Central Park is surrounded by residential neighbourhoods and it has always provided a vital space for their play, sport and leisure, and many people recall how they played here as children.
After a low point around the turn of the century, park usage has grown steadily. Regular visitors include young families, dog walkers and exercise groups whilst others come when they need to re-connect with nature or take part in active recreation. Its value for health and wellbeing was very apparent during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic when large numbers of people came for informal exercise while other activities were restricted to prevent the disease from spreading.
Events have been held in the park since its earliest origins. A travelling circus and fair come annually whilst some big events like cycling races and other spectaculars have been held from time to time. The Bath and West Show was held on ‘Exhibition Fields’ – the areas around the present-day golf course – on six occasions between 1853 and 1958.