It’s #LoveParksWeek — we’re sharing some of our favourite park hangouts !
Come rain or shine a trip to the park is a sure fire winner in our household. Best of all, with your own snacks and drinks, a few hours blasting round most parks will cost you zilch (as long as you keep away from the lattes and ice creams in the cafe.) Here are 5 of our favourites:
1) Springfield Community Campus Play Area — Corsham
The campus officially opened in 2014 and the well equipped play area and grounds surrounding the Campus offer plenty for kids of all ages — under 5s and older ones. Play equipment for the little ones includes a wheelchair accessible fort with small slide and activity stations with things to push and pull. For the older ones, a high rope climbing frame, walkways and swinging rope to stand or sit on provide much entertainment. A small trampette in the ground is popular with all ages — for acrobatic jumps or simply a bounce up and down on. With springy rubber surfacing under all the equipment, you can feel a little easier when you see your beloved swinging like a monkey on the rope climbing frame.
The play area is handily positioned close to the campus so if the heavens do open, you can dash inside and while away some time in the library if need be. A 400m flat also path runs round the edge of the park, skirting round the skate park and BMX track in case you fancy measuring how far you are walking! With tennis courts, and all the facilities of the campus (pool, gym, library, cafe, climbing wall, clean toilets) right next door the campus as a whole offers a lot. There has also been some lovely public art recently mounted in the play area so look out for the colourful birds. There is free parking here and if you fancy a change of scene you can take a 5 minute walk down into historic Corsham town centre.
Find it: Springfield Community Campus, Beechfield Road, Corsham SN13 9DN
2) Corsham Court Parkland, High Street, Corsham
Not strictly a park but it is such a great green space in Corsham for picnicing, walking and enjoying nature (as well as the super cute lambs in the springtime) that it would be a shame to miss it out. Owned by the impressive Corsham Court, the parkland is easily accessible from Corsham High Street with well trodden footpaths that give an easy but very attractive walks, with glimpses of imposing Corsham Court. The land is pretty level so no big hills to climb so if you and the family want to you can easily do an hour long loop taking in the parkland and local lanes or just stick to 10/15 min walk from the High Street to get to the lake. There is a well trodden path that runs from the St Barts Church side of the parkland that you can easily take an off road pram/buggy on (there is a wide gate to allow buggys and mobility scooters access to the parkland). Other well trodden paths are also pretty buggy friendly but once you get past the lake field you will need to navigate kissing gates and stiles so do bear this in mind. The lake is lovely to sit by and a great duck feeding place for the little ones. Although,some ducks are very friendly and have been known to remove food from little ones hands who can find this a bit too up close and personal. Last time we were there a little sailing boat was even darting round on the lake which was very pretty. Parking wise, either park in the long or short stay pay and display carparks off the Corsham High Street or there is a dedicated car park on the Lacock Road where you can access the Parkland and is a bit closer to the lake. Be aware that you wont be able to park in the small car park by the entrance to Corsham Court — they are very strict about this ! There is a small amount of parking where the Parkland meets the A4 too. Facilities wise, there are public toilets in the Co-op car park on Newlands Road and plenty of cafes on Corsham High Street. Overall the Parkland is a beautiful place to spend some time, the kids can really run and run, well away from any roads and the lake is very pretty. Depending on how you are feeling, the choice is yours as to how far you go, a bit of a hike or just feed the ducks !
Find it: Corsham Court Parkland, off Church Street, High Street, Corsham SN13 0BZ
3) Colerne Play Area, Colerne
A bit off the beaten track this one but worth it on a glorious sunny day as perched up at the top of the Bybrook Valley, you get some amazing views. The play area is found on the west side of Colerne, head to Bath Road and look for Cleaves Avenue, off this road there is an unmarked track where you will see a ball court peeking over the trees. Head up the track ( Green Lane) and round to the left and you’ll find yourself in front of the play area. Parking is free and generally pretty available. The play equipment is on the whole probably more geared to the over 5s, nether the less there are swings, a little climbing castle and tube to crawl through and heaps of running around space as the play area is next to the football pitch and outdoor gym. For the older ones there is a good zip wire which always seems to be running well, long slide, spinning swing basket and a large wooden climbing frame which always reminds us of Monkeyworld! There is a picnic bench, assorted stones to sit on but ample room anywhere on the well kept grass to throw down your picnic blanket and spend a couple of hours here. There is a large and a small ball court which are both useful for scooting and biking on and further across the football field is a new skate park, so a thumbs up from the older ones. No toilets or cafe at this play area unfortunately, but it is really all about the wide open space here with some lovely views. We’ve enjoyed the sunshine and the snow here but have avoided it on a wet windy afternoons !
Find it: Colerne Play Area, Green Lane off Cleaves Avenue, Colerne
4) John Coles Park and Splashpad, Chippenham
Run by Chippenham Town Council, this is your quintessential old skool English park. Beautifully manicured grounds, large and varied play area, bandstand (with brass bands live in the summer months) tennis courts, ample space for picnicing, a reasonably priced cafe with drinks and food to suit every season, smooth paths for biking/scooting/heelys on, a community garden and toilets — yes, it has it all ! And the exciting new addition of the free, watery Splashpad does make it especially attractive for those warm summer days. With water shooting out of the floor, pouring into buckets that then tip onto screaming kids heads, you won’t see them for some time once they have experienced it-it’s perfect for hot days and really gives the park another dimension , giving it more of a holiday feel. Just make sure you pack swimming costumes and towels ! On our most recent visit, the brass band was playing on the Trumptonesque bandstand, white haired folks were listening politely to the band on the benches while enormous family parties with gazebos and seemingly endless food and drink on tressel tables whiled away the afternoon. We loved it and especially loved the community garden, created and maintained by The Nature of It not-for-profit group, where fruit and herbs were blooming.
This little garden is a great place to have a quiet 10 minutes under some majestic old pine trees . The only downside to John Coles Park is that parking is limited in the pretty small car park (though it is free) but you can generally get a space on the residential roads that lead to it. Overall though, John Coles is a real gem and would recommend it if you have kids of any ages especially on a hot day.
Find it: John Coles Park, Fleet Road, Chippenham SN15 1NZ
5) Box Recreation Ground
There is plenty on offer at the Rec, as it’s commonly known, for entertaining kids of all ages. Set at the bottom of rolling rural landscape, the 360 degree views from the Rec are lovely and it is kept in truely pristine condition. From the car park, walk across the football pitch and bear up and right to get to the main play area. This has swings, slides, a see saw, cargo net and spinning “hat” , spinning tyres, a wobbly bridge, a wooden castle to climb up with slide and rather scary pole to slide down. Next to this is the under 7s play area — a separate cute little enclosed space with a wooden train to sit in, small slides, colourful poles to weave in and out of, a small climbing frame, picnic bench and a useful covered bench area to have a snack in if it starts to rain. You may find yourself needing to be in two places at any one time though if you have a little one and an older one in separate play areas— so best go with a friend if that might be a problem !
If you fancy more of a natural feel, you can also get to the river via steps that take you down from the Rec to the Lovar Garden. This is just a a short stroll from the car park.
You are spoilt for choice for picnicing on the Rec — a spot is guaranteed as there is so much room but only a few actual picnic benches funnily enough. One in each of the play areas and one by the ball court. Other facilities include public toilets at the Pavillion near the tennis courts, a BMX track, a small ball court and the Rock Circle — a mini stone circle which gives a fun yet educational slant on the geology of the area. There is plenty of free parking too in the car park which is accessed via the A4. There is no cafe actually on the Rec but the Queens Head Pub on the A4 backs onto it with a spacious garden and is very family friendly. Also, a short 5–10 minute stroll along the A4 will get you to the new Bird House Cafe next door to the Post Office or you can grab something from McColls opposite Box Primary School. So overall plenty to offer families and a great place for picnicing with rural views.
Find it: Box Recreation Ground, off the High Street (A4) Entrance to the car park is opposite the chemist.
So, that’s our quick round up of some of our favourite parks but do please share any of your own park gems that you think others might like to know about. We’d love to hear from you! Find Kids Out & About North Wilts on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram
See you soon X