TOP TEN FREE PLACES TO VISIT WITH CHILDREN IN WARWICKSHIRE
Mums do know best.. so we asked the Mums in our Facebook group, Mum Knows Best Warwickshire to recommend and vote on the top ten places locally you can visit FOR FREE this Summer. Here’s the top ten!
1 Ryton Pools Country Park
Ryton Pools has long been a Warwickshire favourite. It’s hardly surprising, that it comes in at number one with a huge majority of the vote. Ryton Pools offers two play areas, a cafe, endless walks, beautiful views, picnic areas and regular organised toddler walks and children’s craft activities and trails during most school holidays. The only charge is for parking and the additional activities, should you wish to do them.
Dogs, wheelchair, pushchair, scooter and bike friendly, you can even hire bikes too!
Where: Ryton Road, Bubbenhall, Coventry, CV8 3BG
2 St Nicholas Park, Warwick
At number two, in the heart of Warwick itself is St Nicks Park. The park has plenty to offer families from a large playground, open space to picnic and play, a cafe, a mini fairground, crazy golf and a skate park and outdoor pool. You can also hire boats and row along the river toward the stunning Warwick Castle.
Suitable for pushchairs, wheelchairs, dogs, scooters & bikes. You can even visit St Nicholas Park Leisure Centre too for swimming & activities.
Car parking is on site & payable.
Where: St Nicholas Park, Warwick, CV34 4QY
Visit the Sports Facility website here: http://www.everyoneactive.com/centre/st-nicholas-park-leisure-centre/
3 Sheldon Country Park
A plane spotters haven, Sheldon Country Park is perfect for walks, play and plane spotting! Recommended time after time. Technically it’s not Warwickshire, but our mums have spoken! Sheldon Country Park is made up of 300 acres, has free car parking, Old Rectory Farm, a mini farm, which is also free and there’s a playground near the main entrance off Ragley Drive.
Birmingham International Airport borders the park, so you can watch the aeroplanes close up, they literally fly right over your head! It lies approximately a quarter of a mile away from the farm buildings and can only be accessed on foot (no motor vehicles).
Where: Ragley Drive, Church Road, Sheldon, Birmingham, B26 3TU
4 Stanwick Lakes
Situated just outside of Northamptonshire, Stanwick Lakes is around an hour’s drive from Leamington Spa, but if you’re looking for a free day out (just pay for parking) you’re in for a treat. Stanwick Lakes has LOADS to offer families, perhaps even too much to mention here! Photographs are always popping up in our group of the wonderful playground and activities they have to offer.
In brief there is.. Adventure playground, with slides, sand and water play (take a towel), wildlife walks, assault course, adventure trail. There’s also an indoor play area named The Hideaway attached to the cafe.
Pushchair and dog friendly (dogs must be on leads and only outside).
Where: NN9 6GY
5 Coombe Abbey Park
Coombe Abbey is one of my favourites! I just love the beautiful setting and the long drive down the road to the car parking area. Among the 500 acres you can find playgrounds, walks and picnic areas plus there’s now even a Go Ape! (See here for an exclusive discount.) Visit the Discovery Centre for trails and what’s on when you get there.
On Saturday 3 August and Sunday 4 August, Coombe Abbey Park is host to its first ever music festival – Coombe Weekender. This means we will be closing the visitor car park.
Suitable for dogs, wheelchairs, pushchairs, bikes and scooters. Remember to take change for parking & food as most places at Coombe only accept cash.
Where: Brinklow Road, Binley, Coventry, CV3 2AB
6 Barford Park
A real community effort, Barford Park and the adjoining fields are thanks to the local community who tirelessly fundraised to help make the park what it is today. Another frequent recommendation on our group, Barford Park boasts a large playground area & picnic benches.
King Georges Field is also home to many a football, netball & tennis match, you can also book these on their website below.
Where: Church Lane, Barford, Warwick CV35 8ES
7 Draycote Water
Cycle, scoot or walk around the reservoir, have a bite to eat in the cafe, bird spot or play on the playground. You could even try some watersports! Suitable for pushchair and wheelchair access, you can also take your dog, but not around the reservoir, only around the country park. Car parking is charged at £4 all day or £3 for 2 hours.
Where: Kites Hardwick, Warwickshire, CV23 8AB
8 Jephson Gardens
If you find yourself wandering around beautiful Leamington Spa, take a trip to Jephson Gardens. Tucked just down the side of the the town centre this pretty Victorian park is deceptively large and you can wander for some time! Feed the ducks, find a picnic spot on the side of the River Leam or explore the Glasshouse which hosts many gorgeous tropical plants and even some fishes too! Check out the gorgeous sensory garden which even has a large xylophone for children to play with. There’s a beautiful Victorian Cafe in Jephson’s gardens if you fancy a spot of tea & cake or perhaps you’d like to hire a boat?! Finish off your visit with a trip to the playground in Mill Gardens and wander back into Leamington over the bridge. It always reminds me of Mary Poppins, minus the carousel!
Where: CV32 4AA. Car parking is on surrounding roads or carparks in Leamington Spa.
9 The National Herb Centre
Free Entry! This hidden gem is full of nature trails with three routes to choose from and the time to complete each trail ranges from 25 minutes to approximately an hour. Walk off that excess Summer energy! Wander round the Maze & see if you can spot any of the wildlife who call The National Herb Centre home and play in the play area. There’s a bistro & coffee shop on site for any cake or ice cream desires. A lovely day out, especially on a good weather day!
Dogs welcome but must be on a lead. As one of our Mums said “Financially free and also restriction free”
Where: Banbury Road, Warmington, nr Banbury, OX17 1DF
10 Victoria Park
Victoria Park is an easy win…. free parking, miles of pushchair, walking, scooting paths. Adventure playground, skate park and plenty of space for football & picnics. Not to mention the cafe has just been re-opened by Swirls of ice cream fame.. and I can vouch that their bacon baguettes are as good as their mint choc chip ice cream!
If you fancy a venture out of the park, Foundry Wood is a two minute walk, also free & you can train watch, den build and wander carefree!
Where: CV31 3PH
Click the images below to be redirected to our other Summer guides for Summer Holiday Inspiration or scroll for numbers 11 – 31!
Below are all the suggested FREE places to visit mentioned by our Mums in our Vote, all have clickable links!
16. Brandon Marsh
17. Abbey Fields
18. Cattows FarmBlooms Garden Centre, Rugby
22. Newbold Comyn
23. Priory Park
26. Webbs Garden Centre
28. Evesham Valley
29. Wollaton Hall
I really hope you’ve found this blog useful in finding some inspiration locally that doesn’t cost the earth. What should we vote on next? Let us know on our social channels or in the comments below.