Sunday, 17 January 2016

Family Days out in Northamptonshire

Sywell Country Park NN6 0QX

There is a large reservoir, signposted walks and areas to fish.  There is a nice small café, toilets, lovely enclosed sand and water play area and a woodland themed area with carved animals, tunnels and slides.
Irchester Country Park NN9 7DL
Fabulous children's play area as well as trails through 83 hectares of mixed woodland. My kids love climbing up the hills although we did get stuck once and had to double back on ourselves. There is a cafe, Jungle Parc UK and the Irchester Narrow Gauge Railway museum.

Brixworth Country Park  NN6 9DG

You can go cycling, sailing, fishing and there's loads of lovely signposted walks.  There is a nice children's play area with stuff for most age groups. There's also a café, bike hire and toilets.

Salcey Forest NN7 2HX

This is as the name suggests a large forest. They are lovely walks, a large bridge so you can see the tops of the trees, small play area, café and toilets.  You can also cycle, horse ride, walk the dogs and there's a new adventure rope course.

To book, or for more information about the new rope course, please visit the TREE NINJA website at

At the moment The Stick Man trail is in operation. Your children can follow a signposted walk, spot the stick man characters and take part in activities on the posters.

Stanwick Lakes NN9 6GY

At Stanwick Lakes there are loads of activities. The central adventure play area with climbing tower and water play appeals to all age groups. On 2 of the walks you will find assault courses, tyre swings and zip wires.
There is a bird hide and feeding station to watch the wildlife. You can use the café or picnic sites dotted about the site.
I think this maybe my favourite.  We have visited loads as the play area is so good and walk manageable with young children. This is popular with cyclists and has bike hire.

Please note the above operate parking charges of about £3.

Abington Park NN3 3HN

Abington Park is Northampton's oldest and most popular park. It contains a museum, sports facilities, a cafe, lakes, and a garden for the blind. There is a band stand where live music is played on Sundays during the summer, a large play area and church.  Race for Life was at the park this year and Fun Fairs appear throughout the year. It is also home to the Family Fun Day held during the summer holidays. 
I love Abington Park and it is my local but am finding the play area could do with a few larger pieces of equipment for the older children like a zip wire or larger climbing frames as my 9 year old is outgrowing a lot of the equipment.

Castle Ashby NN7 1LQ

Castle Ashby is a very posh house and gardens. It is beautiful and for a small fee you can wander around the gardens, visit the small selection of animals, play area and tea rooms. It has summer and winter opening times. During the winter you pay £4 to park and can still use the gardens but tea rooms and other facilities are closed. In the summer adults are £5.50 and children under 12 free.
The scones here are delicious and its a lovely place to escape for a few hours. Even with children in tow it seems peaceful although the tea rooms can get very busy.
It has themed events throughout the year and we recently enjoyed the Halloween pumpkin hunt although wellies were essential as it had been very wet.

Wicksteed Park NN15 6NJ

Theme park & play area.  Over 30 rides, lake, picnic areas and food outlets.  Prices vary depending on time of year and whether you have wristbands or tickets so it is best to check the website

We went here for my son's 4th birthday and the kids loved it. For their age group there was loads to go on and we had a brilliant day. The food wasn't too expensive and you can take picnics.  Most queues were quite short so you could fit a lot in and not have moany children waiting to go on things.  My then 7 year old went on almost everything.

Gullivers land MK15 0DT

This is a theme park designed for children aged 2-13 years.  Prices vary depending on height, time of year and whether booked online or on the doors so definitely check the website

The park is in zones and easy to navigate.  It is a bit dated but brilliant fun and very good value.  We've been 3 times and always had fun.

Rookery Open Farm NN12 7SJ

This is a small farm, with a large indoor play area and lovely large outdoor area for when the weather is nice.  You can pet the baby goats and enter the pens which my kids love.  There are not a lot of animals but is a lovely place to spend a couple of hours.

West Lodge Rural Centre NN14 2SH

Check website for prices' as can vary but as a rough guide about £5 per person under 2's are free. 

Lovely farm with animals you can pet, talks, walks, play area, barrel rides which are very popular, pig races and pony rides. The barrel rides are free but pony rides have an additional fee.  They have themed events throughout the year which are fab. We went during October half term for Halloween and the kids loved it although the spooky tractor ride was a little too scary for my son.

Woburn Safari Park MK17 9QN

Lovely large safari park that you drive through & then park up and see the smaller animals, play area, food outlets etc.  There are different price structures and they do family tickets which are cheaper. They also do winter rates if you fancy visiting now.

Check website

We've only been once but loved it and would definitely go again.


Hope this has given you some inspiration for days out with your children & you've enjoyed the pictures.

Emma xxx


  1. This is great! Loved seeing the places you chose and it made me think about Abington Park nostalgically - it was where I used to go when I was skiving school or meeting up with boyfriends in the mid 1970s, and scene of many early morning lone walks (or even jogs) over the years, until 2000 when I left the county!

  2. Thank you Terry. Love Abington Park don't think its changed much since 2000!!! We are lucky in Northampton to have lots of greenery nearby :)

  3. There is lots to do in your area. My cousin lives in Northampton so I'm sure she will have visited lots of these places. I did go to my Aunt and Uncle's Wedding in Northampton. It was in a farm but I can't remember the name. I do remember it was a perfect day though.
    Amanda #KCACOLS

  4. Wow there's loads to do in your area! Wish we had that sort of thing where I live! #KCACOLS

  5. Sounds like there's lots going on! I think I might have been to Woburn safari park as a nipper - it was a long time ago though! ;) #KCACOLS

  6. This sounds like such a fabulous day out for the family. The indoor play area is a great idea & can be enjoyed regardless of the weather. My kids would love seeing the animals too. #KCACOLS

  7. Thanks for the comments. We are quite lucky as about 30 mins in any direction takes you to a country park/farm. X

  8. Lovely post, I have been to a lot of these as we live nearby, but a few of these are new to me, so I will check them out! Becky x #KCACOLS

  9. I always get excited when I discover a new park or farm. Want to try Daventry Country Park but just a tad further so puts me off ;) Had a lovely time at Sywell at the weekend. X

  10. Wow this is a great list!! Lots of ideas of places to go and visit. I have been in Northampton before a few times as my ex was from there. It is a beautiful area with lots of green around. Love the Woburn Safari Park. Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. I would love to see you again on Sunday! :-) x