Sunday, 30 December 2018

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire

As a parent I have spent many, many hours in parks and playgrounds in Northamptonshire.  Some are regular haunts others not so often.  I have ventured to more and further as after 11 years it does get a tad boring.  

To help you here is a list of all the parks and playgrounds in Northamptonshire I have visited or heard about. I've tried to give a little information about each and parking information if known. We are lucky to have a vast about of open spaces in Northampton and woodland walks.


Abington Park, Northampton
Park on nearby streets. Play area, tennis courts, bowls, café.


Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Abington Park



Racecourse, Northampton
Some free car parking off the Kettering Road near the pavilion.

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Racecourse




Bradlaugh Fields, Northampton
This was an old golf course, now popular for dog walkers and sledging in the snow.  There is a barn that is run by volunteers so only open at select times, small play area and lots of open space.  No parking. Some visitors use the Morrison's car park or park on the street near NSG.

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Bradlaugh Fields


Boothville Park, Northampton
Park on or near Burford Avenue and there's a little path. A nice enclosed play area and space.  A mixture of new and old equipment.



Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Boothville Park



Elliot Park, Sywell, Northampton
This park is off Webbs Lane park nearby and walk up.  Really nice play area with a good mixture of equipment including zipwire, multiple swings, slides, roundabout and sand pit.

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Elliott Park




Abington Vale, Northampton
Two small play areas near Bridgewater Drive and Milverton Crescent.  The 1st is only really suitable for pre schoolers.  The other has limited equipment but lots of space near the allotments.


Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Abington Vale

Boughton Pocket Park, Northampton
You can access via Howard Lane.  Lovely wooden play equipment.

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Boughton Pocket Park

Eastfield, Northampton
Several entrances via Kettering Road, Booth Lane North, Grange Road and Greenfield Avenue.  We access on a path next to Cynthia Spencer Hospice. Large space with basketball court, small new play area, zipwire, climbing frame and lake.



Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Eastfield





Rectory Farm Pocket Park, Northampton

Earls Barton Play area, near Harrowick Lane, Northampton
Play equipment includes skate ramp, basket swing, zip wire

Scaldwell Park, Northampton
Near the High Street and East End in Scaldwell village. Playing field and play area with sand pit.

Hardingstone Recreation Ground, NN4 6DH
Closest road is Glebe Way. Square playing field in Hardingstone Village with play equipment.


Kingsthorpe Recreation Ground, Northampton

Milton Malsor Village Park, NN7 3AF
Lovely enclosed park in Milton Malsor.  Park on the verge or streets nearby.

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Milton Malsor




Radlands Plaza, Northampton
Skate Park off Bedford Road.  There is free but limited parking.  open all day every day,  Floodlits turned off at 9.30pm.



Beckets Park (also known as Midsummer Meadow), Northampton
Off Bedford Road and near the Skatepark and Marina.  Play area and café.



Great Billing Pocket Park, Northampton
Penfold Lane.  Small play area next to Billing Parish if this is open toilet's can be accessed. Small car park is also available for use.

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Great Billing Pocket Park

Hunsbury Hill Country Park, Northampton, NN4 9UE
Large park with Drover's Café for refreshments.


Parklands, Northampton
Devon Way.  Car park and community centre are next to the small play area.  Large fields where football is regularly played at weekends.

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Parklands


We are lucky to have lots of Country Parks near Northampton.  All country parks have car parks and facilities.  The parking charges are currently £3 for up to 4 hours and £5 for over. For more information click on the link https://www.northamptonshireparks.co.uk/Pages/home.aspx

Sywell Country Park, Northampton, NN6 0QX

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Sywell Country Park


Brixworth Country Park, Northampton, NN6 9DG

Irchester Country Park, Wellingborough, NN29 7DL


Fermyn Woods Country Park, Kettering, NN14 3HS


Barnwell Country Park, Oundle, PE8 5PB


Billing Aquadrome, Crow Lane, NN3 9DA
You can walk on site for free or pay to park.  Several small play areas are dotted around the site and multi use court. Northampton caravan site with fairground. The Venue has food, drink, toilet's, swimming pool and small soft play area. For more information click on the link https://www.billingaquadrome.com/

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Billing Aquadrome

Salcey Forest, NN7 2HX
Near Quinton Village. As the name suggests this is a forest with a small play area and The Forest Café. Perfect for woodland walks and space.  The Treetop walk is currently closed. £1.50 for an hour and £4 all day parking charges.  Often has Gruffalo trail or similar.



Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Salcey Forest



Stanwick Lakes, Wellingborough, NN9 6GY
Huge play area, walks and lakes.  The main play area is massive and the walk each way has some play equipment to keep the kids amused.  Toliets, café, bike hire. Parking charges vary depending on time of year.  Winter is £2.60 and peak summer £5.60.



Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Stanwick Lakes



Wicksteed Park, Kettering, NN15 6NJ
Although this is mostly known as an amusement park which you need to pay for there is actually a large free play area for the kids to enjoy.  You do however need to pay to park 2 hours £3, 2 to 3 hours £4 and over 3 £6. For more information on Wicksteed click the link https://wicksteedpark.org/

Daventry Country Park, NN11 2JB


Fineshade Wood, Corby, NN17 3BB
Large woodland with play areas. Parking £1.50 for an hour, £4 all day.  Often has the Gruffalo trail or similar.


Castle Ashby, NN7 1LQ
Grounds, menagerie, café and play area.  You have to pay to enter the grounds but can use the café and play area with no charge.  23rd March to 4th November £8.50 adult and £3.75 over 5's. Under 5's are free. Family ticket £21 which is for 2 adults and 3 children.  5th November to 22nd March reduced facilities and £5 per car charge. Special events throughout the year.  For more information click the link http://www.castleashbygardens.co.uk/


Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Castle Ashby


Rushden Lakes
Well known for it's shops Rushden Lakes also has a nature walk and small play area.  The boardwalk sometimes has water sprinklers on for the little ones to enjoy and for a charge you can hire canoes, peddleboats etc. FREE parking for 5 hours.





Welland Park, Market Harborough
A little further afield but a lovely play area with café, toliets and tennis courts. Two FREE car parks with spaces for 28 and 22 cars.  You can access them via Welland Road.



Emberton Country Park, Olney, MK46 5FJ
Located near Olney village a large flat area with play areas and small caravan & camping site. Café, toilets and fishing.  £4 parking charge April to October and £2.60 November to March.

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Emberton Park





Harrold-Odell Country Park, Bedfordshire, MK43 7DS
Lovely park with café, toilets and amazingly FREE parking.  Café open 9am to 4pm daily.

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Harrold Odell



East Carlton Country Park, Market Harborough, LE16 8YF
Another country park and another with FREE parking!

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - East Carlton

Delapre Abbey, NN4 8AW
No play area but loads of open space to run around and climb trees.  Free parking.  Only need to pay for entry to the house.


Embankment Splashpark, Wellingborough, NN8 1LD
As the name suggests this is a splashpark.  Only open in the warmer months usually Easter to October half term.  This is FREE entry and parking. Usually an ice cream van or food kiosk open but not guaranteed. Toilet's are available.



Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Splashpark



Randall Close Park, Irthlingborough
Small play area off Randall Close.  Park nearby.


Central Recreation Ground, Irthlingborough, NN9 5TT
Large play area in Irthlingborough.  New equipment recently installed.  Gym trail too. Park nearby Scarborough Street.


Les O'Dell Pocket Park, Irthlingborough
Small play area. Park nearby.


Rushmere Country Park, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 0EB
Woodland and sculpture trail. Famous for the big chair! Special events throughout the year Treetops Café. Parking is £3 For more information click on the link https://www.greensandtrust.org/rushmere-country-park


I have got videos on a few parks or days out in Northamptonshire on my channel if you fancy a browse or some inspiration.


Wootton Recreation Ground
Curtlee Hill near the Wootton community & sports centre. Multi use games area and play equipment,  Big playing field.

Victoria Park, St James, Northampton
We parked on Muscott Street but others are nearby. Small enclosed park with some new equipment.  Big playing field and multi use court.


Parks and playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Victoria park

Semilong Park, St Andrew's Road near Uppingham Street
Small play equipment park ideal for pre schoolers.

Upton, Clickers Place near Upton shop.
Small play equipment park.  Upton Country Park is a few minutes away which is a huge field ideal for a walk, bike ride and kicking a football about.


Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Upton

Dallington Park, Dallington Park Road/Harlestone Road.
Play equipment and large playing field.  The play park is split in 2 with one side more for toddlers/pre schoolers. 2 basket swings and large dragon swing.  Car park is available and was very easy to park.


Parks and playgrounds in Northamptonshire


Errington Park, Ryeland Road, Duston
Small play equipment area and large playing field with multi use games area. Several entrances onto the field we used Park Avenue.


Parks and playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Errington

Old Duston, behind St Luke's school.
Pathway off Millway takes you to a small park and playing field. Can also access via Melbourne Lane.

St Crispin's Park, St Crispin's Drive/Frank Large Walk
Car parking available.  Play equipment and large playing field.


Parks and playgrounds in Northamptonshire - St Crispins

Roade Village, near Stratford Road/High Street
This has been refurbished and Churchcroft has a new toddler play area (I am unfamiliar with the area so unsure exactly where this is.  A picture is shown on the village website.

Moulton Village, near Church Street/Church Hill 
Small play equipment area/park.  Appears no parking but maybe able to use the co-op but check parking restrictions.

Spratton, Smith Street near Spratton Sports and Social Club
Parking available, large playing field and some play equipment.

Brixworth, Froxhill Crescent near St David's Clubhouse.
Parking available, play equipment and playing field.
2nd small play area is located on Spratton Road near junction with St David's Road.

Harlestone Firs, Harlestone Road, NN7 4EW
Not a park or somewhere with play equipment but great to get the kids in the fresh air. and enjoy a woodland walk and some open space.  Parking is available over the road.


Harlestone Firs

Bassford's Recreation Ground, Raunds, Wellingborough, NN9 6EY
This is adjacent to Raunds Town Cricket Club.  Gym and play equipment so suitable for all ages. Large playing field. 

Amos Lawrence playing field, Raunds, Wellingborough
Large playing field and skate park.

Webb Road Play area, Raunds, Wellingborough
New equipment was installed July 2016 and creation of a dog park.

Saddlers Play area, Raunds, Wellingborough
Smaller park aimed at children under 8. Dog exclusion zone.

Saxon Hall Play area, Raunds, Wellingborough
Had equipment especially for under 5's.  Dog exclusion zone
Saffron Road Recreation Ground, Higham Ferrers, NN10 8ED
Multi use court, skate park and play area.

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Saturday, 29 December 2018

Top 6 Most viewed posts of 2018

As 2018 is very nearly over I thought I would take a look at my most popular posts over the year.  It's nice to see my Northamptonshire guides do well so I'll carry on with these into 2019.

1.Taking the top spot was my Halloween events for children & families in Northamptonshire 2018 Guide.  I think this is partly because Halloween is becoming such a big occasion and as half term this year was spread over 2 weeks a lot of locations had events on for longer.

Halloween Guide 2018

We love Halloween in our house and actually had a special trip to Disneyland Paris.  The decorations were fab and I loved the Halloween parade.




2. Next was the Fireworks in Northamptonshire 2018 Guide.  We actually went to 2 displays this year although only just made the free racecourse event!


Fireworks Guide 2018



3. This one was a surprise to me.  I'm not a crafty mum but this project did work. How to make BFG (Roald Dahl) Ears, Horn and Waistcoat makes it to number 3!

This was to celebrate Roald Dahl's 100th Birthday.  My children's school had a special day and asked children to dress up as characters from any Roald Dahl book. We went for BFG as the post title suggests.

How to make BFG ears and horn


BFG ears (Craft)

4. I love holidays and for many years have grabbed a cheapy during the Breakfree offer.  This will actually be starting again soon so I'll update the post as soon as I know more details. I'm assuming others must love a holiday deal as Breakfree/Daily Mail Holiday Offer made number 4. Do you have a holiday planned for 2019?

Breakfree/Daily Mail Holiday Offer


5.  Next up another guide  Easter Half Term ideas in Northamptonshire.  I love Easter the weather is usually improving, days getting longer and 2+ weeks of school!  In Northamptonshire our favourite Easter days out are Castle Ashby and West Lodge Farm.  How about you?

Easter Half Term things to do



6.  And finally and very seasonal Santa Grotto's in Northamptonshire 2018!  Which one did you visit?


Wyevale Santa Grotto

Santa Grotto Guide 2018



Thursday, 6 December 2018

Christmas Family Films

I LOVE Christmas films although I must admit to watching the same few over and over again.  Here's my top Christmas Family Films in no particular order.


Christmas Family Film #1
Elf
"The best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear."

Christmas Family Film #2
Home Alone
"Keep the change ya filthy animal!"

Christmas Family Film #3
Arthur Christmas
"What do you get when you eat Christmas decorations....Tinselitis!"

Christmas Family Film #4
Deck the Halls
"I want my house to be seen from space!"

Christmas Family Film #5
Prep & Landing
"Our mission statement is: Get in. Get out. Never be noticed. I'm part of Prep and Landing, an elite unit of elves getting houses ready, around the world, for the big guy's arrival."



Christmas Family Film #6
Shrek the Halls
"Twas the night before Christmas not a swamp rat did creep........The foul, the vile and handsome Ogre Claus."

And for me no kids involved, just peace and a Baileys LOVE ACTUALLY which I watch a minimum of twice each year.
"Hiya kids. Here is an important message from your Uncle Bill. Don't buy drugs. Become a pop star, and they give you them for free." Billy Mack (one of my fav characters in the film).

What are your must have Christmas films?

Emma xxx

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Wyevale Garden Centre Santa Grotto Review

Wyevale Garden Centres have wonderful Santa's grotto this year at certain branches. We visited the Wootton, Northampton branch today and I can review in very favourably.

It is £10 per child (plus 50p booking fee) and the children meet Santa and his helpers, take home a real mini Christmas tree and receive a present.


Wyevale Garden Centre Santa Grotto Review Northampton

Upon arrival we were greeted by the elves and put a magical seed in a pot.  We were then taken through to Santa who was just lovely.  My son knows he's not the real Santa as he's too busy but one of Santa's trusted helpers.  He did a fantastic job so can maybe have a Christmas bonus! He had a cracking joke which I won't spoil and with a little bit of Christmas magic the seed became a mini Christmas tree.


Wyevale Garden Centre Santa Grotto Review Northampton


You are then lead through to another room where you can decorate your tree and have a look at the photo taken in the grotto.  The images were really good and we had 3 to choose from.  We paid £11 for 2 images in mounts. This is entirely optional and was not at all pushy.



I came away feeling thoroughly festive and with 2 happy children.  My daughter is 11 and sadly is in the non-believer camp (sob!) but was still happy with her gift and mini tree.  The grotto had a nice relaxed Christmas vibe with cheerful elves and a well planned and decorated layout.  We really enjoyed our experience and I would whole-heartedly recommend.



Wyevale Garden Centre Santa Grotto Review Northampton

The Wootton branch was also offering free Christmas story telling but we missed the time slots which on Sunday were 11.30, 12.30, 1.30 and 2.30.  They are offering free activities on Saturday's and Sunday's throughout the festive period.


Wyevale Garden Centre Santa Grotto Review Northampton


For more information or to book click on the link below.

Santa Grotto Link

Disclaimed: I was given 2 children's ticket in exchange for this review.  I paid for the photos myself  All opinions are 100% honest.