Adventure! Eight brilliant local playgrounds
Need to remove your kids from the house (and newly painted skirting board)? Take them to the park so they can release their latent feral selves. Here are the best in Warwickshire.
Children’s Adventure Playground, Compton Verney
Hidden away in the Christmas Tree Plantation (it already sounds exciting!) is Compton Verney’s adventure playground. Children of all ages can climb, swing, explore and whizz along the pines on the zip wire. Dreamy, shame it’s just for kids. Access is included with day pass admission so make a day of it by exploring the art gallery and beautiful Capability Brown grounds.
Coombe Abbey, Coventry
This country park is home to lots of hidden little parks, high ropes climbing and even Go Ape for the braver youngster. Strapped in with all the latest safety gear watch your little one swing through the treetops like a modern-day Mowgli, and if you’re feeling brave go and join them. Park entry is free with added charges for Go Ape.
Louis Carter Play Area, Nuneaton
An adventure park with a water feature – if that thought fills you with dread this is probably not the place for you. But this park – ran by Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council and nestled in Riversley Park – also contains a a pyramid tower, climbing frames, slides and a host of other exciting activities.
Houlton Play Area, Rugby
Houlton is a new development in Rugby and also has a brand spanking new play area. Built mainly from wood it includes a tower, bridge, sandpit, swings, slides and climbing equipment. For when they finally get bored there’s an area for team games and – thankfully – loads of space for picnics so you can still keep an eye on the kids.
The Black Pearl Adventure Playground, Bosworth
Does your little one remind you of a modern day Captain Jack Sparrow? No? That’s a relief. Pirate wannabe or not, little ones will have a whale of a time taking over the Black Pearl at Bosworth Water Park. This wooden pirate ship built on a sandpit, complete with slides, swings and even a crows nest promises to keep children of all ages entertained for hours. When they’ve finished murdering each other, take them for a paddle on the soft sand beach (it’s man-made, but hey, who cares?) and let them faceplant into an ice-cream from the café.
Umberslade Adventure, Hockley Heath
Set in 80 acres of stunning woodland you really feel away from it all here. The kids can scream about as they tackle the low ropes, commando course or zip line, and plenty of the activities are suitable for the whole family. For some peaceful vibes there is archery and a nature trail and if you fancy a little break there’s even the chance to set up camp in the great outdoors.
Mill Gardens, Leamington
Along with a ship themed adventure playground, including sand play, there’s the opportunity for budding sailors to captain their own ship if you rent a boat at Leam Boat Centre. If keeping two feet on the ground is more your thing there’s also a sensory garden including plants to touch and smell and mirrors to keep the kids entertained.
Bear Grylls Adventure Centre, Birmingham
The ultimate adventurers can follow in the steps of the great Bear Grylls at his adventure centre just next to the NEC. Think high ropes, assault courses, climbing walls and even shark diving if your little ones – and you – are feeling brave. Age restrictions are in place on some activities so check before you book.
St Nicholas Park, Warwick
Even the most intrepid explorers are catered for at this play area, owned by Warwick District Council. It is ideal for those up to the age of 12 but also has activities for little ones too. As the kids make the most of the swings, climbing frames, slides and sand pit you can sit back and relax on one of the seats outside the play area. When they ruin that zen-like vibe you had going, make sure you really tire them out by chucking them in the outdoor pool or having a play in the gorgeous expanse of St Nicholas Park.
Even better is it’s all completely free.