Every family is always looking for new things to do with the children to keep them entertained, which is why I thought it would be a great idea to write a blog about my top 5 affordable family days out in and around the Rugby area.
Having a family day out can often turn out to be very expensive so when funds are a little low its nice to still be able to get out and about to enjoy that quality family time we all need.
I have narrowed my search down to 5 Country Parks all suitable for children of various ages and great for when pennies are a little short. All would be ideal to spend the day at and only have a small reasonably priced car parking charge.
5 – Coombe Abbey Country Park
Coombe Abbey is set in 500 acres of woodlands, grasslands, gardens and lakes and is great for a fun-filled family day out. The park has a visitors centre right by the entrance which houses a little gift shop, cafe and a discovery centre; during the summer there is often an ice cream van situated by the visitor centre too. There is a large children’s play area by the visitors centre which is suitable for under 12’s and includes slides, swings and various climbing frames. There is also a large climbing activity area in the woods suitable for the more adventurous over 8’s or even adults. You can easily spend a good hour walking around the woodland routes, observing the wildlife, checking out the bird hide and feeding the ducks and swans; bird food is available to purchase at the gift shop. There is also various large open spaces which are ideal for family games, football being a big favourite. During the school holidays they often run various activities, it’s always worth checking their website or calling the phone number for the most up to date information.
Entry to the park is free but they do operate a pay and display parking system which currently costs £3.70 for the day.
4 – Ryton Pools Country Park
Ryton Pools has 100 acres of countryside to be explored, many with fully surfaced paths making it suitable for easy walking. There is a visitor centre by the parking area with a little cafe and a small play area suitable for ages 5-12. During the school holidays they often run various children’s activities so it is worth keeping an eye on their timetable for these. There are plenty of picnic spots all around the park, many by the visitor centre but also some lovely spots over looking the pool. Most recently they have built a new very large play area called Foothills Adventure Park which is suitable for older children and full of huge high timber structures and tricky challenges for adventurous children. Closer to the visitor centre there is a fun sensory garden and trail with musical features which younger children love and also a children’s wood, which is an area of sheltered woodland full of chopped branches for children to create their own dens. For the Train enthusiasts there is also a fun little miniature railway.
Entry to the park is free however they do charge £2.50 for the day for parking.
3 – Draycote Water
Draycote Water is set in the heart of Warwickshire over 21 acres. There is the opportunity to take part in watersports and fishing when booked (these do include a charge) or for free there is lots of nature to observe on the nature trails and the chance to spot some birds whilst in the bird hide. We have even managed to spot the famous albino squirrel on our early morning visits there!. There are picnic areas all around the park and lots of open spaces to play family ball games. By the visitor centre there are always ducks to feed and if your lucky you can see the baby ducklings. As well as the visitor centre there is also a gift shop and a cafe/restaurant; by the play park during certain times a little hut is open that sells ice creams and drinks. The large children’s play park is suitable for all ages, with selected areas fenced off for younger children. There is a wide variety of equipment, swings, slides, zip line and climbing frames. During the holidays they run various activities and themed days such as easter hunts etc. You can walk all around the park and there is suitable paths for cyclists too. The park is free to visit but does offer an affordable pay and display system.
2 – St Nicholas Country Park
St Nicholas Park has slightly more to offer in the way of activities in comparison to the other parks but does not offer the same in the way of nature. At the park the have a small amusement park which has a great range of rides including classics such as the tea cups, water canons and other coin operated rides suitable for toddlers to 12 yrs. The amusement park operates a token system for paying for the rides. They also have an 18 hole mini gold course which is one of the parks most popular attractions; charged at £3.90 per adult and £3.40 per child. However if you fancy it they also have a short 9 hole crazy golf course for £2.50 an adult and £2.00 a child. There is a cafe at the park with both indoor and outdoor seating serving a great range of food and drinks. A large play area is near the entrance to the park which is suitable for up to 12yrs, it has a selection of activities for younger children and also for the more adventurous older child including swings, climbing frames slides and more. If family ball games is more your thing, there is a large lawned area suitable. A fab feature they have at this park is an outdoor pool which is shallow and safe for children up to 12 yrs (make sure you bring swimming costumes!) and also a paddle pool which is ideal for the younger children. If you fancy seeing the sights Warwick has to offer you might want to take a look at the boat hire they offer which gives you a great opportunity to see breathtaking views of Warwick Castle from the river.Entry to the park is free but they do use a pay and display service for parking which ranges from £1.20 for 1-2hrs right up to £6 for the whole day.
1 – Daventry Country Park
Daventry Country Park has a visitor centre with activity area and a reservoir cafe. The park has hard surface trails through the woodlands and meadows close to the reservoir making it suitable for all abilities. There is a bide hide along the natural trail to stop and view the wildlife and opportunity to feed the ducks at the large reservoir. There are areas all around for stopping to enjoy a picnic and a popular adventure playground with climbing frames, slides, scramble nets and swings, suitable for all ages. They offer orienteering course both easy and medium course; maps area available from the cafe for just £1. The park often has bouncy castles situated at the site during good weather and hosts many events during the school holidays, one of the most popular being the open air cinema.
The park again is free to visit but they do charge £2 for parking.
I have visited all these places with my family and think they are all great for a day out, some work out more expensive than others if you take advantage of the extra activities that they offer but they can all equally be a great cheap day out if you pack a tasty picnic and just go and enjoy the weather and family time together. Hope this was a helpful guide to the local country parks and what they have to offer.