You’d think most children would love to visit places and get out away from home. But not my son because the farm calls to him. My only chance for getting him out is offering a bike ride. But even that is a battle because he always just says he wants to go to the local park. Sigh. The playground isn’t great, it’s a bit dull and it’s not very exciting going to the same place time and time again.
But this time I just muttered hmm and we drove off. He’s not stupid though and about a minute up the road realised we were going in the wrong direction. I’d decided we’d try out the Kilkenny Lane Country Park in Carterton. I wasn’t sure what we’d find but didn’t expect to find it via a modern housing estate.
We arrived mid-morning. There’s only about 10 parking spaces, so we were lucky to get the final space – as we left we saw people had been parking along the road, so definitely get there early on a sunny day. There are also toilets in the car park if needed. The only thing missing was an ice cream van but we could live without that.
The country park isn’t a normal country park – it’s very small. Essentially it’s like a huge playground with wild walking arounds around it. The paths are fine for cycling but not smooth so probably not for taking scooters out on. You can do a short ride of around a mile, or 2.5km.
We decided to do the smaller circuit with me walking along. N loves thinking he knows where he’s going and I don’t, and he was also telling me stories about where the path was really leading to. If you’ve got children who aren’t too confident on bikes, or just want a short flat ride, then this is perfect.
But really the playground is what makes this country park. It’s huge, it’s spread out. There’s plenty of different pieces of equipment. It’s good for toddlers right through to older children. And there’s plenty of benches and places for parents to sit, including a little undercover hut if it’s raining and you’re lucky to get in there first.
When we arrived it wasn’t too busy, but in the holidays it’s obviously a popular place for groups of parents to meet up, and for childminders or nurseries as there were a couple of minibuses that turned up with lots of kids and adults. Most other people seemed to be there to picnic after playing (although I expect they got wet because there was the almighty rainfall that had been predicted for 12pm.
N was in awe. He just couldn’t decide what to go on because there was just so much there. Most of the equipment was wooden, and from the wobbly seats for young toddlers and babies to sit on, to the huge wooden rope climbing area, there was plenty for any age.
I was surprised he turned down the zip wire, but the sand pit and the diggers were calling. For once he had no problem getting a good long go on them without other children wanting a go. The sandpit is a great size, so in good weather make sure hats, sun lotion and towel or something to remove sand from feet are brought along.
As well as various different types of swings, there were 3 or 4 slides, an interesting very hard to rotate platform, and willow ‘maze’ to run round.
I was surprised N was ready to leave after only an hour because there was plenty he’d not had a go on. But he’d satisfied his playground and cycling need. A bit tick for mummy getting it right and forcing him to try somewhere new.
Unfortunately Carterton town centre isn’t the most exciting place to find somewhere to eat, but there is the bonus of free parking so we headed there for a quick lunch before heading home.
After a moaning start that he didn’t want to go, our Kilkenny Lane country park discovery made for a lovely morning in the sun.
Have you made any park discoveries recently?
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