Family cycling trails at Ryton Pools Country Park UK - Bubbablue and me

Ryton Pools Country Park cycling trails

From our blog it probably looks like we go out and about a lot, and do a lot of walking. Well, we get out a fair bit (I hate being stuck at home, and it means I get N off the farm), but we rarely do walking unless we go somewhere.  To me walking the fields is really dull (it all looks the same, just lots of fields), I much prefer walking around somewhere there’s plenty of things to look at.

But I can live with a country park. There’s usually a café, and other activities to break up the walk.  The other weekend I wanted to get N off the farm, so suggested we go to a new park.  He wasn’t impressed and just wanted to go to the park in town.  Anywhere he can ride his bike or scooter.  But he relented when I told him it wouldn’t be more than a half hour in the car and he could take his bike.  So off to Ryton Pools Country Park we went.

Family cycling trails at Ryton Pools Country Park UK - Bubbablue and me

I did get a bit mixed up with another similar place thinking there was water play – there wasn’t. And because we went on the Saturday (N couldn’t go on the farm that day because of the types of jobs being done) rather than the Sunday I’d planned, it meant the weather wasn’t great. It was cold and occasionally drizzly. Oh, and the miniature train rides only happen on Sundays.  Thankfully there were plenty of other things to see and do, and taking N’s bike meant he could explore the trails at leisure.

I’ve not been on my bike for nearly a year because my knee still twinges when I cycle, so I just walk along. At least then I get my Fitbit (*affiliate link) steps up.  When we arrived we headed to the information lodge first to get our bearings and find a map.  Apart from the parking fee (at the entrance barrier, £3.50 for all day), visiting the country park is free so we did have to buy a map for 50p.  The map was a little confusing for cyclists, suggesting you couldn’t cycle on most of the park, but really you could – even the lady in the info centre was baffled by my question where we could cycle.

sustainability at Ryton Pools

There were a few options for walking and cycling round the country park.  We opted for the shorter one, given it was nearly lunch and was looking like it might rain.  This was just under a mile long so wasn’t going to take long at all.  Well, if N didn’t keep going off to explore off piste and for wanders into the wooded areas.

open path for cycling at Ryton Pools
open bike trails at Ryton Pools
directions at RYton Pools
cycling off road at Ryton Pools

The trails are all easy walking once you’re over the first steep section (the direction that we went).  You can hire different types of bikes if you don’t have your own, and it was quiet enough when we were there to not worry about kids going all over the place and disturbing walkers and other adult cyclists.

Ryton Pools off road cycling
too small cycling helmet
exploring the woods at Ryton Pools

There were lots of paths off the main routes to explore, plenty of pretty flowers and plants for me to photography.

blooms and rushes at Ryton Pools
rushes at Ryton Pools Country Park
teasels at Ryton Pools
hawthorn flowers at Ryton Pools

Obviously with the name Ryton Pools, there are plenty of lakes to look at. We spotted bird boxes with blue tits, the swallow banks (no swallows), swans, ducks and geese.

canada geese at Ryton Pools

N loved having the expanse to cycle in, and to spot others doing the same.  He was in his element just enjoying the outdoors, and for me it was nice to get out and walk somewhere different.

We didn’t go on and do the longer trail because we both wanted some lunch, so headed back to try out the small café.  En route, N decided he wanted to explore a bit of the pirates trail.  This is a coin trail for children that you can pay for, but we could still go in and see what was there.  There’s some themed picnic benches, and N was all for sailing out on his boat.

aeroplane picnic table
exploring the pirate stamps at Ryton Pools
pirate ship play at Ryton Pools
pirate stamps at Ryton Park trail
pirate theme statue at RYton Pools

We dumped his bike back in the car, took a brief look at the sensory garden before N dragged me off for lunch.

Ryton Pools sensory garden
sensory garden at Ryton Pools Country Park

The café is small, and it’s not the cheapest.  Rather than paying a high price for the kids lunchbox (which only seemed to have 3 items in it), N had a normal sandwich and crisps, while I had a panini.  I’d liken it more to the transport café style place, rather than a nice National Trust café, but it did the job and the toilets next door were clean enough.  I’d imagine in warmer weather most people bring a picnic and just stop for an ice cream.  There’s plenty of grassy areas to picnic, and we didn’t even get to the older children’s play area around the other side of the park.

After lunch, we had a brief play on the children’s playground. The equipment is nice, but it was busy.  The play area was mostly aimed at under 6s, some of it N turned his nose up at as too young for him, but from what I’d read online it said that area was under 12s, and the other play equipment was aimed at older children – I took that to be that it would be too old for N at age 6.  If that’s the case, there seems to be a gap in the middle not catered for, but as we didn’t go to the other play area, there’s no way of knowing whether I’ve got the wrong end of the stick.

seesaw at Ryton Pools
sand play at Ryton Pools
swinging at Ryton Pools Country Park

We spent a good couple of hours at Ryton Pools Country Park, so give it better weather and going along with some friends on a Sunday, I could see it being a popular choice of somewhere to go for the day.  N certainly enjoyed it and the following week he wanted to go back again.

While the playground isn’t as good as somewhere like Stratford, to spend a whole day there biking round and having a picnic it’s much better value given the lower parking cost.  We’ll definitely be going back another day.

Do you visit Country Parks?  Where do you take the children biking?

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  1. It looks like lots of fun, especially the sensory garden. I can’t wait until my little man is older and we can go for proper walks without having to carry his bike or him after 20 minutes!

  2. I can imagine not wanting to constantly walk the fields of the farm, for me it was a real treat and i’d love to move away from the urban area to fields but it’s always nice to visit a country park, we have 5 within a 10 mile radius and we love visiting them #CountryKids

    1. I think I’m probably a little odd. My SIL spends hours walking on the farm, but then she has the dogs to take for walks, and doesn’t work other than doing farm admin, so can pick and choose when. But it can get boring for anyone seeing the same thing everyday wherever you live

  3. Looks like you found some great cycle paths. Love the sign it looks like someone loves Alice in Wonderland. #countrykids

  4. This looks like a fab place, it’s great that you’ve managed to discover somewhere new to explore. It’s great that you’ve found somewhere N’s keen to go back and explore again, I’m sure it’ll become a firm favourite, it sounds like you have more places to discover! It’s a shame the playground wasn’t targeted for N’s age, I hope when you discover the other playground it’s better suited to him.

    Thanks for linking up with me on #CountryKids.

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