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Stanwick Lakes (Nene Valley, Northamptonshire)

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lake area with outdoor play areas and activities in Nene Valley, Northamptonshire.

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      14.03.2012 12:35
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      great activity park for children and adults

      Pack up the kids in the car, bring a packed lunch, grab some clean clothes and get over to Stanwick Lakes. What is Stanwick Lakes: ======================== Stanwick lakes is full of fun things for children to do. It's not your average nature park. Stanwick Lakes used to be overgrown and a place people would walk their dogs. Luckily I lived just a 20 minute walk away and could access it easily without having to park. It has been turned into a haven of free things for children to do. There is also things you can pay to do but we'll get to those later on in the review. Stanwick lakes is situated between Irthlingborough and Stanwick in Northamptonshire. It was mainly used for fishing and is now a place that parents take their children for a nice money free day out. There is a small cost for parking to pay if you are arriving by car. In school holiday there is a charge of £5 for over 3 hours (or the whole day). In off-peak times is £3 at the weekends and £2 on weekdays. If you are a school or arriving by coach, then the charge is £25 for coach parking. Free activities: ======================== Trailing: --------------------------------- Walking is FREE! Stanwick Lakes has brilliant trails to walk along. Throughout the trails there are different pieces of play equiptment to be discovered. I remember walking along and finding a very large tyre swing which me and my friends were playing with for hours. There is also a large climbing rock, a large rope bridge which looks over the water and a zip wire. The paths are quite dusty so I don't reccommend going there in sandles or flip flops. Wear sensible shoes and make sure to pack towels and socks in your car and some play parts are covered in sand. The best thing about Stanwick Lakes is there is no admissions fees. You can play here all day just for just parking charges. Assault Course: ---------------------------------- The army style assault course is the best part about Stanwick Lakes. It's fun to watch all the bigger kids scramble through the nets, over the large wooden climbing frames, then seeing the older men follow. Most adults will find their inner child whilst visiting here. There is so much to do and a lot of it has been built to take the weight of adults. Fresh Air: ------------------------------- The beautiful thing about having Stanwick lakes so close to me is that I could take my daughter round there for some much needed fresh air. It's so peaceful and full of nature that small babies and children will soon fall asleep as you push them around. Sometimes it's best to go somewhere which doesn't involve a cost. Play area: -------------------------------- The best and biggest play area i've ever come across. It has been made from mostly wood and a few metal slides. It has been built very well for adults to be able to play too. There is a smaller area for the toddlers to play on as this part can get crowded and quite overactive. There are picnic areas around for the adults to sit whilst the children are running riot. If you have trouble getting your energetic children to bed at nights, this is the place to come to get them tired out. Bird Watching: -------------------------------- Due to stanwick lakes being known for its wildlife, they have build two birdwatching huts for both children and adults to spot different wildlife and have a rest from the walking trails. If your interested, bring along some binoculars. There is seating inside the huts for you to sit and have a pit stop if your not there to birdwatch. Cycling: ----------------------------- Rack your bikes to the car and travel around the 7 miles of cycling tracks that Stanwick Lakes has to offer you. If you haven't got the option to bring your own bikes, then fear not. There is also a place to hire bikes for the day onsite which they get through a local cyclist retailers. The hire is only available on weekends and school term time holidays. Horse Riding Routes: -------------------------------------- Between Irthlingborough and Thrapston is an old railway line which serves as a brilliant horse riding trail. It is approximately 6 miles long but you'll need a permit to ride which you can actually download on the stanwick lakes website. I'm not sure on what the rules are in regards to parking a horse trailer but you can always find out by phoning them. Grass Amphitheatre: -------------------------------------- If your lucky enough to visit on a day of a play or production, often in the holiday periods there will be performances going on. You can also rent this space if you want to put your own performances on if you are involved in a theatre company. Eating: ----------------------------------- Throughout the park there are benches and picnic tables to sit at to enjoy your homemade lunches. There is also lots of grassed areas to sit at if you prefer to throw a blanket down and relax while the kids play football. If you prefer to buy food onsite, there is Café solar to dine at. The sell hot and cold food and best of all it's shaded inside so if your visiting on a very warm summer day, it might be nice to step into the shade and order a nice cold drink or hot cup of tea. BBQ area: ------------------------------- If you prefer to have something a bit more filling for lunch, there is a grass and picnic area in the park for you to BBQ. You can bring your own meat and buns and a disposable BBQ and sit in the sun with a burger. Saves paying the prices around the park. There are supermarkets and other small shops around the area if you are bringing your own things to cook. Just don't forget to pack it all in a cool bag as if its warm, you'll be cooking it in the boot of the car. Dog walking: ---------------------------- A great place to take your dogs on a hot day for a paddle but do not let them swim in the lakes alone. You must keep them on their leads at all times as there will be other dogs and children around. Fun for all: ------------------------ You don't need to have children to visit Stanwick Lakes. There is so much to do there for all types of people you'll never be bored. If your a couple who like to walk or one who loves natures there is always something to do. For the boys there is lakes for fishing if you have permits and it's in the quieter areas of the park too. There is also cycling, walking or even just taking a blanket down to do some sun bathing. With all that open space and reflection from the lakes, you'll have the perfect place to catch a tan. Photography: ------------------------------------- The views and nature are so beautiful at Stanwick Lakes, for those budding photographers, you might want to go down to experience it. The best time to capture photos is when the sun is setting and the water on the lakes shimmers a beautiful orange. Toilets: ---------------------------- There are toilets situated at the visitor centre and behind the kiosk. There is also baby changing facilities and disabled toilets. Make sure to take some baby wipes for messy hands too. The activities which you'll need to pay for: ================================== There are a few activities which involve a payment cost. If you're there for the day, it's definitely worth thinking about. Boat Hire: -------------------- Close by to Stanwick Lakes is a camp called the Fronteir Centre where children go in term times or summer to stay. They have come together and now offer their boats for people to hire. -£5 for a solo Kayak. -£7 for a two person Kayak. -£10 for a 4 person Kanoe. Bike Hire: ---------------------- As i said before, there are bikes avaliable to hire to ride the cycle trails around Stanwick lakes. These have been provided by a cycle shop in Rushden, Northamptonshire. Café solar: -------------------------- As well as grabbing lunch or just a snack in the Cafés dining area, there is also an indoor play facility for children whilst the parents are having something to eat. The hideaway indoor play centre can also be hired out for birthday parties. There is also an upper desk which is great for looking out at the view. There is also some historical facts for you to look at. There is a Kiosk outside which sells cold drinks and snacks and also an icecream van which is onsite during the holiday periods. Gift Shop: -------------------------- There is a gift shop at inside the visitor centre to buy a small sovenier of your trip. They also sell local honey which is made onsite and also around the local area. Conclusion: ========================= Stanwick Lakes is a place where the best things are free. It's not often you find a place which can give you a days worth of entertainment for just the price of parking. If you are going as a family, it is the perfect place for relaxing as well as excercising. If like me, you want to do things with your children which aren't going to cost the earth, then a place like this is great. There might be similar places to this in your area if it's too far to travel from your area. If you want to visit here there is places around with hotel facilities to stop overnight. There are so many things you can do here, and if you have your own bikes and Kanoes they are welcome at the park. The majority of the trails are suitable for wheelchairs and buggies to no need to worry about getting your children or persons with disabilities. You can book schools to go there or big groups of people. There are a few rules you need to abide by when visiting the park: Keep dogs on leads Clean up after your dog BBQs are not permitted, except in the outdoor theatre Do not feed the birds Do not light fires Do not swim in the lakes or river Overnight camping is not permitted. Opening times ============================= March to October 7am til 9pm November to February 7am til 5pm. To contact the park to find out any information you require they have a website: www.stanwicklakes.org.uk or email info@rftrust.org.uk Thanks for reading my review! Helen190390

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