The outdoors provides a great opportunity for family activities, where you get to spend some quality time with both your loved ones and nature. It’s the perfect weekend recharge recipe that is sure to bring you joy and unforgettable memories.
Here in the UK, we are blessed with a wide variety of country parks, spanning across endless fields, small hills, and deep forests. Packed with tapestries of vivid flowers, dreamy bandstands, sultry BBQ spots, and the occasional wildlife, they offer us a heaven on Earth. We can reconnect with our families and the countryside, and with plenty of kid-friendly activities, your little ones will leave brimming with joy.
Muddy Puddles has rounded up the 10 best country parks in the UK worth visiting with children to help you choose the destination for your next family outing.
1. Stunning views at Lepe Country Park, Hampshire
Lepe Country Park, located on the Solent, is the ultimate natural playground that offers a range of exciting activities for the little ones and a stunning view across the Isle of Wight. Its most attractive attribute has to be the sensory cottage garden, which is a great educational and recreation facility consisting of a bog garden, a pond, and a bug hotel.
After exploring the cottage lifestyle, why not enjoy a seashore scavenger hunt together as a family, followed by a five-mile circular walk around the coast and the countryside, and finish off with a locally sourced meal at The Lookout?
2. Water adventures at Ferry Meadows in Nene Park, Peterborough
Located less than three miles from Peterborough city centre at the heart of Nene Park, Ferry Meadows has something to offer for everyone.
Fancy a little water sport adventure? Then head towards the lakeside to enjoy family-friendly pedalos, kayaks, and paddleboards. If you want some one-to-one time with your children, you can go fishing while educating your children about aquatic creatures.
If fishing isn’t your thing, you can enjoy a lovely walk in the meadows, lakes, and woodland, and complement it with an aromatic cup of tea in one of the cafés.
3. Ancient Feels at Rufford Abbey Country Park, Nottinghamshire
What’s more engaging for children than an ancient setting where they can let their imaginations run wild while learning a thing or two about history? Rufford Abbey, located in the base of a twelfth-century Cistercian monastery, offers over 870 years of history alongside beautiful scenery and a range of fun and relaxing activities.
There is a great adventure play area, an orangery plant centre, plenty of picturesque walks, and an ice cream parlour and a pizza van where you can stop by for a little treat.
4. Spot the emperor dragonfly at South Norwood Country Park, London
Fervent birdwatchers, South Norwood Country Park is calling you! The variety of over 100 bird species makes this park perfect for enticing your children into this relaxing hobby while educating them about the vast world of birds.
This nature reserve is a true getaway paradise, located just outside of London in Croydon, and spanning across over 120 acres of meadows and swamps. The biggest attraction for your little explorers is the emperor dragonfly, one of the largest in the UK, which can be spotted during the summer at the Dragonfly Pond. Frogs, toads, and newts can also be seen by the lake.
5. Overlooking Liverpool at Tegg’s Nose Country Park, Cheshire
Tegg’s Nose, located on the western edge of the Peak District National Park near Macclesfield, is the perfect place to unwind with your family while savouring the great outdoors.
Your whole family will be left in awe once they see the mesmerising view over the Cheshire Plain. If the weather is on your side, you might even be able to see Liverpool’s cathedrals and Welsh hills. There are also plenty of activities to indulge in, including climbing, walking, and cycling.
6. Fun for everyone at Upton Country Park, Dorset
Spanning across 160 acres of parkland, shoreline, and formal estate gardens, the award-winning Upton Country Park offers the perfect mix of activities for your family getaway.
There is plenty of room for children to run free and wild while devouring the wildlife, having fun at the Spurrier’s Play Park, or simply finding a quiet spot to savour the botanical Walled Garden and beautiful flora. The botanical garden is also where the splash fountain is located and can be enjoyed in spring and summer.
7. A peaceful day at Coombe Abbey Park, Warwickshire
If you’re after a tranquil afternoon in dulcifying surroundings tucked in nature’s depths, then head towards Coombe Abbey Park. 500 acres of beautiful gardens, woodland, lakeside walks, and bird hides, as well as a gamut of fun activities, are a recipe for the perfect family day out.
Have a picnic or initiate your children into pottery. With pond dipping an attractive experience for most kids, make sure you bring your children’s wellies to keep their feet warm and dry.
8. Into the deep forest in Dinton Pastures Country Park, Berkshire
An array of exciting activities complemented by stunning scenery await your whole family at the ancient woodland Dinton Pastures Country Park
From water sports such as paddleboarding, canoeing, and kayaking, to disc golf and play parks, there is something for everyone.
9. Riverside view at Denham Country Park, Buckinghamshire
The most prominent feature of this ravishing park is the beautiful water scenery of the Colne and Misbourne rivers and the Grand Union Canal.
Fancy a family walk in the countryside? Then head towards the picturesque Denham village and explore the wider Colne Valley. And if you are feeling adventurous, go to the playground or hop on a paddleboard.
10. A long walk around Pugneys Country Park
At Pugneys Country Park, you can have a dreamy family day out. You can enjoy the views across the 100-acre central lake and leafy woodland while taking a walk or cycling on one of the many trails.
You can watch the wildlife, have fun at the pirate adventure playground, or hop on the Pugneys Light Railway (available on selected weekends) that runs in a 750-yard balloon loop from Pugneys Lakeside to the nature reserve at Pugneys Central.