Guest Post: Park Life

Wednesday 9th November 2016


Today’s Guest Post is by Cat from

The North East is home to a great selection of parks which are perfect for toddlers. Since the birth of the little man I’ve pretty much worked my way round most of them. Here are some of my favourites : –

Saltwell Park

Missuswolf Saltwell Statue

With plenty of free parking around the perimeter of the park and a large free car park Saltwell Park is perfect for a free day out with the whole family. It’s my go to place for a short notice day out and always seems to be a hit with my toddler.

The park, set in the heart of Gateshead has picturesque grounds and is filled with lots of things to do.  There’s a small animal corner, two large well kept children’s play areas, a large lake that you can take boat trips on in the warmer months and a little train that drives round the park for just £1.50.

There’s plenty of space to walk with good ramps and flat paths for wheelchair and pushchair access. It’s a haven for wildlife and I’ve managed to capture some great photographs of both animals and flowers and it’s a great scenic backdrop for any photoshoots for little people.

There are facilities within the park, with toilets located in both Saltwell Towers and a block near the play parks. Saltwell Towers also has a reasonably priced cafe but you can also eat at one of the picnic benches outdoors or plonk a rug down on one of the large grassed areas.

If you haven’t visited Saltwell Park before I’d urge you to give it a go. It’s a beautiful space which is well worth a visit.

Barnes Park

Missuswolf picture of Barnes Park sculpture

Barnes Park is a recent rediscovery for me. I used to visit as a child but it became quite run down with very little to do, but in recent years it’s had a complete overhaul. It’s located just outside the centre of Sunderland and has free parking, though the car park is pretty small so parking isn’t always guaranteed, especially on sunny days.

Missuswolf Barnes Park

There are lots of walks which meander through the overhanging tree’s and along the lake edge, it’s a very pretty place to spend time when the weathers nice.

There are two modern play areas, one for little ones and one with climbing equipment and a huge slide for the older ones. There’s a beautiful sensory garden which is great for photographs, well used bowling greens and tennis courts and a small café with outside seating.

There are toilets are changing facilities right next to the children’s play are that are free to use, modern and clean. They even have adult changing facilities with a hoist which I think is a fantastic addition.

Herrington Country Park

Missuswolf Herrington Park picture

Herrington Park is a vast space in Penshaw, built on top of an old colliery site.  It’s overlooked by Penshaw Monument which at 70 foot high stands high on a hill and dominates the local landscape.

The park has plenty of open space for kicking a ball around or learning to ride a bike and with a large lake there’s plenty of opportunity to feed the ducks or watch the model boats being sailed.  There sculptures dotted round the park and lots of wildlife to see and a good sized BMX park for the more adventurous among us.

Penshaw nurseries and tearoom is located on the other side of the main road to Herrington Country Park and is worth a visit – their scones are delicious!

Do you have a favourite park?

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