Newest Review: ... more commercial with pay play areas and an onsite shop and activity weekends but still somewhere for the kids imaginations to run wild. I... more
A new meaning to a cheap day out!
Irchester Country Park
Member Name: thedevilinme
Irchester Country Park
Disadvantages: Not muchbthere
As I said before Irchester and Emberton Country Parks were the two default local days out when we were kids, not too far from our hometown of Northampton and so many a long summers Sunday afternoon spent there, whether we liked it or not. It's just something we did and never thought twice about. Where as Emberton is a park your car up by the water affair with plenty of space for ball games ad picnics, Irchester Country Park is a more physical affair with lots of walks and adventure playgrounds to wear the kids out as mum lets them off the leash with a picnic to enjoy as reward.
As with Emberton it's a park created around some old mineral works although here the extraction of iron ore not gravel, less about lakes and open space and more about big holes in the ground and forests to be explored. In recent years the park has become more commercial with pay play areas and an onsite shop and activity weekends but still somewhere for the kids imaginations to run wild.
It's situated near the grotty market town of Wellingborough and with no charge on the gate a great place for parents to take their kids for a weekend day out to wear them out for an early night but not spend too much. If long walks in the reasonably sized wooded areas are not for you and your kids (circular, waymarked and hard-surfaced) then there's an educational working steam train museum on site with a 200 yard track to watch the old trains go up and down. There is also the 'Spirits of Wood' chainsaw artist work based in the park and a new play area with rope bridges and all manner of climbing frames for the kids to try out instead. Sadly you have to pay a tenner for the pleasure and so mostly yummy mummies hiding in the compound to escape the rough boys tearing around the park on their BMX bikes and stolen cars. Well how else did you think those rusting old cars get to the bottom of quarries?
The quarries are good fun for the kids to explore although not the safest places as loose rocks are everywhere. There are plenty of deep wooded areas to walk around and secret little water pools deep inside of them if you are more inquisitive with your walks. The tracks are marked out with those familiar acorns and pleasant strolls and not too long. As I say it's less about water here and more about physical activities for the kids and with a big grassy play area for picnics and a game of French cricket you can split the day up into what you want to do although if you go there regular its not really an all day place.
The walks are fun and plenty of pinecones to kick around the haunted woods. When the winds blow and the trees sway here it is spooky. The play and picnic areas where the car park is can get busy so best to do the trails and enjoy the woods and quarries instead and the picnic area also popular. There is a local shop there for tea and snacks although no camping sites as such, the park just too small to be that type of venue. The train museum is great for kids for the basic stuff with plenty of hissing and whistling steam engines to explore the mechanisms of with a guided tour. They run educational trips and days out for local schools too.
Parking - £2.50 (pay and display)
Upper car park open all day, every day
Lower car park open 9:00am to 5:00pm daily (except Christmas Day)
Annual car parking permits available
Blue badge holder parking available near to accessible toilets (pay and display charge applies)
Open every day except Christmas Day
Open 9:00am to 5:00pm daily (except Christmas Day)
Summary: Save money day out