We’ve been meaning to get over to Dinton Pastures and explore their new park for a while now, but every time we tried the heavens opened. Finally on Monday, the forecast was dry and with much eagerness we headed over.
The array of play equipment spotted from the entrance to the park sent my eldest in to a giddy spin of excitement. The design is truly fantastic and blends beautifully with the nearby lakes. No garish plastic or ugly frames but instead nature inspired designs that encourage the kids to explore and play with their surroundings.
Slides are set in to the large grassy mounds, with kids clambering up the hills and wooden side tracks. There is a smaller one by the entrance and then a much bigger one in the centre of the park. The larger slide set in ‘the mountain’ as my son called it, was absolutely fantastic. There were no steps but instead large rocks, tree trunks or wooden tracks and ropes to climb, so instead of bored children choosing to climb up the slide itself like so often found in classic play parks, the children were instead testing their skills as they worked their way up to the slide.
The climbing frames really were spectacular. A few too big for my eldest to climb but fantastic as it shows how the park caters to all ages. One involved entwined giant logs with a climbing net inside and another featured carved trees with climbing rock steps ingrained. My sons favourite was one with two huge tunnels and ‘buckets’ as he called it.
Alongside the frames, there were masses of swings, sandpits with buckets, an earth set trampoline, tunnels, wooden tee pees, aerial swings, and a roundabout.
A sweet and small touch was that dotted about the park were wooden poles with inbuilt magnifying glasses. An amazing encouragement for children to investigate the wildlife and nature around them. Other incredible design touches included a nest of wooden eggs and a huge chair for children (and ahem.. adults) to climb upon.
Plenty of wooden round picnic tables with tree stump chairs are within the park, making it a perfect picnic destination. Although my only tiny niggle was that they are quite huge and no good for smaller children to sit at, as being too low and far from the table. However it really is a tiny niggle as there was plenty of benches and picnic space for us to easily pitch up at.
There is no entrance fee to the park, simply a £2 pay and display car park charge for 4 hours (£1.50 for under 1 hour) which I think is fantastic value when you put in comparison to other similar play areas within the local area. The on site cafe however, whilst lovely was a touch expensive, so we plan on bringing picnics in future with maybe an ice cream as a treat!
All in all, the park was nothing shy of wonderful. Even the baby who spent much of the time in the sling and crawling amongst the grass had a great afternoon, taking it all in. We ended up spending a blissful 4 hours at the park and by the time we found our way back to the car, I had a deliriously happy exhausted toddler and a snoozing baby on my hands. The perfect result!
Please note, all views are that of my own and are in no way influenced or prompted. All photos are not for copy or use elsewhere.