Life Ninja
7 min readJul 6, 2021

10 Great walks for families this summer holiday

  1. Preston Park

Preston Park, located in Eaglescliffe is a very popular park for families as it offers a vast playground with activities for all ages, beautiful riverside walks and even an ice cream shop!

Preston Park has many other features to its vast lands; it has a skate park, a museum, a miniature golf course and much more. As you can see by the map Preston Park has so much to offer for all families.

Facilities: Cafe, toilets, free car park, mini golf, miniature railway ride, children’s playground, picnic area, Butterfly World, The Museum and an animal enclosure.

Open 10am — 4pm everyday.

2. Albert Park

Located in Middlesbrough, Albert park is another brilliant example of an all round family experience. With a plethora of activities for everyone to get involved with. Albert Park is a public park which has recently undergone a programme of restoration. Features include a boating lake, bowling green and bandstand. Albert Park is also home to the Dorman Museum which often has very special exhibitions from around the world. Due to Covid booking is mandatory and can be found here.

Facilities: Toilets, cafe (Needs to be booked), free parking, gift shop, play area, museum, boating lake and sport facilities.

3. Stewart Park

Another park located in Middlesbrough, more aimed towards walking and nature loving families with its vast open spaces and many different walking routes. Stewart Park is home to one of Askham Byran’s college campuses, covers approximately 120 acres and consists of both mature woodland and arboretum. The park has an indoor cafe, a splendid playground and multiple animal enclosures. Stewart Park also has two sets of lakes to provide a habitat for our water fowl, a pets corner with many types of domesticated animals, fallow deer, llamas and goats and the park also features a children’s play area, trim trail and outdoor table tennis and much more. The park also houses the Captain Cook Museum. The site of the cottage where Captain James Cook was born is in Stewart Park, although all traces of the building have now disappeared. It is marked by a granite vase which is close to the centre of the museum.

Facilitates: Toilets, cafe, gift shop, play area, lakes, trim trail, table tennis area, museum, free parking, animal enclosures.

4. Ropner Park

The splendid pavilion houses a café and toilets. The café is run by the Friends of Ropner Park, who also organise a programme of concerts on the bandstand and run other events in the park. With a fabulous play area, tennis courts, bowls club and large grassed areas for games and picnics, there is something for everyone.

Facilities: toilets, cafe, free parking, play area, tennis courts, bandstand, and a lake.

5. Wynyard Woodland Park

Located near the village of Thorpe Thewles, the former railway line now offers an excellent route for walking and cycling, with linking footpaths enabling visitors to wider parks including Thorpe Wood Local Nature Reserve, Tilery and Brierley Woods and the splendid Pickard Meadows. The old station has now been transformed into an amazing cafe which is great for refreshments and ice creams. The park also has a recently refurbished play area, stretching through three different areas all made for different ages.

Facilities: toilets, cafe, play area, free parking, planetarium and observatory and vast walkways.

6. RSPB Saltholme Wildlife Reserve

If you’re new to birdwatching or love nature, Saltholme is the perfect place to start. This family-friendly, adventure-filled grasslands have a helpful visitor’s centre, hides and screens which let you get up close to multiple species of birds, plus a family discovery zone, cafe, play area and accessible trails. The visitors centre is home to a cafe, gift shop and arts and crafts area. There is something for everyone to do at Saltholme, from enjoying the peaceful walks to the bird watching areas, climbing about on the massive play area or having some refreshments in the cafe. There is an small entrance fee for those who aren’t members of the RSPB

Facilities: Toilets, cafe, gift shop, free parking, arts and crafts area, play area, bird watching hides and flower gardens.

7. Hardwick Park

With free admission (other than car parking charges), you can stroll through the historic parkland admiring the natural beauty of the lake, woodland and wildlife. And no visit is complete without calling into the visitor centre to learn about the history and restoration of the park, taking a look in the gift shop and the Tower Cafe. With a small play area and vast nature walks, Hardwick park is aimed more towards the adventurous walkers. Facilities: toilets, cafe, gift shop, adventure trails (Seasonal), play area, visitors centre and many lakes/ponds.

8. High Force Waterfall

High Force is an incredible sight to behold at any time of year, the beautiful walks up to the fall are spectacular. This beautiful landscape has been shaped by millions of years of Earth processes and thousands of years of people living and working here. Upper Teesdale is home to some of the UK’s rarest plants and most iconic birds. You’ll discover rocks from dramatic origins, the ice age, ancient settlements and vast wildlife. The convenient kiosk not only sells admission tickets for High Force waterfall but also a delicious range of ice creams, snacks and drinks to take away. The Waterfall kiosk is open seasonally and has a fantastic range of delicious ice creams from local creamery Brymor. And if you’re looking for something a little more, a pub lunch awaits you at the High Force Hotel. High Force can be extremely dangerous and unforgiving by nature; you must respect its tremendous power. Children and pets should be kept under close supervision at all times, especially at the water’s edge. Please find more information here.

Facilities: toilets, kiosk/pub, free parking, peaceful walks, beautiful surrounding village and a range of activities around the area.

9. Brimham Rocks

The natural spectacle of Brimham Rocks, with its giant rock formations, was created by an immense river 100 million years before the first dinosaurs walked the earth, and a visit to this amazing landscape is truly a journey into pre-history. Some rock features can be seen after a ten minute walk, while to see all it can take around four hours. Making it an amazing family day out, with a main communal picnic area with a kiosk selling refreshments and also a gift shop with an indoor cafe.

Facilities: toilets, kiosk/cafe, gift shop, beautiful views and long walks.

10. Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Gardens

When John Aislabie inherited Studley Royal, he set about creating an water garden of ponds and statues, incorporating the romantic ruins into his design. Lawns stretch down to the riverside, a perfect spot for a picnic. Riverside paths lead to the deer park, home to Red, Fallow and Sika deer and ancient trees. There is also a play area, a visitors centre which houses a cafe and a gift shop.

Facilities: toilets, cafe, gift shop, deer park, picnic area, water gardens, play area and a visitors centre.

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