As a mum of two, I love hearing about new parks and playgrounds that I can visit with the kids without having to break the bank. So when someone told me about Walton Hall Gardens, it sounded too good to be true. You can imagine my surprise when it beat all of my expectations.
Located in Warrington and roughly around 35 minutes from Manchester's City Centre is Walton Hall, a popular wedding venue surrounded by beautiful leafy gardens and an absolute hub of family activities.
Lets Play Kids can let loose on the large, fully gated playground which since its 2016 transformation, brilliantly caters for all ages. For the little legs of the family there's a nursery rhyme themed climbing frame with miniature slides, baby friendly roundabout, swings, brightly coloured playhouse and cute insect bouncers, whilst older children can enjoy a huge range of equipment including a jungle themed play frame, wavy tunnel slide, zip line, state of the art bouncing roundabout plus loads more.
Walton Hall Garden's all ages playground
Animal Magic As well as the awesome playground, Walton Hall also boasts its very own zoo which is home to an array of animals including alpacas, red squirrels, ferrets, pigs, goats, various birdlife, donkeys and a large group of peacocks who like to roam freely around the grounds.
Take a wander around Walton's very own Children's Zoo
Choo Choo Another reason why we were eager to visit this hidden gem and one which we knew would massively appeal to our 18-month-old, was to take a ride on Thomas the Tank Engine.
Take a ride on Thomas
For just £1.50 per person, families can hop aboard Walton's very own miniature Thomas train and take a journey around the park and gardens. Definitely worth a go if you're planning to visit!
What Else? As if that wasn't enough, Walton Hall is also home to a small adventure golf course, pitch and putt, cycle museum and the Heritage Cafe where you can indulge in a range of hot and cold drinks, homemade sandwiches, cakes, and snacks.
Enjoy beautiful scenery and some fun log climbing on the Nature Trail
There are plenty of large grassy areas if you plan to pack a picnic or a football, and a brilliant nature trail that families can follow.
Picnic benches and seating is located in both the playground area and outside the cafe, and there are plenty of onsite toilet facilities including disabled toilets and a private baby change.
Cost Entry to the park, playground, nature trail and miniature zoo are completely free,, however, there are charges involved should you wish to have a game of adventure golf or pitch and putt. Rides on Thomas the Tank Engine cost £1.50 per person.
Onsite parking will set you back £3 Monday to Friday and £4 on weekends and bank holidays.
For more information including opening hours and events, make sure to check out the Walton Hall and Gardens website and Facebook Page.