Family days out: Corby Boating Lake

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Take a look outside for inspiration for family fun and you might be surprised at what you find

The weather has been pretty awful recently, with cold winds, rain and snow mixed with periods of sunshine.

With this in mind I didn’t want to go too far to go exploring.

Being able to retreat to the warmth and comfort of your home when it gets too cold is always a good plan!

Taking a look at local places to go where I could put my plans for a quick retreat into action if needed, a trip to Corby Boating Lake sprung to mind.

It’s close to where I live, doesn’t cost anything to visit and has plenty to entertain my 18-month-old.

Despite experiencing below zero temperatures of late, it was a surprisingly sunny and warm day when we visited Corby Boating Lake.

Before we left home, I made sure I brought some bread which I was going to throw away, so we could feed the ducks. Definitely an essential ‘must-do’.

After the short car journey, we arrived at our destination, wrapped up nice and warm with bread in hand.

As soon as we parked up and got out of the car, we were greeted by dozens of ducks and geese – I’m sure they could smell the bread we were carrying!

Ruby was very intrigued by all the attention and loved watching me throw pieces of bread to the eager crowd, with a few of them even challenging each other over who was going to get the most bread!

It wasn’t long before the bread was devoured so we headed off for a leisurely walk around the boating lake itself.

Corby Boating Lake was constructed during the early 1970s and boasts a wide range of geese, ducks, water fowl and swans.

There is also said to be plenty of visits to the lake by herons, gulls and kingfishers. A perfect setting for anyone who likes wildlife.

We walked round the lake in an anti-clockwise direction and about half way round came to the children’s play area.

It has two large climbing frames for older children, while there is a little slide and climbing frame for the younger ones.

It was still a little wet from the early morning frost, so we didn’t spend too much time here.

Just slightly further on from the children’s play area is The Lakeside Café, open from 8.30am to 4pm daily, which sells hot and cold food, drinks, breakfasts, ice-cream and snacks.

At the moment there is some re-wiring of the café taking place so they have a trailer on site taking orders and serving food.

However, they expect to be back to normal over the next few days.

If you’d prefer to bring your own picnic, there are plenty of grassy areas for you to do this. A must for when the warmer weather heads our way.

There are also plenty of benches sited around the lake, so you can rest your feet at any time and admire the views, which on today’s sunny day are pretty glorious.

For lovers of fishing, this is available here too and there were plenty of people out in force during our visit.

Fees and charges apply to fish here and you’ll need a current EA license.

How to get there

Corby Boating Lake is in Cottingham Road, Corby. You can call them on 01536 203700.

Fishing fees & charges

Corby borough residents: Adult – £4.60; 12 to 16s/senior citizen & unemployed – £2.50

Non-resident: Adult – £8.50; 12 to 16s/senior citizen & unemployed – £4.50

All under 12s free (although they must be accompanied by an adult at all times).

For more information on fishing guidelines for Corby Boating Lake, visit www.corby.gov.uk/site-page/corby-boating-lake.

Add shopping to the mix too!

Once you’ve had lots of fun feeding the ducks, fishing or just enjoying the vast amount of open space, there’s easy access to the town centre shopping too!

Just follow the path from the café, through the wooded area, and you’ll come out next to the East Midlands International Swimming Pool and near the Corby Cube.