Family Days Out: East Carlton Country Park

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East Carlton Country Park is a place to experience fun, nature and heritage.

Linda McKeown paid a visit to see just what was on offer.

The park is a short ten-minute journey from home and when I arrived with my one-year old daughter, Ruby, the weather was being kind – the sun was shining (although it was still a little chilly).

We came here prepared with buckets and spades as the large play area here has plenty of sand for children to play in.

As it was nice and bright, we headed straight to the sand.

Ruby loved digging and shovelling bits of sand and was quite content doing this for about half an hour before she was attracted to the swings!

So off we strolled to the swings and while pushing Ruby on it, I admired the views which, I have to say, are just stunning.

It was a clear day so I could see miles of countryside.

According to Corby Council, which administers the park, East Carlton attracts more than 400,000 visitors each year. And it’s easy to see why!

After the swings it was straight on to the other play equipment.

There are climbing frames, a see-saw, a slide, rockers and bridges to cross.

Although Ruby wasn’t old enough to navigate all this by herself, she had lots of fun climbing up the ramp and sliding down the slide into the sand.

The play area itself is pretty big and is all fenced off so it gives you peace of mind knowing the children are secure as you watch them play.

It was starting to get a little chilly so after much playing outside we headed to the café on site.

It’s open all year round and offers light meals, hot and cold drinks as well as ice-creams.

After some refreshments we then wandered into the Heritage Centre which is next to the café.

It features a display of the history of Corby along with the development of the iron and steel industry in the town.

Certainly worth a look if you’re interested in the history of Corby.

If you have time, upstairs is a number of craft workshops where you can watch craftsmen practice their skills.

And if you fancy going for a walk, there are plenty of woodland walks around the park itself.

There really is plenty to do here at East Carlton.

It’s the perfect backdrop to a great family day out.

If the weather is good, bring a picnic to enjoy on the grass – which is aplenty; or why not bring your own barbecue – there are several barbecue spots around the park.

Where to find them

East Carlton Country Park is on the edge of the Welland Valley, in between Corby and Market Harborough.

The postcode for sat nav is LE16 8YF. You can get in touch with the park by calling 01536 770977 or 771619.

Opening times

Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4.45pm; Saturday and Sunday, 10.30am to 5.45pm. Parking is free.

Special events

Children can get closer to nature with the Wildlife Trust at the park.

The East Carlton Wildlife Watch Group meets on the third Saturday of every month from 10am to 2pm (meet in the log cabin).

On Saturday, May 18, they’ll be bug hunting, and on June 15 they will be focusing on butterflies and moths.

This experience is mainly for children aged eight to 12 years although under eights must be accompanied by an adult.

Cost is a £1 donation per child.

For more information call Emma Fellows on 07970 975720 or email.