Family days out: Barnwell Country Park

Close to the historic town of Oundle sits Barnwell Country Park.

With oodles of grassy areas, plenty of wildlife and a play area, it’s the perfect destination for family fun

Barnwell Country Park

Barnwell Country Park

With a picnic and buckets and spades packed, my three children and I headed to Barnwell Country Park on a lovely sunny day.

The children have been here before with their grandparents but this is the first time I have been.

My eldest two are really excited during the journey and tell me of all the things to expect when we get there.

It takes less than half an hour for us to reach the park and after getting our parking ticket (a very reasonable £2.60 for the day) the kids lead the way to the play area.

The play area itself is surrounded by fencing which has access gates dotted around the perimeter – so I immediately feel assured the children can play safely here without me worrying they’ll wander too far.

There aren’t many picnic tables so I grab one at the far end of the play area so we can sit here later and have our picnic.

My youngest, Ruby, is keen to try the little climbing frame with slide while my other two run towards the large wooden climbing frame with its ropes and netting.

There’s plenty to keep children entertained here – even the younger ones.

And don’t forget to bring buckets and spades for the sandpit, which is partially covered to help protect them from the sunshine (if it comes out to play when you visit!).

Hidden from view, but well remembered by my eldest, is the zip-wire.

Kai and Ella loved whizzing through the air on it and it soon proved popular with others too as was evident by the ever-growing queue!

After much playing it was time for our picnic, so we headed to our table.

The tables and benches are really sturdy but the benches are quite high, so you might have to keep an extra eye on any smaller children sitting on them (as I had to with Ruby whose legs dangled very high off the ground).

With lunch finished the kids ran off and played some more before we went for a stroll, stopping by the Kingfisher Hide on the way.

Here you can look through the special viewing hatches and watch the wildlife in action. The kids loved it!

At the park there is also a visitor centre and a wildlife corner where, here, you can find out how to help the wildlife in your garden.

Alas it was time to go – but my children had so much fun here that they didn’t want to leave!


It’s just £2.60 to park here all day.

When buying your ticket you’ll need to enter the last three digits of your car registration.

How to get there

You’ll find the park just off the A605 Oundle bypass.

Just look out for the brown and white signs.

Using sat nav to get you there? Then use the postcode PE8 5PB.

Wildlife Wednesdays

Every Wednesday during the summer holidays there are half-hourly ranger-led pond-dipping sessions.

The sessions run from 11am to 1pm and cost £2 per child.

Tickets can be bought from the park ranger on site.

For more information call 01832 273435.