5 best children’s parks in South Devon
With children under 10 sometimes I find that all they want to do is visit a play park. Here’s my list of the best play parks in South Devon.
Decoy Park in Newton Abbot is always lovely. It’s got a great walk around a lake with ducks and swans for feeding, lovely little streams for paddling and various pieces of fitness equipment in the woods. It’s also got a Ranger’s Hut with helpful staff and lots of wide open space for playing. In the Summer months the big draw is the water park. Next to an excellent play park, with distinct areas for toddlers, little ones and teenagers, is a terrific water play area. My children love the water area but they also love the woods and the streams. There are a few fallen trees in the woods which my children love to scoot up and play on.
The Geopark in Paignton is a really successful attempt to try something different with play parks. It tells the story of the area’s geological past via the unusual medium of play equipment. Most children will remain oblivious to the fact that the climbing frame they are on echoes the collision of continents during the Carboniferous period, or that the toddler zone represents the Devonian period, but these elements add an unusual charm. The park has well designed rides for all ages, my children love the climbing net, the zip wire, the six-way swing and the excellent sand and water area. There a nice cafe and plenty of seating, and to top it all it’s right next to the beach. Who knows, they may learn something too.
Just to the north of the main shopping areas of Plymouth is Central Park. The seven continents adventure play area is another bold attempt to do something new with play parks and allows the possibility of learning adventures on the way. My children have a passion for geography so this park has added interest for them. Children up to six are encouraged to play in Antarctica, Africa and Europe. The Europe zone incorporates local features such as the famous Smeaton’s Tower on Plymouth Hoe, and there is a sea battle being waged against the Armada. Older children are encouraged to play in the Americas, Asia and Australia. Highlights here include a dino swing and a large climbing net. There is also a wheelchair roundabout.
Haldon Forest Park
Haldon Forest is much more than a play park but it does include play areas for both small and larger children. Smaller children can play in a little sand play area near to the cafe when they are tired out from walking or cycling along the many forest trails. Older children can climb on various fallen trees or there is a Go Ape adventure course for the very adventurous. For a much cheaper activity there is a permanent treasure trail called Stumped which can be purchased at the Ranger’s Office for £2.
The Den in Teignmouth has a well established reputation as a great play park. People travel for long distances for this classic play area. It has excellent facilities for all ages and a water play area open from May to September (so no frozen toes).