After many walks around the block with Georgia, I began to get a bit bored of pavements and the monotonous repetitiveness of houses with the humdrum of passing traffic. So, we decided to venture out to Stanwick Lakes for a bit of fresh air and some quality family time.
For me, Stanwick Lakes is the perfect destination as a parent with a pushchair looking for a lovely walk in Northamptonshire without the risk of getting my wheels stuck in the mud or from wobbling Georgia around so much from uneven tracks that she vomits.
A prerequisite for any walk nowadays is the quality of the paths. I’ve never been more aware of the quality (or lack of) of a path as I am when I’m pushing a pushchair. That’s how I know that the roads near where I live are AWFUL, so I’m always on the lookout for great paths for walks.
The paths around Stanwick are flat with soft gravel throughout (although not so soft when a bit gets in your shoe), giving a nice amount of grip for our pushchair without making it a bumpy journey. There’s also no sign of mud throughout, so no risk of getting mud-caked wheels in any weather.
There also aren’t any steep hills to contend with, making it an effortless stroll for me which would otherwise rain on my parade.
The only negative I can see about the paths is that there is the occasional spot that’s littered with goose poo – which I suppose will happen when you have a gaggle of wild geese nearby. Although as I’m not a fan of birds, let alone ones that can chase/hiss at me, I can gladly say to any other people who are on the verge of ornithophobia that I’ve not seen this gaggle in force, but their presence is seen from the volume of goosey poop near their stomping grounds. It’s easy enough to avoid most of it though!!
We love going on the Adventure walk, which is a circular path with a few activities along the way… usually meant for younger people which are usually jam packed – but this week they were surprisingly empty! So my husband couldn’t help himself this week, albeit with a bit of goading from me! How often do adults get free reign on play equipment? I felt it was our duty to take advantage of this situation and test them out.
What I haven’t noticed before is that there are carved figures on top of the tire swings, including a fish and an owl. A nice touch that’s probably lost on it’s regular users. As well as having some fun on the swings, we also had a go on the other activities. We usually pass the wobbly bridge and log roller and chuckle away at the young children that fall off thinking that it’s easy. Having it all to ourselves, I can categorically say that it’s not easy as an adult – don’t try it to show up your kids, it will just end in disaster and they will laugh at you. We now know this lesson and won’t be applying for Ninja Warrior anytime soon.
Picture perfect walk
As well as having adventure activities along the way, it’s also a charming walk with swans swimming gallantly in the many lakes, surrounded by picturesque fields of sunshine yellow.
We also sometimes see cute canal boats pootling past near the zipwire!
So as well as having activities for the kiddies, there’s also a bit of eye candy for the Nannas and nature lovers.
Baby friendly too
On top of it being a great walk, there’s also baby changing facilities in the visitor centre and a lovely cafe which has stunning views over the lake which are great additions when we need a pitstop.
It’s also not too expensive as a day out from £2.50 to £5.50 depending on time of year and length of stay, but we have a membership card which means that we can go as many times as we want for £35 a year. This was the best option for us as means that I don’t feel like I’ve wasted money if we only go for a quick half hour on some days – this is really important for when things start to kick off and you need to make a quick getaway!
My top tip for visiting Stanwick Lakes is to check their Facebook page before you set off as on busy days – such as bank holidays – the carpark gets full and they have to close but they do add notifications on Facebook to warn visitors.