This park was recommended to me by my boss and a friend so I was really looking forward to going. Depending on the weather you can easily make it into a full family day out, and a FREE one at that! We visited on what was promised to be the hottest day in the history of the world ever (still waiting for the final result on that one!) Anyway, it’s been really hot today so I planned to get there as early as possible to avoid the crowds and the worst of the heat.
Parking was really easy – there’s not a huge amount of spaces but there are a couple of car parks and parking was very reasonable; up to an hour 80p, 1-3 hours £2, 3+ hours £3. There was also some very shaded parking spaces which we managed to bag – very handy in this heat.
The splash park review
This FREE splash park itself is actually quite small but it is totally enclosed. I liked that there are some seats and a reasonable amount of space around the edges of the splash park that stay dry(ish) but are still within the gated area. Handy for smaller ones. There aren’t huge amounts of water features but there were enough; various water jets from the floor, a bucket that fills up and then dumps cold water on the kids’ heads – much to their delight and a leaf that creates a gentle spray. Something I really liked is that there’s a water run area (I have no idea what you’d call it). This has a big pump at one end and the water runs down through little channels that you can then divert, make pools out of or make water wheels move. Smallest child was fascinated by it.
Something else I quite liked was that not all of the jets are on all of the time. This meant the kids had to either keep running around to the jets that were currently working or they had to wait (full of anticipation apparently) until it came back on. The kids really loved this combo and it added to the fun. I don’t believe there are any changing rooms (please correct me if I’m wrong) but there is a little kiosk nearby for food. It’s also worth noting that every hour the water shuts off for about 15 minutes so the system can reset, it’s all part of keeping it working, but it also explains why the photo below doesn’t have any water in it!!
What else is in Cutteslowe Park?
There’s loads of things to do in Cutteslowe Park, it’s actually the largest park in Oxford. There’s a miniature railway which is open on Sundays and Bank Holidays from Easter to October. Cost £1.25 per person, under 2’s are FREE. There’s an aviary, sports pitches, lake, skate park, nature area, community woodland, sand pit and THREE parks! Plus there’s an 18 control orienteering course and geocaching. You can also play miniature golf (Monday – Sunday 10-5 £15 per family).
We only saw two of the three playgrounds as we were escaping the worst of the heat. There’s a wooden one near the splash park which has got a massive sand pit around it, there’s also a zip wire, tube slide and play fort.
There’s also another playground near the crazy golf. This seems to be older and has more equipment in it. There’s various types of swing, climbing frames and slides. There’s also a smaller climbing frame which I think is supposed to be for younger children but, if it is, then it’s really not suitable for them because it is made of scramble nets on 2 out of 3 sides. Whilst I was there one child slipped and ended up dangling upside down caught in the nets. The only bit that really seemed suitable for smallest child was the other 1/3 of this frame. Sadly that bit is enclosed so it’s really hard to make a petulant toddler who doesn’t want to go home come out! We didn’t stay in the playground for very long because it was really hot and smallest child was being a nightmare at this stage. I’d love to hear your thoughts about the playgrounds if you’ve been.
Free – there is a charge for the miniature railway
Parking / how to get there
There is on-site parking and it’s very reasonable; up to an hour 80p, 1-3 hours £2, 3+ hours £3.
Harbord Road, Oxford. The postcodes for the car parks are OX2 8NP (Northern end) and OX2 7XD (Southern end).
On-site, reasonable condition
Cafe on-site. picnics very welcome
4 / 5 – the playgrounds we went to weren’t brilliant for smallest child (not sure about the third one) but there are plenty of facilities.
Hi, I’m Vicky. My husband and I live in Aylesbury with our three children; a 10 year old son, an 8 year old son and a 3 year old daughter. I (mostly) love spending time together as a family. We visit all kinds of places and we’re quite happy to drive a fair distance for a decent day out. A few years ago I decided to set up Free Time with the Kids as a way to share our experiences of these family days out. You know, the essential information you need to know before your visit that can be surprisingly hard to find out. Where do I park? How much will it cost me to get in? Are there any discounts available? Are there loos? Can I take a picnic or get food? My aim is to be your go-to guide for all your free and cheap family days out across Bucks, Beds, Oxon, Herts & slightly beyond. I really hope you find the reviews helpful. If there’s anywhere that you’d recommend please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via Facebook