We visited Great Ampthill Park in Bedfordshire as part of a day out in Ampthill. We’d also been to Little City and Houghton House. Because we got there after lunch, and had to get back to Aylesbury for the school run, we didn’t spend as much time here as I would have liked. We will definitely be back to Great Ampthill Park soon, and I’ll update this review when I do.
We parked in the car park nearest the hub, which just so happens to be right next to the playground. The fenced off space for the playground at Great Ampthill Park is MASSIVE! Excessively so! There are lots of different play frames and bits of kit. They seem to be a bit of a hodge-podge, but do kids really care about that?? There’s one frame that reminds me a bit of the final stage of the Krypton Factor (showing my age there). It looks like both good fun and hard work for older kids. There’s toddler and normal swings, numerous permutations of slide and a big, comparatively new play frame. I was unsure if this would be suitable for Smallest Child but actually it was fine. The slide was even big enough to fit my bum on!!
Some of the kit looks like it’s been there possibly since the 80’s, but it’s all well maintained so I guess that’s the main thing. There’s plenty of seating around (including picnic tables). The council who own the park are at the very early stages of upgrading all of the play equipment. There’s going to be a zip wire, trampoline and large play frame. They also plan on including lots of natural play elements. Watch this space!
You’ll find quite a lot of rabbit poo everywhere. Might want to watch out with stumble-prone toddlers.
The rest of Ampthill Great Park
The rest of the estate is MASSIVE. It’s called great for a reason. Ampthill Great Park has got an interesting history. Henry VIII used it as a hunting ground, there used to be a castle here, and Capability Brown redesigned it in the 18th Century.
There’s loads to explore and lots of space for the kids to run around in. You can stop for picnics and there are benches dotted around if you don’t fancy sitting on the grass.
There are three trails around the park. You can either get the routes from the visitor centre or have a look at the interactive map on their website. There’s woodland areas, lots of open spaces, various ponds and a reservoir. You’ll also find free to use tennis courts, and a cricket pitch (not free to use!).
Like I said earlier, because we’d already visited two other places that day and had to get back for the school-run we didn’t get chance to explore most of Ampthill Great Park. I’ll definitely go back and have a proper look around!
Entry is free
Parking / How to get there
Parking – There are two, free on-site car parks – both off of B530 (Woburn Street). There is a small one near the playground / hub, and a larger one further out of town (which includes overflow parking).
How to get there – Woburn Street, Ampthill, Bedfordshire, MK45 2HX. The car parks aren’t necessarily that well sign posted from the street! There is also on-street parking on the road.
There are toilets and baby change facilities in the hub.
Food is available from the hub. Lots of places to have a picnic.
Our Ampthill Great Park Review
Ampthill Great Park is a lovely space for everyone to enjoy and I’m looking forward to going back and adding to the review. The fact they’re upgrading the playground is good news, but it certainly isn’t bad at the moment. I really like that there’s such a large park for everyone to enjoy in such a central location.
I’m Vicky and I am a mum of three living in Aylesbury. I set up Free Time with the Kids to review free and cheap family days out in Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire, mainly because I kept forgetting all the fabulous places that were recommended to me!! I love getting out and about with the kids (and hubby of course) and we have adventures all over the place. My reviews tell you all the things you need to know about the family days out and activites we’ve done such as how much it costs, if there’s parking, toilets and if there’s a cafe or if picnics are allowed. 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