When I recently did a review of Towersey playground in Oxfordshire a few of you got in touch saying I should check out the playground at Tetsworth as well. We went along to have a look and it’s great!! Also known as the Patch, the playground at Tetsworth is on the village green so there’s also a cricket pitch, football pitch, basketball hoop, skate park and forest school. I’m assuming anyone can have a kick around if there’s no match going on. I’m not sure if you’re allowed to use the cricket pitch. If you’re feeling a bit thirsty or peckish there’s also a pub and village shop across the road!
If you’re approaching the playground at Tetsworth from the A40 side you’d be forgiven for thinking the only access is the stile over the fence. Not exactly pushchair friendly. Thankfully a small child came into the playground through the gate whilst we were there. It’s at the back near the skate park. Until that kid walked through it, I genuinely hadn’t realised there was a gate there!!
The Patch playground at Tetsworth
The playground at Tetsworth is relatively new, and is good for a range of ages from confident walkers right up to early teens. The first thing you notice when parking is the massive play-frame. It’s very much an aerial play-frame rather than a two-tier one. This is predominantly for older kids. The boys (8 & 10) absolutely loved this frame, but Smallest Child (3) was also able to give it a really good go. There are a couple of areas that were physically beyond her abilities though.
The frame is made up of several platforms with various bridges between them. One of these is just a ramp (no problem) and one is a scramble net (no-go at that height). A couple are suspended boards, but they don’t really move that much and are close together so also no problem. One of them is a balance beam with two guide ropes at the sides. The balance beam itself is quite thick (good) but the ropes are really far apart, waaaaay beyond her arm’s width (bad). The platforms and bridges are about 7/8 feet up in the air so if you get it wrong, it’s a long way to fall. Thankfully Smallest Child is really good at judging her limits. She took one look at this and deciding she as having none of it! The final bridge is this one.
There’s a metal bar, rope, rope, metal bar, rope, rope, metal bar combo to get across, again with really wide side ropes. Even though he physically managed it, Biggest Child was not a fan of this bridge. Middle Child just ran along the bit of wood holding it all up, a bit like a monkey tbh, so he didn’t care at all!! Thankfully there is a safe route for younger children from the climbing net in one corner to the spiral slide in the other so she was a very happy little girl.
There are various ways onto the platforms, there’s a couple of climbing walls, a rope net and some ladders. There are two slides to get down. One is a very generously sized spiral slide. The other is a straight slide which finishes surprisingly high off the ground and creates an incredible amount of static as they go down it. It’s a nice fast slide so, because of the drop at the end, I waited at the bottom to catch Smallest Child and promptly got a huge electric shock. Every. Single. Time!!
The toddler play-frame
If your child doesn’t have a head for heights, or you don’t have the stomach to let them climb 8ft up in the air, there’s a lower alternative. The toddler play-frame is similar, but on a smaller scale and lower to the ground. It has its own climbing wall, slide and bridges.
Specifically for younger kids they also have a couple of rockers in the corner as well.
Other play equipment
All of the equipment in the playground at Tetsworth is wooden, which I always prefer. It just looks better and stands the test of time much better than metal playgrounds do. As well as the two play-frames there are toddler swings, normal swings and a new swing. There’s also a couple of cool balance / wobble beams, a scramble net, monkey bars, roundabout and a treadmill barrel. The boys had great fun on this trying to see who could run fast enough to catapult themselves off the other side!!
The playground has a woodchip floor so hopefully it doesn’t get too muddy in winter. There’s a couple of benches in the playground. It really would be helpful if they had a few more as it’s not really enough. It wasn’t particularly busy when I visited but, because of social distancing, I couldn’t sit down. The benches are right next to each other and there was another family on one of them.
Tetsworth Skate Park
The skate park at Tetsworth is very basic. It’s just one half pipe, but the kids playing on it seemed to be having fun. Looking at the parish council website they’re looking into the possibility of replacing and improving this at some stage in the future.
Family walks around Tetsworth
I’m a bit nosey so when I spotted a public footpath at the back of the village green we decided to follow it. Stand with you back to the playground and the A40, you’ll spot a massive white bin with a footpath besides it at the back of the rec ground. Walk down there. The footpath seems to cut through some of the gardens for Swan Gardens so they have their normal garden, individual woodland areas, the fenced off public footpath, and then some more garden beyond that. Slightly odd set-up but I was very jealous of both the houses and their gardens!!!
The footpath brings you out into a farmer’s field. Turn right and, hugging the edge of the field, follow the footpath round. You’ll come to a staggered gate and a public bridleway. Turn right and follow the path back down to the A40. If you’re lucky you might spot some horses and sheep in the field along the way. At the bottom of the road turn right. Walk past Swan antiques (spotting this along the way) and you’re back where you started. It only took about 20 minutes. I’m sure there are better footpaths around the village, but it was a nice short walk across the countryside.
Our Tetsworth Playground review
This is a really good playground. It’s suitable for a range of ages, but I think it’s most suitable for ages 6-13 really. You can take younger kids along, but the older ones will get the most out of it. Right until they’re too cool to play in a playground! The equipment was all well maintained and the kids had fun. My only complaint is a lack of seating for adults.
Parking / How to get there
Address – High Street, Tetsworth, Thame OX9 7AB
Parking – Unfortunately there is no designated car park. There seems to be an area off of Marsh End (the road before the Rec ground if you’re coming from Thame) which seems to be used for parking. There also appears to be a car park by the sports & social club, but I’m assuming that’s for members only. If those are full then it’s on-street parking but PLEASE make sure you park considerately.
There are no public toilets. There will be toilets in the pub and social clubs, but these are for patrons only.
Tetsworth playground is quite close to a couple of other good playgrounds. There’s one at Little Milton, one in Thame and one in Towersey. In Thame itself you’ll also find Whizz-Kidz soft play, and Cuttlebrook nature reserve.
Hi, I’m Vicky. My husband and I live in Aylesbury with out 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