Sunday, 11 June 2017

Campsite Review - Wicksteed Park, Northamptonshire

We've stayed at many campsites over the years and if I'm honest we normally venture a little bit further from home. For our holiday last year Littlest was unfortunately having a flare up and we needed to be within driving distance of the hospital, so we looked around and decided that we would camp at Wicksteed Park.

Wicksteed Park is just on the outskirts of Kettering and is set in 147 acres of parkland. It is home to plenty of play equipment as well as more theme park type rides. Not all of our kids are big fan of rides and at Wicksteed you can either buy a wristband or individual tickets and then decide who goes on what. Me and the boys normally share tickets between us and then the girls have bands so they can go on everything. Due to their unusual system, as campers it means that you can access the whole park including picnic areas, play areas and facilities and you obviously don't need to pay for parking either. If you aren't interested in the rides then they do have a wildlife area, natural play area, arboretum, aviary and lake walks.

The campsite is at the far end of the park and set away from the main areas. It's a huge open expanse, overlooking the lake and you can choose any plot. We chose to be at the top of the hill overlooking the lake:

The bathrooms and showers were always clean and were well supplied with loo roll and the man who looked after them was really lovely. We had a couple of long conversations with him. For me the lake view and the price were absolutely the best part.  For 2 adults, 4 children under 16, the biggest tent known to man and 2 cars it only cost us £60 for 4 nights. In comparison our usual Lake District campsite is £40 a night so an absolute bargain. As well as the convenience of being a 5 minute drive from the nearest big supermarket and shops and in our case in driving distance of the hospital.

For me the only downside was the generic white noise that comes from being near a big town and major roads. Although I say it was a downside for me, the rest of the family didn't notice it at all!! I think it's probably because we live in a very quiet area in a tiny village so I'm only used to hearing birds!!

Although the weather wasn't great we did get the true camping experience and the kids weren't on their phones all week which is exactly why we camp!!! You just can't beat sunsets and s'mores!!

We did have one full day at the park on the rides but we used some of the facilities every day especially the play park:

Wristbands are £18 for a child and £15 for an adult. Campers do get discounts after the first day. Ride tickets start £1.25 each or you can buy sheets of 20 or 40 that start at £22. I think that some of the activities aren't included in this price though such as Rush which is a huge jump on to an air pillow or the zip wire. The car parking fee for all day is £6. 

Even if you don't fancy camping it's a pretty cool day out or alternatively they do have some holiday homes onsite if you aren't a fan of canvas living.

Do you have a recommended campsite in the UK?

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