This is an unusual one. Wasn’t expecting this. Might be one for compromise for all the family, shopping, food, Nature, splash zone and play area! Rushden lakes, this place has everything.
Firstly. To all the people bitching about my “profanities” just piss off will you! Seriously i’m 34 and I spend all day not swearing around my kids so I don’t need any snowflakes crying to me. If you don’t like it there are plenty of vanilla blogs out there for you to read while you drink your green tea, after you’ve had a good cry about the fluffy kittens needing a home.
An Odd one
Anyhow back to it. Rushden lakes, it’s ok we won’t go back just for the walking and play areas now that the weather’s shit but we’d definitely go back for the shopping with the promise of the play areas as a bribe for the kids to behave round the shops (still doubt it’d work but worth the try)
It’s very new by the looks of all this. I’ll start off with the traffic. It’s a bit of a bitch to get In and the roads are slightly annoying to navigate round (full of toss pots not paying attention too) we queued to get in and started to worry if we’d get a space but we went down the far end and was fine. Now if you’re not interested in shopping its probably best to park this end anyway. It’s where all the food is and the access to the walks.
We got there at midday and the kids were dying of starvation because we hadn’t fed them for approximately 4 mins and 30 seconds! I’m surprised they hadn’t called childlike and reported us the amount they moaned about it! There are a fair few big chain restaurants to pick from we chose pizza express was ok kids were happy. The restaurants are all facing the lake and have some great views. We managed to bag a window seat so the kids could watch the boats and the swans. I can imagine these places will be rammed over the summer months the outside areas are lovely too!
Food was Inhaled quicker than Usain bolt doing the 100 metres. Now time for exploring off we set in the pissing down rain. The areas pretty large so we thought we’d head to the visitor centre for info on where to go. Moved a few meters rounded a corner and ffs what did we see a giant fecking connect 4! Seriously what the shit! 2nd weekend in a row we’ve seen these blasted things (that twat Gary must work here too) so that meant we’d lost Elliot. It’s not like it was sheltered either. Nope smack bang in the open not only that there was an ice cream van too!! God really hates me today. Clark straight away “can I have and ice cream” seriously what the fuck!?!?! We’ve just walked out of pizza express literally 3 mins ago after you finished your ice creams no you can bloody not.
Had to drag Elliot away kicking and screaming. That’s the problem with feeding kids. Those powerful bribing snacks are rendered useless for up to 10mins after they’ve eaten so we were shit out of luck.
Kids dragged away from the connect 4 and we just about make it to the visitor centre. Cute! Really informative space with activities for kids like colouring. Books and binoculars to look over the lake with (or for parents to try and peek in the changing rooms of the shops close by 😉 ) its also full of toys and the type of crap every child has just only then realised they’ve wanted all their lives! We spoke to the guy at the counter he was very helpful and pointed us in the right direction (back past the connect 4 fml) so off we went back the way we came after we ran back with the toy owl Elliot had tried to nick!
We walked along the board walk which is really nice and clean and very well gripped unlike most decking which is normally lethal in the rain! Managed to distract Elliot away from connect 4 by pointing out the boats and swans. We went down some steps closer to the water front and came across the splash park! Awesome…..well it would be awesome if it was sunny and they were on. Really simple jets nothing fancy but its free and a perfect distraction/bribe for the kids after shopping.
If you’re facing the lake turn left and keep walking until you meet the wooded area this is where the play area is. There a wooden climbing structure shaped as a nest with herons on top with some eggs in. Cool little climbing bit and a nice view over the lake then just down the path you have a better climbing bit with tunnels made to be like a burrow with a slide on.if it’s raining like it was today take the kids waterproofs otherwise they’ll get soaked arses like my 2 did. Then if you follow the path round you’ll come across an obstacle course with a mini rock climbing wall on a boat and some mushrooms. Further along you’ve got a giant spider and a web for the kids to play on.
After the kids had a play we carried on. Don’t do this the path leads to a field. We had no idea where this went so we turned back and walked around the lake and circled back to the visitor centre. It’s a lovely walk and there are wooden animal sculptures along the way which the kids loved finding in between moaning for more food! There are a couple more walks we could have gone on but the rain was bloody annoying and we weren’t overly prepared for it with no waterproof and Clark in his brand new trainers!
You will go past the boat house which is somewhere you can hire canoes and even seen pedalo’s which again would be great in the warmer weather.
With food and the walks we spent a fair few hours here but i can imagine you could make a whole day of It and the best part its free. Great I thought…….but the problem seems to be that you can only park for 5 hours! I didn’t see a way around this but maybe the locals have a bit more knowledge about this. So if you’re local feel free to share.
Rushden Lake stats:
Distance from Bicester: 1 hour
Sat nav: Rushden Lakes, Rushden NN10 6FH To Load navigation click the address
Wheelchair friendly: yes
Equipment upkeep: 10/10
Age range: All ages
Safety: 8/10 the slopes are slippery as hell on the burrow play area
Fun factor: 7/10
Dog friendly: Yes
If I had a dog I’d say this would be a great place to walk them. There are some areas we came across that dogs and humans aren’t allowed and in other places where you have to keep them on a lead…dogs that is not the humans (unless you’re into that kinky shit) would we return….no not just for the play area. It was nice but we’ve had better. If we were more local or going to shop too then yes we would. However I’d rather go through the pain of having my wisdom teeth extracted again than take my kids shopping! The area is lovely though and a great place to learn about the wetlands. If i’m honest Stanwick and Rushmere are just down the road so I’d go there over here.
P.s does anyone else think the snake just looks like a giant dog shit? Elliot did.
You can find the website HERE if you want more information