When our friends moved to Essex, initially, it wasn’t a problem. But as the years have progressed and children have come along, the thought of making the 4 hour journey from Shropshire to Essex has become less appealing (especially in the heat) and so we needed a solution.
We needed a halfway meeting point and it would seem the perfect solution was easily found! We stumbled across the website whatshalfway.com, searched for ‘fun & family’ and were presented with a series of choices: Stanwick Lakes was one of the options and it would seem we have stumbled across a real gem!
Stanwick Lakes is located in Wellingborough (which is apparently halfway between Telford and Colchester!) and is a fabulous family location. Entry is free (just the cost of parking) and you are presented with a fantastic family friendly set up.
As you arrive, the Adventure Playground is prominent and the children wasted no time at all in getting stuck into the large, wooden structures. The playground has lots to entertain all ages but is organised so that the activities are relatively condensed – an absolute necessity when children of different ages all wanted to go off in different directions!
While the older children re-kindled their friendship after 6 months apart, the little one simply couldn’t wait to get stuck into the water (make sure you take a change of clothes and towels!). The little stream winds its way among the play equipment with lots of opportunity for splashing and paddling. There are also plenty of places to sit and grassy spaces so you can spread out and keep and eye on the children.
When we managed to drag the children away from the playground we discovered a visitor centre (with a lovely balcony over the lake!) and a couple of places to buy the inevitable ice cream from. We set off around one of the lakes on the flat, pram friendly path and enjoyed watching the canoeing and cycling. Again, there were lots of people but it didn’t feel too crowded.
Our walk took us to an Assault Course which was again really well presented and maintained and clearly not content with their hours on the Adventure Playground, the children set off over scramble nets, tunnels and rope swings and got rid of that final bit of energy before being bundled back into the car for the journey home.
So we have finally found a good ‘half-way house’ and one that certainly delivered on the website’s promise of ‘fun and family’ friendly. It is well worth a visit and for anyone in the local area who hasn’t yet discovered it, how lucky you are to have such a gem nearby!