Stockeld Park has been a favourite of ours, ever since we had our first visit in 2015, when Heidi was just 2. Whilst we go about twice a year, and very little changes, it is always a highlight of the school holiday when we go. The sad fact is before having a child, I had never even heard about it. However, it is possibly the most famous thing about Wetherby, passing the Whaler and the racecourse!
Finding Stockeld Park is quite easy although if using Sat Nav, make sure the correct postcode is used. Using the wrong one takes you to a field! There is plenty of free parking and most of the park is flat and easy to walk around (there is a lot of walking!)
When you get into Stockeld Park, it is easy to be a bit underwhelmed. Panic not! There are lots of things hidden away and that is the beauty of this place. You could probably go 5 times and still notice different things.
We usually start off in the maze and the idea is to find 6 little attractions/toys and then find the main attraction which leads you to an exit/freedom!
I am not sure if it is cheating but it is an idea to take a photo of the map on your phone to help. If you have a younger child, you might want to make sure you don’t spend too much time in there. The 2-year-old Heidi loved the little ornaments and toys, whereas the 6 year old Heidi loves to explore the maze.
The maze takes about 30 minutes and after we usually have a picnic lunch on the main lawn. The lawn is huge and would never get full. On here, there are a few footballs and toys for the older ones to burn a bit of energy. This is actually a really nice touch and the fact that you can bring picnics in helps to manage costs a little.
Playground and other activities
Next to the maze is the farm themed playground, which was just the right size for kids up to about 8. The rides are really well made out of wood and was something a little bit different to the ones you normally see. The slides are a bit quick, although not massive, so be careful!
Also on the main lawn is an air cushion, bouncy castle slide and go kart bikes. This was the only place we encountered queues, even in the middle of the school holidays. The air cushion is ideal if you have a toddler and it might be an idea for a grown-up to go on as well, especially if the rest of the kids are a bit older. A word of “warning” you can feel as though you are still on there hours after leaving the park!!!
The bouncy slide is a bit imposing for me and Heidi and is definitely not one for grown-ups!! The go karts tend to have a queue but it is good fun, especially as there are a few “double” bikes to go on.
When we were doing nappy changing, the facilities were excellent and clean. I did only see 2 changing rooms, but I think there was another in the ladies toilet. Also inside, is a cafe and some indoor softplay activities including a smaller air cushion and a playhouse. This is the only part of Stockeld Park that is indoor and so in wet weather, it will be very busy!
At this point, you probably think that you have seen everything and going into the Enchanted Forest is a bit of a throw-in. However, this is the star attraction, hidden away within the trees (obviously!). It is about a 2 mile walk with numerous small, quirky attractions. Some are operated by button, others by sensor! There is an influence of music/songs in the attractions, so much so that on the last one, Heidi wanted a “song please” after pressing the button!
Along the walk are about 6 playgrounds, just in the off chance that the kids have any more energy to burn!! A couple were a bit too big for Heidi when she was 2, but the rest were perfect. The the 6 year old Heidi is suitable for all of them and loves the spider-themed playground towards the end. There is more than enough space for everyone and we spend a good hour and a half going through the forest and it is always was the highlight of the day.
On the original blog post back in 2015, I said that we didn’t do the roller skating (ice skating is on in the winter). Well, roller skating is a main attraction for us now. Heidi struggles massively with it, but gives it a good go! The equipment is free to borrow and non skaters are encouraged to go on in order to help those skating!
We still haven’t done the segway scooters, which take you round the inside edge of the Enchanted Forest. For the scooters, the little ones had to be at least 4 to go on with an adult. However, Heidi isn’t really interested in this still. There is a charge for this activity.
Hints and Tips
All in all a brilliant, yet tiring day out. A few tips to help you if you’re planning on going to Stockeld Park:
- pick a good day weather wise. While there are indoor activities, most of it is outdoor and you want to be able to enjoy it.
- drink plenty and wear good shoes. There is a lot of walking and while it is flat, you need to be comfortable.
- avoid the school holiday weekends if possible. While it didn’t feel crowded at all, obviously it is best to go when it is quieter.
All in all, Stockeld Park is a fab day out and one that Heidi requests virtually every school holiday. Stockeld Park do themed Halloween and Christmas events and so it will be good to see what they look like (weather dependant!)
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