There’s a free beach you can take your children to at Frosts Garden Centre in Willington, Bedfordshire. Most importantly, it is only there until 2nd September 2018, so if you reading this in the weeks and months that follow then sorry, do look out for it again in the summers that follow. Watch my video below to see what it’s like and then scroll down to see what we thought of it.
Where is the beach?
The beach is at the back of Frosts garden centre in Willington, Bedfordshire and the address is Sandy Rd, Willington, Bedford MK44 3QP. There’s quite a lot of parking and it’s free to park. The journey took about 23 minutes from where we live in Milton Keynes and is a fairly straight-forward journey mostly down the A421.
What was the beach at Frosts garden centre in Willington like?
Well to start with, it’s not really a beach, it is better described as a sand pit – a good sized sand pit. There are lots of buckets, spades and other bits to play with. The beach is under a canopy and on a hot day provides shade from the sun. I took my two sons – aged five and three at the time – on a very sunny day in August and we arrived at around 10.30am. It was really busy. My boys still found a spot to play but as you would expect for a free activity like this, there were lots of children around. There are a few picnic benches around for adults as well as chairs around the beach itself for both adults and children.
What else is at Frost Garden Centre, Willington?
I think its biggest selling point is how big the area is outside for children to play in. The thing my children loved most was actually driving around in the Little Tikes cars which are also free to use – even my 5 year old who really is too big for that normally still had fun. There’s also a crazy golf course which you do pay £2 per person for. There’s a kiosk selling drinks and ice-cream. We took our own water and snacks and no-one mentioned anything about us consuming them in that area – although we did buy an ice-cream as well. Otherwise inside there’s a very small wooden games area in the corner of the cafe – which will keep children occupied for a few minutes but not a great deal longer, and a pond outside with some rather large fish which were fun to look at.
How does the beach at Frosts in Willington compare to Woburn Sands?
We’ve been to both this year. The one at Woburn Sands you do pay £5 per child for. The session lasts for a couple of hours – so to make the most of it you need to arrive at the start. The children get squash and fruit included and a game and story. There isn’t a carousel or soft play as there was in previous years so it is literally the beach. I assume numbers are restricted and will vary session to session, but the one I took my 3 year old to just before the school holidays was busy as there was a school group there. The one in Willington is free and you can come and go as you please and is much more spacious with the addition of the Little Tikes cars with much more room for the children to run around in. You will take a chance as to how busy it is. It got less busy as we approached lunchtime. I’d say it’s down to personal preference. If you have one younger child, and live in MK then you may be more happy to pay for the Woburn Sands one for convenience. If you have more than one child – or they’re slightly older and you’re meeting a few friends and want flexibility on time and space then it’s worth travelling to Willington.
We’re travelling from further afield – what else can we do that’s cheap in the local area?
Probably the best thing to do would be either to head into Bedford . The best park we’ve been to – although not for some time – is Russell Park which is next to the river. Or if you’re heading back to Milton Keynes you could call in at the Forest of Marston Vale which has a play area and a nice walk that take you right passed the wind turbine.
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I'm Laura, mum of two boys - aged five and three. I started this website at the end of Sept 2015 whilst on maternity leave. I now work four days a week and do this blog late at night once the little boys are sleeping. It's won several awards over the last three years and I continue to run it for free and mostly focus on free, cheap, and good value days out. Do drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to contact me. Don't forget to follow all of our latest adventures on facebook, instagram and twitter and have a look at all of the videos of the places we visit on my new Milton Keynes Kids YouTube Channel - subscribe to it for notifications every time I add a new place. And remember... you may been reading this post months after we visited, do check with the destination you're visiting for up to date opening times and prices. If you find this blog useful then please do comment on my posts and leave me a Facebook review - it makes doing this all the more worthwhile.