Central Park in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. Heard of it? Unless you’re local to the area you may not have and yet what a fabulous place. A hidden gem if there ever was one – a completely free place to visit that has a paddling pool, play area and beautiful gardens and a delight to visit on hot day. I grew up in Peterborough and yet it’s now only as an adult and returning to visit my family that I’m discovering some wonderful places to take children. So on a hot day in July 2019 I met up with my mum and took my two sons – at the time of writing aged six and four – to this park.
Where is Central Park in Peterborough and when is the paddling pool open?
Central Park is on the outskirts of Peterborough city centre. The best postcode is PE1 4DZ. It’s around a one hour drive from where we live in Milton Keynes. We used that postcode to park on the road directly outside the park. It’s a circular park and you can park anywhere around that circle. When we visited however there are parking restrictions in place between 8am-11am that limit you to one hour. So, either arrive at 11am like we did and then stay as long as you like. Or you may need to park on surrounding roads if you go earlier. Parking was free. This has taken some time to find out as there is no information online about it but for 2019 the paddling pool 7 days per week from 1st May until 30th September 2019 between 10am and 6pm. The sand pit is never locked
What are the best bits about Central Park in Peterborough?
Definitely best enjoyed in warm weather as there is an excellent shallow paddling pool there. It’s cold! So either your children need to be pretty hardy – or I’d suggest it needs to be a lovely sunny day. When we visited the outside temperature was around 25 degrees celcius. My four year old son did go in and found it fine but just had a little paddle. Next to the paddling pool is a pirate ship climbing frame. Both are together in the same enclosed area. Next to them is a good sized sandpit which you enter through a different gate – I assume to stop kids going in and out of the paddling pool with sand. Across the green you can see another play area. It’s big and there’s lots of fairly retro equipment. My sons absolutely loved the train apparatus. That play area has a good amount of shade.
What else was at Central Park in Peterborough?
There’s a really pretty sunken garden which was in bloom when we visited in July 2019. It has a circular path that my two sons loved whizzing around on their scooters. It really is lovely and makes for some fabulous photos.There’s also an aviary which had budgies in amongst other birds. There’s a cafe and loos. There’s also a small sensory garden, gym equipment and tennis courts. You pay to use the tennis courts. The whole park itself isn’t huge so this isn’t the place to go if you’re looking to go for a six mile walk – it’s in a circular shape and is an ideal place to visit with young children and have a picnic and a coffee.
Is it worth visiting Central Park in Peterborough?
Yes it’s a fab park to visit and given that it doesn’t cost anything then it’s a super cheap day out. But like anywhere on a really hot day it will get busy, so do bear that in mind. The paddling pool isn’t that big and being in an enclosed gated area there may be lots of people in the same space. There isn’t much shade either in that area – although there is loads in the rest of the park. There is a cafe and loos. The loos need an upgrade to be honest. We took a picnic. If you’re local to the area or perhaps live more Bedford way then you could easily just go there and come home having spent a couple of hours there. If, like us you’re an hour way then you may want to make more of your journey – we always go to at least two places if we’re going further away. I say this also in case the paddling pool wasn’t open for some reason then it’s also good to have back ups if you’re travelling from further afield. Remember in 2019 the paddling pool is shut from October onwards. You could also visit Peterborough Museum and Peterborough Cathedral which are both free to visit and in the city centre. You can read my review of Peterborough Museum here. Also Ferry Meadows Country Park is a huge country park with three play areas, stepping stones, sand and water area and two cafes.
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