I finally got round to taking Little Miss to the new otter playground at Ferry Meadows on a very balmy afternoon in October. I attended the opening of the playground back in April and it was somewhere I knew Little Miss would love, but summer just flew by and we never made it.
We met some friends for a picnic lunch and had actually planned on having a walk around Ferry Meadows, but we ended up spending the whole afternoon just at the playground; sand + water + Little Miss = BLISS! Little Miss kept saying: “It’s just like the beach, but there’s no sea.” This is actually a very good description of the otter playground.
Water fun in the giant sand pit
The rock pool and water pump was a big hit with Little Miss. Her friends and her spent ages playing in the rock pool – filling up buckets of water, opening and closing a little control gate and watching the water run down the rills. They all got quite wet, so do bring a change of clothes (or two – I wish I had!).
The whole playground is a bit like a giant sand pit and Ferry Meadows supplies buckets and spades, so the kids can dig anywhere they like. It was great just watching the kids playing – most of them weren’t interested in the ‘conventional’ play equipment, preferring to ferry water in buckets from the water pump to different parts of the playground. Little Miss and friends made ‘mud’ pies and it was lovely watching her play with the others without being too bossy (something I am working very hard on at the moment, she is so head-strong!).
The playground is just so different from anything else around Peterborough and everyone I have spoken to loves it. I know the Nene Park Trust has plans to develop the other play areas at Ferry Meadows – they now have a lot to live up to!
All the important bits
Ferry Meadows is in Peterborough just off the A605 (Oundle Road) and well sign posted whichever direction you come from. For sat nav use postcode PE2 5UU.
There is a £4 charge for car parking on weekends and bank holidays between Saturday 1 March 2014 until Sunday 26 October 2014. At all other times car parking is free.
There is no cost to enter Ferry Meadows (except car parking as detailed above).
Eating and drinking
Ferry Meadows is perfect for a picnic. There are picnic tables by the otter playground, right outside the Ferry Meadows Café. I have eaten at the Ferry Meadows Café before and the food is very good and well-priced. There is a good selection of sandwiches and hot meals; as well as cake! Children can have a ‘pick and mix’ lunch box for about £4. There is also a café/bar at the new Lakeside facility, but I haven’t been there yet.
There are public toilets by the main car park by the visitor centre and by the car park at the Lakeside centre. These both have baby changing facilities in the accessible toilet. There are also toilets in the Ferry Meadows Café and Lakeside café/bar – again with baby changing facilities in the accessible toilet.
I noticed lots of posters around the cafe and toilets about events coming up at Ferry Meadows. I know there is a new nature tots morning on the first Monday of each month (10am – 11.30am), but there are also walks, craft sessions, geocaching and activities over school holidays. See the Ferry Meadows website for more information.