My kids love exploring a new playpark and it’s even more exciting when it’s brand new. I had no idea what to expect of the new playground in Benson and my jaw dropped when my little one and I arrived.
Not far from Wallingford, Benson Playpark is situated behind Benson Parish Council with plenty of free parking. This is no ordinary village playground. I was imagining the standard swings and a few bits and bobs to climb on but there’s so much more. There’s definitely been some creative flair gone into the planning, with something for all ages.
Right in the centre your eye is immediately drawn to the standout, fantastic big climbing frame and tube slide. It’s not always easy to find a playpark that works for younger kids and older ones, but there’s definitely a good stretch for the bigger ones here. There are various ways to climb up including a ladder, climbing wall and unusual structures.
The slide looks amazing but I’ve got to admit that I got to the top, put my little one on my knee and then had a wobbly and had to climb back down again. I’m a bit of a scaredy cat when it comes to heights and disappearing into the dark depths was one step too far for me. I know my 8 and 10 year old will be flying down it repeatedly when I take them!
There are great spaces all around the climbing frame too which are great for younger kids.
Benson’s new playground is fully enclosed with a fence and the ground is that slightly squishy rubber which softens any tumbles and has the great benefit of not getting really muddy and making it much more accessible for pushchairs or wheelchair users.
They’ve made it interesting too, incorporating in a pathway with hopscotch and various other brightly coloured patterns.
It’s not just the big central feature of the climbing frame and slide that impressed me. There are so many unusual and brightly coloured features to explore. My son loved the bright yellow see saw. You could have one child on either end or just sit in the middle. It’s a little like a helicopter according to my son.
Benson playground is ideal for toddlers too. There’s a little sensory sound area with musical chimes and a circular thingy bob to twirl around that sounds like a rain maker.
There are of course the standard swings as you would expect in a park but they’ve gone one step further to also introduce the most inclusive swing set I’ve seen. All strung together there’s a large chair style, the sort of seat you’d sit on for a zip wire and a rope to hang off. It would be great to see children with different abilities all enjoying it together.
For small world imaginative play, we loved the little climbing frame house with mini slide and telescope. Surrounding it is a little roadway with a petrol station stop.
We were also excited to see the pedal along roundabout. There’s one at the play park at Hinksey Park in Oxford but the first time we’ve seen one elsewhere. It’s a vibrant red and easy for one child to pedal and even faster with a few!
There are lots of other great little features to explore, climb on, tunnel through, swing about on. The red circle below spins around in the orange arc and is a cool place to hang out and watch what’s going on in the play park. Apologies for the photo overload but here’s a selection of everything that caught my eye.
All in all this is a fantastic playground with a great variety for all ages. There are plenty of picnic benches dotted around too and a great big open field next to the park. The only downside is there are no toilets. It’s just behind Benson Parish Council and I don’t know whether you’re allowed to pop in there or not.
No cafe either but it’s only a few minutes away in the car from The Waterfront Cafe which is child friendly and has a takeway service too.
If this is the kind of park you love, check out my review of nearby Crowmarsh Gifford play park is which also a great all rounder.