Walton Halls and Gardens is a great family destination set in Warrington and it’s totally free! Set within fantastic green parkland and stacked with local history there’s so much to see and do there for all ages. In fact, when you arrive it’s hard to know what to do first!
The Playground is a great self-contained area with several gates around the outside for access. It’s spilt into two different age ranges with a separate playground for children aged 8 – 13 years. That said my 4-year-old enjoyed trying a few things in there too! It’s got a great selection of slides, swings and climbing frames and a good area for toddlers. There’s also music equipment which the children loved bashing! And a snakes and ladders board game which is on the floor where you spin to jump across the spaces…needless to say my son won twice!
Another hit was a tunnel you can climb through and hills with slides on them. It certainly got all our hearts racing climbing those. All around the play area there’s a good selection of benches and picnic tables available and it’s easy to see the children from these (if you fancy resting your legs!). One thing to also point out is directly next to the playground is a separate toilet block which was exceptionally clean and provides easy access for all the family offering baby changing facilities and disabled toilets with a hoist and plinth.
The Children’s zoo started off in the early 1960s as a set of six aviaries which are still there today. It’s nice when you arrive you are greeted by the zoo wishing well (closed currently due to restrictions) you then follow a path round the edge of the zoo and are easily able to see all the animals.
There’s a wide selection of goats, chickens, guinea pigs, rabbits and even a few peacocks roaming around. The kids also loved seeing the pot-bellied pigs and trying to spot the red squirrels…which despite waiting for a long time we still didn’t see! We also enjoyed saying hello to the three Alpacas Jim, Mally and Topaz and to the rescue donkeys Lenny and Charlie. There is a visitors centre you can also go inside too but it was closed during our visit. Good hand washing facilities and hand santiser is also available at the exit. We spent about half an hour walking round and I think that is probably about the time is takes to see the whole petting zoo. It’s certainly well worth a visit and if you want to you can also adopt an animal!
Thomas the Tank Engine Train
On weekends and bank holidays the Thomas the Tank Engine train departs from the children’s playground and travels round the estate. We didn’t get to go on it this time but we have been on it before and it’s so much fun!
Adventure Golf and Pitch ‘n’ Putt
The adventure golf is set on a purpose-built course suitable for all ages. It’s 18 holes of sheer fun and don’t forget to look out for the wooden sculptures, the caterpillar from Alice and Wonderland and many more exciting things along the way. You can even see the animals in the children’s zoo while walking round the course too. Adventure is golf is open weekends, school holidays and throughout the summer months. Prices are Adult £6, Junior £5, Senior £5 and family of 4 £18. Clubs are available for all ages even under 3s.
The Pitch ‘n’ Putt is more suitable for those new to golf and is a 9-hole course so slightly shorter than the adventure golf. It’s set in the park land and clubs are available for aged 7 and upwards left and right-handed. It has the same opening times as the adventure golf and prices are Adult £8, Junior and Senior £7 and £26 for a family of 4.
Unfortunately, due to health and safety restrictions you are not allowed to bring your own equipment, but everything is provided including golf balls.
Please note both areas are closed now due to Covid-19 guidelines.
There’s a lovely green to play on situated straight opposite the hall surrounded by acres of parkland. Prices are £3 for Adults, £2.50 for Juniors and Seniors, £20 for a family of 4 and green hire is £20.
Walton Hall and Gardens
The kids loved running around all the gardens of the estate and exploring the wooded areas and climbing up the trees. There’s also a beautiful duck pond which has a selection of koi fish swimming around and even some terrapins – we loved watching their little heads pop out of the water! The pond has a small wall too and is well guarded so there’s no risk of little ones falling in the water. The garden area is very pushchair and wheelchair friendly with easy access paths throughout.
Food and Drink options at Walton Hall & Gardens
There is plenty of space to take your own picnic and lots of picnic tables available throughout the park. If you like ice-cream the ice-cream van seems to be there all year-round serving drinks too. There is an on-site restaurant called the Heritage Café which is in a beautiful stable courtyard serving a selection of hot and cold food and drinks. It has plenty of indoor and outdoor seating and dogs are welcome.
Please note the café is currently closed due to Covid-19 restrictions
Are dogs allowed in the park?
Yes, dogs are allowed in the park but not allowed in the play area.
Other things to see and do
The Cycle Museum
This is currently closed so we could not visit and review.
Glasshouses, courtyard and vinery
This is currently closed.
The Shippon Yard
This is currently closed.
Bridgewater Canal Walk
At the entrance to the park you can access the canal just before the bridge and there is a nice walking path along the canal. Beware with pushchairs as there are steps to get down to the canal so you might need some help! We enjoyed seeing all the ducks but unfortunately didn’t see any canal boats.
Please check website for full events programme. At present there are no events running through the summer holidays. https://waltonhallgardens.co.uk/upcoming-events/
Opening Times and Parking
Winter – September to June, open daily – 10.30am-4pm
Summer – July – August, open daily – 10.30am – 8pm
Parking – there’s a car park on the right as you come along the road to the park with plenty of spaces. There’s also on street parking a short walk from the park. Mon-Fri – £3 all day and weekends and bank holidays £4. Please remember your registration number when going to the ticket machine and don’t accept other people’s tickets should they offer you them as payment is according to your individual car registration plate. Please don’t risk getting a fine!