Cassiobury Park, Watford

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Cassiobury Park is a 190 acre area of green space with loads to offer for a day out.  The best bit is: it’s free! 

MUMMY’S GIN FUND SAYS:

As of spring 2017, their new splash park has opened, complete with toilets, changing facilities and a cafe.  Next to which is a large playground (for under 12s) and a 10.25 inch gauge miniature railway.

The miniature railway costs £2 per person and is good value as it takes you twice around a 300 yard enclosed circuit.  It runs weekends and school holidays (12:00-16:30 – weather permitting)

During the summer school holidays there are also temporary attractions.  I visited August 2017 and there were bungee trampolines, a tea cup ride and a bouncy castle (£3 for 10 minutes).  Music was playing from the bandstand which was a nice touch.  The event list of the park can be found here which may prove useful when you plan your visit.

As you follow the park round you’ll see Tennis courts (no booking system, free to use), Bowling Green (owned by Watford Bowls Club, Croquet (owned by Watford Croquet Club) and a Football pitch (bookable via the link above).

There’s also two outdoor gyms that are also free to use. One is near the croquet pitch and the other is close by the miniature railway.

Fishing is permitted (and free) within the River Gade but you need to acquire a licence from Watford Council’s Leisure and Community services.

There are two heritage trails that take you round the park.  Short and Long, depending upon whether you want to spend one hour or three walking around the park.  These trails can be found on their map, downloadable from the website (see above link.)

Within the park is a nature reserve and if you don’t fancy any of the heritage trails you can try your hand at the nature trail (map here) and there’s also a nature trail checklist to download on the page too.

Just past the park is Whippendell Wood, 165 acres of ancient woodland.  You can walk to it from the park so it’s an added bonus to your trip.  There’s lots of bluebells in April/May and if there are any Star Wars fans out there they’ll be interested to hear that the wood was a filming location in Star Wars Episode 1.

Definitely a day trip, you could spend hours here and still come back another time to do something different.

If you’re going for the splash park don’t forget a towel and change of clothes. 

Address: Cassiobury Park Avenue, Watford, WD18 7LB.

Website: https://www.watford.gov.uk/cassioburypark.

Cha Cafe: https://www.facebook.com/TheChaCafe/.

Daisy’s In The Park cafe: https://www.facebook.com/daisysintheparkcassiobury/.

Playground: Large playground for under 12s next to the splash park. If you happen to enter the park via Cassiobury Park Avenue you’ll find a second play area, yet this is smaller and mainly aimed at slightly younger children (I’d say 6 and under.). And again, next to this park is another cafe.  

Cafes: 2 in the park. For those bringing their own food there’s also lots of picnic tables dotted around.

Toilets: Cassiobury Park has toilets a plenty.  There are several at the hub and more toilets facing the paddling pools/splash park, as well as in each of the cafés.  All have disabled and baby change facilities.

There is also a Changing Places toilet/changing room available upon request.

Pram/Wheelchair/Mobility friendly: The terrain is fairly flat so very suitable for prams and wheelchairs and lots of paths so you don’t have to walk across the grass.

Parking: As for parking, I’ve taken the information from the Watford Council Website as they explains it the best.

“There are 88 spaces in the Cassiobury Park car park (including six disabled access spaces) but it can fill up early especially on hot summer days. If you will be in the park after 10am all motorists need to get a free ticket from the machine to display in your vehicle:

This ticket entitles you to 6 hours free parking between 10am and 6pm.  You can get the ticket before 10am and it will still give you 6 hours free parking.  There is no return within 2 hours.  Failure to display a ticket will result in the motorist incurring a Penalty Charge Notice.

There is limited parking on the streets near the park due to various restrictions.”

If you can, take public transport.  There’s a lot of competition for parking spaces and not much freedom to park elsewhere nearby.

Public Transport: If you’re going by public transport you’ll find the park a two minute walk from Watford Underground station. 

The W30 and 352 (Red Rose Travel buses) stop outside the tube station a short distance from the park.

As for trains, Watford Junction (1.3 miles) and Watford High Street (2.1 miles) are the nearest, you can then catch a bus to the tube stop and walk.

Phone: Watford Borough Council:01923 226400.

Email: [email protected]

ABOUT:

Opening Times:

Splash Park & Hub: 10:00-18:00 (Summer)

Cha Cafe: 09:00-16:00

Daisy’s in the Park Cafe: 08:00-18:00

Review by Kristen Johnson

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Founder of MGF, Helen is a mum of four who spends way too much time on the interweb and not enough time in bed. She loves wearing her dressing gown, car boot sales and watching TV programmes featuring food. Her specialist subjects include 'how to overfill your car boot' and 'how to avoid dusting'. Follow her at Twitter: @Ginfund, Facebook: @MGFund, Instagram: @mummysginfund and online: www.mummysginfund.co.uk.

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