Sunday 8 May 2011

Beale Park, Lower Basildon, Reading

My parents used to take me and my brother to Beale Park when we were little, and its starting to become a favourite of Charlotte's too. She can now easily navigate us back to the little tike's play area if we get too far away from it!!!
Beale Park is a mixture of things, it has animals, play areas, swimming pool, paddling pool, ponds, sand pit, model boat shows, gardens, train ride, statues and a small model museum/pavilion. The thing my brother and I remember the most is the frogs, those being giant frogs you can climb on and are part of a water feature.
The play areas are excellent, with different areas for different ages, and an indoor area for when its wet (suitable for under 5's only). If your going in the sand pit you may want to take along a bucket and spade as none are provided. The paddling pool I looks excellent but cold, Charlotte didn't want to come out even though she was shivering, I wasn't brave enough to dip my toe in to see how cold.
There are bird encloses you can go inside, quite a few owls, farm animals, a recent edition is the new meerkat and mongoose area with good viewing platforms. The animals areas are really well spaced out with gardens around, there is a wild flower meadow near the deer and capybara in another garden.
There is a cafe, but most people seem to take their own picnics as there are plenty of spots to sit and eat. We did eat in the cafe, and though the food was ok it wasn't inspiring (we had veggie burger and chips as only meat sandwiches left, portions were very large with a fresh side salad) and maybe next time we will think ahead and take something to eat.
Beale Park is flat and easy to navigate with pushchairs, there are high chairs in the cafe (take an anti-bac wipe to clean it though!) and baby changing facilities.
All in all a good day out with something for everyone, find out more on their website

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