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Stanwick Lakes


Stanwick Lakes is a unique 750 acre countryside attraction and nature reserve located in the heart of Northamptonshire’s Nene Valley. There are extensive and imaginative play areas, open spaces and paths that families, walkers, cyclists and nature lovers can explore at leisure. The visitor centre, with café, shop and function space, hosts events, family celebrations, business meetings and craft workshops throughout the year. Stanwick Lakes is managed as a social enterprise by environmental charity, Rockingham Forest Trust, in partnership with North Northamptonshire Council

Adventure Playground Update

Climbing tower replacement for 2022 – an update

The generosity of the local community and businesses after the arson attack which destroyed our climbing tower has meant a great deal to us, and this support has enabled us both to increase security and improve the tower’s overall design. For example, powerful, motion-activated lighting and better CCTV with remote monitoring have been installed in the central play area. The iconic bulrushes and pointed tower roofs which some may remember from the first, original piece of equipment will be incorporated into the replacement structure.

In addition, we were able to provide an interim play experience in the space over the summer with our ‘Stanwick on Sea’ installation. This included a beach mural, tons of extra sand, buckets and spades and deckchairs, plus the addition of a new slide, fireman’s pole and small boat to the remaining play equipment once the burned section was removed. Families seemed to love being at the ‘seaside’!

Despite some setbacks with timber supply we hope the contractor will be on site early next year.

30 November 2021

Discover the Adventure Trail

The Adventure Trail is set around one of the loveliest parts of Stanwick Lakes. Different pieces of play equipment provide the incentive for youngsters to explore. There are two climbing rocks (the larger especially appeals to older children and teenagers), a traversing wall, a rope bridge over the water, hexagonal swings, climbable animal structures, balance beams and a double zip line are all waiting to be discovered.

Get Closer to Nature

As you make your way around the Adventure Trail, enjoy views of the lakes and river. If you are lucky you might catch a glimpse of a kingfisher or muntjac deer. Take some time out in one of the bird hides. Climb up into our Treehouse Hide for an elevated view of the site and use the interpretation panel in the hide to help you identify what you have seen.

There are picnic benches dotted along the route and green open spaces to run around in and burn off energy. The paths, as with all the paths on site, are surfaced and accessible by wheelchairs, bikes, buggies and scooters making it the ideal route to explore with all the family. 

So, when you visit Stanwick Lakes, make sure you explore the Adventure Trail and try out all it has to offer.


The majority of the site’s facilities are wheelchair and buggy accessible, including the visitor centre, toilets, rangers’ log cabin, bird hide, the network of footpaths and cycle paths, and areas within the central adventure playground. There are frequent seats and benches along the paths. The majority of paths are level and surfaced, grass paths are mown.

A lift is situated in the café area to allow disabled visitors to access the mezzanine seating area where the archaeological finds are kept. The outdoor heritage trail is accessible by wheelchair.

Every Tuesday a health walk is led from the Visitor Centre at 10am. We encourage all visitors to touch and explore the sculptures, heritage trail markers and willow structures in the park. An electric buggy is available for loan free of charge from the cycle hire cabin upon prior request during school holidays and weekends (April-Oct).

You can also enjoy our café and shop selling a range of gifts. These are all situated on the ground floor with step free access.

Rangers and visitor centre staff are on hand should you require any assistance. We look forward to welcoming you.

Car parking 

There is parking on site for 250 cars and 2 clearly marked Blue Badge parking spaces in front of the pay station, which are 10m/10.9yds from the main entrance.

The on-site car park surface is made of compressed granite.

There is a drop off point at the main entrance, with a dropped kerb.

Public Toilets 

Public toilets are located on the ground floor of the visitor centre with level access from the main entrance and shop area. 

There is a unisex toilet near the café in the visitor centre. 

There are additional unisex toilets situated outside behind the refreshment kiosk

Accessible Toilet 

There is an accessible toilet near the shop. 

It has a light, easy-open door 902mm.

1000mm transfer space to the left of the ground floor toilet and to the right of the first floor toilet, when facing the toilet.  The toilet height is 460mm.

There are vertical rails either side of both basin and toilet. 

There is a horizontal rail on the side wall adjacent to the toilet. 

There is colour contrast with critical surfaces; all rails are blue and the toilet and wash basins are white, the toilet seat is black.

Stanwick Lakes Nature Reserve

The majority of the paths around the nature reserve are covered with loose gravel, and are level or have gentle inclines up to the bridges.

There is a picnic area in the ‘hub’ and one near the adventure playground and rangers cabin with accessible wooden picnic benches.

There is also a small picnic area on a level lawn next to the kiosk. This has several circular wooden picnic benches (not wheelchair accessible).

Main pathways are 3000mm.

Between pathways there are grass areas, which can be uneven underfoot. 

There are wooden benches at intervals around the nature reserve. 

The main bird hide nearest the hub is accessible via a ramp.

Who to contact


Where to go

Stanwick Lakes
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Time / Date Details

When is it on
April to September 7am – 8pm, Visitor Centre 10am – 5pm
Time of day

Other Details

Age Bands
11-14 years old
18-25 years old
Parents and carers
15-17 years old
0-4 years old
5-10 years old