Fun at Avon Heath Country Park


When it comes to days out locally with the family we always seem to radiate towards Moors Valley as it is packed full of fun things for the kids to do, but this weekend we wanted to try somewhere different.  My first thought was Bolderwood in the New Forest as we wanted to try the Superworm trail, but that is only open on certain weekends throughout the year, so my friend Joanne from Charliemoos suggested Avon Heath Country Park.

I have been to Avon Heath before, but many years ago and have vivid memories of there being not much to do, getting a bit lost and then stuck trying to negotiate tree roots and mud with Kian in a buggy.  Thankfully it has changed a lot with the addition of a large play area, the Heathland Discovery Centre and a wildlife area with a viewing hide as well as miles of tracks offering the opportunity to explore some of Dorset’s internationally important heathland and its rare wildlife.  Of course the kids wanted to start with the play area first!

Avon Heath

We stayed in the park for about half an hour before we persuaded them that there was plenty more to see.  We headed over to the wildlife area and were very lucky to see a Sand Lizard basking in the sunshine.  In the hide there was lots of activity going on around the pond with birds feeding from the bird feeders, bees buzzing around the bee hives and even a large rabbit that hopped past.  In the hide itself there were pictures of lots of birds to help up identify what we could see and we saw a Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Wood Pigeon and a Coal Tit.

Avon Heath

The park is dominated by lowland and wet heath, acid grassland and heather, which is broken only by clumps of birch and pine which makes it easy to let the children roam safely as you can see them easily.  Charlie, Megan and Olive come here regularly and were keen to show Isaac and Eliza all their favourite places to explore, in particular the “Climbing Tree”.

Avon Heath

The track we followed was around a mile and a half and the scenery changed as we progressed.  We found ponds perfect for stone throwing and testing to see if pine cones floated or sank, off-road paths that needed careful negotiation and puddles to splosh through.

Avon Heath

We even found lots of places where fairies live, a tree you could see right through to the other side, which is great for a game of peek-a-boo, and the kids adored climbing Rapunzel’s Hair – Honeysuckle Vine which is thick and winds round itself making it feel like rope.

Avon Heath

We even found a den that someone had made previously.  As we came to the end of the trail we spotted lots of children gathered around the wildlife area so headed over to see what was going on.  The keeper was feeding the Sand Lizards live crickets and there were lots to see.  He even picked one up and showed each child the lizard up close and he explained she was very fat because she was carrying eggs.

Avon Heath

After seeing the lizards we headed inside the discovery centre which has lots of interactive displays for the kids to enjoy.  Isaac and Charlie enjoyed doing a wildlife quiz and they did brilliantly answering all the questions, whilst Sebby loved pressing the buttons to hear what different birds sound like.

Of course we had to finish off with another visit to the park.

Avon Heath

Avon Heath runs lots of activities for the kids including animal detectives and mini-beast trails.  We will certainly be back soon!

Avon Heath is just off the A31 between Ringwood and Ferndown.  It is free to visit although there is a small charge for car parking of £3.50 for a full day.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

22 thoughts on “Fun at Avon Heath Country Park

  1. Keri-Anne says:

    So amazing!!! i want to play in the playground! x

  2. Ickle Pickle says:

    Another great day out! I just love all of your photos. Kaz x
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  3. That does look like a brilliant place for young ones!
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  4. The kids look like they are having a fabulous time.
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  5. It looks like a wonderful day out and free too which is always a bonus
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  6. That looks like an absolutely brilliant place for a family day out. Loving the bridge in the play area x
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  7. My sisters would love it there – looks like just enough to knacker them out lol. Stephen :o)

  8. Rachel says:

    What an amazing place to visit, it looks like there is something for everyone and best of all, it looks tiring for the small ones x
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  9. We had a great day 🙂 Thanks for capturing it in such fab photos
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  10. Sarah Bailey says:

    What a fantastic sounding place to spend the day. Its great to get out in nature. x
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  11. Anne says:

    Avon Heath does look such a wonderful place to visit, the kids look like they are having a great time and that playground looks fun too.
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  12. Coombemill says:

    Your days out always look such a fun and the two families clearly get on brilliantly together. I laughed at the little bottoms in the air pering int ot he base of those trees in search of fairies, so enchanting and childlike. A wonderful recommendation on a good day out. Thank you for sharing with me on Country Kids.
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  13. Globalmouse says:

    I love playgrounds that use lots of wood in them and this one looks amazing. You do have so many fab places near you!!
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  14. I can’t believe how much you can do in this park and it’s free to get in! I would be wary of the lizards though 😉
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  15. mama syder says:

    What a lovely day out. All the kids look so engaged and happy, it looks like they had a great time x
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  16. This sounds like a great place to visit for a family day out, especially as it’s free.
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  17. Ninjacat says:

    Ooooh what a marvellous time you had , I love all the pictures x

  18. Jen Walshaw says:

    Oh it looks like you had a fab time. These are the adventures that kids will remember in all the years to come
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  19. lisa prince says:

    we have a similar park near us and im looking forward to going this summer

  20. Erica Price says:

    We tend to go to the same bits of countryside, but sometimes it’s more fun to go somewhere different isn’t it? This country park looks a lot of fun.
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  21. First of all free to visit – fab. £3.50 all day parking? that is amazing as some places charge a fortune. Looks like everyone had a great day and what a incredible place to explore and learn
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