Just a short drive from York, Allerthorpe Lakeland Park is the ideal destination to take energetic children. Set in 53 acres of grounds, it’s THE place to visit for watersports near York. Even if your little ones are too young to enjoy the pleasures of falling off a paddleboard, there’s still plenty for them to enjoy around the lake. On a sunny day, there’s a holiday vibe and it really can feel like being abroad. It does get booked up, especially during the summer months, so do book ahead if you’d like to visit.
Here are five reasons we love going to Allerthorpe with our own children, and why we recommend it to other families around York.
1. There’s a brilliant range of activities
Firstly, whatever your children’s age and ability, there’s something for them to enjoy at Allerthorpe (and it’s all screen-free!). Pedalos offer a gentle way to explore the main lake, while the canoes and Canadian catamarans are another fun way to get the whole family involved in navigating the ducks.
Older children who are a bit more independent can have a go at kayaking and paddleboarding – it’s a fun activity to do together. All activities need to be pre-booked through the website, and you need to book your admission to the car park as well as your activity.
2. It’s great for younger children who love to paddle
Secondly, there’s nothing that children love more than paddling, and Allerthorpe is a nice safe place to get little feet wet. There are roped-off areas that are reserved for paddling, so there’s no danger of coming into contact with a stray canoe! Pack your swimming things and towels – there’s plenty of space by the lake where you can leave your things, or the car park is just a short walk away.
There’s also a play area that younger children will enjoy, as well as a selection of play equipment dotted around the grounds. A walk around the lake is another option for children who won’t or can’t get out onto the water. Dog owners will be pleased to know that their four-legged friends are welcome, too.
3. Older children adore the aquapark
Next, Allerthorpe’s aquapark is awesome for older children. Suitable for children aged 8+ and 1.2 metres tall, this inflatable obstacle course is huge fun. Kitted out in wetsuits, helmets and lifejackets, and under the eagle eye of one of the Allerthorpe lifeguards, they can jump, slide and splash around for 50 minutes. Make sure you get there in good time for the safety briefing, allowing time for parking and traffic on busy days. It’s worth it though – and it’s not just for kids!
4. There’s a cafe (where you can watch the fish from)
Although we usually pack a picnic to keep costs down as there’s plenty of benches and space to throw down a blanket, it’s good to know that there’s a cafe too. It serves simple snacks, meals and hot and cold drinks. Why not see how many fish you can spot from the terrace just outside? The play area is very close by, too.
5. There’s a campsite!
Finally, you can extend your stay at Allerthorpe by booking a pitch at their campsite. It’s a simple, no-frills affair, but we like it. It’s flat, the small washing block is well maintained and there’s something lovely about watching the sun come up over the lake in the morning. Why not book an early morning activity to make the most of the fact that you’re already on-site? Top marks to anyone braving an open water swim…
Travel essentials for Allerthorpe Lakeland Park
Address – Allerthorpe Lakeland Park, Melbourne Road, Pocklington, York YO42 4RL
Distance from York – 30 minutes approx.
Opening hours – Varies according to season; visit the website for more details
More info – allerthorpelakelandpark.co.uk
– Pre-book your admission to the park AS WELL as the activity you would like to do
– Allow plenty of time before your activity so you don’t miss any safety briefings
– Keep an eye out for regular school holiday activities