The Embankment in Wellingborough is the best place for me to take Hollie when there is nothing to do. We live just a mere 20 minute walk away and there is a lot for us to do.
I used to go there as a child so I have quite a lot of memories there and now, me and Hollie get to make even more. We walk past the embankment on our weekly walk to the 24 hour Tesco store and we always stop by on the way home.
Feeding the swans:
The embankment is a part of the Nene River which runs through Northamptonshire. The main thing me and Hollie go there to do is to feed the swans. The swans reside at the embankment and never really leave. Could there be the same swans there that I used to feed when I was little?
The Tesco so close is a great help for us as we can go there and pick up some Tesco value bread for 47p a loaf and go and feed the swans and ducks. They don't often come up onto the path so there isn't the worry of being chased around the place by swans. They are quite well behaved as they know you're there to feed them.
There are benches along the main river to sit at and some people even bring their own fold up chairs to sit by the river and feed them or even to fish! You need a permit from the council to fish there but it is a possibility if you wish to do it. I haven't ever fished there but we've seen people doing it and never catch anything!I would say if you’re taking small children, to bring a wrist link or their buggy as there is no barrier to keep them from falling in. You just have to be very careful with watching them near the river as it isn’t as safe as it could be made.
Looking across the river, you can see the Whitworths flour mill. Not much of a scenic view, but right in front of that is a field with some horses in with big willow trees shading them. It is such a beautiful sight to see when the horses are resting under the trees or walking around the field with their ponies. Me and Hollie often wave and say hello to them when we’re feeding the ducks and try to spot how many we can see. Unfortunately you can’t get over to that field from the embankment so we never get to see the horses up close or go over to feed them.
The splash water park:
Enclosed by a gate, there is a water park in the centre of the embankment. It is a children’s water fountain with nonslip flooring so the children don’t have accidents and get hurt. There is a sign which states it’s only open on weekends and school holidays but usually if there is a hot day and mums and tots are down there, they will turn it on. We haven’t played in there yet as it’s always full of children on the weekends, and Hollie is just 3 and the bigger kids in there look too rough for Hollie to go in there with just yet and might get knocked down. When I was little this water fountain used to be a swimming pool. The water was always green and you would always fall over as the bottom was always slimy and gross but as children, we didn’t care about that, we used to go in in our pants and come out looking like the incredible hulk. Now due to health and safety and not needing as much maintenance, they changed it to a water fountain which looks like so much fun.
There are lots of seats inside there for the parents to sit at whilst the kids run around. With younger children, you don’t need to worry about them running off as it is fenced off and the gate is too hard to children to open. This feature is also free so you don’t need to worry about paying for anything. Just bring some towels and your set to go.
This is probably where most of my childhood memories come from. It still looks exactly the same as it did 17 years ago and running around there was the best thing our parents let us do. We would take cricket bats and balls and have such a good time making new friends and joining in on games. I can’t really remember what our parents would be doing, but it probably included sleep for my dad. Now, me and Hollie go there with a blanket for the grass and sit and eat a picnic or go to play football. On weekdays when the children are at school, the embankment is deserted with just a few people like us walking to feed the swans. A lot of people walk their dogs down there as there is a great big area for the dogs to run around on. I’m not sure if you’re allowed to let your dogs off their leads, but we see it every time we go down there which isn’t a problem on days where it’s empty.
The grassed area is where the extra parking is when it’s busy at the weekends and the funfair is placed when the season is here. This year the grassed area flooded very badly which meant the funfair had to pack up for a week or so. The river was very almost overflowing so I didn’t take Hollie there at that point as the water was flowing way to fast and was just calling for an accident.
The funfair is just a very small part of the park when the weather warms up a bit. It was down there from May onwards and is great for little tots.There is a few photos of the tiny funfair they set up there. This year they've put up a inflatable slide, teacups, motor powered boats, trampolines and somewhere to eat too. There are lots of benched areas with tables to sit at around this area and it is just next to the car park.
Hollie loved going on all the rides (as pictured) and was really excited to play. You can purchase a wristband for £6 for an hour of play time and go on whichever rides you want to however many times. Hollie preferred the slide and went on that at least 10 times! You can also purchase single tickets to go on the rides if you only want a few rides but it works out cheaper in the end to buy a wristband.
As the Nene is accessible to narrow boats and the lock just a 10 minute walk away from the embankment, you can see plenty of boats wander past here. There is a boat that is permanently there which you can walk past and ogle the outside of. Me and Hollie has seen quite a few boats ride past us where we are feeding the ducks and we give the passengers a little wave and say hello as they go on by. There is a walk way under the bridge towards the back of the embankment which if you walk by and follow the footpath along, you can reach the locks and see the big walls that hold the water back when no boats are passing. We haven’t yet spotted a boat going in that direction yet to see it happen, but hopefully one way we will and we can follow it to watch them open the locks.
Parking is very limited here but in the summer they open up the grassed area for people to park on. The grassed area is very big so even with the cars parked on a part of it; there is still room from lots of games and running around. The parking is all FREE and nothing is to be paid for here unless you want to go on the rides they set up or food vans that park down there.
Tesco is just over the roundabout from the embankment and it's a great place to purchase a picnic or you could even bring one from home. When the weather warms up, there is an ice cream van that often parks up there for the children to whittle at you for. There is a hot food van which is very well priced too. I have eaten there before and it was a lovely fried egg roll which we sat on the benches to eat. I did however get the yolk all down my dress and had a walk of shame home with dried yellow egg over me. It was such a hot day so It dried very quickly and cooked onto my dress. Next time I should need a bib!
In the photos you can see the river Nene a few weeks ago when it was very high. Usually around this time of the year it's very low and you can see the rocks at the bottom of the river but at the moment it's running fast and high due to all the rainfall we've experienced here.
There are other photos too of us enjoying ourselves out on lots of different occasions.
The Embankment is a completely free day out if you bring your own packed lunch. They have so much to offer and it is a very nice chilled out and relaxed place to go. Even though it is on a busy road, there is a still peacefulness about the place. It has toilets in the car park for you to use which are also free. They close quite late too so don’t worry about being caught short!
The place seems very small when you get there, but that is what makes it so great. You can meet people easily and your children can make new friends. I prefer this place over any other fun day out that I could ever plan. I can relax and read a book whilst letting Hollie run free and play with a football or bat and ball, and I can keep one eye on here and one eye on the book. The benches there are nice and big and are great for a family to sit round to eat lunch. Most of them are shaded by trees too, so if it’s a hot day, it’s a great place to cool down. There aren’t that many benches around the grassed area, so if you want one, getting there mid-morning will guarantee you one as the mass of people usually get there at lunch time.
Fun for the kids, and relaxation for the adults, this place is a perfect day out with no cost involved except your petrol money there. Luckily I live so close so we can walk along.
Thanks for reading my review