A Day Out With Kids to Southwater Country Park

A Sunny Family Day Trip to Southwater Country Park

Today Mr LTF and I made the most of the third and last day of English Summer, and took the sproglings to West Sussex for a family day out. Southwater Country Park is a hidden gem, a reclaimed lake for watersports and swimming along with nature trails and a brilliant children’s playground. It was a really hot day and Mr LTF and I were both a bit tired from lack of sleep last night, so we caffeined up in the cafe and went straight to the little lakeside beach where the kids could swim.



They had a grand time; our five year old suddenly learned to swim whilst we were in Greece celebrating Mr. LTF’s 30th birthday, and her technique looks less and less like someone being tazered each time she gets in the water. There is a safety rope at the lake to stop people swimming out too far, which is good because today seemed to attract a certain kind of parent. I’m all for free range parenting but if I was a farmer I would be a bit concerned if my free range chickens were in danger of drowning, unlike some of the parents at the beach today. It is a lovely spot however and there are BBQ stands for anyone who wants to bring a bucket or disposable one and sizzle up some lunch.

Southwater country park, days out with kids, West Sussex, family day out, family travel, family day out
The view of the beach area from the other side of the lake
Southwater country park, family day out, family travel, West Sussex, day out with kids
People enjoying the hire boats- by the time we got to the hire shop they had closed!

After a dip we followed dinosaur footprints along the path to the fantastic Dinosaur Island, the children’s prehistoric themed playground. It’s huge but quite open so you can keep an eye on the kids, and there’s a brilliant variety of equipment.

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Our girl mastering the climbing net in a long dress!
Our girl mastering the climbing net in a long dress!

The dinosaur theme is really cool and there were some fun fact boards and dinosaur sculptures all over the park, so the little sponges can absorb some Jurassic knowledge in between climbing frames!



Our youngest trying to feed the dinosaur... This amazing piece of art is a chainsaw sculpture, the skill involved is incredible!
Our youngest trying to feed the dinosaur… This amazing piece of art is a chainsaw sculpture, the skill involved is incredible!
Which one's in the cage..?
Which one’s in the cage..?

We wandered back to the cute little cafe next to the car park (they sell ice cream for dogs, in case you’re tired of the usual ’99 with flake) and stopped to play Pooh sticks at the pretty stream along the way.


I would show you a picture of the epic three-tier cake we bought when we got to the cafe, but there isn’t a shutter speed fast enough to capture food that is placed in front of me, especially after a hot day out with kids.

Southwater Country Park is a lovely place for a day out with kids. Entry is completely free, which I think is incredible as it is somewhere that could easily charge as it has such great things to do with kids. The car park is just £1.50 all day or there are quiet roads to park on nearby and there is a nice cafe and toilets with changing rooms near the car park, next to the boat hire station. Bring a picnic and plan to stay for the whole day!


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Travel journalists, home educating our lovely brood of 3 girls. Planning a year-long RTW trip late Summer 2017.

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