Tumblestone Hollow: the kids’ verdict
We asked a rabble of 4-10 year olds to road test the towers, treehouse, slides, swings and more at Stonor Park's brand new Tumblestone Hollow. This is what they thought.
We’re as excited as the kids about the unveiling on Friday of the new adventure playground, Tumblestone Hollow, at Stonor Park, near Henley. Why? Because it’ll give them at least a couple of hours of good times in the fresh air and give us a coffee (that someone else has made) while enjoying views of the gorgeous parkland and the Chilterns beyond.
The rather spectacular playground opens this week after a whopping £250,000 investment and a sprinkling of woodland magic. Alongside the playground, hot drinks and snacks are on sale at the Visitor Centre, and during Easter some fabulous food trucks, including…whisper it…a churros van. Molten choc heaven!
The new playground joins together the existing wooden climbing equipment in a new vast maze of treetop towers and walkways with sliding poles, climbing walls, ladders, balance beams, rope bridges, cargo nets and more. Aimed at 4-12 year olds, it’s over an acre in all including a zip wire, swings, and sand and water play area for smaller kids. It extends out of the woodland in the park, creating a natural, magical feel.
Tumblestone Hollow is themed around a fairytale about a group of whimsical characters led by Obsidian. They guard the stone circle that’s in the grounds of the stately home. If that sounds like bedtime story magic to your kids, they can take it home – the Visitor Centre is selling copies of the rhyming story, ‘The Legend of Tumblestone Hollow’, by Amy Sparkes , for £5.99.
Want to get your mitts on one? We have five to giveaway to some lucky mini Muddies – see details below about how to enter, together with opening times and how to book tickets.
Back to the important stuff… How do we know it’s so marvellous? We road-tested it for you. Here’s what our Muddy testers thought after a good deal of climbing crawling, running and sliding…
I loved the playground. When you think you’ve played on all of it, you find more and you think it will never end. I love how it can fit many children at once so you don’t have to queue up and there is always something to go on. On the slide you keep twisting and turning and the wobbly bridge was fun.
The slide was super fast and the little house in the middle is fun where you can hide with your friends. I love the balancing beams too because it’s like doing gymnastics.
I loved climbing high into the trees and looking down. The bridges were fun to run across. The slides were amazing. The mini magical house with the tiny walkway across the trees was really cool too.
I really like the fairy tale theme and all the carvings and details on the wood and the stone – it looks amazing. The slides go really fast and it’s all so spread out that there’s loads of space to run.
I liked the tree house best. It’s the perfect place to hide in a hide and seek game. And it’s good for playing tag because there are so many places you can go up and down on the climbing frames.
I like the little house in the middle where I can hide and rest. There were so many good hiding spots high up in the trees, or behind a stone, it’s great for games. The sandpit and water games were really fun too for after you’ve climbed on the treehouse for ages.
The whole playground was really fun and the way it is connected by all the wooden walkways. I loved the wooden tunnel which you crawl across and then it’s scary but cool when you look down. The top slide is so fast if you go headfirst and the zip wire was good too.
I loved the slide. It wasn’t easy because it was quite tricky to climb up but it was really really fun to keep doing again and again. I like the balancing logs and the steps up to the lookout tower.
I like how it’s magic in the woods, we can play goblins and witches, I’m not left behind because there’s always somewhere I can climb on to and reach and catch up with my big brothers. Climbing up to the tower then running after my friends was really fun.
It is such an amazing playground, it’s like it’s part of the woods. I loved having so many different things to try like the climbing wall and the fireman’s poles to come down. Every time you get to the top of a ladder you can decide to go a different way. The mini treehouse and the rope bridge up high were really cute too.
When I arrived I thought it was a bit too big to climb, but once I tried, it was amazing. My favourite was the wobbly bridge and the small slide because it was easier to climb. But I also loved the big slide because it was making an echo sound when we shouted down it, and it was really fast.
More tickets for the playground have just been released for the Easter holidays but you’ll have to act soon to bag yours. The tickets for Easter, from April 2-18, include the Easter Trail, where families solve puzzles and find clues around the playground and the gardens, and are rewarded with a chocolate treat at the end. Book through the website.
Easter Trail Prices: adults £8.50, children over 105cm £11.00, Children 92cm to 105cm £8.50, children under 92cm go free.
After Easter, Tumblestone Hollow will reopen every day from May onwards, 10am to 5pm. All tickets must be pre-booked via the website, which allow access to the playground for a maximum of three hours. Also available to book will be a covered area for children’s parties alongside the playground, and the Stonors hope to unveil their shepherd hut pizza kitchen, Hollow Hut, very soon. Watch this space for your weekend lunch and activity plans, sorted.
May onwards: Weekend and bank holidays prices: adults (over 16) £8.50, children over 105cm £8.50, children 92cm to 105cm £6.50, children under 92cm go free.
Weekday school term time prices: adults (over 16) £6.50, children over 105cm £6.50, children 92cm to 105cm £4.50, children under 92cm go free.
Weekday school holiday prices: adults (over 16) £8.50, children over 105cm £8.50, children 92cm to 105cm £6.50, children under 92cm go free.