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A beautiful day at… Black Park (South Bucks)

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Black Park’s lake walk

I always love interviewing my celebs for My Favourite Places because I always end up finding out somewhere new to explore. So thank you to author Steve Colgan who gave the tip on Black Park (between Iver Heath and Stoke Poges in South Bucks). I took my bratlets down there yesterday and am mighty glad I did.

The lake, an easy circular route for young kids

If you don’t know it, Black Park is just off the M40 (and round the corner from Pinewood Studios), with over 10 miles of well surfaced flat trackways and paths set in 535 acres of woodland and heathland. In other words it’s a whopper of an outdoor space. Anyone who loves fresh air will get something out of the park – romantic couples, dog walkers, bikers and of course children and families – and there’s so much of it that you never feel surrounded by others.

The woodland playground

There’s a lovely circular walk that goes round the lake that is manageable for little ones, and a large indoor cafe with a massive outdoor terrace that overlooks it. The children’s woodland play area is about four times the size of those in Wendover Wood or Waddesdon Manor and I had to crowbar my kids out out of there after an hour.

The cafe area, just next to the woodland playground

You’ll encounter the Visitor Centre just off the lake walk, though hilariously it was closed for lunch (because of course no-one visits Black Park between the hours of 1-2pm!) so you’ll have to let me know what’s in there. With such a huge expanse of woodland, it’s obviously a smart move to grab a map early in proceedings before you end up playing Hansel and Gretel in the dying light.

I’ll definitely go back on a sunny day with bikes and spend the whole day here, but in the meantime – hello?!!! – it’s a dead cert for half-term with children. There’s a Go Ape for older kids and you’re tantalisingly close to the pretty village of Denham if you want a pub dinner at the well-regarded Swan Inn to top things off.

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