If, like me, you have both younger and older children then I think Tarvin park is one of the best to visit. It’s got fantastic play equipment for the older ones, probably the best of any park around Chester but there’s also an enclosed play area for the little ones. The other added addition is the very toddler (and pushchair) friendly ‘Grogan’s Walk’, a narrow belt of woodland south of the park and just a five minute walk away, so together you can easily spend a couple of hours here.
The free car park is just off the A54, the Sat Nav link on the Info Bar will take you there.
The play area next to the car park was introduced in 2011 and is rather unusually intended for 12-18 year olds. The project was planned and developed between Tarvin Youth Club and the local Parish Council and community as they felt there was a need for play equipment for older children. I think this is such a great initiative, as exercise is so important for teenagers and why should you stop enjoying playgrounds once you get to 12?! I know I’ll still happily go on a swing!
There’s a birds nest swing, zip wire, rotating spring seesaw and a 5 swing tyre frame.
The highlight though, is this fantastic Kompan cross training equipment featuring pull up bars, magnetic weights and a suspension trainer. There’s even an instruction board! Dedicated as I am to bringing you good content, I felt it best to showcase my 4 year old on it rather than my unathletic attempts!
Walking down to the other end of the field, there’s a few more bits for the older ones, some of which I’ve never seen before. Case in point with this contraption!
You actually have to stand on the block with your arms holding on to the two chains and swing yourself from side to side. They never had this in my day, but good to see the core muscles of today’s youth are being cared for!
The younger children’s area is gated off (big points for that!). There’s the ever present slide, seesaw, roundabout and benches, but also 2 climbing frames, one is for the very little ones and the other is more challenging with some trickier climbs up it.
Any child of the 80’s will recognise this equestrian stalwart of the park! Why don’t they have these as much anymore? I think they’re great!
The large field has football posts and a basketball net, there’s no bike/scooter path around the edge of the field, just the path which links both ends of the park together.
After the kids are bored of the park, or rather once us adults have had enough of the park, head for a stroll along Grogan’s Walk which is accessible from the park. Owned by Tarvin Community Woodland Trust, it was the idea of the late Parish Councillor Jim Grogran, who in the 1980’s saw the potential of turning deserted fields into a woodland for the village to enjoy. A huge effort from the community saw the land turned into this lovely wooded area with many native trees planted. There’s a memorial plaque to Jim Grogran in the woodland which reads “Civilisations flourish when men plant trees under which they will never sit”, isn’t that wonderful?
The paths are all hard compacted surface so it’s very pushchair (and dog) friendly, although it can be muddy after lots of rain.
To find it, head out of the playground car park through the white gates and turn immediately left into Townfield Lane.
Follow this all the way down, past several houses until you come to the entrance of Grogan’s Walk where you enter through the gate.
There’s lots to spot on the way, including dens, squirrel boxes, information plaques and even a clone of Sir Isaac Newton’s apple tree!
When you get to the below wooden gate, there are 3 options:
Firstly, if you want to go back to the playground and enter the park at the southern end (where the younger kids play equipment is) then you can go through the gate, turn left and follow Hockenhull Lane for about 300m then turn left into Crossfields, then right into Meadow Close where at the end of this road you’ll see a path on the left going into the back of the park. It’s only about a 5 minute walk and the OS Map in the Info Bar shows this route.
Secondly, you could loop back on yourselves through the woodland via a parallel path. To find this, go through the wooden gate, turn right, then take the first path on the right and this will take you back to where you entered Grogan’s Wood. You can then just retrace your steps back up Townfield Lane to the car park.
Thirdly, just keep going as there’s still plenty of Grogan’s walk to discover! Follow the path all the way to the very end, go through the gate turn right and take the imediate right hand path which again runs parallel to the path you’ve just walked on. This will take you back to the above wooden gate, from where you can choose to go back to the park via the first or second option.
Finally if you want a longer walk, you could turn right at the wooden gates, cross over the road into Hockenhull Lane and pick up the path to Hockenhull Platts Nature Reserve, or the ‘Roman Bridges’ as it’s known locally.
For food you could walk or drive into the centre of Tarvin, where there is a village cafe, great chippy at King Louis and a Co-op shop. Or what I tend to do is drive 5 minutes to Okells garden centre which has a great cafe and an even better home shop which I could practically move into!