The Carrs is a huge, 71 acre park in Wilmslow, Cheshire. With a network of riverside walking paths, as well as large open grassy areas and woodland, it makes for a picturesque little spot. There’s a great playground area for the kids and it’s only a 10 min walk into the centre of Wilmslow if you fancy a bit of shopping.
On this most recent visit, via the aid of good old bribery (I bought them magazines in WHSmiths, goodbye £15) we walked from the car park all the way to Quarry Bank Mill. This is a beautiful wooded walk, again alongside the River Bollin, but much quieter than the walks around The Carrs, I’ve written this up as a separate walk here.
There is a choice of two car parks stationed at either end of The Carrs. We normally park in the free Twinnies Bridge car park (the Sat Nav link in the info bar will take you there).
Not for cheapskate reasons but because it’s a nice 1-mile walk down to the playground, whereas the main pay and display one at the other end is right next to the playground and as you know I like the end goal to involve a bit of a walk first!
However both car parks get very busy, so don’t be surprised if you have to park elsewhere, either side streets or in Wilmslow town centre.
At the start and end of the walk, there is a route map that shows the wildlife which can be found in the park such as Trout, Kingfishers and Bats. Not that we’d ever spot any of those, my children’s noise levels would make them run for cover.
Starting from Twinnies car park, cross over the river on the stone bridge and turn left, signposted ‘Town Centre via The Carrs’.
This is a lovely scenic walk, with large grassy areas on the right and the River Bollin on the left, a 49km river which begins on the edge of the Peak District near Macclesfield and ends up in the Manchester Ship Canal near Lymm. It’s very suitable for prams, cycles and scooters, which we often bring as mine always cover greater distances if two wheels are involved.
At this junction, cross over the bridge on the left-hand side.
There are some picnic tables on the banks of the river here, which make a great spot to have your lunch. In the Summer the river is fantastic for kids to play in, it will be full to the rafters! But do take wet shoes as it can be stony. This area here is slightly shallower so if the river is too full to paddle in post Summer then you could try here.
Follow the path straight and you’ll come to the playground areas. The first is a small area of wooden equipment.
Continue on to find the main larger playground. I would say this was better suited to 5 and under, although there is definitely stuff for the older ones like a zip wire, obstacle course, roundabout and swings.
There’s also this contraption, where you have to move the wheel to swing round, a killer on the arms and always brings to mind Gene Hackman in The Poseidon Adventure trying to turn off a steam valve before falling into the fire below!
For the younger ones, there are baby swings, two climbing frames and two sit on spring riders.
By the tennis courts (which are free to use by the way) is the adult exercise equipment which as in most parks is used by kids, not adults. My bigger two always spend a long time on this kind of stuff, probably more than the main playground.
There is a skateboard area that they like to play on their scooters (I can’t bear to watch their antics on this so try my best to look away).
There’s often an obligatory ice cream van parked up in the car park so be prepared for them to unleash their pester power, till you give in and join the queue for one. There’s also Cafe Azul, which serves really great cakes, coffees, sandwiches and wraps, it’s take away only so no seating.
Alternatively, you can venture into Wilmslow High Street, if you exit out of the playground car park, turn right, cut through the churchyard, follow the road straight ahead past Waitrose, cross over the next road and head into the pedestrian-only high street where there are lots of eateries. Sounds complicated but it’s really not!
Let me know what you think, hope you enjoy your day here!