Parking in Northumberland is now free, although you do need a parking disc (cost £1 available from leisure centre's/tourist information). We usually park outside the leisure centre (postcode NE61 1PR).
We started our day with a trip to the infamous chinese van in the carpark. There were queues but they soon went down and we ordered sweet and sour chicken and chips. Meals are £3 each and really hit the spot.
We then walked over the bridge towards the park and tried to find a space to set up camp. It was busy, busy, busy but we eventually found a spot and I changed the children into their swimsuits. The paddling pool is a great size and children love it. It is excellent that we have such a fantastic FREE facility to enjoy whilst the weather is nice right on our doorstep.
The kids had a great time splashing around in the pool while I watched on (and caught some rays). After about 50 minutes of splashing, playing water tag and pretending to be crocodiles and hippo's the cold got to them and they wanted to get out.
We dried off and of course the children wanted to play in the adjoining parks. I don't blame them as they are fab! There is a bigger park for older children where my eldest two like to play (they love the huge slide) while I stayed in the smaller park with my youngest who just loves the sandpit and pirate ship. He always seems to make friends in there too!
It wasn't long before it was time to leave, we enjoyed a walk along the river looking at the ducks and boats and stopped at a doughnut van to buy fresh doughnuts for the journey home.
Carlisle park has lots going on besides the outdoor pool - there are park Olympics and bouncy castles too. It is a fantastic free family day out and you should definitely pay the park a visit this summer.