Fontburn Reservoir | Family Walk & Play Park

I'm always looking out for new family walks to try and if they have a play park - even better. Fontburn has been on my list for ages. They received a new play area in 2018 and I'm annoyed that it's taken me so long to get here. We visited on a blustery Saturday afternoon in September and practically had the place to ourselves. 


Fontburn is near Rothbury in Northumberland and honestly feels as if it's in the middle of nowhere.

Fontburn Reservoir | Family Walk & Play Park  - postcode

Parking is charged at £1.50 for 2 hours, £3.50 for 4 hours or £5 all day (correct as of September 2019).  Use postcode NE61 4PL and once you get to the reservoir turn left. This will bring you to the car park near the play park. There are information boards with maps, points of interest and information which are useful to read before you begin your adventure.

Fontburn is dog-friendly. Dogs should be kept on a lead and beware that from 10th April - 10th May there are restrictions on the circular walk due to the lambing season.

Fontburn Reservoir | Family Walk & Play Park  - walking map


The first thing that struck me about Fontburn is just how peaceful and beautiful it was. Stunning and what a beautiful setting for a picnic and a play in the park. There are plenty of picnic tables and a small shop selling hot drinks and snacks (although opening hours may vary). Fishing is very popular here too. Find out more over on the Waterside Parks website. 

You can see more from our afternoon at Fontburn in this short video below: 



Fontburn Reservoir | Family Walk & Play Park

I will be honest, the play park was a little smaller than I anticipated but it has been thoughtfully designed with areas for older and younger children, climbing nets, swings, slides and one of the best zip wires in North East England. Heidi and Jack loved it. 

Fontburn Reservoir | Family Walk & Play Park - children's play area

Fontburn Reservoir | Family Walk & Play Park  - fenced play park

Fontburn Reservoir | Family Walk & Play Park  - climbing frame

Fontburn Reservoir | Family Walk & Play Park  - under 5s area

Fontburn Reservoir | Family Walk & Play Park  - zip wire


Fontburn Reservoir | Family Walk & Play Park  - climbing ropes


Fontburn Reservoir | Family Walk & Play Park  - picnic tables


If there's been a bit of rain, a walk to the storm drain might be of interest. Waterside Parks have shared images of the overflow in action during periods of heavy rain and it looks incredible. We visited during a dry period so there was only a trickle of water swirling in the overflow during our trip.

Fontburn Reservoir | Family Walk & Play Park - storm drain



We set off on a walk around the reservoir. The full circular walk is 3.5 miles and should take around 2 hours with a few stops with kids. We were short on time so only completed around 1/4 to 1/3 of the walk this time - good excuse to go back! You can read more about the full walk here.


The terrain around the first part of the walk would be fine for an all-terrain pushchair. It was mostly grass or bark with a couple of tree roots which may need negotiating. There are gaps in the woodland at several parts of the reservoir where you can get up close to the water. We spotted lots of birds here so bring your binoculars.


Fontburn Reservoir | Family Walk & Play Park  - reservoir shore


Fontburn is home to an abundance of wildlife including:
  • Red squirrels
  • Badgers
  • Roe deer
  • Stoat 
  • Exmoor ponies
  • Adders 
  • Newts 
  • Swans
  • Geese 


We visited at the very start of Autumn and discovered lots of weird and wonderful mushrooms growing on the forest floor which was cool.


Fontburn Reservoir | Family Walk & Play Park  - woodland walk


We spent 2 hours at Fonburn playing in the park, sitting by the reservoir and trying part of the walk. We loved it and it was lovely to get away for a couple of hours and escape to the Northumberland countryside for a bit.

See more from our afternoon at Fontburn in my video below:



Fontburn is not far from Rothbury and Cragside if you fancied making a day of it. You can read about Rothbury Riverside Walk and Playground here and about Getting Lost in the Labyrinth at Cragside here. 




Looking for more family walks with play parks? Check out these posts:








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