Wansbeck Riverside Park

This post is based on a visit in April 2021. 

Wansbeck Riverside Park is a large nature reserve in Ashington, Northumberland.  Expect riverside walks, a large public play park with lots of space to run around, flat surfaced paths, green space, lots of seating and a cafe. It is FREE to visit.

Wansbeck Riverside Park


We used to take the kids often when they were little as it was an ideal spot for dog walking and also a good spot for blackberry picking. We revisited on Easter Bank Holiday and it was just as good as I remember. 



Wansbeck Riverside Park - Location


There are a couple of options for parking. We used the main car park by the play park and caravan site (use postcode NE63 8TX). This is signposted from the road (see below) and accessed via Wellhead Dene Road & A1068 Sheepwash Road. Parking is free with no time restrictions. 

There is an alternative car park along the river at Blackhorse Dene just off Stakeford Bridge. You can also access the park via public transport, see here for information. 






Wansbeck Riverside Park - Playground & Water Activities 


The playground is right next to the car park and overlooks the river. It is large and enclosed so perfect for kids who like lots of space to run around. There is a big slide, climbing frames, seesaw, climbing nets, smaller slides and toddler play equipment. There is also a sandpit but it didn't really have much sand in on the day of our visit. 

There is seating inside the park and picnic tables just outside, some tables are next to blossom trees and would make a nice spot to base yourself for the afternoon. Dogs are not allowed inside of the playground but are welcome in the surrounding areas and it is a popular spot for dog walkers. 










We did not visit the toilets so I can't comment, but there do seem to be two sets of public toilets along the walk (see map below). 

Edit to add - a few people have messaged to say these public toilets are no longer in use. There are toilets available for customers in the cafe (once fully opened) and at The Anglers Arms (again, once it has re-opened). Let me know if you know of any public loos nearby and I will update this post. 


Rowing, Fishing and Kayaking is permitted on the river but you do need a permit/to pay a fee/abide by restrictions. Contact the Wansbeck Riverside Park Warden on 01670 812323, the Northumberland Countryside Officer on 01670 843444 or Northumberland County Council for information. 


Wansbeck Riverside Park Cafe 


The Riverside Pantry is part of Wansbeck Riverside Caravan Park but also open to the public. It is right next to the playground and ideal for grabbing a hot drink or bite to eat. They are generally open daily from 9am - 4pm but do check their Facebook page for up-to-date info. 

We ordered takeaway drinks (just over £4 for 4 drinks - card accepted) but their cakes and bakes all look lovely and are all homemade. Once restrictions allow, they have indoor seating and an outdoor terrace overlooking the river too. Prices seemed super reasonable and they had good COVID measures in place with a one way system / markers on the floor etc..... 

Click here for The Riverside Pantry Facebook page. 




Between the cafe and the park is a little ice cream hut serving homemade ice creams and a few other snacks during peak times too. 


Wansbeck Riverside Park - Riverside Walk to The Anglers Arms 


With your back to the playground and you facing the river, turn right and walk along the river until you reach the Sheepwash Road bridge. Cross over and you will get to The Anglers Arms Pub which serves lush homemade food and has an outdoor terrace with lots of seating (opening 12 April).

Their beer garden overlooks another enclosed playground (see photos below) which would be perfect for older kids who don't need to be directly supervised as you enjoy a drink. The walk should take 10-15 minutes max and is outlined below (the red dot is the Anglers Arms). 





Credit : The Anglers Arms 


Kids Eat for £1 During May Half Term 2021


  • Anglers Arm, Sheepwash is offering kids eat for £1 during May Half Term. Here is what they have to say: 
Anglers Arms, Sheepwash Bank NE62 5NB
For every 1 paying adult, 1 child eats for £1 (excludes beer bait). Offer valid Monday 31st May to Friday 4th June, 2021. Please mention the deal when ordering. 

The offer runs on the Kids mains section only from the menu and includes the following:-

  • Cheeseburger Served with Fries & Beans
  • Homemade Chicken Nuggets Served with Fries & Beans
  • Cod Strips Served with Fries & Beans
  • Sausage Served with Fries & Beans
  • Tomato & Cheese Pasta Served with Garlic Bread

Our restaurant will be open on 17th May should the weather be rainy, but we have a lovely beer garden with riverside views.  We have a great games box full of traditional games such as playing cards, dominoes & draughts for some family fun whilst you wait.  There are also colouring sheets and crayons if the children are creative and like art.  Children can also bring their scooters and balls as there is a great play park for the older kids, plus a skate park, football pitch and basketball court.

Find out more here 



Menu correct May 2021





Wansbeck Riverside Park - Walk to the Coast 


Alternatively, face the river and turn left to head towards the coast. It is around a 2-3 mile walk (click here for an ordnance survey map/directions) or walk a little along this path and explore the surrounding woodland too. You can walk as little or far as you like. On this visit, we walked as far as the Rowing Club and then turned back. 




The paths are surfaced and suitable for pushchairs. The paths are fairly narrow in places (suitable for 2 people) but there is grass and places to safely pass others. As you walk away from the park, the river does get deeper and wider and there is no physical barrier so keep an eye on little ones. 

We spotted lots of ducks, geese and swans along the walk. You might spot a heron or a kingfisher too. 



The path along the river is easy to follow but there are marked diversions up into the woodland if you fancy it. 




As you can see, lots of green space for a picnic or run about too. Wansbeck Riverside Park is a lovely free day out and I would definitely recommend. Find out more about visiting here. 

Nearby places to visit include: 

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Please follow social distancing rules & Government guidelines , respect the local area, leave no trace, take litter home, park responsibly and if somewhere is busy on arrival, please consider leaving and returning at a later date. 

Remember face coverings are required for indoor attractions / shops for those aged 11+ (usual exemptions apply)  

Check for local lockdowns / travel restrictions before visiting anywhere. 

Always check updated opening hours / protocols with venues direct before setting off as things may have changed after this post was published. 

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