Allensford Park Playground, Walks & Cafe Review (dog friendly)

Thanks to Gaia from Toon Lunch Club for this post about Allensford Park & Cafe - it looks like a lovely place to visit in Consett with the family. Over to Gaia....... 

Allensford Park Playground, Walks & Cafe Review (dog friendly)


A good playpark is like gold dust when you’ve got small children. For me, the boxes it needs to tick are:

- Enough equipment to keep a 3 and 7 year old simultaneously occupied

- Somewhere to sit and watch them

- A cafe nearby serving decent coffees, hot chocs in the winter and icecreams in the summer

- Picnic benches for packed lunches

- Walks nearby incase we’re feeling adventurous or have brought the dog

The brand new playpark at Allensford Country Park ticks all those boxes. 


Playground


The new playground is great, with plenty for preschool and bigger kids, I’d say up to 10 year olds would be very happy. It’s enclosed with push gates which is ideal to stop little ones escaping and running towards the car park. There’s also a zip wire and rope swing outside the enclosed bit which are fun at any age (I always love a zip wire!) 

Allensford Park Playground, Walks & Cafe Review (dog friendly)



Allensford Park Playground, Walks & Cafe Review (dog friendly)  - slide










Café at Inn on the Park


The cafe at Allensford is called ‘Café @ Inn on the park’ (what a mouthful) and is next to the playpark. It serves a wide range of hot and cold food (the waffles look good on their Facebook page). 






There’s a hatch where you can grab an icecream or hot choc to take to the park or you can sit inside which we did for the first time today. The cafe is dog friendly with a separate seating area for those with pooches and they serve dog ice cream for canine companions.



I had a flat white (£2.50) today which was basically just an overflowing milky coffee! I can only assume there’s someone new making coffees as it definitely wasn’t a flat white. The kids hot chocolate got the thumbs up from my little one though, with marshmallows and cream plus a biscoff for £1.95.




I ordered a sausage, egg and cheese muffin which was very similar to a McDonalds one (no hash brown though). The place was very clean but not very warm despite the electric heater doing it’s best on a chilly February morning. I’ve mostly enjoyed their hot chocs and ice creams in the past and will give the bubble waffles or churros a go next time.  At time of publishing, the cafe is open daily from 9:30am - 5pm but do check their website / social media before heading out.


Allensford Park Car parks


There are two car parks, one at each end of Allensford. They’re both free and there’s plenty spaces (the postcode is DH8 9BA for both). Allensford Park is fairly easy to get to, just off the A68.




Toilets

The brand new public toilets next to the playpark are due to open 1st March, so not long to wait! If you’re using the cafe they have a toilet. 



Allensford Park Walks

There are several walks that start at Allensford. There’s a lovely little one along the river to the old blast furnace  https://landofoakandiron.org.uk/allensford-blast-furnace/



Another takes you to a waterfall and you can also get onto the Derwent Walk and Heritage Trail from Allensford (although on the day we visited begin Feb 2022 this was blocked off due to storm damage).


Paddling at Allensford Park

Allensford is great for a splodge all year round (in wellies in the colder months!) as it’s quite shallow and easily accessible from a little beach area. My kids love the little path along the river which involves clambering over tree roots and trying not to fall into the water!


Dogs at Allensgreen Park

There is a lot of space to walk the dog and throw balls over fields and into the River Derwent which has a little beach and is pretty shallow here. There are dog poo bins dotted about and you’ll see several other dog walkers but there’s so much space that you can keep your distance if you want to. 

Picnics and BBQs 

There are loads of picnic benches at either end of Allensford (there are also two car parks) and also plenty of bins, which is key. Plenty of people have BBQs there in the summer, it’s a lovely place to get the family or friends together.


Seasonal events

Every holiday (Easter, Halloween, Christmas)  there’s a trail at Allensford - you pay £2 and get a sheet to fill in with related pictures to find dotted around the park. At the end your child gets a hot chocolate and haribos for completing it. It’s a lovely little add-on activity and we enjoyed the Halloween trail in 2021.


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