Wharton Park & Playground Review

This post was published in October 2023 by our writer Gaia. Please check with venue direct for the most up to date info. 

Wharton Park & Playground Review

Wharton park is on the outskirts of Durham, and we've often driven past it but never explored - until last weekend! It's also featured in this post: 20 Things to do in Durham City with Kids , do check that post out if you're looking for more ideas for things do do before/after your visit. 

It's a really lovely park and ideal if you want to fill a couple of hours for free (or low cost if you're parking in the car park). 

Here's what we discovered:

  • Large park with nature walks and info boards about the local history

  • 3 different playgrounds - one for toddlers, one for older kids and an assault course with exercise equipment

  • Accessible swing set and accessible routes for wheelchairs and buggies around the park however the park is built on a hill so there are some steep inclines to some areas

  • A multi-use sports court (basketball and football)

  • Plenty picnic benches and park benches to sit and eat lunch on

  • A dog friendly cafe serving lunches (soups, sandwiches, paninis) as well as cakes, ice creams, coffees and kids lunch boxes 

  • Seasonal activities from time to time - they have a 'Pimp your pumpkin' session on 30 October

  • FREE interactive AR fairy trail with the Love Exploring App 

  • Public toilets are available in the heritage centre next to the cafe 

  • Parking in the car park is 50p per half hour (Mon-Sun, 3 hours max stay)

  • Within easy walking distance of Durham Train Station and an ideal day out by train

  • Stunning views of Durham Castle and Cathedral

Wharton Park Sculptures

Wharton Park - Parking 

Address for Sat Nav: Wharton Park. Framwellgate Path. Durham. DH1 4FJ

Wharton Park Car Park Charges

Wharton Park Map

We parked in the small car park located at the top of Framwellgate Peth which costs 50p per half hour (Mon-Sun, 3 hours max stay). The car park is next to the playparks and heritage centre/cafe/toilets.

Wharton Park - Accessible by Public transport

Wharton Park - walking route from train station

Durham train station is just a few minutes walk from Wharton park, in fact it's right out the back of it! Wharton Park is definitely a nice idea for a short train trip from Newcastle. 

Wharton Park - Accessibility

The carpark is right next to two of the the playparks and the heritage centre and toilets. The toddler playpark outside the heritage centre has accessible swings.

Wharton Park Accessible Swings

There are walkways around the park and ramps for wheelchairs and buggies.

The park is built on a hill so there are some inclines. 

I found this review on TripAdvisor:

"Disabled point of view

May 2023 • Family

What a beautiful hidden gem. I'm disabled so found it very hilly and hard walking. Loads of steps and steep banks. There is no free parking for the disabled, 30p for 30 minutes and a maximum of 3 hours stay. The little cafe is lovely and does great coffee. Toilets are flat access and very clean."

Wharton Park Playgrounds & Cathedral View 

My kids aged 8 & 5 had lots of fun playing in the various playparks and running around the park. It was great being able to explore different areas and finding surprises round every corner.

Wharton Park Obstacle Course

Wharton Park Cathedral View

We started at the assault course and exercise area, taking in the views of the castle and cathedral while we were there.

We then walked down to the ampitheatre (I'd love to see a performance here but can't find any upcoming shows - I'll be keeping an eye on their Facebook page for updates) https://www.facebook.com/WhartonParkDurham

We then discovered the next playpark which had a zipwire (always a hit with my kids!) And a big climbing frame which says it's 8+ but my 5 year old just about managed it!

Wharton Park Playground

Then we went for a little walk through the park and checked out the multi-use sports area - great for older kids who want to play basketball or football.

The last playground we visited in Wharton park was the toddler area, which is right outside the heritage centre which has toilets and a cafe.

Wharton Park Toddler Playground

This one a train theme (as Durham train station is right next to the park!) And has a roundabout, a variety of swings including accessible swings, climbing wall, balance board and more. It was a big hit. 

Wharton Park Cafe and Picnic Areas

We popped into the cafe for icecreams and a coffee and cake - reasonable prices, great vegan carrot cake but terrible coffee (from one of those machines). Staff were lovely - we had to ask them for plasters when my son fell off the swings and they were great. The cafe is dog friendly 🐶

Wharton Park Cafe Kids Meals

Wharton Park Cafe Menu

There are picnic benches and park benches dotted around the park to have your lunch on, which is what we did.

FREE Wharton Park Fairy Trail 

If you download the FREE Love Exploring App before your visit, you can try a FREE Augmented Reality Fairies Trail around the park. Take this interactive walk through the park, have your photo taken with fairies and answer the themed quiz questions along the way.

It's similar to the FREE dinosaur trail at Harwick Park. 

Wharton Park Heritage Centre & Toilets

The heritage centre has info boards and holds events from time to time. It also has public toilets which were clean on the day of our visit. 

Wharton Park is well signposted inside and there are handy dog and buggy parking posts available (at your own risk) too. 

Wharton Park is beautiful and we will definitely come back. It was perfect for kids of different ages as there are different areas to explore and the views were stunning. Lovely little cafe too, perfect for a few low cost hours in Durham with kids!

Other Parks in Durham 


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