Beale Park is an outdoor wildlife park in Berkshire with loads of fun play areas. We’ve been visiting Beale Park ever since Ashley could walk as it’s brilliant for toddlers! We love it for the miniature railway, animals, paddling pool and the brilliant Little Tikes play area. Recently they’ve been added even more attractions and animals to the park so it’s now even better.
You’ll easily spend a full day at Beale Park as there’s loads to see and the play areas are great. All of this is included in your entry price:
- Miniature railway (first ride)
- Bouncy pillow- NEW
- Paddling pool
- Playgrounds (including the Little Tikes toddler playground)
- Giant sandpit
In addition to all of these activities there are a few more that you can pay extra to enjoy:
- Safari jeeps – £3 per drive and £2 per passenger -NEW
- Electric boats – £18 for 20 minutes – NEW
- Additional rides on the miniature railway – £1
The minimum age for drivers of the safari jeeps is 3, but they can be passengers from as young as 2.
The pool is open every day as long as the weather exceeds 14°c. It’s very shallow, the water only came up to Ashley’s knees and she could sit on the bottom with her head above the water. It was extremely busy when we visited at the weekend, with no one there to limit the number of people in the pool. So if you’re coming at the weekend or in the school holidays expect it to be packed in here!
This is one of the highlights for us. It’s a lovely train ride that takes you all round the park past several of the animal enclosures. Several of the enclosures were empty for some reason this time so it was a bit light on animals but Ashley still loved it. Hopefully that was just a temporary issue.
You can expect to see a huge variety of different birds, big and small, as well as lots of smaller animals like meerkats, coatis, skunks, lemurs and monkeys. They’ve also added some new bigger animals in the last year including zebras and a lynx.
There are also loads of farm animals and it says on their website that they are creating a special farmyard area and grouping all of these animals together. This could be why these enclosures were empty on the train ride as it was animals like the alpacas, sheep and pigs that I noticed were missing.
There are loads of playgrounds here for different age ranges. Ashley’s favourite has always been the Little Tikes Toddler Village! In this area there’s a road marked out around the outside with Little Tikes cars for them to drive round in. Plus loads of slides, playframes and little houses for them to play in. This area is enclosed as well.
There are then several other play areas with bigger slides and play frames, obstacle courses, swings, etc. As well as a separate rope play area with big structures for them to climb up.
Beale Park is set within 40 acres next to the River Thames. There are loads of really beautiful garden areas all over the park, many of them with picnic areas. A favourite of mine is the Jubilee Water Gardens which are so colourful.
Where is there to eat?
There are two restaurants in Beale Park, the Peacock Restaurant which is in the middle next to the main playgrounds and the Honesty Café which is in the Pavilion in the water gardens.
There was also a little stand serving a limited BBQ menu by the main playgrounds and a snack stall by the Toddler Village. Tip – this snack stall also sells ice creams and I didn’t see any queue here all day vs enormous queues for ice cream everywhere else.
You are also welcome to bring your own picnic and there are picnic benches all over the park. We sat and enjoyed our picnic next to the lake where we could watch the boats and the train ride past.
Best bits: The play areas are always the biggest hit for Ashley over the animals. The new addition of the bouncy pillow, combined with the paddling pool, miniature railway and Toddler Village are definitely our favourite parts.
Worst bits: There were areas (mainly the bouncy pillow and paddling pool) that were just too busy at the weekend and in my opinion should really have had a staff member on them controlling numbers.
Cost: Adults £14, Children (2-15) £11, Under 2’s free. They also offer discounted family packages and free places for carers.
Tickets: Must be purchased in advance. Click here to buy. This is new and requires you to book an entry time.
Buggy friendly: Yes
Bike & scooter friendly: Not permitted
Covid measures: Numbers are restricted, but I did feel that it was very busy at the weekend. If you are looking to visit when it’s quiet I would advise avoiding the weekend if you can and sticking to quieter week days.
Location & parking: Lower Basildon, Pangbourne, Berkshire. Free parking onsite.
Sat nav: RG8 9NW
Baby in Bucks Top Tips
If you have to visit on a weekend when it’s busy, book an early entry slot and do the train ride first. If you leave it until the end of the day you’ll find it very busy. Do the paddling pool and bouncy pillow either at the start or end of the day and you’ll find them much quieter.
Make sure you take your swimming stuff!