A visit to Dinton Pastures Country Park, Berkshire

by Jan

Dinton Pastures Country Park is fantastic, country park near Wokingham in Berkshire. Set in 400 acres of meadows, lakes and woodland, Dinton Pastures provides a calm, natural environment, that is ideal for outdoor fun.   It’s a great place for a family day out, as it has play facilities, nature walks and water activities.  Read on for the best things to do on a visit to Dinton Pastures Country Park.

The adventure playground at Dinton Pastures

Dinton Pastures, Berkshire, UK

The main attraction for kids on a visit to Dinton Pastures Country Park is the adventure playground. It’s in a large natural area and has wooden play equipment to suit all ages, from toddlers to teens.

If you’re visiting with younger children, they’ll love the swings, slide, and tunnels.  They will also enjoying exploring the fort with its secret hobbit holes or playing in the sandpit.

As the twins are older, they headed straight for the giant rope-end swing and the climbing logs.  They tried unsuccessfully to complete the monkey bars but loved hanging upside down in the climbing frame.

Other play equipment suitable for for all ages were the zip wire and giant nest towers.  There is also a giant chair by the entrance, which has no play value, but makes a great photo.  The play area at Dinton Pastures has a great choice of equipment and is very inclusive.

Circular walk at Dinton Pastures

Woodland walk at Dinton Pastures, Berkshire, UK

After our play session in the playground, we went for a walk round the lakes.  With seven lakes covering 94 acres, Dinton Pastures provides a lovely natural landscape for a family walk.   A network of paths makes it possible to walk round them all and most are flat and accessible.

The main circular walk around Black Swan Lake is about 2 miles (3.2km) and takes under an hour.  However, we extended this to include the White Swan Lake and Heron’s Water.  If you follow the trail around all seven lakes, the walk is about 5km in total.

We saw several fishermen, who look liked they’d camped the night and plenty of dogs.  You can also cycle round the lakes.

Water Fowl at Dinton Pastures, Berkshire, UK

The best reason to walk around Dinton Pastures lakes is the nature and wildlife.  On just one circuit we saw so many varieties of birds on the lake.  A few of our favourites were grebes, Egyptian geese, swans, and a family of Canada Geese with 15 goslings.  It really doesn’t get much cuter than that!

We also found one of the bird hides which overlook Lavell’s Lake.  There are three bird hides at Dinton Pastures, as the area is an important conservation area for waterfowl.  We weren’t able to see much more, so if you are you are a keen birdwatcher, take some binoculars for a close-up view.

Dinton Activity Centre

Boats at Dinton Pastures Activity Centre, Berkshire, UK

If you walk anti-clockwise around Black Swan Lake, you’ll soon arrive at Dinton Activity Centre.  It takes about 10 minutes, or you can park at the centre.

From here you can hire pedalos, paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes to take out on the water.  Other watersports at Dinton Activity Centre include dingy sailing and powerboating.  They also offer training courses for adults and children’s activity sessions during school holidays.

Dinton Adventure Golf

Golf at Dinton Pastures, Berkshire, UK

After lunch we were ready for some mini golf and this was really good fun.  Although the course looks small from the outside, it actually has 18 holes.  The mini golf has a wildlife theme, so don’t be surprised to see snakes, foxes, and alligators along the way.

Some of the holes have the extra challenge of obstacles (tractor, castle, pig house) or water features.  The mini golf was very family friendly and not too busy at all.

Adventure Golf is open from 10am to 6pm and costs £4.95 per person.

Practical information for your visit:

Eating at Dinton Pastures

There are lots of picnic tables and benches around the country park.  Dinton Park also has a café, serving home-made food and a snack van near the mini golf.  There is a large outdoor seating area by the café and picnic benches in front of the mini golf.

Admission to Dinton Pastures

Admission to the country park, lakes and playground is free.  You will have to pay if you do additional activities, such as mini golf or water activities.

Parking at Dinton Pastures

There are several large pay and display car parks around Dinton Pastures.  Parking charges are currently £1.65 an hour (or a flat rate after 4 hours).

Getting to Dinton Pastures Country Park

Dinton Pastures is near the village of Woodley, between Wokingham and Reading in Berkshire, UK.

If you are coming by car, take the M4/A329 to Wokingham.   After 3 miles turn left onto B3030 to Twyford. After 1 mile, you’ll see signposts to Dinton.

If you are coming by public transport, the nearest station is Winnersh.  From here you can get a bus.

Have you been to Dinton Pastures Country Park?  We’d love to hear your comments below.

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