Winchester Parks Review: Gordon Avenue Park, Highcliffe
by Hampshire Photographer: Evie Winter
One vital concern for families moving to a new area if what is ‘is there a new playground, and what is it like?’ if you are moving to the Highcliffe area of Winchester - you are in for a treat. The local playground just off the top of Gordon Avenue has been recently renovated and is an asset to the local community.
It is hard for a playground I think to serve all the ages unless they have fencing between the baby section and older areas but I feel Highcliffe does it pretty well. The perimeter fencing is secure, the park is not huge - so you can see from one end to the other from most points. The equipment is challenging for toddlers and upwards.
Getting There & Parking
Local Info: Parking on the street (Gordon Avenue) is currently free and if you come during a week day time, you should find a space.
Bus: We had a nightmare with that, I tried to get a No.4 from the town centre. I had one child in buggy and 4 year old walking, I didn’t think she would do well on the hill and wasn’t sure how long a walk would take. Anyway the bus came 30 minutes late. 30!! And then when we got on, we found out that due to the delay the destination was being changed to the city centre. This is a bus that goes once an hour and was the second incident of it happening to me in a week (the other was the No.1 to Tescos), so I really did feel like crying. However I regained my composure and enjoyed the opportunity to discover a new part of town, we walked via Bar End / East Hill / Petersfield Rd - the hill was not that bad and the South Down views, very lovely.
2 x Big Kid Swings
1 Nest Swing
2 x Toddler Swings
Rope Climbing Frame (cylindrical shape makes it easier to help you child the the pyramid ones).
Wooden obstacle course with balancing beams, rocking walk way, rope bridge)
Lowish climbing frame with rope bridges, wood bridges, slide and ‘windows’
Pirate Ship climbing frame with rope ladder but also a contained ground floor to make it easy for younger kids.
Surfing board on springs
Basket ball net and grassy area
There are two gates which an ambitious child could utilise and get on to the footpath.
Local Knowledge: One parent I spoke to had noticed that the mounds that have been built it to the grassy area have not turfed over very well, so just look like soil and pebbles now. It could get slippy on a rainy day and there is potential for cuts from those pebbles. The rest of the park is turfed or has the playground soft flooring.
I visited the playground at the end of September and we had a bit of shade for adults to stand in but not a huge amount.
The area is residential so no public toilets to the best of my knowledge.
Two picnic tables, two benches and a grassy area set back where kids are unlikely to be running so would be good for a picnic blanket.
No shops near by
The View and Atmosphere
You can just see the hills of the South Downs peaking through the trees and bushes, so I expect come winter - the view will be fabulous. You will hear the noise of the cars from the M3 and shots from a nearby firing range so not a truly peaceful experience but it does feel more country like than some of the other parks we have visited.
If you leave the park, take a right and another right, you reach a bridge across the M3 and the beginning of the South Downs.
My girls aged 3 and 4 really loved this park and the equipment here - I saw them both engage with some of the more challenging pieces more than I have seen elsewhere which was really good. I wish it was a bit easier to get to, especially with a more reliable bus option for a rainy day. Saying that, the walk from the Broadway was not too arduous and I am sure we will be back at some point.
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Evie Winter is a local Mother and Lifestyle photographer specialising in newborn, family and children’s portraits based in Winchester, Hampshire. To see more of her work, please visit Evie Winter Family Photographer