Winchester Parks Review: Oliver's Battery Rec
by Hampshire Photographer: Evie Winter
Oliver’s Battery Rec
Since starting to review parks in and around Winchester, I have been asking other Winchester mothers which are their favourite parks. The one that comes out top was Oliver’s Battery Rec. So on Thursday, after a lovely play at Lanterns Children’s Centre (they run holiday sessions which are a must for those at a loose end) - we took the bus to Oliver’s Battery and we were not disappointed.
Suitable for supervised 2 year olds and upwards. Oliver’s Battery is more of an adventure playgroup and suited to older children, but I think an toddlers would enjoy it as well, especially adventurous ones. One Winchester Mother told me she had been coming since her child was 18 months old. The playground is quite big and it is more like having playground equipment in a field than a city playground. It has no fencing, so you will definitely need to pay attention for younger children.
Oliver’s Battery Rec is ideal for older kids with the big climbing frame and space to run around.
Getting There & Parking
Small carpark adjoining it, was not full on either of my visits, approach via Prior’s Rd.
If walking, get the Kings City 5 to Oliver’s Battery Rd or 66 or Park and Ride to Pitt Roundabout and walk or there is a foot path from Sainsburys (hard right out of Sainsburys, down some steps, turn right , walk down the path and then go up the steps - turn right and then go over the bridge. Take the middle path (the one in front of you which veers gently to the right). Follow path until Compton Way / Texas Drive - turn left. You’re in the park!
There is a lot and it is all lovely, wooden and in good condition.
Two toddler swings
Two older children swings
Small wooden ship (ideal for toddlers)
Gentle ramp and hut (okay for toddlers but it is connected to the same climbing frame with a higher slide so you might want to keep an eye)
Small slide (ideal for toddlers
1 big climbing frame that is accessed by a walk way, includes a rope bridge which would be harder for young kids. The frame can be accessed by a steps at the other end nearer the slides though.
Tunnel (ideal for toddlers as long as you know they are there!)
1 smaller climbing frame, I say smaller but it is still pretty big and might not be suitable for younger children.
This is a park that will provide lots of challenges, there are lots of places that kids could hide or fall but I think with good supervision they would get a lot from it in terms of running around and problem solving skills and parents might just enjoy it too.
The park is not fenced in but that should not be a problem if child is supervised, the equipment all looked safe and in good condition when I was there.
I was there between 11am and 3pm and there were quite a few trees providing shaded areas for sitting, definitely a great option for a sunny day.
Didn’t see any, in an emergency you could do the 20 min walk back to Sainsburys along the footpath.
Lots of trees providing shade, area is all grassed so take a picnic blanket. There are a few picnic benches and at least 2 picnic tables
None in the immediate area that I could see, but we did pass Thrive Cafe (Oliver Battery Rd) which a friend tells me she loves going to and rates highly on google, or you have Starbucks next to Sainsburys
The View and Atmosphere
There is a good country feel at Oliver’s Battery which the city girl in me just loves. The view from the park is mostly trees although you can see the South Down hills from certain points. When we there we saw some horses in the field adjoining, the horse came right up to the fence to say hello, much to the delight of the children. I believe this Butterfly Conservation area is very nearby but have yet to do it so not sure how far the walk is.
If you walk down the footpath back to Sainsburys, the view of Winchester once you have crossed over the beach is stunning and worth a trip in itself. I am looking forward to getting in some walks in this area now I know it exists.
Did you enjoy this review? Please check out my other Playground Reviews.
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