Brockhole’s brilliant new adventure playground (with breathtaking views) in the heart of the Lake District

Tuesday, 20th March 2018 4:01 pm

    Client: Brockhole on Windermere – a not-for-profit attraction run by the Lake District National Park Authority

    Location:  On the shores of Lake Windermere in the heart of the Lake District National Park, a World Heritage Site

    Playdale Playgrounds was absolutely thrilled to win the tender to design, build and install the new Adventure Playground at Brockhole on Windermere. This was a hugely rewarding team effort from beginning to end.

    Sam Mason, General Manager of Brockhole, said: “The adventure playground is a very popular feature among our visitors and so it was important for us to update the site to provide a new experience for families, and to attract new visitors to Windermere.”

    Sam added “This is an exciting start to 2018 for us, and one of many new improvements currently underway. Our car park and restaurant are also being refurbished ready for spring when visitors will be able to experience a whole new Brockhole that is both brilliant for families but will also appeal beyond the family market.”

    The brief

    Brockhole welcomes more than 300,000 visitors each year with a range of activities and attractions, including a cafe and gardens, bike hire, mini golf and the free adventure playground, which is a long-standing feature on the grounds. The brief was, therefore, to redevelop and bring new excitement to the adventure playground which also needed to reflect Brockhole’s lakeshore location and complement its natural environment. The play area was already home to some items of Playdale equipment but these would be relocated at a later date, to fit in with the new design and age range areas.

    The challenge

    The Brockhole site brought unique complexity in the form of challenging levels and restrictions due to tree roots which of course go hand in hand with drainage problems. The large junior climbing structure (which would subsequently be removed and replaced) was on a tree-covered slope. Therefore the bespoke, customised Playdale Mountain Tower replacement needed to be specifically designed for this ‘out of the ordinary’ surface and topography.

       

           The former junior climbing structure at Brockhole, and its replacement

    Not only that, but it was decided that an arboricultural impact assessment would be required from Playdale, to demonstrate how our playground design would minimise impact on the trees. We had to work closely with the Brockhole team and in particular their arboriculturist  to ensure we left no stone unturned (and no tree root undetected!)

    Our Area Manager for Cumbria, Amy Mallinson carried out an in-depth site survey and discussed the tender requirements in more detail.

    With a themed design of this size, our talented team not only produced a detailed quotation, scaled plan, 2D illustrations and 3D imagery, but we also created a 3D ‘walk through’ video so that our adventure playground proposal could really come to life for the Brockhole team!

     

    After we submitted the tender we were invited to the next round by presenting the proposal at the Lake District National Park Authority.

    Our presentation was very well received. They were impressed with our designs and how much we’d met and answered their brief. They particularly liked the blending of green hues and natural timbers in the design of the equipment; completely in keeping with the natural beauty of the surroundings at Brockhole. An important aspect of the design was to make sure there was plenty of play equipment for all ages – toddlers to teens…and everything in between  A few alterations were discussed and requested and within a few weeks, the senior decision-making team at the Lake District National Park chose Playdale’s design…we were over the moon to win the tender  for this exciting project!

    From then on, Amy had regular meetings on-site which meant we had a real feel for their desired end product; a large adventure playground to attract and entertain the thousands of families that visit this attraction each year.

    The installation phase

    Our installation team, led by Lee Corbett, External Operations Manager and Michael Marsden, Contracts Supervisor, did the most fantastic job from beginning to end; equipment and surfacing smoothly installed and ready on time for the grand opening and green light to come and play!

    More information

    Brockhole’s new Adventure Playground is home to a vast range of play equipment for children of all ages and abilities. The pieces of play equipment selected for the playground give so much variety for children and each product has its own play values and benefits. The new products you can enjoy at Brockhole include:

    A customised Mountain Tower Plus in green with nine (yes nine!) towers including a four-floor hexagonal tower and five slides, an inclusive Team Swing,  a Play Galleon Plus, a Play Ship, items from our timber Adventure Trail range, an Activity Net, an Aerial Runway, an inclusive Gravity Bowl, a Playhouse, a Twirly from our Caterpillar range, Toddler Swings, Play Panels and the Shelters & Shades.

    Jungle Climber

    Play Galleon Plus toddler multi-play unit

    Playship with Playhouse and Play Panels behind

    Mountain Tower Plus NINE tower junior multi-play unit

    Toddler Area 

    Brockhole’s Adventure Playground is now a great place for children to run off steam. Parents can relax comfortably knowing their youngsters are perfectly safe and enjoy the beauty of the place. Such an exciting, large ‘wow factor’ play area really makes a huge difference in an attraction and can increase footfall dramatically.

    Why not make your next day out in the Lake District Brockhole on Windermere and go and enjoy the new adventure playground for yourselves?! It’s a great day out whatever the weather with lots to do for all the family!

    If you are feeling inspired and would like to discuss any aspect of your play project with your local Playdale Area Manager, click here. We look forward to hearing from you.