Hidden Gems: Sandown Park - Henley Brook
We came across this park by accident but hopped out to have a wander around. From our starting point on the eastern edge it just looked like a park with a walking path around a lake. The lake was quite pretty as we wandered the path, passing some swings and enjoying the birdlife. As we got further around we came to a picnic gazebo and discovered a second lake which had a playground on the far side, built to jut out into the lake. This second lake definitely had a bit of wow factor!
We continued around the western lake and came to a bridge surrounded by lovely gardens. This spot was very scenic and would be a great place for wedding photos! The path took us under the bridge and we could see a small basketball court and football goals on this side of the park.
Another small park bookended the larger park and we wandered up to explore. Heading back down the path towards yet another bridge we could see a third lake on the right. The bridge crossed over a small waterfall connecting the two lakes. We could see the pretty bridge we had passed under earlier but it didn't seem to be accessible, more for decoration.
We came to the playground which was fenced most of the way around - the unfenced bit has quite a high wall so little ones wouldn't be able to escape but older children could. The playground was suited to little kids with swings, bouncy animals and a small playground. There was a barbecue and picnic bench on the outside of the play area.
Continuing around we came to the first bridge which also crosses a small waterfall leading into the eastern lake. We couldn't get any good photos of this waterfall due to the extensive landscaping.
Following back around the eastern lake we came to a small amphitheatre before rounding the lake back to our beginning spot. We had joined the path just past the best viewing place across to the waterfall so had missed how truly lovely the lake's surrounds were.
Bookending the eastern edge of the park is another small park, Exmoor Park, which has several shaded benches.
This park was a very pleasant surprise and we really enjoyed spending 20 minutes wandering around the different lakes. This is a local park and there is limited parking in street side bays but no toilets.