Play Parks in Exeter - top free parks, water features and playgrounds in Exeter for families

Play Parks in Exeter-  play areas, recreation fields, green spaces and play grounds perfect for letting off steam and getting some outdoor play time.

Play Parks in Exeter - top free parks, water features and playgrounds in Exeter for familiesMost residential communities in Exeter have their own dedicated kid’s playpark so here we have listed a few of our favourites as well as the major playgrounds and green spaces.

Parks with water features

St Thomas Splash Park

The coloured rubber matting is bright and inviting and there is a range of water features that you run around in.  The water is controlled by the buttons on the big posts – there is a secret sequence that needs to be entered to start the water off!

Our favourite is the “car wash” a series of hoops spraying water that you run through.  Also popular are the 3 self-filling buckets of water that you stand under and wait for them to randomly tip on you – Russian Roulette for the kids.  The water cannons are good fun too and there is plenty of space to run around while getting wet.

Most kids will be wearing full swimming kit/wetsuits as they will get totally soaked. I’d also strongly suggest wearing beach shoes too – there is some netting under the grass at the entrance to the play park and this can show through occasionally.  Plus rubber matting can get a little slippy due to leaf fall and shoes help with this.

There is a lovely grass space with some trees for shelter and the raised walls make another good seating area.

Please note this is a splash park, not a paddling pool so there is no standing water to paddle in and kids will get head to toe wet.  It’s best suited to children who are very confidently walking, unless mum or dad is happy to get wet too.

There are loos in the park and Cowick Street shops are 2 minutes walk away.

St Thomas Splash Park

Open daily, timings confirmed each year by ECC.  Roughly 10am to 7pm, May half term to end of September.

St Thomas Pleasure Grounds, Cowick Street

Bus – less than 2 minutes, A, E, F and P.  Trains to St Thomas, about 10 minutes walk with kids. No bike racks but plenty of railings.

Very limited on road parking – please don’t park over residents’ drives, on the corners etc as this is selfish and makes access to the park dangerous for the children trying to access their local park. There are public car parks on Cowick Street and Okehampton Road, just a few minutes away.

Heavitree Paddling Pools

A series of interlinked pools, perfect for paddling, splashing and wallowing in.  There are no water features as such, think old school paddling pool for dipping your toes in.

A better choice for babies/toddlers perhaps than St Thomas Splash Park but much loved by any age children too.  Plus mum or dad can cool off without getting soaked.

There is non-slip matting around the outside of the pools and grass/benches to sit on.  I do find it hard in the heat of summer as there is no shade in the fenced off water area.

There are loos in the park and Heavitree shops are a few minutes walk away.

Heavitree Paddling Pools

Open daily, timings confirmed each year by ECC.  Roughly 10am to 7pm, May half term to end of September.

Heavitree Pleasure Grounds, Whipton Lane

Bus – less than 2 minutes walk, any bus that goes up Heavitree Road, eg, D, R, 4, 9, Green, 56, 58.  There is now an official cycle route through the park (yay!) and plenty of railings.  Limited on road parking nearby or car park on Gordon’s Place.

If you don’t mind going further afield, there are lovely splash parks at the Den in Teignmouth and Decoy Country Park, Newton Abbot.  You can certainly train it to Teignmouth but it’s a bit of a mission to get to Decoy on the bus from Exeter.


Parks with play equipment

Cowick Barton/Pinces Gardens

Cowick Barton has a big fenced in area with grass and seating for the grown ups.  It’s roughly divided into big and small children areas but if your kids are anything like mine, they will mix and match on all the equipment.

There are swings, springers, a small climbing set with fireman pole, ground level trampoline, monkey bars of differing heights, cargo nets and big kids roundabout.  We can easily spend a couple of hours here as it’s quite chilled out.

The play park is set in a huge open playing field, so there is lots of green space to run around in.  The local residents are active and a new running path and fitness equipment have recently been installed and a new walking orchard planted.

There’s also a beautiful circular wooden seat, perfect for walking round and round and round and round, tennis courts and a small concrete basket ball hoop/pad.

Walk through the gates to Pinces Gardens and it becomes a little more formal but the wisteria arch is worth a special trip in early summer.

There are loos in the park.  Shops are on Cowick Street, a 5-10 minute walk away.

Cowick Barton Playing Fields, Barton Road

Bus – 2 or 3 minutes from Cowick Lane or Barton Road, or 5 minutes from Alphington Road.  Try A, E and F.  The cycle route comes into the park (hurrah!).  There is a small car park in the Barton Lane entrance to the park.

The Playpark, King George V Playing Fields

Regularly listed in the top parks in the UK, this amazing space has a huge array of wheelchair accessible play equipment.  There are sensory areas, tactile signs and some of the best equipment in Exeter.

The space is fenced off and safe and open to all.  There are loos (including an accessible loo) in the park.  The garage over the road sells a small selection of food.  There is lots of grass and plenty of seating.

The Playpark, King George V Playing Fields, Topsham Road

Bus – 2 minutes walk from Topham Road: J, K, 57, 2, 39 etc.  The cycle route comes into the park and there is free parking onsite.

Bury Meadow Park

A bit of a secret gem this one.  It’s so very close to the city centre but you do feel very peaceful when you are here.

Lovely grass to play on, little children’s swings, roundabout, climbing frame etc and some more exciting wooden adventure style equipment for the bigger ones.

There are benches and picnic tables too, so it’s great to chill out for a whole afternoon or as a rest from the High Street if you are shopping for the day.

I don’t think there are any loos in the park but there are cafes with a few minutes walk.  Lots of shops are within a couple minutes walk too.

Bury Meadow Park, New N Rd, St Davids

Bus – a couple minutes walk from Queen Street/Central Train station stops.  So D, H M etc.  Bike route is via Howell Road.  There is limited on road parking nearby.



Play Parks in Exeter - our favourite playgrounds, water parks and green spaces for outdoor fun

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