Hardwick Country Park in County Durham is a perfect place for a gentle stroll in the fresh air. Within this guide, I have all the information you’ll need to plan your perfect day out!
Last week while in the search of ideal locations for autumn walks, the below photo from This Is Durham just happened upon my feed (which I believe some would say is manifestation in action). I just think it was brilliant timing and worked out great for me!
So I had a look into the place and found that it is literally just down the road from us so we had to go. And After visiting last weekend I absolutely recommend a trip down to Sedgefield to visit Hardwick Country Park. And here you can find all the information you’re going to need.
What time is Hardwick Country Park open?
The park itself is open from 7:30 am – 7pm. Then the onsite toilets open from 10am – 4pm. There is a gift shop which is only open on weekends and during the school holidays, and the open times for this are 11am – 4pm. And finally, the Tower Cafe is open from 10am – 3:30pm which sells ‘light lunch’ and drinks etc.
I knew there was a cafe before visiting from the research I had done. However, I wasn’t expecting such a nice looking building and modern facilities. Often when you go to parks with cafes it’s essentially a shed in a field but this really exceeded my expectations.
How to get to Hardwick Country Park, Sedgefield?
The park is just down the A1 if you turn off at Sedgefield and follow signs from the turnoff to Hardwick Country park. It is very easy to get there via car which is always a bonus.
Follow Postcode: TS21 2DN
Alternatively, you can get the bus as it’s very close to the main bus stop on Sedgefield High Street which is only a half-mile walk from the park.
How much does it cost at Hardwick Country Park?
Admission into the park is completely free, which makes it a great place for a cheap day out!
However, you do need to pay for parking. But don’t worry the cost of parking is very reasonable and absolutely won’t break the bank!
Up to two hours: £2.00
Full day: £3.00
The parking machines took cash only, or you could pay on one of those parking apps which was a little bit of a carry on because you need to set up an account and everything and the service wasn’t great so it kept crashing, but we got there in the end.
The car park itself was a good size and there were plenty of spaces when we visited. There is even an overflow car park which tells me that in the summer it gets full quickly! It’s also right next to the cafe, toilets and play area so if this is the main reason for your visit then you are in close proximity to the car!
What is there to do at Hardwick Country Park?
The main reason you are still reading this post is to hear about the park itself. Is it worth visiting, what is there to do, how long will it take etc. Don’t worry I am here to answer those questions!
The paths are very easy going around the park and very well maintained. It’s pretty much flat apart from the bank at one end which you can avoid by going the long way if you wanted. But there were a lot of people walking around with pushchairs so it mustn’t be that much of an issue. this also means it’s wheelchair friendly too!
Below is a map of the site. which you can see the park itself isn’t huge but just a good size!
All in all, it took us around an hour to walk the full loop around the loop. But we were stopping a lot to take photos and take in the view.
There are lots of ducks and geese here too so you could take some time to feed them while you’re here! I wish I had known as I would have brought some bread to feed them.
If you have little people, there are a few different things you can do to entertain them while you’re here. There is a play area, small Gruffalo trail and picnic areas (or you could visit the cafe) and make a full day of your visit. They even have an app that you can download that brings the various exhibits around the park to life. They have some information about it on the Durham council website here.
And if you wanted to prolong your stay even more then you could tie it in with a night at the Hardwick Hall Hotel which is literally within the park. I had a look at the reviews and people seem to have a good time while they’re there. Although it is quite expensive for a night!
This time of year the park is absolutely stunning and well worth the drive down even if you just want to walk for an hour! But you absolutely could extend your day and explore more of County Durham while you’re here. We tied it in with a trip to Durham City Centre because why not!
Let me know if you end up visiting and if you enjoyed it. As always you can keep up to date with all my posts here on my blog by dropping your email address in the box below to be notified of all my new posts. or if you want more updates and ideas on places to go and things to do, follow my other socials all linked below.
Stay Safe and Happy Adventuring!
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