Cranbrook Country Park is a fabulous green space located in and around the new town of Cranbrook near Exeter Airport. It is free to access and there is free parking available at the train station and on local roads.
The Country Park is found on both sides of Younghayes and Tillhouse Road, and on both sides of the Old A30 London Road. However, for those with young children it makes sense to explore the central areas first.
If you start at the station, the path to follow is very obvious and easy to find. You can take dogs in most of the park (not on the Rockbeare side of London Road, clearly signed) as long as you clean up after them (lots of bins dotted about) and keep them under control around others. There is also an enclosed ‘dog exercise’ area in this first part of the park. This is great if you have a dog that likes off lead time but needs help with recall, or if you have a puppy to train.
If you have children who want to head straight for a paddle in the Cranny Brook or for a turn on the rope swings, then it could be easier to park on the main road near where you see the iconic ‘dead trees’. There are swings located close to the brook on both sides of the road (I’ll let you discover their exact locations!)
The best places to spot ducks are found around the lakes nearer the new phases of the development, and the newly constricted network of paths mean that you can get all the way to the other end of the town off road.
There is a Co-Op in Cranbrook, with the yummy Café 143 nearby, as well as the Cranberry Farm pub for refreshments. Toilets in the Younghayes Centre are accessible during opening hours.
Cranbrook has 3 fab play areas – 2 are near the Younghayes Centre and shops (Hayes Square and next to St Martin’s School) and the newer one is hidden near the pub on Northwood Acres)