Wharfemeadows Park For Families Review

Wharfemeadows Park in Otley is a beautiful green space that is perfect for families looking to spend some quality time together in the great outdoors. Located in the heart of the town, this park offers plenty of opportunities for families to enjoy a range of activities and experience the beauty of nature.

We recently took a trip to Wharfemeadows Park as we continue our venture around fantastic outdoor spaces within our area. If you have a free couple of hours Wharfemeadows Park is a brilliant place to visit. With lush green grass, mature trees and wildlife, it’s a fantastic place to enjoy a picnic.

Furthermore, Wharemeadows boasts tennis courts, an outdoor gym area, a skate park and of course a play area suitable for children of all ages. There’s plenty of variety meaning it can be enjoyed by all age groups and age ranges. Both our 7-year-old and 2-year-old loved all aspects of Wharfemeadows Park. It’s a visually stunning park on the banks of the River Wharfe in the market town of Otley.

Where is the park?

The Park is located within the market town of Otley alongside the River Wharfe. The location gives a real uniqueness to the park.

There are public footpaths stretching right alongside the river meaning you can enjoy a nice stroll followed by time in the park. Activities like the outdoor gym and skate park are found along this stretch meaning there is plenty to do for children of all ages.

We entered Otley via the A659 past Otley Town football club. We chose to park at Gallow Hills Nature Reserve which is on the opposite side of the bridge to the park but allows you to walk through the beautiful Reserve before heading to the play park area.

The parking here is completely free of charge and it offers easy access to the waterside. From here you can cross the bridge and it’s a 15-minute walk to the play park area. The great thing about this location is that you pass the skate park, tennis courts and outdoor gym area meaning you can use these on your walk.

What is there to do?

As mentioned previously there is an abundance of things to do throughout Wharfemeadows Park making it a superb place to visit at any time of the year.

Here are a few reasons why Wharfemeadows Park is such a great place to visit for families.

Scenic beauty: Wharfemeadows Park boasts lush green grass, mature trees, and is alongside the River Wharfe, making it a great place to relax, picnic and enjoy the scenery. The park also provides a great opportunity for children to explore the natural world, and experience the beauty of the changing seasons.

Play area: The park has a well-equipped play area, with a range of play equipment suitable for children of all ages, from swings and slides to climbing frames and see-saws. The play area is a great place for children to let off some steam and enjoy some physical activity. There are some aspects of the park which are a little tired in places however our children both really enjoyed it. 

Wildlife: The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including ducks, swans, and other waterfowl that can be seen swimming on the river. Children will love watching the wildlife, and it’s a great opportunity to teach them about the importance of preserving and protecting our natural environment.

Picnic areas: There are several picnic areas in the park, complete with benches and tables, making it the perfect place for families to enjoy a picnic together. If you haven’t brought a picnic then there is the cafe within the park which serves a variety of food and drink. The centre of Otley with a huge range of cafes is only a short walk away too.

Sports and recreation: The park also has several sporting facilities, including tennis courts skate park, outdoor gym equipment and a bowling green. Wharfemeadows also looks to be a great location for children to learn how to ride a bike. With smooth, flat paths it is a safe location for children to take the step from the balance bike to riding independently.

What age group is it suitable for?

All ages. The park is brilliant for all age groups. We saw older children playing football, enjoying the play park and just going on walks with their friends and family. Furthermore, the skate park was incredibly popular with children of all ages on both Skateboards and Bikes.

The park has a real family atmosphere and is available and enjoyed by people of all ages.

Would you recommend it?

100%. The park has a real mix of things to do which make it a fun, free day out. The Play Park is fun for children of all ages and kids are welcome to take their bikes and enjoy the safe trails within the park. We really enjoyed the atmosphere as Otley seems to be a family-centric place. We would go again and would recommend it to anyone living in close proximity.

Wharfemeadows Park Otley
Wharfemeadows Park, Otley. (Image source: Sutcliffe Play)

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a cafe?:

There is a cafe in the building next to the Park. We didn’t venture inside the cafe but from the signs outside it stocked plenty of food and drink for those interested. Otley centre is a short walk away and is a Market town with a brilliant range of cafes and restaurants.

What is your favourite part?:

We felt as though parking in the Nature reserve car park was a really good touch. This enabled us to enjoy the reserve as well as the park.

The park has a little bit of everything so as such appeals to a wide range of people.

Is it suitable for Dog walkers?

Absolutely. When visiting we saw plenty of dog walkers and it seems a great spot for those with dogs. There are a variety of trails and routes which makes the experience different each time.

How much is it to park?

As mentioned above we chose to park in the car park of Gallows Hill Nature reserve. This means it’s a little walk alongside the river to the play park but we were able to park here completely free of charge. It also meant we stretched our legs a little and the kids were able to experience the reserve as well as the actual park.

In conclusion, Wharfemeadows Park in Otley is a great place for families to visit, with its scenic beauty, play area, wildlife, picnic areas, and sporting facilities all offering something for everyone. We really enjoyed our visit and Otley seems to be a very family-friendly place to visit. With this, you get a wonderful atmosphere and there are always other children for yours to play with.

Pros & Cons


  • Free parking at Gallows Hill Nature reserve
  • The entire park is beautifully maintained.
  • Varied activities for children of all ages including a skate park & outdoor gym.


  • The nearest toilets are a walk into the centre of Otley.
  • In some places, the play park is a little dated and could do with some maintenance.

Park enjoyment rating

Last Updated on February 17, 2023 by Ryan

Leave a Comment