Bainland Lodge Retreats Adventure Playground

Colour aerial photo of wooden adventure playground at Bainland Lodge Retreats

The Brief

As a top-rated playground manufacturer, Bainland Lodges approached us to form part of a team giving the business a complete facelift. This included a new restaurant and bar area that opened out to a huge terrace and a new play area that leads off from the terrace. This highly popular holiday destination prides itself on its inclusivity, all ages and abilities come here to spend a week or two relaxing, having fun and building fantastic holiday memories.

Our job was to design and build a bespoke holiday park adventure playground that was inclusive and natural, catering for all age groups from toddlers to grandparents and everything in between. Underpinning our design was the idea of being able to journey around the site. A network of trails link through from the terrace to the back of the repurposed golf course. They take you on a journey through different zones balancing along walking walls, on to the zip wire across to the bird hide tree house, across the bridges and back down the slide. This truly is an adventure playground, exploring the limits of your abilities whether it is climbing on top of the hollow log, or scaling the side of an ancient tree to the dizzy heights of three metres in the air.

Colour photo of children playing on basket wing attached to natural wooden tower and net bridge at Bainland Lodge Retreat adventure playground


Planning the playground

It was a beautiful summers day when we ventured out with a tree surgeon into a local field to dissect a fallen oak tree that was destined to be Bainland Lodges’ fallen tree feature. This feature is the central sculptural play installation in the junior play area and includes the root ball, the hollowed out main trunk and a generous tree crown. Surrounded by hand crafted sculptures of woodland creatures, the concept for the play is inspired by the kind of experiences you might find in an ancient woodland. Climbing, clambering, crawling hiding, racing a friend or just sitting back on a branch and watching the birds fly by.

The double zip wire was designed to build on this theme of woodland. Two huge tree trunks were brought in to form the launch area for the zip wires. On top of one zip wire we have playfully crafted a stork in its nest, encouraging visitors to playfully connect with the idea of flying like a bird as they race each other towards the bird hide and the timber tangle.

The timber tangle is a tangle of tree branches and platforms which offers the older age group plenty of opportunities to explore their climbing and balancing abilities as well as sit and chill out with their friends. Touch wood loves to explore and experiment with the play potential of our creations, and so we have combined the timber tangle with some den building frames and a whole lot of nets and ropes that are stored in a nearby shed. After a training session provided by our founder, Joe Cooper, the staff at Bainland now run experiential workshops in an adventure-play style den building way, tying rope, rigging nets and constructing from wooden poles and upcycled scrap materials.

Colour photo of child standing on wooden balance log at Bainland Lodge Retreats adventure playground


The result is a journey to the centrepiece

The centrepiece of the whole installation is the bird hide, puppet show den and bridge. Full of unique character, hidden routes and great play opportunities this feature is for the whole family to enjoy. Climbing crawling, sliding, creating and making new friends. Just a few metres away two giant and ancient trees, hand selected from woodlands near Bristol stand like monoliths. Climbing holds on the outside offer the most adventurous a route up to the flat tops, where you can sit, take in the view or jump from one to the other. Not for the faint hearted… and there is always the challenge of how to get down!

Colour photo of child sitting on wooden play tower in adventure playground at Bainland Lodge Retreats

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