This article is based on walks completed in March 2022. Please always check information direct with venues when making plans as details can change over time.

 When Discover Carlisle got in touch and asked if The Hiking Household would share their top five family friendly walks here in the City of Carlisle I was only too happy to oblige. One thing my family adores is a local walk, it is the main driving force behind The Hiking Household. Our mission is to aid local families to get outside and enjoy what is right here on their doorstep.

I have created an interactive map with the locations of all of the walks mentioned on this post (click here to view). All of the walks are accessible by public transport or by car.

1. Bitts Park to Rickerby Park:

Address: Bitts Park, Carlisle, CA3 8UZ 

Parking: Free Parking close to The Sheepmount or Pay & Display Parking is available at Bitts Park Car Park.

Facilities: Children’s play park, plenty of green open spaces, access to The Sands Centre Leisure Centre (at time of writing this centre is being refurbished) and café.

Route Length: Ranging from a 300m walk from the car park to the playground, or a 3 mile loop from The Sheepmount to Rickerby Park.

Accessibility: Pram accessible.

For those families hoping to entertain children of all ages this is a fantastic trip for you! There is so much to do here, and with it being so close to Carlisle town centre it is close to all bus routes. The park itself is a beautiful green space, free from traffic and with fully surfaced paths this is a perfect park for little ones to enjoy some time on their scooters while parents push a pram. There is also a wonderful children’s play park, as a mother to four children of all varying ages I love it when I find a park that has something for all of my children. Here you will find toddler slides and swings, a sandpit, water play (summer months only) and the highlight for my seven year old – the extremely exciting slide for older children. This park also offers the option to stretch your legs further, if it is a walk that you are after then Bitts Park is the perfect start. You can begin at either the Pay & Display car park, or The Sheepmount car park. From here you can walk under Eden Bridges and head over to Rickerby Park. Another wonderful green space here in the City. You are able to view the full loop here on The Hiking Household’s main page.

Having completed this three-mile, pram accessible walk you can then relax at The Tribe and enjoy a much needed refreshment, or why not take the short walk into Carlisle town centre and see all that is on offer.

Please note: Junior Park Run takes place every Sunday morning at 9am at Bitts Park, the Bitts Park Pay & Display Car Park is free for this. This is a fantastic fun, 2km route of the park and my children really love this fun run. Minumum age: 4 years. Bar code needed, please sign up at

2. Hammonds Pond:

 Address: Upperby, Carlisle, CA2 4PS

 Parking: Two free car parks, off Blackwell Road and off Buchanan Road.

Facilities: boating lake, seasonal miniature railway, football pitches, seasonal café, toilets, and children’s play areas.

 Route Length: The circular route of the park is approximately 0.7 miles.

 Accessibility: Pram accessible.

This green space is fabulous for families; the surfaced paths make it an ideal walk for those little legs. The small bike track is a great edition and caused great excitement when my older boys could ride their bikes. My children love to visit Hammonds Pond, whether it is to feed the ducks, have a play on the play areas or to enjoy the circular path round the park. There really is something for all to enjoy here. Don’t miss the miniature train that runs from Easter until the end of October. Please note, the play area here has recently been updated in 2021 and offers a huge array of activities for all ages to enjoy. There are areas aimed for infants, juniors and mid teens.

Bitts Park

Bitts Park

Hammonds Pond

3. Chances Park:

Address: Morton, Carlisle, CA2 6JP

Parking: Free car park on site, pedestrian access off Dunmallet Rigg, Wigton Road, Dunmail Drive, Park Road and Langrigg Road.

Facilities: Football pitches, children’s play area, accessible circular paths, benches, toilets and café can be found inside Morton Manor Community Centre at the car park.

Route Length: ranging from a 0.5 mile walk to the play area from the car park, to a 2 mile circular route through the park.

Accessibility: Pram accessible.

Chances Park offers a beautiful circular walk on a mixture of gravel and tarmac paths. These paths are pram, and wheelchair, accessible. There is a free car park within the grounds of Morton Community Centre, just off Wigton Road. The play area offers infants, and junior, play areas. A highlight for me here is that the infants play area is fenced off. When you are attempting to watch four small children play at the same time having areas fenced off is always a huge benefit! Please note Carlisle Park Run also begins here every Saturday morning at 9am. A great event that makes use of the well surfaced tracks circulating this park. Morton Manor Community Centre also offers a huge array of events including family fun days, breastfeeding support groups and parent & toddler sessions.

4. Petteril Valley:

Address: Carlisle, CA1 3EJ

Parking: Off road parking available

Facilities: Open parkland, two children’s play areas, an enclosed ball court with an all weather surface, riverside footpaths and Cycle Way.

 Route Length: 2 mile pram accessible walk along surfaced paths.

 Accessibility: Pram accessible.

Petteril Valley Park is a lovely green space south of the city of Carlisle. My family and I followed the cycle path from one playground to the other and the route was approximately 1.8 miles. You would be able to park at either end of this walk and both begin with a play park – which is fantastic for little ones! I always find they walk that little bit further when you have the promise of a play area at the end. Until lockdown in 2020 I didn’t know that this was here! I cannot believe we had never enjoyed this safe and easy walk with our children before. This is also a great walk for older children as the cycle way means that you can bring your bikes, or scooters. Petteril Valley Park is open all day, every day, and there is the added option to explore the riverside footpaths if you were hoping to explore more of our stunning countryside.

To read The Hiking Household’s full review of Petteril Valley please click here.

5. Melbourne Park:

Address: Warwick Road, Carlisle, CA1 2BS.

Parking: Off road parking available just off Warwick Road, close to the Premier Inn.

Facilities: Two children’s play areas, five full sized football pitches, changing pavilion and two junior football pitches, floodlit games area, allotments and wildlife conservation area. 

Route Length: A 1.5-mile loop of the whole park.

Accessibility: Pram accessible.

This park is central to Carlisle and lies off Warwick Road, just east of the City Centre, following the River Petteril. This 1.5 mile loop is a great walk for those who love their wheels!! On this day my children took their scooters – I think they regretted not having their bikes with them when they found the BMX track!

We all had such a wonderful time enjoying this open green space, the well surfaced paths were perfect for the children’s scooters and the play areas were a huge hit! The equipment here is aimed for ages 0-7, with my eldest being at the top of this age range. We were in luck on the day that we visited as there were multiple football games taking place on the full size football pitches that had my eldest thoroughly engaged!

This walk is also pram accessible making it a fantastic walk for the whole family.

Chances Park

Petteril Valley

Melbourne Park

And so, there you have it, a full round trip of all of our favourite parks, and green spaces, within the city! I hope that I have provided you with some fresh ideas on where to visit, especially if you are local to Carlisle and are in need of some new inspiration. All of the places we have mentioned are pram accessible and really are a wonderful family day out.

If you wish to find out more about family friendly activities and walks when visiting Carlisle, Cumbria and The North then check out The Hiking Household’s website here.

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