March 25, 2022

Audley End Miniature Railway Play Extension

Saffron Walden, Essex

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Back in 2020, just before the first lockdown began, we completed the brand new Railway Adventure Play at Audley End Miniature Railway and Fairy Walk.

When it was finally allowed to open, the reviews were superb and the team at Audley End did everything possible to make guests welcome and feel safe during their visit. This is reflected in a whole succession of incredible reviews and comments on the level of detail they had gone to, in order to make it fun for kids of all ages.

As you can imagine, we were pleased to be asked to come back to site with a view to extending the play experience.

The plan was to build on the success of the existing playground and the Fairy Trail at Audley End. The design we created for phase two connects the train track into the trees. Taking inspiration from the Fairy and Elf Walk. this design builds on the idea of train line taking visitors to ‘The Fairy Stop’ where you can climb into the trees and meet with the fairies. The construction is more rustic than the original play, taking inspiration from nature.

Here are the initial designs.

Within the design, there are five key elements

The Fairy Stop

The end of the line, jump out at the fairy stop and begin your journey into the trees. Accessed via a chestnut ladder, this deck space has a tree growing up through it.

The Fairy Nest

A crows nest style deck supported by the tree. Lookout across the site from here with a nest-like form. This is the highest point of the play with a deck height of 3m. The nest decorated with ‘stick like cladding as if it has been made by Fairies.

Connecting ramp with stair access and net bridge

A high-level route that accesses the fairy nest via and angled net bridge. Suitable for all ages with easy access staircase.

Double slide

We always aim to reuse before we create new, wherever possible and this gave us the chance to make use of an existing slide, to whizz you back down to ground level.

Swing set

A double toddler swing built onto super rustic chestnut cross poles. It looks great and works well too.

The finished build looks fabulous and the all-new Lookout extension to the Adventure Play Area opened to the general public on the 19th & 20th March 2022.

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