Location & Parking
So where is Chester-le-Street Park? Also known as Chester-le-Street Riverside Park, Google gives it a postcode of DH3 3PL. Clearly signposted, it is situated on the outskirts of Chester-le-Street, next to the Emirates Cricket ground, and just off the A1. Open Monday – Sunday 24 hours, there is ample parking available at the following rates:
Monday to Sunday 9.00am – 8.00pm
- 1 hour: 80p
- 1 – 2 hours: £1.20
- 2 – 4 hours: £2.00
- 4 – 6 hours: £3.10
- Over 6 hours: £4.20
It would of course be better if the parking was free, but this rate isn’t too bad. I like that you’ve got the option to just pay for one hour if you only want to do a short walk with your dog.
As I walk toward the pavilion cafe in the centre of the park, I notice plenty of general bins but only a handful of dedicated dog waste bins. The café sells a wide range of hot & cold snacks. The opening hours vary depending on demand. The free toilets with disabled access are located in the same building and open from 9.00am until 4.00pm. It’s reassuring to see signs saying these are being cleaned regularly.
I’ve got to say, the park is litter free, well-kept and caters for all different groups. There are play parks for families and children, and an extensive network of tarmacked paths with plenty of green spaces for those looking for a relaxing stroll. For people who enjoy playing sports there is a football field, rugby pitch, canoeing club, and even a gated bowls garden with manicured flower beds. For us dog walkers, there is a wide long path that winds its way along the river, with a small sandy beach where dogs can enjoy a splash in the water. But beware of the swans! There is also a large field ideal for ball games and dog training, and I was pleasantly surprised to see a dedicated fenced-in dog exercise area where you can let your dog off safely. If you’re after a long walk, you could follow the path all the way along the river towards Lumley Park Burn and the wooded valley (to perhaps review in a later blog post).
Overall, the park is a pretty good choice for dog owners looking for a place to have a nice relaxing walk with varied terrain in a well-maintained park. The only downside being, I can imagine it getting quite busy in the peak summer months where dogs would need to be kept on the lead around the family areas. Oh, and more dog waste bins wouldn’t go amiss!