Friday 23 December 2011

A Festive Walk: Broad Arboretum, Earth Trust, Little Wittenham, Oxfordshire

Approx time: 1 hour
Paths: grass
Points of interest: pond, wildlife, trees
Amenities: parking (toilets and cafe seasonal)
Grading: bumpy underfoot so all terrain buggy
Weather: all seasons

We have passed this walk many times but finally got round to it and we really enjoyed it. Why is it festive, have a look for the Christmas trees,
 holly and reindeer.
But its also great in the summer with a bench over looking the pond and a picnic table. Only downside to the walk was having to retrace your steps back to the car park.

Start at the Earth Trust car park, and if you face the buildings take the grass footpath to your right that heads out across the fields. After a while the footpath bears right, keep the farm outbuildings on your right and carry along towards a signpost.
 At the signpost turn right towards the arboretum.
There is a circular path around the arboretum. When complete retrace your steps back to the car park, note the excellent views across to Wittenham Clumps.

Monday 12 December 2011

Guest Post: Dear Father Christmas

Hi There. Guest Blogger "ReaditDaddy" checking in to moonlight on my wife's excellent blog. Bear with me, haven't quite got the hang of the controls yet - but I'm here to tell you all about "Dear Father Christmas".
Any event hosted at the Burton Taylor room at the Oxford Playhouse is destined to be a cosy, intimate gathering and "Dear Father Christmas" - a children's play for 3-6 year olds, was no exception.

Telling the story of a mischievous Elf, her boss Mr TickTock, and the preparations for Santa's big night, "Dear Father Christmas" largely takes place in Santa's Post Room and with an effervescent cast of two (oh, and Father Christmas himself of course), the play was an interactive fun experience that pressed all the right buttons with Charlotte.

All the Elf wants to do is travel the world, see interesting sights and then come back to sort through Santa's post. Instead she's stuck in the post room but there are lots of willing new elves to help her sort the mail, tidy up and solve the mystery of the missing polar bear - Santa's oldest and dearest friend.

Adults are encouraged to take part too (they call us "giants" don't you know!), but the focus is on getting children involved - making hats and elf ears, constructing paper chains to cheer up Santa's christmas tree - and joining in with the songs and activities that happen throughout the play.

Even for a slightly curmudgeonly sort, the play was good fun and Charlotte absolutely loved every minute of it. I think her favourite bit was probably when the polar bear reappeared and crept quietly through the audience (only one child cried his head off at this bit).

It's not really suitable for older children (quite a few kept making quiet comments about the cast basically playing all the different characters) but the two main cast members were brilliant, and Father Christmas did very well for his first dramatic role :)

All in all a great time was had by all - though it did feel a bit of a cheat that paying extra to spend time with Father Christmas after the play didn't quite happen as expected (I think we were expecting to sit on Santa's knee and tell him Charlotte wanted Barbie Washing Hair and Daddy wanted A Lego Technics VW Camper - but it was rather crowded and a bit of a push and a shove instead).

Despite the request for parents not to take photos, one couple decided to continually take pictures through the latter half of the show - which was a bit annoying but all in all it was a perfect hour-long mix of song, dance, activities and fun that sets the scene for the festive period perfectly. Dear Father Christmas runs until 24 December at the Oxford Playhouse

Charlotte's best bit - The polar bear

Daddy's favourite bit - Alright, a tiny little crush on the elf. She was very cute.

Rating - 4 out of 5 stars

(oops, I forgot - we don't do that here - but I'm sure CanIWalkMummy won't mind!)

Saturday 3 December 2011

Windsor Castle, Windsor

After our successful trip to Buckingham Palace we thought we would visit Windsor Castle. The first Saturday of each month they have children's activities, and also in December they have 2 state rooms set up with a Christmas theme display.
On approach we noticed the Royal Standard was flying, we tried to do Queen and corgi spotting. We were told by some very helpful guides that a good place to spot her was from the Crimson Drawing Room as this overlooks the queens garden but alas she wasn't there.

We collected our excellent audio guides, with a children's version for Charlotte to listen to, to take us round. The audio guides are really good with so much information, Charlotte really does listen to it as she asks us to find the things they are talking about. After passing the jubilee gardens and up to Edward IV tower where you get a wonderful view across the Upper Ward and quadrangle, this is where important visitors are greeted.

Heading towards the Henry III tower was the moat education room where Charlotte got to do some colouring and look at some pictures.

We headed to the State Apartments, and passed Queen Mary's Dolls house, which was fascinating with so much detail to it, also on display were dolls dresses which were so wonderfully made. The state rooms were quite different to Buckingham Palace, being a castle there was a lot of armour and swords on display. The fire in 1992 was covered quite a bit as you walk through the rooms that were destroyed. The difference in the old and new is obvious but the rooms are still to such high stadard and in keeping with the rest of the castle. The room containing all the Shields for the Knights of the Royal Garter was stunning.
We had lunch in the Undercroft Cafe, it was a little pricey but the food was wonderful.

We then went to St. Georges Chapel, where we got to sit in the inner chapel and look again at the shields and crowns for each of the Knights of the Royal Garter. We noticed coffins and shrines for most of the previous kings and queens, the most opulent was for Queen Victoria's children and grandchildren.
We had a really good few hours going round Windsor Castle, and even readitdaddy left having enjoyed it more than he expected.

Monday 28 November 2011

Mummies come to the Ashmolean Museum

Its been mentioned on here before that we do love wondering around the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. A £5million project has just been completed to house 6 new galleries on Ancient Egypt and Nubia so we went along to take a look. It was really excellent, the detail and explanations were fascinating.
 Charlotte loved seeing all the mummies on display, bit worrying when she asked if they could be unwrapped though. She wanted to learn about the process of wrapping the body, and there was really detailed area on this, about parts of the body being removed and going into Canopic jars and the heart being replaced before the body is wrapped. There were also amulets on display and this got Charlotte thinking about about things that would be special to her.
The was a large Shrine of Taharqa from the temple at Kawa, the only complete free-standing pharaonic building in Britain, which you could walk all the way around and study the intricate drawings.
There was so much to see, being the first day open it was busy but we will be going back soon to take another look on a quieter day.
The Ashmolean has also been listed in the top 20 most popular free destinations in England, and the most visited outside of London. This is a must see place.

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, London

Winter Wonderland is back in Hyde Park for the 5th year and its a great place to visit for all the family. Its already open and will be open every day (except Christmas Day) until 3rd January 2012.
We went along on a Tuesday soon after it opened to see what its all about and combined it with a trip to Oxford Street and Regents Street to see the Christmas lights, and to visit Hamleys.
There is so much to see and do you can easily spend a few hours walking round, there are markets, fair rides, Ferris Wheel, Father Christmas, food and drink, circus and ice skating.
Charlotte was delighted to meet Father Christmas, she was so overcome with excitement she ran across the park to see him dodging anyone getting in her way (thankfully there was no queue) and quickly told him her most wanted Christmas item. We went on the ferris wheel with lovely views over the city and Christmas music to get you in the mood, shame it was a foggy day, but we could still spot St. Pauls, London Eye, Battersea Power Station, BT tower. We then went on a few fair rides and stalls, all the usual things you would find at your local fair and a few larger ones like 2 roller coasters and Power tower (66m drop I think it said).
The ice rink is so magical, all lit up with fairy lights when the sun has gone down. There are plenty of food and drink places with a Bavarian Village, fish and chips, hog roast, beer, cider, mulled wine etc.
There is also a stunning Christmas market, offering so many lovely crafts items.

We never managed to go to the circus, there are two, a Christmas circus and also a Cirque Extreme, there are a couple of showings of both each day but we missed them so check the times out before you go.
Winter Wonderland is free to enter, Father Christmas is also free. Attractions you have to pay for by visiting the tickets booths dotted around the park.
We had a great few hours, and was lovely to be there as it was getting dark to see everything lit up.

Monday 14 November 2011

Cinderella on Ice

Charlotte and her pre-school friends are always pretending to be princesses, usually Cinderella and tangled (Rapunzel), so when I saw that Cinderella on Ice is coming to the New Theatre, Oxford, I thought I should get some tickets. With a week to go I thought it would be a good time to tell Charlotte we are going with her best friend, and I showed her the flyer I picked up from the theatre. I was expecting a oh wow mummy that's wonderful. what I got in response was "but mummy that's not Cinderella". She went off to find her Disney princess pencil case to show me what Cinderella should really look like!
Hopefully come Saturday she will be too excited to realise that its not Disney Princess and may be adding future ice dancer to her chosen career choices of polar explorer (from watching Frozen Planet) and ballroom dancer with Jason Donovan (from watching Strictly).

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Autumn Colour

If you fancy a bit of Autumn colour to lift your mood a little now the clocks have changed take a look at the Forestry Commissions website to find a forest near you showing some wonderful autumn colour they even have a colour change map which you can update after your visit.


Whist having a google I came across The Electric Forest running this winter which sounds really wonderful, but sadly none of the places are close to us. In December its at Thetford Forest, Suffolk and February 2012 its at Moors Valley Country Park & Forest, Dorset. Its run by the forestry commission and more details of locations and times can be found here

Thursday 20 October 2011

The State Rooms, Buckingham Palace, London

Buckingham Palace opens to the public over the summer months while the Queen is on holiday. This summer Kate's wedding dress was on show and as Charlotte was so thrilled to watch the Royal Wedding on tv and all the excitement that went with it, we left Daddy at home and went with Grandma to see "the dress".
Its wise to book your tickets in advance, either online or over the phone, where you book a time slot for your visit. Ours was just after lunch so to burn off some energy from sitting on the bus we first went to the kids play area in St James Park and watched the soldiers practicing a performance outside The Guards Museum.
We then went to queue for Buckingham Palace, the queue looked really long but it didn't take too long to get to the front. You are put into holding pens and then go through the airport type scanners before picking up your audio tour. It's well thought out with an audio tour for kids, which we all opted for. Only snag, there were no little headphones, and half way around Charlotte did get a little fed up of them always falling off.
The kids commentary was similar to the adult version, but with a little girl and boy talking. Charlotte followed it really well and quickly worked out how to move onto the next section when we moved rooms. She picked up a lot of what they were saying, she now knows what the P stand for on the throne chairs, and that there is a picture of Queen Charlotte. There was a clip of Buckingham Palace on the tv one night and she was telling Daddy where she had stood.
Its fascinating walking round the rooms, and learning what they get used for. Charlotte liked to spot any secret doors (there are a few) and walking up and down the grand staircases. The statues of Victoria and Albert she knew because of the statues we have in Abingdon.
About 3/4 of the way round was Kate's dress, here we could have a sit down to watch a video of how it was made and then to see the dress, shoes and tiara in detail, and amazing it was. You then come out the back of Buckingham Palace, hand in your headsets and walk round part of the gardens.
Charlotte asked a member of staff in there were any corgis, but sadly they all went on holiday with the Queen.
We had an excellent time, it took about 2 hours to go round, a lot of walking for little feet but she did really well. Pushchairs aren't allowed inside so these have to be check-in and collected after, but they say they can loan baby carriers and hip seats. Also toilets and baby change are only at the exit, none at the entrance and aside from restaurants close-by the closest public ones are in the parks or Victoria.
Buckingham Palace will open again in 2012 from 1 August - 30 September with a special exhibition of Diamonds: a Jubilee Celebration

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Legoland, Windsor

We had been promising Charlotte a trip to Legoland for some time. She was so excited she almost burst on the way there with excitement.
Outside there were staff giving out sword balloons which keeps little ones entertained while you are standing in shock at the admission prices.

We headed for duplo land first via a couple of rides on the way, the puppet show at duplo land is always good to watch. Completely forgot that there is a water play area and we had forgotten costumes and towels, seems everyone else had forgotten this too.
Charlotte is just under that magic 1m height for the bigger rides so there were a few things we couldn't go on, but everything else she loved. We came off one ride to go rush straight onto another, and sometimes go on it twice. The new ride this year was Atlantis, an underwater adventure and it was excellent, but seemed to be over all to quickly.
We love the parent rivalry at the fire academy, racing your fire engine to the burning house to put the fire out and then back again.
The best bit for Charlotte was getting her driving licence at the L-drivers school, this is a mini-version of the driving school for 3-5 year olds. She loved it and was so pleased with herself.
The bit we enjoyed as a family was the pirates of skeleton bay stunt show. Real goodie badie show with all the boos, hisses and hes behind you bits with some excellent stunts.
The mini-land I thought was starting to look a bit tired, as legoland opened in 1996 I'm assuming some if it is original so I'm not surprised. But some bits do get updated, Charlotte easily spotted Will and Kate on the balcony of Buckingham Place.
We took our own food, so can't comment on the quality of food or prices. Being out of season quite a few of the food places were closed down.
Everywhere is pushchair accessible, with bays to leave pushchairs if you are going on the ride. All the toilets were clean with nice low basins for the kids and large cubicles.
As I said earlier we did go out of season, on a week day so queues were almost non-existent. This was a real bonus. Even with not having to queue we only just managed to do everything in a day. Legoland have realised this and next year the Legoland Hotel is opening. We saw it being built and it looks great.
Charlotte enjoyed the day so much, and keeps on asking to go again. But the admission price is shocking, considering she is too little to go on some of the rides but still has to pay child price and now you have to pay to park. Being end of season things were looking tired and some bits weren't working on the fairy tale brook, but we all left with a big smile on our face and slept very well that night from all the walking.

Monday 10 October 2011

Half Term Activities

Wondering how to entertain the kids during half term, well BBOWT again have a great selection of things to do. A quick look and there are family fun days at Sutton Courtenay, Live 'N' Deadly DSI nr Henley or Discovery Day at Tring.
All sounds very exciting and something to entertain all ages. For more information have a look at their calendar:

Sunday 9 October 2011

Center Parcs, Longleat

With the very up and down British weather this summer we were struggling to think of where to go on holiday, the option we came up with was Center Parcs as no matter what the weather there is always something to do.
We aren't new to Center Parcs, having been to Sherwood Forest a few years ago and Evelden Forest before that. Sherwood we didn't enjoy so much, it looked tired and was so busy all the time, Evelden we loved but its a long way to travel. Having not been to Longleat since we were young we opted for there.
Top tip of the first day was going to the swimming pool at about 2pm, you will almost have the pool to yourself for a few hours whilst everyone else is unpacking their car. Charlotte was throwing herself down the slides and flumes, and the kiddie flume was excellent. We had huge tantrums when it came to getting out of the pool, it was always 10 more goes.
We went for a comfort plus lodge, and it was comfortable enough for our 4 night stay. The few problems we did have were resolved very quickly by housekeeping (previous occupants had taken all the remote batteries, few dead light bulbs).
We weren't sure how Charlotte would take to being put into the kids club, so never used that but we did quite a few activities. Forest Rangers walk was excellent and she came back so excited to tell me she had touched beetle poo and armed with some bird seed went and fed the birds on our little patio. Tatty Bumpkin Yoga was a huge hit she got so carried away being a frog she did a back flip much to her surprise. We hired a pedalo and went round the lake. We did glow in the dark bowling (amazingly Charlotte won, are we to blame a possibly wonky bowling alley, dodgy balls or her amazing beginners luck). Crazy golf on the last day was fun as it was really quiet. Teddy Bears picnic will be in Charlotte's memory for quite a while, meeting Rupert the Bear was the best thing and she got so many cuddles she wouldn't let go (she was also the only child who didn't cry at seeing a life size Rupert appear).
The play parks were excellent, so much to keep them entertained.
The only downfall to Longleat is the hill, and its a big one. We hired bikes and often had to push them back up the hill but its a quicker way to get round than walking. There are lovely boardwalks and steps to get up and down the hill but its still a tough job. We did do a large circular ride one afternoon and it is a huge site, this is where we preferred Evelden as the scale was smaller.
We only ate out one night and the food was excellent. There are a few chain restaurants that you would recognise but we opted for something you wouldn't usually find on your local high street, Ortega Tapas. It was excellent, really enjoyed it and wanted more.
We all loved our few days and were sad to be leaving, every day Charlotte said we aren't going to our real home today are we, I love my pretend home.
Most people moan about the cost of things at center parcs, and you don't know how much activities and bike hire will be until you have booked your holiday. We thought it reasonable priced for most things, we did take all our own food for the week so only needed the ParcMarc for milk. Staff were all so friendly and chatty, very good customer service.
We did spend our week comparing it to Evelden and at the end of the week neither came out as the strong winner both were good for different reasons and I would return to both.
Note: we did go out of season, so those going during school holidays may have different views.

Friday 7 October 2011

Wookey Hole, Wells, Somerset

We weren't planning on going to Wookey Hole, the website and leaflets made it look really tacky, I know its for the kids but sometimes it needs to appeal to the adults too as they are the ones spending the money. So we headed off to Cheddar Gorge to be greeted by the stupidest car park pay system so we about turned and headed to Wookey and we were so pleased we did.
It was out of season so very quiet, I imagine during summer it's a lot busier. We also went on a week day, if you go during the weekend during peak season you get to meet the Wookey Witch (as seen on x-factor the website says). It was quite a long walk from the pay point at the bottom to the entrance of the cave. Its a guided tour round and we got there just in time, otherwise would have had a 20min wait. The guide was really informative and gave an excellent tour.
The history and geology was really fascinating, even to the younger ones in the group pointing out the shapes of stones and how they are formed. The cave-aged cheese was really whiffy, strong stuff. You can taste, and buy some later in the shop.
After the tour you can wonder around a fairy garden and the valley of the dinosaurs, Charlotte was rather scared of the dinosaurs... and the HUGE King Kong.

There was an interesting paper making demonstration that over 5's could have a go at making, if they are too young your tour guide will assist in helping make some paper.
There were so many indoor things too which makes it a real all weather attraction, to name just a few things were a history of the cave museum, quite a few circus themed things and some excellent play areas.
We did eat in the restaurant but not that impressed by the food, there are plenty of pack lunch areas though.
Due to how many steps were in the caves pushchairs have to be folded down, the guide did assist in taking someones pushchair through a short cut so they didn't have to carry it.
We had a really excellent day, but it's very expensive we had to pay the same rate as those who visit during the summer holidays even though some things weren't running (wookey witch for example). We loved the look of the Wookey witch hotel complete with witches hat!!!

More information here

Haynes International Motor Museum, Somerset

This was more for the men in our party than the females, but we all had a pleasant few hours going round.
Coming from Abingdon, we always have a look out for MG's, and they had a hall dedicated to MG's and Morris which we were pleased to see, the story about Rover was their Birmingham factory not Cowley though. They also had a red room, and who doesn't love to see classic red sports cars and everything in between.
One for the kids was finding the cars from Back to the Future and also ghost busters (along with a button to press for the music).
Adults loved the display on the "advertising of motor cars", is your wife stuck at home all day with the children while you go off to work with the car... buy her a car!!! couldn't do that today.
All the cars had a really good detailed descriptions beside them, not just the boring petrol head stuff but what TV programmes it had appeared in (usually Top Gear), how long it had taken to restore, how often it races etc.

Quite a few bits to keep children amused whilst going round, and also an outdoor play area. Plenty of space for pushchairs and baby change facilities. There is also an on site cafe but we didn't go in. Their website can be found here

Monday 3 October 2011

Fleet Air Arm Museum, Somerset

We needed somewhere dry to visit when the great British weather took a turn for very wet during our holiday so we headed for Fleet Air Arm Museum.
The museum holds Europe's largest naval aviation collection across 4 halls and a gallery. It really was huge. As you enter there were some hands-on experiments related to flight, really great for explaining to children how aeroplanes fly and what rudders etc do. The next 2 halls had a bit about the history of flight, with some old aircraft and a interesting timeline on the wall, some recent aircraft you will possibly recognise if you're not big into planes (sea king for example) and then aircraft related to WW2 and the korean War. As adults we found the Kamikaze exhibition really interesting, this was a subject I knew nothing about, and with the story told from both sides made it all the more interesting.
Hall 3 was the most interesting for everyone in the group and really well displayed. You "take off" in a helicopter and "land" on board an aircraft carrier (this felt very real to Charlotte as she thought we had left Uncle and Auntie behind). The re-creation was so well done with take offs and landings happening from each end of the flight deck, we then went on board the ship to look round the operation rooms and cabins. The experience ended with an air-sea rescue which was very dramatic (especially for little ones).
The last hall held the first British built Concorde which you could go inside, it was used as a test plane in the 70's so was full of test equipment, all of which could now be run on a laptop! There were also other aircraft showing off the best of the best in British aircraft. There was also a sea king helicopter flight simulator (cost extra) which we enjoyed.
The museum was really popular with families and was easily accessible for pushchairs and baby change facilities, the entrance was on the first floor but there is an alternative ground floor entrance. There was also a cafe offering reasonable food.
Under 5's are free and we thought the price for adults at first was a little steep but there was so much to see it was almost value for money, and if you are local gift aid your ticket and you have free entry for a year.
This isn't the type of museum we would usually visit but we really enjoyed our day. Find out more on their website

Wednesday 21 September 2011

Montacute TV, Radio and Toy Museum, Montacute, Somerset

This was the most bizarre museum we stumbled across whilst on holiday, and there was easily something entertaining for people of all ages.
We were really hungry when we arrived so visited the tea rooms before the museum, really excellent food, the cakes looked so good we could have eaten them all. We happily played whats that tune for a while as they had old tv programme music playing (I got silenced by hubby for singing jim'll fix it). Once fully stuffed we went round the museum, it's described as "nostalgic experiences of TV programmes through the years" in their leaflet and it really is. There is a vast collection of old tvs and radios (my brother and I saying we remember that, I'm sure Grandma still has that) then onto memorabilia of old tv programmes, toys and games. There was a new sci-fi exhibition showing whilst we visited Star Trek, Dr Who and Thunderbirds. The museum covers everything, old westerns, magazines, spice girls dolls, neighbours boardgame (I had that), mr T mug (brother had that), Alice in Wonderland, blue peter annuals... I could go on but would never be able to cover everything. If you are ever in somerset this is a must see.
The space is a little cramped but you could get a stroller around the museum.

Tuesday 23 August 2011

Dry Sandford Pit Nature Reserve, nr Abingdon, Oxfordshire

Approx time: 30mins - 1 hour
Paths: mud
Points of interest: open areas, pond, lake, wildlife, fossils
Amenities: parking
Grading: not all footpaths would be suitable for pushchairs, you could navigate half the site including the fossils
Weather: Spring, Summer and Autumn

Charlotte wanted to go for a nature walk one day, having exhausted all our usual routes my mum offered to take us out to Dry Sandford Pit. We often went there when we were little and its only a short drive from home. The BBOWT describe the reserve as:
A fascinating mosaic of fossil-rich cliffs, fenland with ponds and streams, grassland, scrub and woodland set in an old quarry in Oxon.
Geological wonders, nationally scarce fen and rich insect life make Dry Sandford Pit a reserve of national importance.

We had a lovely time walking around the site, we did have a hunt for fossils, watched the dragonfly's over the pond, ran through the long grass, saw some beetles, lots of ladybirds, plenty of rabbit holes and probably some badger sets too.
There are some bridges to cross, so we stamped our feet extra hard to scare the troll away, we kissed through each of the kissing gates.
we had so much fun that we took daddy with us at the weekend and took a picnic along. We have to go back soon as they are due to get some Dexter cows any day, we can't wait to see them.
details of how to find the reserve are on the BBOWT website

Wednesday 27 July 2011

BBOWT family days out

At Easter time we went to a BBOWT family day at Sutton Courtenay Environmental Education Center and loved it, was a really great day. With the summer holidays BBOWT have quite a few things in their diary for family days out at different locations in Berks, Bucks and Oxon, take a look at their website

Tuesday 26 July 2011

Farmer Gow's, Longcot, Oxfordshire

We had a really lovely time at Farmer Gow's and had to almost drag Charlotte home as she didn't want to leave. We arrived just as the tractor ride was about to leave so a quick run across the sheds and field and before we got a chance to get our bearings we were off to feed the pigs. The tractor ride would be a little short (we cir cum navigated a field) if it wasn't for the pig stop and chat. As we pulled back to the sheds it was just time for the feeding session.
This was really well organised with really friendly staff on hand. Bit of an odd reversal of children sitting down well behaved and sheep/goats being let out to the masses for a feed. Lots of squealing by Charlotte as sheep and goats come up for their feed. The children were then taken out to collect the eggs from the hen house.
Soon it was lunch time, we had taken a picnic as it was a lovely day and there was plenty of indoor or outdoor seating for picnics. There is a cafe on site for those who need a coffee or don't fancy the picnic idea.
After lunch Charlotte spent ages climbing up the hay bales, riding on the toy tractors and then going back to give the goats a bit more feed, before finishing off in the indoor play area.
Really fun day and comparable in price to other local activity farms (but a bit cheeky charging more for the tractor ride we though), its wise to get there in time for the feeding sessions (check their website for times) as if you miss one of these there isn't much else to do.

Saturday 16 July 2011

Paultons Park and Peppa Pig World, Hampshire

We have a big peppa pig fan in our house, as do most pre-school house holds I'm sure, so when we heard about Peppa Pig World opening we knew we had to go. Charlotte was even doing a count down to visiting... how many sleeps till peppa pig... she was that excited.
When we got there though she seemed to forget all about Peppa Pig and headed straight for the big rides, most rides she had to go on with an adult but a few she happily managed alone. Her real highlight was when we spotted the t-rex next to the astroglide and realised that JollyWobbles (Justin Fletcher) was filmed at Paultons. We then had to hunt out, and go on all the rides Justin had been on (she is also a big Justin fan).
Eventually we made it to Peppa Pig World. It was very busy and 3 year olds aren't well known for lasting long in a queue so we didn't go on too many rides. Did spend a lot of time jumping in muddy puddles and in Mr Potato's playground. The whole area was excellent, really well thought out and so were the rides, the theme worked brilliantly. We loved going into Peppa Pig's house and also meeting the "real" Peppa and George. Compared to the rest of the park the rides were a little tame, I do realise it's for young people but she did prefer some of the bigger rides, much to our surprise.
I see why people can easily go for 2 days at Paultons Park, we didn't see all of it and we were there almost the whole day.
Aside from buying ice creams we didn't eat at Paultons, took a picnic with us so can't comment on food. Entrance price, well Charlotte is petite and still under 1m, but if she was over its just one price for all, which I think is a bit steep, but if you compare to say Legoland its good value.
Only downside were some of the toilet blocks could have done with sprucing up, liked that all the toilets had an adult and child seat though.
If you go and its a nice day make sure you take swimming costumes and towels for muddy puddles and water kingdom.