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6 Family Farm Days Under One Hour From London

Back in the day, you would go to a farm and expect to see a couple of domestic animals roaming around, a few farm animals in the field, have a play on a rickety old climbing frame, eat a Mr Whippy and then head home. Oh no. Not nowadays. We expect a farm to entertain our poor little deprived children and not only give them a taste of the countryside but entertain, thrill and stimulate them like a theme park! Fun farms!

Here a few that you can reach in about an hour from London – so go for the day and still be back in time for tea – that definitely won’t disappoint!

Bocketts Farm

Leatherhead, Surrey

Nestled just off the A3, it’s very easy to get to Bocketts. There is lots to do – inside and outside play areas, animal feeling and some lovely lunch options – as well as Bocketts being a working family farm. The farm is home to hundreds of animals, including lambs, piglets, chicks and calves. For us, The Pig Racing was a real highlight. It’s actually a full-on marathon and the children went nuts for it. I didn’t know pigs could run that fast… Very fun.

Address: Young St, Fetcham, Leatherhead KT22 9BS, United Kingdom

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Photo credit: @olliedixonphoto, Facebook

Bucklebury Farm Park

Reading, Berkshire

This is a delightful farm and we particularly enjoyed the go karts and play bus. The guys had fun careering down the assault course in the woods too! Bucklebury is very charming and the shabby-chic style cafe was lovely and also very helpful – warming baby food and helping prevent our errant 2 year old from wandering into the kitchen without losing their cool!

Address: Bucklebury, Reading RG7 6RR, United Kingdom

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Credit: buckleburyfarmpark, Facebook

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Godstone Farm

Godstone, Surrey

The soft play and vast adventure playground alone is worth the entry fee here. There is also a much appreciated section for the under 2’s. The dino trail and designated playground filled with ride on tractors and trucks was also a real hit. They are very generous with the time they allow for rabbit and chicken ‘cuddling’ although the chicks were out of bounds for the 1 year old. ‘They aren’t very good at releasing their grip at that age…’

Update July 2020: Animal holding and the playbarn are currently closed but hopefully we’ll see them opening very soon!

Address: Farm Limited, Tilburstow Hill Rd, Godstone RH9 8LX, United Kingdom

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Epsom, Surrey

Hobbledown is the ‘Harry Potter’ of all farms. It is like entering a different land and each area is crafted beautifully. Teepees and tents line the paths and there is something interesting going on at every turn. I could have perused the shop for longer than I did too. There were loads of cool books, games and toys – will definitely stock up on Christmas presents next time we head back!

Address: Horton Ln, Epsom KT19 8PT, United Kingdom

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Read also: Al Fresco Inspiration: 10 Things Your Family Picnic Is Missing

Odds Park Farm

High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

Odds Park is a huge farm with plenty to do including tractor rides, animal feeding, a wonderful sandpit and plentiful play areas. Everyone’s highlight was the sheep racing though, where you backed a sheep and if it came in, you won a medal. That made a few happy (and unhappy) faces! The staff are very friendly and the map is clear with an extensive plan of what’s on at what time.

Address: Wooburn Common, Wooburn Green, High Wycombe HP10 0LX, United Kingdom

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Wellington Country Park

Riseley, Berkshire

We always race straight to the train as soon as we arrive. Hughie, the train driver, always welcomes us aboard with a huge smile. Each time we visit they have added to the collection of little statues, gnomes and animals along the route. Don’t forget to scream when you go through the tunnel! If you manage to get beyond the three different outdoor play areas (they are brilliant – especially the zip wire), there is a sweet little farm area and a beautiful lake to walk around. A top day out.

Address: Odiham Rd, Riseley, Reading RG7 1SP, United Kingdom

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Whichever one you choose, you will have a lovely day. They are all perfect destinations to meet friends, escape the grind and fill up one day of the holidays!

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Days Out

12 Family-Friendly Theme Parks To Visit This Summer

Theme parks are the best post-lockdown treat for kids of all ages. With parks reopening their doors this month and everyone wanting to blow off steam, the tickets are selling out quick! I love that so many of the big theme parks have super-cool rides and play areas that cater to younger kids too. I’ve picked out the best theme parks that offer a good selection of activities for the little ones, as well as brilliant family activities and attractions. Do let me know if I’ve missed one that you and your family absolutely love.

Jump to:


Peppa Pig World, Paulton’s Park

All toddlers seem to be mad about Peppa Pig. So, a meet-and-greet, along with a chance to immerse themselves in the world of their favourite character, will be a dream day out. Paulton’s Park has plenty of family rides, water splash parks, as well as birds and animals. It’s really worth booking accommodation near the park and making it a short break out of it.

Location: New Forest, Hampshire

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The Gruffalo, Chessington

Ever since the Gruffalo moved into Chessington, the park has been a delight for young children. While the Lazy River ride is the main attraction, Chessington also has short-break options with the chance to stay in a hotel room decked out in all things The Gruffalo. Spend a day in the theme park and a day in the zoo. New for this year, Chessington has unveiled The Rainforest – three new jungle-themed family-friendly rides.

Location: Chessington, Kingston upon Thames

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Angry Birds, Thorpe Park

Thorpe Park has some of the absolute best rides for adults but there’s a good balance of family fun too. Angry Birds Land is best for kids four years and above with the Angry Birds 4D experience, dodgems and Detonator, the ride with a birds-eye-view. The park also has rapids, teacups and water rides.

Location: Chertsey, Surrey

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Duplo Valley, Legoland

Legoland is one of the best places for young kids and even I love walking through miniland looking at the miniature landmarks made of Lego! Duplo Valley is just perfect for toddlers (or Little Builders, as Legoland call them!) with its Dino Coaster, Playtown and theatre. Under 3’s can enjoy Playtown and Splash Safari. Don’t forget to get their L-Drivers license in Lego city.

Location: Windsor

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CBeebies, Alton Towers

I’m not sure anyone ever grows out of Alton Towers. There was so much for the little ones to do before CBeebies Land and that has also been a fantastic addition to the park. Join Peter Rabbit, In The Night Garden, Teletubbies and the rest of the CBeebies gang your kids have fallen in love with. Don’t forget to book a day in the water park too!

Location: Alton, Stoke-on-Trent

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Thomas Land, Drayton Manor

Full steam ahead to Drayton Manor! Thomas Land goes all out for kids: it has 25 rides and attractions! All of the Thomas and Friends characters come to life here through brilliant rides, including Toby’s Tram Express, Cranky’s Drop and Harold’s Helicopter Tour. I recommend a day in the zoo and a day in the theme park as neither can be rushed. To read more about my trip there, click here.

Location: Drayton Bassett, Staffordshire

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Neverland, Oakwood Theme Park

Rollercoasters, rides and attractions for all ages are what you’ll find at Wales’ biggest theme park. Kids will love Neverland for an adventure with Peter Pan, Tinkerbell and the Lost Boys. My favourite place is Dahland where all the best Roald Dahl characters come to life.

Location: Pembrokeshire, Wales

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Nickelodeon Land, Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Join Spongebob, The Backyardigans, PAW Patrol and other characters from Team Nick at Blackpool Pleasure Beach – a classic theme park day out if you’re based in the North of the UK. I also love a visit to Ripley’s Believe It or Not which will have plenty of surprises for everyone.  


Location: Blackpool, Lancashire 

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Angry Birds Activity Park, Lightwater Valley

Suited for children from one year old, Lightwater Valley is an amazing place for a family adventure. It’s also the home to the Angry Birds Activity Park. Your young adrenaline junkie will be thrilled to ride the Twister, the Eagles Claw and the Falls of Terror. With 40 rides to choose from, they’ll be something for everyone to enjoy. 


Location: Ripon, North Yorkshire 

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Heart Kid’s Zone, Pleasurewood Hills

Pleasurewood has a good mix of entertainment and attractions, including sea lion and parrot shows. As for rides, enjoy the classics, including dodgems, carousel, wave swinger and a couple of roller coasters. The kids can go for the spin in the teacups and sail the seas on the mini pirate ship in Heart Kid’s Zone. 

Location: Lowestoft, East Anglia

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Multiple locations

Gulliver’s World

This is one of the oldest theme parks I can think of (it’s over 40 years old!) and now they have four parks and another one opening soon. Don’t expect any big rides though, as these parks are specially designed for those under 12. I’m only familiar with the Matlock Bath Park which is built into a hillside in the beautiful Peak District – take the chair lift ride for the best views. The park has something for everyone, whether your little one loves princesses, dinosaurs, pirates or diggers!

Location: Warrington, Milton Keynes x 2, Matlock Bath, Rother Valley (opens 2020)

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Diggerland is much bigger now than I remember it and it’s truly a digger-themed experience for the whole family. For the kids, there’s the digger train, knocking down skittles and hunting for treasure on a digger, go-karts, mini tractors and land-rovers. For adults, get behind the gears of an actual digger.

Location: Kent, Devon, Durham and Yorkshire

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Days Out

Al Fresco Inspiration: 10 Things Your Family Picnic Is Missing

One of the best things you can do in this gorgeous weather is pack up a picnic and venture out into the countryside… or the beach or the local park! Picnics are a brilliant family activity because they don’t take lots of planning but sometimes I love to indulge in a few things to make the day out extra special.

I wrote a post two years ago which is more geared for picnics with younger children that you might also like to have a gander at!

My Picnic Checklist 

Rainbow picnic wine glasses, M&S 


Plastic glasses (and wine) are essential. I love these M&S ones with a hint of rainbow. They’re really lightweight too so will not weigh down your picnic basket too much.

Wool picnic blanket – rainbow, Lala & Bee


Keeping with the rainbow theme, this gorgeous wool picnic blanket is big enough for the whole family to sit on. The wool is comfy to sit on, while the waterproof backing is super practical if the ground is a little damp. 

Oil cloth, Sarah K

£16.25 per half metre

Greasy fingers always make an appearance at picnics, so rather than having the little ones wipe them on your blanket, invest in an oil tablecloth. If you’re fortunate enough to find a spot with picnic benches, this definitely comes in handy. 

Acrylic tableware, The Summer House 

From £12

The Summer House tableware collection is just divine. The tumblers are my first pick but if I were going all out or throwing a garden party, I’m sure I’d be picking up the flutes, jugs and salad bowls too. 

Lidded picnic basket with check lining, Brambly Cottage

£31 (was £48)

Traditional picnic baskets can often be quite heavy but this wicker and cotton canvas one isn’t too bulky. It’s perfect for packing with delicious treats. 

Beach cooler bag, Sunny Life 


There is nothing worse than warm sausage rolls… except for maybe a G&T without ice. Keep everything chilled with this Sunny Life cooler bag.

Marlo Wine

From £11.50

Marlo Wine is my new go-to for wine. I love that you can order just one bottle and there isn’t an overwhelming range to choose from: Marlo has selected the best of the best, ranging from £11.50 to £525.00. 

Smoked goods, Brown and Forest 

Brown and Forest wholesale to the likes of Hawksmoor and Fortnum and Mason and if it receives their stamp of approval, it’s bound to be top-notch. Choose from smoked meats, smoked fish, cheeses, hampers and much more. 

British made cheeses,Village Maid Cheese Ltd 

From £5

It wouldn’t be a proper picnic without a good selection of cheeses and Village Maid Cheese is my favourite for artisan cheeses. 

Mail order cakes, The Hobo

From £20

The Hobo are doing all sorts of exciting things with their pop-up coffee shop/cocktail and canape bar. If you need catering give them a call. I’m just delighted you can now order their delicious triple chocolate brownies online! 

Days Out Family Life Services

Lucinda’s Christmas Fair Line Up

Eek, I haven’t posted on here since April. Why? has been keeping me busy! I shouldn’t complain, however I do miss keeping you in the loop with new businesses, start ups, fashion round ups and what’s on so I fully intend to get back to it. As I am sure you can imagine, the longer I don’t do it the more of a hurdle it is both mentally and physically to get on and do it. Where to start!

To begin with, I thought I would share some fabulous Christmas Fairs that are popping up in the South East – of which I will be displaying my wares! If you are able to pop along, please come and say hi – I don’t bite 🙂

Click on the links below for more details or to pre order tickets (the big charity ones are ticketed). 


The EEC Christmas Fair

24th & 25th September

Tidworth, Wiltshire

The Daisy Trust 

Monday 30th September

East Wing, Hurlingam Club, London

St Michaels Hospice Christmas Gift Fair 

Tuesday 1st October

Sandford Springs, Kingsclere, Hampshire

Ludgrove School Christmas Fair 

Friday 4th October

Ludgrove, Wokingham

The Dummer Fair 

9th & 10th October

The Dummer Cricket Centre, RG25 2AR

The Cotswold Fair 

11th – 13th November

Daylesford, Kingham, Gloucestershire

The Fulham Prep Christmas Fair 

Sat 16th November

Greyhound Road, Fulham London

The Absolutely Best Christmas Fair 

Wed 20th & 21st November

Chelsea Town Hall, London

St Andrew School Fair 

Sat 30th November

St Andrews School, Berkshire

It’s going to be busy, but I can’t wait!

Oh and did I tell you we threw another thing into the mix? Our darling new golden retriever puppy Jofra. (Yes, the same as the cricketer, we chose him the day after we won the World Cup!)



Days Out Travel

A Lovely Countryside Stay : The Wellington Arms, Stratfield Turgis

After a few weeks back into the routine of clubs, parties and admin at the weekends – it’s nice to get away from it all and have a change of scene. The problem is – if you type into your search engine ‘family hotel near London’ quite a few appear. That’s why it’s good to have a personal recommendation and I have one for you!  The Wellington Arms in Stratfield Turgis, Hampshire was refurbished at the end of last year and has recently just opened up 25 new bedrooms too.  Situated less than a mile from the M4, Junction 11, so only an hour from Central London it is the perfect destination for a quick weekend in the countryside.

Wellington Arms


With stylish interiors and a plenty of space, there area few different areas to relax and eat, whether you would like formal dining, eat at the bar or even reserve your own area for a private event (they have a HUGE screen that would be fun to watch a match on!)

We had decided on having a large lunch as we had friends visit for drinks in the evening.  The sharing platters at the bar went down very well indeed!

The bedrooms were well equipped with a mini bar (very important) TV (a real treat to have the opportunity to watch daytime tv) and I especially loved the metro chic bathrooms with the huge slipper bath which I emerged myself in for the good part of an hour.

We stayed as a couple but as we are familiar with the area, I can highly recommend the Wellington Country Park as a lovely family day out. Situated close by and around a lake, there is an adventure playground, a dinosaur park, a magical train, jumping cushion, go carts and a lovely cafe.

If you are feeling really adventurous, book a lesson at Wellington Riding  It is a beautifully appointed well equipped equestrian centra, again very close to the Wellington Arms. Go for a coffee and watch a lesson at the indoor riding school or stock up on your tack in the wonderful equestrian shop.

wellington riding

Before you head back home, be sure to stock your cupboards, fridge and freezer  at the Wellington Farm Shop. The fresh produce is magnificent and it is one step above your normal farm shop, with a lovely interiors shop, cafe, playground and a few animals dotted around!

Wellington Farm Shop

Photo Credits : Milly Fletcher

Activities Days Out Family Life Places Reviews

25 Things To Do With Your Child This Summer

As I enter the first Monday of the summer holidays without any plans, trying not to switch the TV on – this post from Emily at Kings Tutors is so helpful, I am devouring every suggestion. Have a look at her ideas – you will be so enlightened!


Take it away Emily…

It can be difficult to keep a child entertained for a summer, but with this list of fun, educative and healthy activities, you should find the task somewhat easier.

Reading Challenge

Head to your local library and see if they are holding a summer ‘reading challenge’. The summer reading challenge uses various rewards to motivate your child into reading 6 books over the summer break. If your library is not holding the challenge, you can always create your own. More information about the reading challenge can be found here


There’s an app for that

There’s an app for almost everything these days and summer activities with kids are no exception – explore app stores for ideas. Lots of these apps will involve outdoor activities, so you don’t need to worry about spending a day staring at a screen.


A fun evening activity, it is best to stargaze on clear nights and in areas with low light pollution. Don’t worry if you don’t worry if you know nothing about astronomy. You can find apps, websites and magazines to teach you and your child the stars.

Get lost in a maze (and hopefully find your way out again)

Find your nearest maze, let your child lead the way, and see how long it takes before you eventually find your way back out.


Find some wildlife to enjoy and to learn about. This could be in the zoo, an aquarium, a farm, or just in your back garden.

A day at the beach: a timeless classic

If you want the day to be somewhat educational, spend some time looking for shells and wildlife. There are also lots of urban beaches around the country now too, have a look online and find a more convenient and local way to enjoy the sun and sand.

Fruit picking

Another way to make healthy eating more fun. Whatever it is you go pick, your child will be more enthusiastic about eating it than they would be if it was shop bought.

Cherry picking

Board games

Pause the video games and take a break from screens, take the time to play some board games. If you want a more educational game than monopoly, there are lots of options out there.

Visit a cave

Do you know your stalactites from your stalagmites? If not, head to some caves and learn something new with your child; if you do, head to some caves and enjoy feeling knowledgeable while your child learns something new!

Grow something

Whether it be fruit, vegetables or some flowers, children will take pride in growing something, will learn some gardening skills and, if it is fruit or vegetables will be willing (at least try) to eat it.

Science experiments

There are lots of simple, fun and educative experiments to do from the home. This video is full of ideas.

Practice a new language together

There are lots of ways to learn some basic language skills, including apps, books and videos. You could help your child with some vocabulary they have learnt at school or try something entirely new with them. If you are lucky enough to be travelling abroad over the summer you could try to learn some of the language skills you might need; children will love having the chance to practice their skills on holiday.

Write a book or story together

This doesn’t need to be anything particularly long or spectacular, but it can be a fun and productive way to get creative and practice writing skills.

Take classes/lessons together

Everyone can always learn a skill and everyone can always get some more exercise, so have a look at what classes and lessons are offered locally. Leisure centres always have lots of options.

Scavenger hunt

Plan a scavenger hunt around your house, garden or beyond. Use clues as a way to practice educational skills.


There are lots of ways to make crafts fun – you could go for a walk and make a collage from items you find on the way or you could use crafts as a chance to re-use and recycle.


Educational, free, and out of the rain, museums are always a great way to spend a day.


Fossil hunting

This could be slightly more difficult because it can’t be done anywhere, but there are lots of places across the country which are suitable – just make sure you know your ammonites from your belemnites!

Have a smoothie day

Spend the day making smoothies. This can be a fun way to eat healthily and to sneak some fruit and vegetables into your child’s drink.

Summer sport

There is almost always some sport happening over the summer. See what’s on and try to get your child interested and see if they would like to try a new sport.

Bird feeders

Bird feeders are easy to make as this RSPB guide shows and they provide a great opportunity for your child to engage with nature.

Look local

Have a look on your local newspaper’s website; it will be full of local activities and events which are happening across the summer.

Outdoor cinema

Every summer there seems to be more and more open-air cinemas popping up around the UK. A trip to one of these cinemas is great for the evening; they often show family-friendly films too.

Art galleries

Let your child attempt to draw their own versions of the classics and teach them about the exhibits (or find a tour guide or brochure to teach them instead). Art galleries are often free, too!

Fly a kite

An old-school option, but always fun, especially if you make the kit with your child before flying it! This CBBC video might help you get started.


Kings Tutors are leading Private Tutors in London so if you are looking for a tutor to keep your kids brain ticking over this summer, contact them!

Activities Days Out Little Reviews

The Little Grand Tour : Art Tours For Kids

One thing I fondly remember of my father, is he knew the answer to everything. I have never known a person with such a good general knowledge and knew if I was on his Trivial Pursuit team – we would definately win. Sadly however, I lack this knowledge!! I don’t know whether it is nature or nurture, but I am very keen to help my kids excel in their pub quizzes over the years! If you are with me and want to give your children an understanding of art history, The Little Grand Tour is just what you need to know about.

During the 18th and 19th centuries men and women ventured across Europe on a ‘Grand Tour’ to experience high culture and see first hand the wonder of Italian art and sculpture. Isabel and her team want to inspire a community of little grand tourists across London to its many secret and varied collections in well known and not so well known galleries and museums. Together with their LGT passport, children can enjoy their holiday and weekend tours. Lasting 2-3 hours depending on the tour, with a necessary picnic pit stop, they focus on a number of works of art which we hope will not only encourage a love of art but also contribute towards school learning.

My oldest son and his friend went a Myths and Legends Tour at the National Gallery yesterday.


I dropped them off at 10 with Isabel and Annabel and 4 other boys and let them get on with it.


When they arrived back at the same spot two hours later, they were telling me 3 paintings they saw – all under late rennaissance era.


From never having been inside an art gallery to all of a sudden knowing who Titian was – that’s not something I could have ever taught!

There is something about them being with a stranger that makes them behave (in my opinion!) so Isabel encourages parents to drop the kids with her rather than join the tour (as much as you will want to!)


As Isabel has two children (age 10 and 6) herself, she has an immediate way with children and knows how to engage them straight away.

They were given a Little Grand Tour silicon bracelet, a neck tag and a ‘passport’ to collect stickers each time they go on tour.


For the individual tours, they fill in a small form of what paintings they saw and have time to recall their favourite painting and redraw and colour it on the back of their worksheet.


Isabel knows how to bring art alive and I am looking forward to booking them on another one – I love the sound of ‘Picasso and Colour’ at Tate Modern!

Here is a list of what’s coming up

Wednesday 18th July: Cedric Morris & Floral Fun at The Garden Museum (10.30am-12.30pm)

Friday 27th July: Picasso & Colour at Tate Modern (10am-12pm)

Wednesday 15th August: Tate Britain (10am-12pm)

Wednesday 22nd August: Victoria & Albert Museum (10am-12pm)

Friday 27th August: Picasso & Colour at Tate Modern (10.30am-12.30pm)

Tuesday 28th August: Flower Fairies at The Garden Museum (10.30am-12.30pm)

Thursday 30th August: Flower Fairies at the Garden Museum (10.30am-12.30pm)

Contact Isabel to book

Days Out Places Travel

Drayton Manor Theme Park : Fun Family Day Out

Despite the 300 mile round trip, we had a lovely day at one of Britain’s best theme parks. Situated in the county of Staffordshire, Drayton Manor Theme Park is a picturesque theme park based around a duck laden lake. Like many of the major theme parks (Peppa Pig World at Paultons, CBeebies land at Alton Towers), Drayton Manor has a dedicated area for any little Thomas The Tank Engine fan.


Thomasland is the perfect place to introduce your little one to the delights of a theme park in a gentle and fun surrounding.


There are so many rides in this area that queues were minimal. They loved the water pistol Fire Engine ride. Simple but brilliant.


The rest of the park is packed with traditional theme park rides. This car ride is always a winner isn’t it?

car ride

The log flume was brilliant but very wet so make sure you cover up otherwise you will be walking around soaking for the rest of the day 🙂

Log flume

Sadly my oldest who is a rollercoaster fantatic was disappointed to be 5cm too short to go on the ‘only 1 of 2 stand up rollercoasters in Europe.  #secretlyrelieved


Instead we went on the some twisty upside down ride that made me slightly ill for the rest of the day. However we had our rollercoaster fix as there were plenty of miniature rollercoaster for 110cm and up…


There was a vast choice of places to eat. We chose a Pizza Pasta place next to the zoo (below they are checking out the Meerkats) and had pretty good meatballs!


We let lunch settle with a viewing of an Ice Age 4D Cinema experience.  We were thrown around and sprayed with a fair bit of water which the boys loved.


The younger two had a run around on one of the many adventure playgrounds.


H and I had a wander around the Dino Trail and brushed up on our dinosaur intel.

Dino Trail

H also practiced his photography skills – great one of the three dinosaurs…


All in all a lovely day which would make a great birthday or holiday treat.

Price list

If you looking for a fun day out to amuse the kids this summer, you can’t go wrong with Drayton Manor.  As one of my kids asked the next day ‘ When can we go back?’

That’s always a good result!

Tickets were complimentary in return for an honest review of which all opinions are my own.