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FOR US, the main reason for visiting Paultons Park was to take the kids to Peppa Pig World.
The cartoon is the only show my two-year-old daughter wants to watch, so I knew it would be a magical trip for her, and my four-year-old son and was keen to visit before they grow out of it!
Peppa Pig World (PPW) is inside the Paultons Park theme park and opened in 2011. You need to pay to enter the theme park as PPW doesn’t have its own entrance.
Paultons Park has more than 60 rides and attractions, with everything from gentle rides to thrill-seeker fast rides, so even without Peppa Pig World to explore, there is plenty to do. Click here to see a resort map.
TIP: Children measuring under 1m get in for free, but they can still go on every ride in Peppa Pig World and plenty of others in the main park too!
Nearly all the rides in the park are suitable for children (who measure over 1m) so there’s a simple pricing system where anyone over this height pays the same amount as an adult.
TIP: Have your children measured as you enter Paultons Park – that way, they get a wristband if they are over 1m tall, so they don’t have to be measured at every ride.
To make our trip even more fun, we went with my best friend Lucy, and her sons Ruben, 6 and Hugo 4.
As soon as we walked into Peppa Pig World, we could see the excitement on their faces as they recognised everything from the programme, such as Peppa’s house, the campervan and Daddy Pig’s car. It was heaven for them. Then, when they realised they could climb inside some of them for a ride, it was like a dream come true.
There are seven themed rides inside Peppa Pig World, but it’s really spacious and with the splash park and adventure playground, it is actually bigger than it sounds. If it’s hot, don’t forget the costumes and towels. As you would expect, for the younger audience, they’re all gentle rides – perfect for pre-schoolers.
Everything is bright and colourful and the music plays at each ride. It really is such a good fun atmosphere, you can’t fail to enjoy it.
I think Windy Castle was our favourite ride. We climbed into the tame-looking gondola and rode to the top of the hill but, thanks to the self-spin system that our children got to grips with straight away, Lucy and I left in a spin.
I personally loved Grandpa’s boat trip, but my son’s favourite was George’s dinosaur adventure ride – I think because he got to ride the dinosaur all by himself.
There’s also Miss Rabbit’s helicopter flight, which gives good views over the park – as does Peppa’s balloon ride.
We caught a glimpse of the characters wandering around the park several times during our two-day visit, and my son really wanted a photo with Peppa Pig, so we queued up to meet them properly, which they loved. You can check the chalk board at the School House to see Peppa & George appearance times throughout the day.
I decided to hire a double pushchair whilst there as we didn’t have space in the car to take ours. They were so easy to push and the kids loved them – however they don’t come with a rain cover.
Unfortunately, the heavens opened on our second day there and we had to run for cover, but luckily there was George’s Spaceship indoor playzone to keep the little ones amused while it passed. Make sure the kids have socks if they want to play in the indoor fun zones.
TIP: Purchase your tickets online in advance to enter the Park quickly and avoid waiting to buy tickets at the admission kiosks when you arrive.
The family-friendly attention to detail is impressive. All of the toilets have additional toddler seats, for example. There are low sinks and Daddy Pig’s Big Tummy Café has rocket-shaped high chairs.
It was hard to drag the children out of Peppa Pig World, but we did explore the rest of the park and go on other rides. Despite all being fairly young, they enjoyed many rides, including the carousel, the pirate ship, the teacups, the Viking boats and the trekking tractor ride. If white knuckle rides are your thing it’s this part of the park you need to be in.
There is also a variety of things to do away from the rides, including a 4-D cinema, adventure golf, dinosaurs, animated shows, play areas and animals and other exotic birds to see. If you are lucky enough to visit on a hot day and have very young children, it’s a good idea to take a bucket and spade for the sandy play areas.
There’s plenty of room for picnicking and several places to also buy food.
We will have to go back because we missed the penguin feeding, which my son keeps reminding me about. It’s definitley worth keeping in mind to head for the rides at the back of the Park first when you arrive because the closest rides tend to be more popular in the morning. Also leave the bigger thrill rides until lunch when most people are eating or at the end of the day.
The newest attraction was the new mini-land, Critter Creek – a fully themed world of strange mixed-up creatures known as Curious Critters. It’s based on Professor Blast’s adventures.
TIP: Pick up one of the “lost child contact” stickers and place it on your child’s back, where he/she cannot reach it with his/her hand.
For us, it was worth an almost five-hour car journey from East Yorkshire. We loved every second of our visit. However, it’s not a trip you could make in a day – unless of course you’re local. We booked a short-break holiday on the Peppa Pig World website, which included two days at the theme park for the price of one, and an overnight stay at a nearby hotel, including breakfast.
We chose Hilton Southampton. It’s only a 15-minute drive to the park and we love Hilton hotels. You know you can never go wrong with a Hilton. They are always guaranteed to be nice and the delicious breakfast sets you up for the day.
The hotel is all geared up for families, with children’s menus, cots and highchairs. The children even got balloons and a welcome pack on arrival.
The Hilton is easy to find and set in wooded gardens, minutes from the docks.
We loved it there and would definitely recommend as a place to stay.
The staff were so friendly and couldn’t do enough for us. They are used to people staying and going to the park and are happy to help in any way they can, including filling my daughter’s bottle with milk before bed.
- Reviewed May 2015
NEED TO KNOW…
Location: Paultons Park, Ower, Romsey, Hampshire, SO51 6AL.
Opening hours: Depends on season.
Prices: Adults and children over 1m: £30. Or £25.75 if booked online. Children under 1m tall enter free.
- Baby: The Baby Care Centre has facilities for feeding and changing babies and a separate room for breastfeeding. Baby changing facilities are also provided in ladies and gents toilets within the Park. Baby bottle and food heating is available at restaurants and kiosks. Strollers are available for hire from the Guest Information desk £8 for a single and £12 for a double. Tot Swap allows parents to enjoy the height restricted rides when visiting the park with Toddlers. Queue for the first go with the largest part of the group then ask for a Tot Swap ticket from the ride operator when you get off and the second group (no more than two people) can return to the ride via the exit for their go on the stated time on the ticket.
- Eating & drinking: Several family restaurants, including Pizza & Pasta and The Burger Kitchen. There’s also a number of food stands ranging from hot dogs, ice cream, crepes, chocolate waffles, salt and flavoured pretzels, popcorn, candy floss, themed cookies and hot and cold drinks.
- Wifi: Download the FastConnect app and register your device at home to connect automatically to free WiFi in certain zones of the park.
- Other: Lockers throughout the park (£1 which is non-refundable) Large lockers are also available for £5 per day.
Call: 023 80814442
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Lightwater Valley, North Yorkshire