DAY OUT: Paultons Park

Henry at Daddy Pigs car Ride lr

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By Tim Saunders

Rarely do we spend a whole day at one attraction. The reason for this is that attention spans are short and boredom invariably sets in. Not just in our children but Caroline and me, too.

But this rule is completely broken when we visit Paultons Park near Romsey in Hampshire. There is absolutely no way that we’re going to get bored at this family theme park.

Of course Henry (3), Heidi (6) and Harriett (8) have to visit Peppa Pig World first and this alone keeps us all amused for sometime. Henry takes charge and drags us to the Viking Boat, which goes round in circles. A nice way of getting into the swing of things, as is the ride on the Victorian Carousel.

Our tour guide then leads us to Miss Rabbit’s helicopter flight where he samples his first long queue. He is incredibly impatient, just like his father but he copes well. Twenty minutes later he is finally sitting in the helicopter and having the time of his life, waving to mummy on the ground below. After all the passengers have boarded it steadily gathers speed until it goes really quite fast, making Heidi shriek with surprise. Daddy Pig’s Car Ride is the next port of call and Henry is in the driving seat, followed by George’s Dinosaur Adventure, a must for Henry because he is quite keen on these creatures.

Back on the ground it is as if Henry’s in a giant sweetshop, not knowing what to choose first. “I want to go and see Peppa’s house,” he decides, swiftly pulling us all towards it. Inside we are greeted by life size rubber moving versions of Peppa, George, Mummy and Daddy Pig. Daddy Pig is teaching his family how to make pancakes. It’s a lovely, entertaining show that has us all mesmerised. After that it’s off again, this time to Grandpa Pig’s Little Train. Here Henry cannot decide which carriage to go in, which results in mummy missing out because the carriages quickly fill up. No time for dithering. He learns and despite the weather being gloriously warm and lots of people about, overall he copes well, making the whole day a real pleasure.

We have an early picnic lunch. Refreshed, we make our way to Grampy Rabbit’s Sailing Club. The steps provide some entertainment while waiting to board. Each boat takes four passengers so Harriett and mummy sit in a second one. This is a great little ride – we all love anything involving water. Above us we notice The Queen’s Flying Coach Ride so we have to go on that, too; a very regal way for one to travel.

The children then make a dash for the play area.

And then we feel the time has come to explore the rest of the park where there are over 70 rides (for all ages) in total. But refreshingly, if all that gets a little too much, and it can, especially on a hot day, there is a side of Paultons that is a heavenly tranquil green space filled with inspiration for any gardener and wildlife lover. There are different gardens featuring an array of plants and pleasingly there are many benches for weary legs. Highlights for Caroline and I are the large tortoise that apparently lives to 200 years old and the green gecko. Amazing. They’re lovely to watch slowly moving around. There are some stunning fish and we see poisonous frogs and other interesting creatures.

While there are some things that are not included in the ticket price such as the water guns, it is good to see a few children’s ride on vehicles that are continually running and Henry has a splendid time on a fire engine.

Caroline is pleased that I convinced her to go on The Dinosaur Tour Co. which is a very entertaining journey that introduces us to some very frightening reptiles from over 200m years ago.

We while away the rest of the afternoon in the gardens and then discover another play area with a sandpit, which provides more fun and adventures. Back at the car we realise we’ve spent eight hours at Paultons, no wonder our feet ache! That’s what goes into making a day of precious moments and great memories.

For those who need to go on absolutely every ride it is possible to book a short stay.

 

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