Reviewed by Karen Curson
When we received notification that we had been chosen to review Wicksteed Park, we were all very excited. Despite the fact that it is only 10 miles from where we live, we haven't been there very much. The park is very easy to get to and is well sign posted from all major roads. Parking is plentiful, and the park is situated on a large area which is very well kept.
Entrance to the park is free on foot, however to park a vehicle is between £5 and £6. Once in the park, there is a large free play area and the grounds themselves are accessible to all. To go on the rides and attractions, you must purchase either a wristband at a cost of £17 per child and £13 per adult, or tickets individually at £1 or as a bundle of 30 tickets for £24 (prices correct as of August 2013). Most rides are a minimum of 2 tickets per rider.
Now to the fun…
There are a great variety of rides that cater for differing levels of thrill-seeker, from the relaxing and sedate narrow gauge railway, to the high speed roller coaster. Set out in three specific locations in the park, there is the pavilion area, which are the original early 20th century structures, where you will find the famous “pirate ship” and other traditional fairground rides, arcade machines and a laser tag game.
At the lake you will find amongst other things, rowing boats and canoes, old fashioned log flume and an aviary. And at the arena, which is by far the thrill-seekers zone, you will find go karts, mini roller-coasters, log flume, umbrellas and of course the big roller-coaster,
We went on the majority of the rides at least once, sometimes twice (and in the case of the lighthouse ride seven times!) although we didn't get around to going to the free playground, railway or crazy golf.
The day itself was fantastic, the weather was nice and the park busy but not crowded, I do wonder how well it would fare with inclement weather as the majority of it is obviously outdoors, or with overwhelming amounts of people, as it was we barely queued at all and were able to get on most rides almost immediately. The staff we encountered were very pleasant and seem to enjoy their jobs, even those with the monotonous tasks!
The overall experience of the day was faultless, our two children aged 8 and 6 thoroughly enjoyed themselves and were reluctant to leave the park even after the rides closed at 5pm.
Quote from eldest daughter aged 8
“I liked the lighthouse ride and the log flume because daddy got wet”
Quote from youngest daughter aged 6
“I liked the ladybird roller-coaster, the lighthouse ride and the big roller-coaster”
All in all we were very impressed with Wicksteed park, it may not be as big, grandiose or as adrenalin charged as the theme parks of the larger competitors, it makes up for this by being cheaper and much more family friendly and for us more local. We will certainly be back.
Marks out of 5: 4 (because it is still a bit pricey if you are on a budget).
For more information or to book your tickets online visit www.wicksteedpark.co.uk