19 November 2016 to 2 January 2017
Reviewed by Melody Floyde
I visited Wookey Hole Winter Wonderland in Somerset with my partner and our two sons aged five and two years. We were all very excited to be asked to do this review as we love Christmas!
Wookey Hole was very easy to find being well signposted from Junction 22 of the M5. We easily parked in the large free car park and were relieved to see toilets situated on the way to the ticket office after our long journey. There were also several other toilets throughout the site all with baby-changing facilities.
At the ticket office we were greeted by a very helpful member of staff who gave us lots of information about the various attractions and where they were located on site. He gave us an information sheet, our tickets for the cave tour and, most importantly, booked us a slot to see Santa. We were given an hour slot and told that we could visit anytime within that hour which was great as it was so flexible. He also told us that, unfortunately, we were unable to take our buggy to the caves themselves which meant our two-year old would have to walk or be carried on the tour. We left the buggy in the undercover buggy park situated near the ticket office.
Our first stop was the famous cave tour. We had a short wait, during which time we were sold glow sticks for the boys (£2 each) to wear around their necks, before being met by our guide and taken in to the caves. The guided tour lasted approximately 45 minutes and our guide gave us lots of information and facts about the caves which had been specially decorated for Christmas with over 100,000 lights and lots of festive characters. We were very impressed with the lights as they were so pretty and the boys really enjoyed spotting all the characters dotted around the tour. The highlight of the tour was when we had to put on hard hats to enter the newly opened Chamber 20 caves and tunnels, which had been transformed into a winter wonderland with even more lights and polar bears, penguins, Eskimos, reindeer and a sleigh Santa’s grotto and of course Christmas music. This was really magical and unique as none of us had ever been to an underground wonderland before.
After leaving the caves we followed the reindeer walk which took us to see the two Wookey reindeers in their field, which unfortunately we could only see from a distance so was a bit disappointing.
We also got to walk through dinosaur valley where there were lots of realistic dinosaur models and a giant King Kong which the boys loved.
Our next stop was Santa’s grotto to meet the man himself. On arriving we were met by an elf who let us in to the grotto, where we walked through another winter wonderland with lots of animated creatures and characters, which made for some great photo opportunities. We were then met by another elf who took us in to see Santa. Santa chatted with the boys and gave them both wrapped presents. We then had the chance to take our own photos with Santa before all posing for a picture using Santa’s camera. This picture could be purchased in a range of different formats after leaving the grotto. Both boys were pleased with their presents, Samuel (five) had a building block set and Joseph (two) had a cuddly duck which is his new favourite toy!
We opted to have lunch at Captain Jack’s restaurant which had a fair selection of hot and cold food at average prices. There was plenty of seating and there were highchairs available. We did spot other people eating picnics indoors so if we visited again we would probably take a picnic with us to save money.
Our next stop was the 4D Sleigh Ride experience, which was for over three’s only so we had to leave my partner and two-year old outside. First we entered the witch’s house where her pet bat, Harold, had been casting topsy-turvy spells and had turned everything upside down. My son was so excited to see a table and chairs on the ceiling above us! We then moved into the 4d cinema ride and took our seats and put on our special 3d glasses. Here we experienced a crazy trip on Santa’s sleigh with one of his elves driving as Santa was asleep, our seats moved in time with the sleigh and we were also blasted with air and water, it was really impressive and my five-year old says it was his favourite bit of the whole day.
We then had a brief visit to the soft play zone, which was a big hit with our five-year old but unfortunately there did not appear to be an area for under four’s so our two-year old was a bit fed up, before taking our seats in the theatre for the Christmas circus show which had an Alice in Wonderland theme. This was a really impressive circus show with lots of juggling, unicycles, magic tricks, trapeze, acrobatics and the Wookey witch. All finished off with a giant inflatable Santa and a photo opportunity with the ‘stars of the show’.
There were also other attractions on site which we didn’t have time to visit such as the paper making museum, cave diving museum, mirror maze, penny arcade, pirate golf and clown town.
We really enjoyed our festive day at Wookey Hole. The whole site was decorated for Christmas and there was lots of Christmas music playing as well to really get us in the mood.
I would definitely recommend a trip to Wookey’s Christmas Wonderland to anyone with children over three. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a great deal for our two-year old to do and the cave tour was tricky having to carry him around for most of it but this is reflected in the ticket price of just £2.50 for under threes (£15 for adults and children over three).
I would give the Wookey Hole Winter Wonderland a 4 out of 5!
Wookey Hole Winter Wonderland Tickets cost £15.
For more information or to book tickets online visit www.wookey.co.uk.
Wookey Hole Caves, The Mill, Wells, Somerset, BA5 1BB | 01749 672243