Monday, July 22, 2019

Summer Fun || Wicksteed Park Kettering Review

Recently we were given the opportunity to visit Wicksteed Park in Kettering for review purposes and after a quick look on the website, we were very excited to make the journey there to see it all in the flesh.

Wicksteed park is set in beautiful parklands, with gardens galore, rides for all the family and lots more to explore. There are even camping facilities on site which we'd love to do another time to get the most out of our visit. 

For us in Lincoln, it's about 1.5 hours in the car and not a bad journey at all, with ample parking on arrival and no queueing to get in. The park itself is open to all and you can either buy wristbands for your visit to go on unlimited amusement park rides or buy tokens. On site there are also a few coin based rides, games and stalls such as hook a duck, so whatever your budget it's a great place to stop by, even if just for an ice cream, a walk and a cheeky carousel ride. At the start of the park you see the brilliant aviary dome with lots of dinky birds like quails and the resident parrot who was a pleasure to meet, along with the lady on the door who told us all about her.

As well as the birds, there's also a great little meerkat maze with tubes to walk through, allowing you to pop up for a closer look at the meerkats. Alf at 7 could see out but Soph, 4 couldn't, this didn't stop her enjoying the tunnels though and I lifted her to see the meerkats a bit closer. There are also some beautiful goats at the entrance.

The site itself has lots to explore, with a fun musical garden ample plants to look at and a giant man made of wicker! It's a lovely place to walk round while you choose what activities you'd like to do.

Our number one activity of the day had to be the clip and climb which you can pay for by itself. This was so much fun and even if you're totally inexperienced like me I can guarantee you'll enjoy it and feel satisfied reaching the top! As a larger lady I did find the harness a bit of a squeeze but I didn't let it stop me, in fact I think it made me more determined! It's worth noting that there are lockers in the building, so bring a little padlock if you want to climb without having to watch your bags. Luckily I had one so we could chuck all our stuff in and focus on our climb.

We were also given the chance to go on the high zip wire, but unfortunately I was over the weight limit for the day (it changes daily) and Alfie got to the top and cried in panic, so we weren't able to try this but it did look great fun and everyone that came off it had the biggest grins on their faces.

There are lots of smaller rides at the park such as the rockets which the kids loved, honey pots, tea cups and the biggest indoor slide I've ever seen. Me and Soph went on the log flume which felt a bit terrifying but was brilliant, while the boys went on the gokarts which they found a little slow and had to queue over 40 mins, so we'd probably skip that next time.  

We didn't brave the biggest rollercoaster and sadly ran out of time with some of the others, especially as some opened and closed through the day due to the weather. There's a great selection though for all ages and I loved the big classic carousel! Running out of time was totally our fault as we spent so much time walking round planning when we should have dived straight into the fun!

With food and drinks, there are plenty of options on the park, with street food style stalls, cafes and our choice - the smoke house. This was all very reasonably priced and we didn't see any queues more than a handful of people. The only downside was that we struggled to find somewhere dry to sit to eat. Luckily at the smokehouse the outside tables had huge umbrellas and we just managed to get one in time, after failing to find anywhere else undercover around the other food places. With this in mind if I was to visit again I would prefer to go in better weather, but we did still have a great day in the rain, so it's still well worth a visit. There are places to eat indoors but at busy times they fill up very quickly!

In the park there's lots of outdoor play areas too, with smaller zip wires, large seesaws and all the classic play equipment. I think the kids would happily visit the playground daily if they could! We also paid for Sophie to have a go on hook a duck which made her happy.

Overall we really enjoyed our visit to Wicksteed park. It was well worth the driving time and we would definitely visit again some time. The rain didn't stop us having fun but as some rides do close I'd be lying if I said it wouldn't have been better in the sunshine, though the indoor parts such as soft play and slides would more than make up for it if you live close by. 

The park is quite spread out, so a nice place to explore and lots of things to see and do. There are lots of seats around for weary legs to recharge and the staff were all very friendly and helpful. It's worth noting the closing times as once it's closing it does so very quickly, and as we stupidly thought it closes an hour later we missed some of the rides we had saved until the end. 

I'd recommend a visit this summer if you're near by, you won't be disappointed with all Wicksteed has to offer and it's a beautiful place to explore. The wristbands are great value if you're likely to go on lots of rides and the clip and climb is well worth a visit all by itself! 

Have you visited Wicksteed Park?