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Don't judge a book by it's cover
Trethorne Leisure Park (Cornwall)
Member Name: abbadabbado
Trethorne Leisure Park (Cornwall)
Advantages: packed with activities
Disadvantages: first impressions could put you off
A couple of weeks ago whilst on holiday in Cornwall, we were looking for places to go on day trips. We happened to pick up a leaflet for Trethorne Leisure Park and decided to pay it a visit.
** What is there at the park? **
The park is advertised as an all weather tourist attraction that contains a farm, indoor and outdoor play areas, bowling alley, conference facilities and fully licensed restaurant and bar. The leaflet made the place sound amazing and we were really looking forward to going.
When we go there we found there was plenty to do to keep any family occupied whether it's raining or not. To be honest we would prefer it on a dry day but there would be plenty for anyone to do if it was raining.
** How to get there **
Trethorne Leisure Park is just off the A30, 3 miles west of Launceston on the junction with the A395. We used the sat nav to find the park, but it was clearly signposted as we approached.
** Our day out **
The park is due to open at 10am, so knowing we have approximately a half an hour's drive, we leave around 10am to get the best of the day. Using the sat nav we find the park easily and pull into the long drive to approach the car park. Considering the size of the facilities, I thought the car park was on the small size, but we didn't realise this until later.
I did find myself wondering how to get into the main entrance but then we spotted a small arrow on the wall so followed the path round to see some more signs. There were plenty of British Gas vans in the car park and we realised that there must be a conference happening as well. Not too many average cars were around so we were wondering if the park was indeed open.
As we approached what we thought was reception, we walked in and saw a small counter with a till. Behind it we could see a mini gift shop so we knew we were in the right place, but there was no staff around. My partner eventually poked his head round the corner into the restaurant area and was told there would be someone with us shortly. We had already pressed the bell by this time with no luck.
I was starting to wonder if we should be turning round and going again as the place looked deserted, but thankfully a nice lady arrived and took our money. She talked us through hygiene procedures as there was plenty of animals to pet, and with the risk of ecoli then we were to be extra careful especially with small children in our party.
Armed with our map and list of feeding / activity times, we followed the line through what looked like the conference area and went through a door to the outside and the start of the park. It was all a little weird at this point and I thought I had paid good money (£7.75 per person with under 3 year olds free) to wander around nothing.
I really should learn not to judge a book by its cover as the further we explored into the park the more we found that was truly hidden gems. We started by looking at the small selection of animals that included geese, chickens, rabbits, horses, pigs, and goats. All these were placed around the front area of the park and there were times available to be able to hold the smaller animals. We all did this and my partner in particular fell in love with a baby duck and a chick. For my two year old it was a great experience as she was able to hold a rabbit, guinea pig and even had the chick on her lap.
Inside the pig and goat shed, due to the park being quiet we were allowed to hold a piglet and feed the sheep. I don't think this was normal on busy days but even so we were treated to these events and felt very lucky to be given the opportunity, especially for our youngest daughter.
Walking through from the animals we were met with a giant play area. My toddler had fantastic fun racing around on mini go-karts with her sister; they had the area to themselves. We passed two large inflatables which were a human bungee and a gladiator pole. These were operational but we had to find staff if we wanted to use them.
Onto the large ball pit area, we all shook off our shoes and went in. I have never been in a ball area and had the place to ourselves it was such a magical treat. Also it meant my two year old could get some great experience playing without being pushed by older or more children.
I thought the ball pit was impressive until we walked through to the next section passing a small sand filled area for toddlers, to find an even bigger ball area complete with three trampolines, climbing wall and a bumpy slide.
We were undercover in a barn at this point so the air was a bit colder, but the children wouldn't feel it by running around.
Inside this area were also plenty of picnic benches coupled with a snack bar. The snack bar wasn't open due to being off season but that was fine by us as we would have preferred the lack of people to being able to get a coffee.
After spending a magical half an hour in another pit of balls, all of us jumping in and having fun, we found a little area dedicated for under 6 years old, so we spent even longer in there. This was attached to the snack bar area and was a lot warmer than the rest of the area.
Wherever we went there seemed to be toilets nearby and they were clean all day which was good especially having a just potty trained child in tow.
Outside as we walked back through for lunch we saw an outside play area which housed all the playground equipment you could possibly want to see with a mini crazy golf course in the centre, zip wires, trampolines, and climbing equipment and on the side was a lake where you could use the paddle boats.
The restaurant was quite basic compared to the size of the park. Now that we had realised its potential we were really impressed. What made us chuckle was the lady that served us on the till in the restaurant was the same lady who sold us our entrance tickets and she was also in the gift shop. I can only hope they were saving on staff due to it being off season, as the park was worth more than one member of staff running about everywhere.
The food was slightly over priced for what we go, and service was slow but I would imagine they were concentrating on the conference guests, rather than the handful of people travelling through the farm.
We chose not to stay and bowl, but the area was well presented with a bar attached and all looked clean and respectable.
Overall we were pleased to have stumbled upon this park. I think the first impressions could be better as we didn't know what we were going to find when we eventually found out way to reception.
Perhaps the experience would have been different had we gone in summer months and there were a lot of people, but we really enjoyed our day at Trethorne and would definitely go back again if we were in the area I felt we got a lot for our money and it made a jam packed day out to be very cost effective.
Summary: if you're passing check it out.