Newest Review: ... in reverse with no wait). The rest is stuff in the woods, there's a maze, story areas and refreshment huts, places to build dens and a ... more
The UKs first environmentally friendly adventure park
Member Name: loopy-lou33
Advantages: Great hands on fun for kids. Keeps kids active.
Disadvantages: Cost. Not an all weather attraction.
I was lucky enough to get a cheapo holiday deal from Haven, so legged it off with the family to Great Yarmouth for the week. The reception area of the park was full of interesting leaflets covering all of the local attractions, and the leaflet for a place called "Bewilderwood" really jumped out at me, because it looked so different from the other places of interest locally. The front of the leaflt showed lots of children running along a wooden path through a forest, with little treehouses up in the trees. The front of the leaflet describes the place as a "Curious Treehouse Adventure", and inside the leaflets are lots of quotes and comments from visitors who have really enjoyed going to this place, including a quote from the Observer, which describes it as one of the 50 most fabulous things to do in the world. OK. That got my attention. Interestingly, the leaflet did not mention any prices, and that can only mean that it was going to be expensive.
Worries about cost aside, we set off to Bewilderwood the following morning. It is on the A1062 Horning road, between Hoveton and Horning, not far from Wroxham. This is about 45 minutes by car from Great Yarmouth, and we didn't manage to find it very easily, we got lost and took a few wrong turns on the way!
Once we were there we parked on a huge car park, that had ample space for even the busiest days, and car park attendants to help you. I noticed the park was very busy, and this surprised me on a cold April morning!
Near the car park is the entrance where you pay to get in. Here is the sting. You can't get away now. The kids are too excited. I noticed that you pay different prices according to height. This made me angry, because I have tall kids! Kids under 92cm got in free, while kids between 92 and 105 cm, the average height for a 3 and 4 year old cost £7.00. Anyone taller than that had to pay £11.50 and over 65's cost £8.50. My son is 4, but tall for his age. The girl at the desk made him stand against a height chart, and as he was a tiny bit over, charged me the full £11.50. If I had taken his shoes off he would have only cost £7!!! I really think they should charge by age and not height, as some more able, but shorter 5 year olds should get in cheaper. Talk about discrimination! So me, the hub, the mother in law and the 3 kids came to a hefty £66!
After being relieved of your cash, you wander down a short path and show your wristbands to a very friendly member of staff who gives you a map of the park. The map makes the place look vast, and the different areas of the forest have intriguing names such as Scaaary Lake and Boggle Village. This is the world of Boggles, Twiggles and Crocklebogs, and as you wander through the forset, you really start to believe that there are tiny people living in the trees...
The first place that you come to is the Bewilderboat Junction, where you can hop on a boat that carries 11 passengers a short ride to the lake. Again, the staff are really friendly and talkative. When you get to the lake, you get squirted by a Crocklebog called Mildred, who pops her head out of the water as you arrive. The kids loved that!
When you get off the boat, you come to the main play area, which is a gigantic adventure playground, a kids paradise. This area has a wide variety of play equipment, catering for a good range of ages, from very small children to adults! I would say though, that the equipment mainly caters for kids aged 6 and over, who are quite confident climbing. I did see a few injured kids around who were crying because they had fallen off things! The highlight for my kids was the Slippery Slope, which consisted of 2 slides, a very steep one and a more gentle one. I loved watching the shocked expressions of the people coming down the steep slide. It was hillarious!
There was also a brilliant maze, which we managed to get lost in, and lots of high bridges. There were some brilliant zip wires, which took riders whizzing down a wire, and there were plenty of staff supervising the activities to make sure people were safe.
When it came to lunch I was disappointed that there were no indoor cafes, as we were all really cold at this point. Food is sold at small outlets, with lots of outdoor seating and benches nearby, but no real shelter of any sort. The range of food was OK, with the usual sandwiches and hot fare on sale. I had a sausage roll, for £1.80 which was much better quality than the usual stuff you get, and I was very impressed. The kids had a small food box, which cost about £3 for a cob, a biscuit, a carton and an apple. The prices were quite reasonable.
The whole adventure play area was big, but not as big as it appeared on the map. In fact, to walk from one end of the park to the other would probably only take 10 minutes. They had packed lots of really good things into the small area though. For me, the absolute best thing in the park was the Den building activity. This consisted of a fenced off wooded area with lots of long branches and leafy branches on the ground. The aim was to make a den that you could fit inside. We constructed our den between 2 trees, adding sticks to make a framework and covering the whole thing with leaves. All 3 kids could fit inside and we felt really proud at what we had made.
The park also has storytelling activities, as well as a shop that sells fantasy books based on Bewilderwood, written by a local author.
I was really impressed with the park, which was also eco friendly, with everything made of wood and opprtunities to recycle packaging. The staff were all fantastic and we really enjoyed ourselves. The only reason I am dropping a star is because of the hefty entrance fee and the lack of an indoor cafe, but I would definitely go again.
Summary: A magical forest adventure!
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