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
Member Name: azana
Date: 28/05/13, updated on 30/05/13 (92 review reads)
Advantages: different and good idea
Disadvantages: the price
The idea of the park is a good one, it's like a giant play park for adults and kids, in the woods. There are zip wires, bridges through the trees, slides and a host of things to climb. There is also an attempt to make it themed with lots of invented characters called Crocklebogs, Twiggles and Boggles. There is a boat ride at the start of the park to introduce you to these characters, a gentle meandering through the woods that was quite pleasant though rather a queue (my tip is, on arrival to walk to the end of the boat ride where you can walk straight on and do the ride 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 few real fires to heat yourself up around. It's all safe, well built and staffed by cheerful people who seem, on the surface at least, to be into the spirit of the place.
All this would be well and good were it not for the fact that I found it very expensive for what it was. Clearly theme parks by their nature are expensive and, at £13.50 per person over 105 centimetres (so a 6 year old pays the same as an adult), with those from 92-105 cm pay £11.50, with under 92cms being free, I thought it was pricey. Admittedly when we visited it was peak school holiday time and very cold but we were hard pushed to make a day of it - it just isn't that big really, there are only 4 big play areas and then a number of other areas for smaller children. We did have fun on the bigger slides, which you have to wear a foot guard for, and enjoyed walking across the bridge in the woods as a family and going down the zip wires, but I didn't think it was £54 of fun, and the day we went there were a lot of people and you didn't really feel like you had place to play unhampered by other people's children, some of whom I would have paid good money to avoid, wild they certainly were, lacking in parents providing any kind of boundaries or supervision they also appeared to be - not the fault of the park but indicative probably of the kind of family that seems to flock to this place.
Admittedly when not on holiday we live next to woods, so the kind of amusement to be had at BeWILDerwood is readily available to us at home- we can, and often do, walk along logs or build dens for free and we have local parks with impressive zip wires and the kind of thing BeWILDerwood have, albeit on a smaller scale they are not that different from the experience of the woods at this park. I'm afraid rather than charming I found the BeWILDerwood thing contrived and just cloyingly sweet and behind the facade and jokey signs everywhere it seemed as much a money making machine as any of the other bigger theme parks, I just didn't buy into the whole thing, and actually even the slightly tween name of it grates. I don't think I am alone in my feelings about the park - the reviews on tripadvisor are mixed and many mention the cost, the comments on the park's facebook page are all positive. Like I said at the start my relative thinks it is the best thing since sliced bread, personally it's not somewhere I would rush to go back to in all honesty, it's just too limited, we were hard pushed to spend longer than a few hours there. I would imagine if you live near to the place and can get an annual pass it might be slightly more appealing but my advice would be to save your money and go to a park, a beach, or some actual woods, it will probably be just as much fun, and there is a free adventure playground at Holkham Hall, not that far away that will set you back a whole pound in parking and is just as good for kids.
Should you choose to visit, parking is free (unlike at Legoland and Chessington) and copious, the shop seemed to offer a good range of merchandise and the food seemed fair value and more healthy than most parks of this nature. Facilities for baby change and toilets were good and there were some swings and access for those with special needs - though much of the park would be hard to access. The park is open at various times of the year - details on the website.
Summary: not somewhere I would return
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