My husband and visited with my 2 children 5 and 4 years of age. Blitz area terrified the little girl because it was so dark and loud (so dark I believe its dangerous as you can't see where you are going). Only rides my boy liked where ones where you had to put in a £1! This after using £60 worth of Tesco club vouchers and making the rest up in cash, to get in! So I was expecting something half decent for that amount of entrance fee.Half of the refreshment areas were closed. Toilets old and in poor condition. Signage around the park very bad.Park felt like ghost town as you walked around because it was nearly empty, and this was a Friday during the main school holidays.Left after 1.5 hrs (and that was stretching it) really disappointed. Would definitely NOT recommend the place.
Me and my partner visited Flambards this morning because we are on holiday close by. I visited Flambards as a kid and from what I can remember I had a fab time so I was keen to go again. We were also both sucked in by the Britain in the Blitz feature, amongst other things.
*Location and Directions*
Flambards is located just outside the Cornish town of Helston. It is about 15 miles from Newquay and 10 miles from Hayle. To get there, you simply head to Helston and then follow the brown signs. There were plenty of brown signs and the park was easy to find. We used our sat nav but the postcode given on the Flambards website (TR13 0QA) actually took us off at the wrong exit on a roundabout. The park was very close by and was easy to find but it is worth noting that following the brown signs is better once in Helston.
*Car Parking and Admission*
Flambards has a large tarmac carpark and it is free to park, for the disabled there are a number of spaces slightly closer to the park. There are a number of admission booths situated across the road from the car park however only 1 was open today so we stood in the queue and waited to pay. When we paid we were given tickets, a map and a Cornwall guide. We then had to join a queue in order to gain access to the park. We got to the park at 10.15 and I read both on the internet and in the leaflet that today the park opened at 10 yet the rides did not start operating until 10.30. However, we were left in line until 10.30 when we were finally allowed into the park. Personally, from what was written I assumed we would be allowed in the park at 10, just not on the rides so this annoyed me a little as I had rushed to leave in time that morning. When we were finally allowed in the park we were greeted by a very pleasant man who checked our tickets.
*Britain in the Blitz*
I really enjoyed this section of the park. Basically, Flambards have recreated what it would have been like for those in the Blitz. There are arrows guiding you around the section in a particular order so you get the most from the experience. When you first enter you are greeted by models in soldiers uniforms and there is also a model women who appears to be selling refreshments. Across the other side of the room there is barriers and a building which appears to have been bombed. There is an air raid siren playing which helps to set the atmosphere. You are then directed down some steps where you view an Anderson shelter. The siren is really loud here and you cannot hear yourself. This helps to emphasise how scary the experience would have been. In the shelter is a woman and her two children, I think this really showed the vulnerability of those involved and it really hit home. Following the path round there is a scene of a man in his home, whilst here you can hear bombs going off which again helps hit home. Coming through here you can see inside shops of the time, most of them have signs concerning rations or saying they have no more stock of particular items such as sweets. I really enjoyed seeing the products of the time as this is an era I am personally really interested in. A lot of effort has obviously gone into this exibition and I really enjoyed seeing it.
*The Victorian Village*
This was certainly my favourite part of the whole day and it was all truly magical. A number of things bought back memories from a child and I really enjoyed myself here. This section of the park is truely amazing, it is home to over 50 mock cottages and shops. Different to other exibitions of this kind, each one of these is made from real building materials which makes them really realistic and great fun to look at. The first thing you enter is a street, with a few houses on but also a number of shops. Shops here include the blacksmiths, post office, butchers, toy shop and photographer. All of these shops have been made to look as realisic as possible and each contain a huge number of items and belongings, not a single one looks underfurnished. Also in the street there is a large 'horse' and a victorian style postbox. Continuing up the steps (for wheelchair users an alternative route is given) you are greeted by the school and sweet shop. Training to be a teacher, I was really interested in the school and was slightly disappointed to see how small it was as it was one of the smaller scenes. You then enter another street scene with your grocers and barbers amongst other things. You then proceed to the upper floor and see the printers, dentist, pharmacist and again more home scenes. I loved this section of the park as everything was so interesting and there was so much to look at. Flambards have obviously tried really hard to recreate this and it has grown and grown since their opening in the 1970s. It is truely fabulous and I would certainly love to see this again.
*Memory Lane and The Aviation Experience*
The first part of this section was another thing I was really excited about seeing. This famous chemists shop was boarded up in 1910 and was unlocked in the 1980s. Everything was transported to Flambards-including the cobwebs! I loved this part of the park as there was so much to see. It was amazing to see it knowing that it is exactly how it was back then. It was really fun to see all the medicines and also to recognise some that we still see today! Continuing round from here you see some memorabilia from the gulf war including Iraqi helmets and shells. Next to here there is also a collection of classic motorbikes ranging in age. Going up some steps you are greeted by a huge fighter plane which you can enter and even sit in the pilots seat. This is really fun as it allows you to imagine exactly how it would be. I think this plane was from WWII because up the stairs there is more WWII memorbilia (I'm not sure though!). Upstairs, there is a huge variety of things including uniforms, newspapers, photographs and information about rationing. Continuing along you are hit by...Concorde! You can go inside here, both where the pilot sits and where the passengers would be, allowing you to imagine what it would be like from both sides. This was really interesting and I was suprised to see it here. Here you can also see a collection of wedding dresses through the eras, with these are wedding cakes, prams and a small selection of clothes and shoes. This was a fun section of the park and I was really pleased to see Concorde! Personally, my favourite part was all the memorabilia from WWII. There was so much to see here and took a good hour. A pleasing thing to see was memorabilia from VE day because it was so pleasing and really hit home about how important it was to people of the time.
There weren't a great deal of rides at Flambards however there was pretty much something to suit everyone. For the adults there are a number of rides which are similar to something you would find at a fairground, these are all free to go on which I saw as an added bonus. There are also Go Karts but these cost an extra £3.60 per kart. My partner really wanted to go on these but we couldn't justify spending £7.20 on them. For smaller children, there is a really good selection of rides which are all close together meaning they are easy to reach.
There are currently 2 'activities' at Flambards-The Really Wild Experience and The Hands On Experience. The first is more of a show and all I can tell you is that it involves animals as we did not wait to see this, instead we went and viewed the animals in their homes nearby. The Hands On Experience is a tent home to all sorts of weird and wonderful things relating to science. There are a number of magic mirrors, a shadow room and other games and tasks to complete. This was quite fun and there was lots and lots to do. A number of the tasks were very impressive.
There was a good size outside park which looked of good quality and there was plenty to do here. There was also a few picnic benches next to it which makes it a perfect place for families to have their lunch. Opposite here there is an indoor play area.
*Eating and Shopping*
There are 2 large picnic areas in the park or there are also two cafes, both looked very laid back and looked like they sold a variety of simple foods. There are ice cream and snack stalls dotted around the park, a number of these were shut but there were still plenty which were open. We walked through the gift shop on the way out and this didn't look very good at all, unlike other parks of a similar nature we couldn't really see any Flambards souviners, especially not for children and instead all the stock looked rather random.
*Admission Prices and Opening Times*
It is important to check the website or get a leaflet before visiting as there appear to be different opening times depending on the month and they often have days where they are completely closed. You can buy tickets online for a slightly reduced rate but prices on the door are as follows:
Child (up to 15!):£11.50
1 Adult + 2 Children:£36.00
2 Adults + 1 Child:£40.00
Before leaving, you also have the option to return again within 14 days for the price of £4.50.
I enjoyed my day at Flambards. The best parts of the park, which had obviously been concentrated on the most were the Britain in the Blitz, The Victorian Village, Memory Lane and The Aviation Experience. These were absolutely fantastic and were great for anyone with the slightest bit of interest in history. There was so much in these sections it was unbelievable and there was so much to look at and read about. Me and my partner didn't rush round, neither did we stop and read everything but we were still in these sections for a good 2 hours. I think the rest of the park has been added afterwards and they are just to attract more people. The rides weren't in the league of any theme park and other than the indoor parts there really wasn't a lot to do here. I am glad I visited however I do think the ticket prices are very steep, we paid £16.50 each and stayed just 3 hours. If the ticket prices were lowered slightly I would visit again however I dont think I will pay that much again even though I enjoyed the day.
There were a number of staff at Flambards. There were few in the indoor exibitions but a great deal outside and on the rides. I think they have the ratio just right here because inside the exibitions I do not like to be watched as it almost always makes me hurry along and I don't like to take pictures. The majority of the rides had 2 members of staff at least although the park was extremely quiet on our visit and we didn't have to queue for anything.
I would recommend visiting Flambards, but not if you are looking for a theme park. Instead, you get a fantastic insight into British history which is very interesting. I think the ticket prices are high but I imagine if a family visited they would be more likely to spend the day there due to their children using the parks and childrens attractions.
For more information please visit: http://www.flambards.co.uk/
Flambards Theme Park just a short distance from Helston in Cornwall is defintely an experience, the only trouble is I'm not sure which one!
It's a fair drive (nearly 2 hours from Plymouth) and is not far from 2 other fantastic sights - The Lizard and Lands End.
There are a few rides, a carousel, a log flume (Canyon River), a modest sized roller coaster (Hornet), tug boat, a spinning wheel (thunderbolt) and a ride known as Extreme Force which basically turns you upside down slowly in one direction and then does the same the other. It's a pity they changed the previous ride which was very similar, because I managed to get the guy running it to leave it with 2 of my former step kids head down for about 5 minutes at the very top - it was fun (for me at least).
There are a number of other rides for younger visitors and theres a little pedal powered monorail that goes around the thrill rides, but it did feel a little uncomforting! The majority of younger childrens rides are on the opposite side of the park. (There's also a gokart track).
There's a hands on experience, with mirrors, interesting experiments to try - like seeing which wheel will roll down hill faster, and it's worth paying a look at particularly as the weather changes.
There's a crazy golf course of 10 holes, but I'm still not sure what the real objective is, as despite being crazy golf there isn't actually any golf like holes to putt into.
Inside there's also so drop slides which some kids may like.
At the entrance to the younger childrens area is a big dome where they stage a few shows in which you can watch and afterwards play with spiders and snakes (while parents cringe!). Unfortunately on our last visit, the performer's microphone broke and they spent ages trying to sort it out rather than just getting on with it, and when they did it was like watching someone selling something at an auction as the guy was talking and his 2 assistants just kept turning the animals from side to side.
The younger childrens play area has a few rides, a mini drop (berry), and a little run round track car type ride. There is however, Gus Honeybun (yes that cute rather naughty rabbit from Westward TV) that was a reminder of my childhood stuck behind glass, and a walkthrough tunnel with some other underground favourites in the guise of Beatrix Potter etc, and at the other end a small number of enclosures with the odd animal and birds (like goats and owls).
Then there's the 3 indoor exhibitions, Victorian Village Experience, Britain in the Blitz Experience and the Memory Lane Experience. These are all great exhibitions to walk through, but referring back to my initial comment I'm not sure what Flambards is really trying to achieve, because realistically, how many children are going to walk round this, and similarly with only a handful of rides how many kids are going to feel they've had a great day out?
The Victorian Village lets you walk down cobbled streets and look in the windows of lots of different shops and see how life probably looked, and there's even a couple houses that you can walk through with nanny rooms etc. The last shop in the exhibition was completely rebuilt and artefacts are exactly as they looked when it was discovered following the death of its owner - cobwebs and all, which to me was the most interesting.
Britain in the Blitz is interesting, and gives the impression of what it would have been like during World War 2. There's a look at the NAAFI, a bombed house, and various other look backs at shops and houses from the period, and again what life was like. It's funny really, but out by one of the older kids rides is something that really would make it more realistic - some engines/propellers from aeroplane wreckage found off the cornish coast. To me it would give this exhibition a more lifelike approach.
The final exhibition is a walk through time, which now includes a major walkthrough on flight. There's a number of wooden propellers and various things that were made out of broken ones. There's also a large number of letters from the war and how modern aeroplanes developed. As part of the exhibition there's alot of uniforms and backgrounds to each of them, the front section of concorde and of a bomber, and other aircraft as well as a number of models.
It is not only about the war/aircraft, it includes a range of wedding dresses, dresses and fashions - but there does seem a vague link between them all.
There are places to buy food and drink scattered around the park, a cafe and toilets.
However you view it Flambards is interesting, but entertainment value I'm not sure about - it's certainly worth a few hours, but will you find enough for a full day out I think not. If you are in the area it's certainly worth spending a bit of time there, but I feel you'll be pulled in a number of directions by your children.
My rating of 3* is based on 4* for the exhibitions, 3* for younger children and 2* for older children as despite having the odd rides are unlikely to get much out of it.
Standard prices are £16.50 for adults and £11.50 for children, but like everywhere else there's discounts to be had, and quite often you can get a buy 1 get 1 free offer somewhere.
We have just returned from a fabulous holiday in cornwall. We decided to go back to flambards, we'd been a few years ago when our daughter was very small and enjoyed it. We now have two daughters aged 9 and 6 and wow what a fabulous day they had. They have not stopped going on about it - and that's the truth!
We arrived at the opening time the car park wasn't full (mind you it was out of season). We actually used £50.00 worth of our tesco club card vouchers. A family of four is £49.50 (you don't get change) so we walked in having not spent a penny which felt good to start! Luckily the weather was lovely for us so we were able to go the outdoor rides. I must admit it's not Alton towers or even Drayton Manor, there aren't lots of huge rides. We went on a monocopter! it's a mono rail which you pedal round on! the girls enjoyed myself and my husband getting exhausted pedalling round!
They have a victorian village which the girls thoroughly enjoyed it's in doors so if the weathers not good it's a great. It's quite large and there's lots to look at and talk about with the children. It really feels like your in a different world. There is also a war exhibition which is really good, it gives a good idea of what it would have been like living through the war. Most of the characters looked like wax works to me and were very realistic. There is also a miscenlanious viewing area which has life size cockpits of planes which children can go in and pretend to fly! There was also a chemist shop which has been transported to Flambards complete as it was found cobwebs and all. All of this is indoors.
We took a picnic and found a lovely spot to have it. There are quite a few scavanger birds but then you get that in a lot of places now because people feed them - DON'T!!
We then went around an exhibition called 'Hands on' the girls loved this too, in fact they were fascinated. Again it's not huge, it's quite scientific and hands on! you try out different expriments using lights and mirrors - even my self and my husband had a great time trying out the things.
After that we went to the childrens rides area, it was again fairly small but enough for our girls, they had a lovely time on all the rides which didn't cost any extra money. The only down side was there were lots of the £1 drive on or remote control type games which were dotted all over the park, I did find that hard as the girls were constantly asking to have a go on them when we were trying to have a cheap day out!! we limited it to just a couple of goes being as all the rest of the rides were free (except a couple which are mentioned in their brochure).
Then we went to the really wild show which lasted about 20 minutes. They showed a large spider the size of an adults hand, a snake and an owl. The owl flew out to the audience and sat on a stand it was quite impressive and the children were able to stay and see the animals close up afterwards.
One thing we nearly missed but just happend to notice on the map was Bunnies corner. It was at the back of the childrens rides area, behind that is a little entrance to an underground house of bunnies - they are large beatrix Potter type bunnies in their houses! there are little windows and doors to look through, again it's only small but the girls loved it!
All in all it was a great day out and we didn't leave until they were kicking us out at about 4.30pm!
we visit flambards every year when we go to cornwall, our holiday would not be the same without our day out here, & yes it is a full day out, we often return again while we are down there, as you can return again for £3 per person if you get your tickets stamped on the exit.
flambards is a family theme park which is not really for your teenagers that just love the thrill seeking fast rides, it does have a couple of them but they are still suitable for younger riders if with an adults, they are not anything like shock wave etc.
there are loads of places to get food there where you are able to sit inside or out.
all the rides adults are able to go on with children if they require it, there is a space rocket ride which goes up really high, but the adult/child depending on who wants to has control of how high you want to go up which is rreally good for the younger ones as they are not stuck on a ride going up really high & down again they control it & do what they can cope with.
There is a ferris wheel, a bannana boat, there is a roller coaster, log flume, and many more.
There is a couple of indoor playpits with slides & balls etc, an amusement arcade & coin rides outside like motor bikes, diggers etc.
There are some stalls where you can win prizes such as penalty shootout, hook a duck & many more.
there is a crazy golf & indoor events where they have special events on one year we were there it was something to do with owls etc, wildlife experience.
There is also an indoor place where it has funny mirors & experimental gadgets that kids will love, it also has one of those tunnels that makes you feel like it is rolling when you walk through it, which is great, although it makes you feel really dizzy as the special effects with it are great & the bridge you stand on does move slightly.
This is well worth a visit if you are down there, & if you want to go again make sure you get your ticket stamped as you cant beat returning again for only £3 per person.
We use our tesco clubcard vouchers each year to pay fr our entrance tickets which is great as it costs us nothing then really to enter the first time round & then the 4 of us get another full day out for inly £12 after getting tickets stamped for return
Flambards Experience, Clodgey Lane, Helston, Cornwall, TR13 0QA.
Described as "the best day of the week. .... now 3 times better." on their map and information leaflet, it offers a variety of exhibitions, shows, rides (weight/height or age limits may apply - check before going on any rides) and activities.
Price £12.95 per adults (aged 11-59), Child (36months-10yrs) £8.25 or Seniors (aged 60-79) £6.95. If under 36 months or 80 and over, you get in free. It doesn't specify what you have to do to prove this. Family 4 Saver (2 adults minimum) was £41 and also available are top up tickets, when purchased with family4 saver, for up to 6 additional members of party. Afternoon tickets available (Spring Summer from 2.15pm/Autumn from 1.45pm or Fireworks Wednesdays from 6pm) are Adult £9, Child £6, Senior £5.
You can also revalidate your ticket on initial visit to allow re-entry for £3 per person, which is valid for 14 days after ticket issue. Only required if you want to visit on another day - it is free entry to re-enter on same day, if you get your hand stamped in the shop near the exit. You can also get Annual VIP passes for £20 Seniors/Children or £26 Adults, which are valid for 1 year, and also give discounts on certain paying rides, restaurants, shops, etc.
TOP TIP: You can also use Tesco Clubcard deals to pay for tickets, which I would recommend as you'd get in far cheaper than prices indicated above. We used a 2 for 1 offer from Tesco (which I got when I purchased £10 or more in store on a particular week in 2007), which were valid for this, and a variety of other theme parks.
Most items are included in the price, except for those items which are not available to all participants. Examples given of things not included in the price are Karts, Orbiters, Trikes, Radio-controlled items, Robot Wars, Prize Games, Goal Striker, Aero Golf, Audio Tour of village, and infant coin operated rides.
For other prices - groups/birthday parties, etc call 01326 573404.
Information line 0845 6018684 or www.flambards.co.uk or email@example.com
TOP TIP: Check opening times before you set off. The leaflet I picked up in Cornwall, stated open 3 Sep to 27 Oct 10.30am to 4.30pm, which was OK as we wanted to go on Friday 12 October 2007. However, on route to Flambards, I got the leaflet out again and in small print beneath this it said closed Mon 24 Sep, Fridays 7, 14, 21 and 28 Sep, Mondays 1 and 8 and Fridays 5 and 12 Oct!
I had to then plan a different excursion (Sealife Sanctuary, Gweek and Goonhilly Satellitte Station - see review). So on Saturday 13 October, we tried again.
OPENING HOURS: March to October - times vary between 10am and 5.30pm. These times are available in high summer, but usually open from 10.30am and closed earlier than 5.30pm outside July/August. Check website/telephone for more details, as shown from above example, it can be open that month but shut on certain days.
VICTORIAN VILLAGE: Audio Tour available for £1 per person - NB Not tried so unable to comment.
This recreation of Victorian times is all under cover and accessible via The Antiques Shop, which sells collectible items and the Exhibition Hall.
Michelle struggled to get Mark's buggy round the shop, but the shop assistant did not mention that the village was not buggy friendly, and there were no signs to state that there was an alternative route, so off we went. The 2 fellas had gone to The Blitz experience (see below), so I was alone with Michelle.
We soon found it a tight squeeze with the buggy and we went up 8 steps along a short bit, then down 8 more, seemingly everywhere we went. We couldn't leave the baby downstairs in his buggy as we didn't seem to come out nearby. We couldn't miss these bits out because we did not know if the exits or route came out on the same stretch. There were no signs for disabled/pushchair access or alternative routes, so I struggled and nearly had a full blown asthma attack, lifting the buggy up and down steps.
The map in very small print stated that disabled toilets and wheelchair loans (from the Admission gate) were available on site and that a SPECIAL free route guide is available ON REQUEST to assist progress around the Exhibition Hall to disabled visitors/pushchair users.
I would like to see them distributing these guides with the maps to EVERY visitor - not everyone who is disabled is in a wheelchair - some can walk OK on the flat but struggle up stairs, etc, like my mother who has angina. In any case, the route is not signposted either, and this is a serious issue for disabled or pushchair visitors, as it means that without the guide, you can not get round adequately.
THE BLITZ: This area was very dark and noisy, as you'd expect, with doodlebugs, but with its cobbled uneven street and more steps to the Anderson Shelter, this again was a struggle to view for buggies/disabled, although here you could just about manage (or miss out the only stepped area). However, if it was busy, you would bump into people if you had to turn around because of the steps.
It was very interesting and informative for kids, but nowhere near big enough - I was expecting this to be as big as the Victorian Village, which has about 50 shops/buildings to look at, but this only had about 6 buildings, although you have to try to find the spy in the pub!!
MEMORY LANE: To get to this from The Blitzed area was 12 very steep steps, so Michelle and baby Mark gave it a miss. It had a Concorde nose cone, Wedding dresses through the ages and other exhibits, but was not accessible from the other areas in the building for disabled. I did see a sign outside which suggested you could get to it from the outside, but then you'd have to come out and go to the other door to get to the Village and The Blitz area. I was not very impressed by the disabled access on this area at all.
REALLY WILD EXPERIENCE: All seated and undercover, this was a show where a man gave a short 1/2 hour maximum talk about animals. On our show, it was snakes, spiders and owls, but each show is said to be different. Whilst the man was talking, an assistant demonstrated each animal, including a flight by the owl. At the end you could touch/hold some of them if you wanted.
HANDS ON EXPERIENCE: All undercover, this has distorting mirrors, optical illusions, a disorientation tunnel (unsuitable for certain people with medical conditions e.g. sinusitis, so I did not go through this bit) and music made by breaking a beam of light.
This area was very entertaining and made science fun for kids and adults alike. My main bugbear was you had to leave the pushchair outside the front entrance, carry baby Mark, and then you came out a different door, so you had to walk all round it to get the buggy back. This meant that someone had to hold Mark, whilst we tried the "Hands On" activities, then pass him around till everyone had tried it - rather silly, as there was room to push buggies round most of this area.
SPECIAL GUESTS: Available some weeks but not all year (mainly July/August) This includes Meet & Greet e. g. Bart Simpson, Bob the Builder, Postman Pat and summer/half term activities available, too e.g. Lace making, Circus Workshop, Car Rallies, etc. All included in Admin Price. Fireworks every Wednesday in August too.
GARDEN EXPERIENCE: If you enjoy walking in gardens, there are some 26 acres of green space, plenty to see and plenty of seating/picnic areas to enjoy the scenery.
UNDERCOVER SOFT PLAY: Not used as Mark not old enough - there were apparently 3 different areas Sea Legs, Cool Zone and Tots Zone.
THRILLS EXPERIENCE: The rides come in this heading:
The Hornet roller coaster - blink and you'll miss it! Our 2 fellas went on this twice, whilst Michelle and I tried to find a dry seat! On a busy day, the queues for this could be quite bad, but we went in October so they were quite fortunate.
Wobbly Bridges - the name says it all really. This would be good on a really hot day, as if you do not cross quick enough you get squirted with water! Plenty of choice of bridge types - great fun for young and old.
Cyclopter Monorail - cycle round the log flume and near the Hornet roller coaster along the monorail. This was great fun, but children under certain height not allowed on. May be hard for younger children to push the cycle pedals round - only allowed 2 to a car so adults may be roped in!
Canyon river flume - Robert and Richard enjoyed this ride and Robert bought the picture for £5. I would have like to have gone on this, but Robert/Richard nearly head butted each other coming down, so I changed my mind.
Balloon Race - This looked quite good but I didn't go on this one, so can't really comment.
Extreme Force - This looked scary and as if it went upside down so I didn't go on this one, so can't really comment. Made me dizzy just watching it!
Chariot Race - I didn't go on this one, so can't really comment.
Carousel - usually my favourite ride, but I didn't go on this one, so can't really comment.
Rocking Tugboat - I didn't go on this one, so can't really comment.
Thunderbolt - I didn't go on this one, so can't really comment.
Please note that at the time we visited rides had a limited time of opening on them i.e. we went on a ride then went to the next one only to find it had closed down for a time.
Formula Circuit Karts - £3.60 per kart. I videoed the 2 boys on this activity. Robert couldn't keep up with Richard, but the track seemed interesting enough as it went over a bridge then back under it, but didn't seem to last long for the price, per person. Richard seemed to be peeved that it was such a short time, as he'd paid for them both. I must admit I was surprised that they were not on for very long, but it was probably about 10 minutes.
Orbiters - bumper type cars which go round in a circle, which are coin operated and can even shoot aliens. This had a moon/planet painted on the walls and 2 aliens to shoot at. The 2 fellas really enjoyed bumping into each other, reversing, twisting, etc. £1 per ride when we went. Next door to amusement arcades.
Robot Wars - Robert was very disappointed as this was not available on the day. Richard then tried dragging him on Dragon Drop Slide, but failed miserably.
Aero Crazy Golf - Cost £1 per person, plus £1 per person deposit (i.e. 4 players cost £8 but £4 was refunded if you returned all the balls and clubs). We all had a go at this - all the holes were aeroplane or astronaut related, but didn't have what I'd call proper holes. You got a score if you ball rested in a dip with a number on it in hole 1, or which hole you got the ball through on some of the others. Richard thought it quite weird that you didn't have a main hole to aim for as is usual in this game. We didn't get a score card - which amazed me as you were trying to see who beat who on each hole.
Ferdi's Funland - children's rides. Mark was not really old/tall enough to go on most of these rides, as he was only 5 months old. However they included Animal Express (a small train like ride), Kiddies Carousel, Tea Cup Ride (closed once we'd been in the Really Wild Experience show, disappointing as Richard was going to try Mark on it), Pirate Ship and Children's Eye (big wheel).
Mark, Michelle and I went on Animal Express, then I took Mark on the Children's Eye. Each ride specified if you needed to be with your child (accompany) or supervise your child.
All rides have times closing/opening on them and all are shut 30 minutes before the park closes.
In the children's area was Gus Honeybun's Burrow. Some very young children may not like this as it is dark as you go underground to see puppets of rabbits in their homes and shops dressed in little clothes - like Peter Rabbit.
As you come out of this area, you are in a small pets corner with the bird of prey aviaries (for the Really Wild Experience which is nearby) and hutches with rabbits, guinea pigs, etc. I also saw that in this area was a Romany gypsy caravan to look at. I am not sure if you could touch the animals, as Mark was too young so we whizzed past this area quite quickly.
PARKING: There are 3 car parks - 1 for disabled and shaded car parking for dog owners, 1 for plant shop visitors only and 1 main one for everyone else, which is on a steep incline. We did not see any special parking for parents/children areas.
CAFE: The Cafe we went in near the Exhibition Hall was reasonably priced and arranged to warm the baby's bottle free of charge. This had a conservatory where you could sit down as well as in the main Cafe. It was near the toilets in the Exhibition Hall so I don't believe it had any toilets of its own.
In my opinion, the ice cream counter, where you got the Aero Golf clubs from, at the back of the Exhibition Hall did not have enough seating nearby.
TOILETS: These were clean and Michelle was well impressed by the baby changing area - as up to 6 could be changed side by side, near the Orbiters area. This was well stocked with all the items she needed to clean Mark up with and were very clean.
LOST CHILDREN: You can have a free ID label - remember to ask on arrival. The place has CCTV and announcements for lost children retrieval only. If you are likely to split up during the day, there are 3 designated meeting points on the site, which are on the map. As we only had 1 copy of the map between 4 of us, I had to ask for another map - copies are available in most of the shops/cafes, unless they have given their last one away!
OVERALL OPINION - If you expect it to be like Alton Towers or Chessington World of Adventure then your hopes will be dashed. This is a smaller attraction, which has a mixture of rides and activities for young and old alike. If you are active, you may find you are paying out too, as these are mainly the items you had to pay for.
If your kids like amusements then there are several areas including Prize Games, which you might want to avoid, as they'll be pestering you to have "just one go, Mum/Dad, pleeease!!!"
I won a Husky on one game, but I think it looks like a Wolf, (Werewolf maybe).
Flambards is a great little theme park in Helston. Ever since I was little my parents used to take me there every year for a geat day out.
The park is more than just a theme park there is also an Aircraft park, a Victorian village which is host to a restored old Victorian shop-cobwebs included. The Victorian village is made up of lamp lit streets and is a full size reconstruction of a Victorian Village with 50 shops, traders and homes.
There is also the Britain in the Blitz experience which is a war museum which has few lights. The kerbstones have been painted white so that you can find your way around. If you get lost you can ask the ARP warden and he'll direct you. The blitz ezperience has air rade shelters and the air raid sirens goes off occasionally adding to the whole chilling experience of what things were like.
The theme park side is suitable for all ages with gentle rides and thrilling rides for the thrill seekers. Thrill rides include:
Canyon River log flume
And Go Karts (extra charge)
Other rides for the smaller children include:
Junior Pirate ship
Undercover and outdoor play areas
There are also other sections for all the family:
Really wild experience
Flambards is also home to Ferdi the bear, the parks own character mascot bear and the children always love him he normally walks about the park a couple of times a day.
There are plenty of places to get food from at the park with food areas, cafes and stalls. You can also take a picnic as there are plenty of picnic areas. The park allows you to leave the park to go out to your car so that you can get your lunch they just stamp your hand so they know you have paid.
Flambards has quite a few events throughout the year, so check out whats on before you go. There are always Easter, Mothers Day and Fathers Day promotions as well as many musical events in the summer months. Most of the events can be found at the centre stage.
The park have special educational visits for schools relating to the exhibitions and they also do special birthday parties with Ferdi the bear, you just have to ring to arrange it.
The park has a little shop and a garden shop, you do not need to pay to get into the park to access the garden centre.
The shop generally sells souveniers for the park.
The park opens from 10am till 5.30pm in the summer and from 10.30am till 5pm for the rest of the year. The park stays open later when it has special events such as fireworks night.
Adult - £12.50
Children - £9.55
Seniors - £6.95
During the summer months discount vouchers for Flambards can be found in the local paper the Cornish Guardian - so if you go down there on holiday and intend on going to Flambards buy the local paper incase there is a voucher!
How to get there:-
Head for Helston, then follow the white on brown road signs. We are situated on the Helston side of Culdrose Airfield just off the A394. We are on Truronian and First Direct Bus Routes. Our nearest railway station is Redruth.
Flambards is a great family day out and I really recommend it as a day out if the sun is shining and especially if you have got children of any ages.
It is August 2002 and the weather in North Cornwall is not very good. Ah, TV adverts for a place called Flambards - "it looks like Drayton Manor" said my 13 year old Son. A leaflet also made it look very exciting. So an hour and a half later we arrive. Loads of car parking space. It was £11.95 per adult and £7.95 for children so for the 3 of us it was £32. Family tickets are available. Whilst queing we noticed a board outside explaining that the latest attraction "Thunderbolt" was not available and had been replaced by a carousel ride - when we got inside we found this was a little ride for 6 year olds! The roller coaster is tame. The log flume is a joke. You get in, are then pulled up a steep incline and then you then roll down through the water (you do get wet) - then you roll round to the start and get out - that's it. The extreme ride is good and scary. At one point you are held upside down for a few seconds with only the shoulder harness between you and the ground. At this point you have really done the "free" rides and they are just not that good to keep going on. Lots of other things COST. I am glad I didn't have to queue for the rides because I would have been seriously upset. The plus point for me was the Victorian Village - but my 13 year old was bored stiff. As my wife was not really interested in the rides I would have rather gone to a fair and spent £32+£15 petrol money on the rides for myself and son. Unless you are local it is not worth a long special journey and if your children have experience of Alton Towers or Drayton Manor then expect some long faces if you do go.
Those people used to theme parks like Alton Towers will probably be disappointed by Flambards - it's not big and brassy and the most sophisticated ride there is a very tame roller coaster which even my husband had the courage to ride. However, that said, it has a lot to offer for both young and old, indoors and out. The very young have their own miniature fairground with safe rides for even the teenies. There is a pets corner and indoor play park with ball pool. There are baby changing facilities and the cafeteria sells (and will warm up) baby and toddler food. For the older children there is always plenty to do, rain or shine. There are a range of indoor and outdoor slides, including the terrifying "Death Drop" where spectators can watch people climbing to the very top of the stairs and taking a look before turning white and chickening out. There are fairground rides including a Log Flume and a small (but quite stomach churning) roller coaster called The Hornet. Both of these have a 'photo facility so that you can be immortalised in a state of terror for a mere £2.99.Some rides do have minimum height restrictions, though, and if you're riding the Log Flume, you should expect to get very wet.There are also other fairground rides like waltzers which are included in the admission price. Some things do cost extra, such as the go-kart circuit (£2.75) and the traditional fairground stands where you can try to win a prize (usually a good quality soft toy). However, the Exploratorium is free - here you can walk through a hall of mirrors and participate in quasi-scientific experiments.You can play mini golf,or use your brain to fathom the pavement maze and there is also a small video games arcade.A junior driving school is currently under construction. If the weather is very wet, you can go indoors and marvel at some of Flambard's clever exhibitions. There is a Britain at War exhibition and a small show of wedding dresse
s through the ages. These are likely to be of more interest to adults and older children, although the Victorian Village, with it's range of authentic life-sized shops has universal appeal.This alone is well worth the admission fee. Talking of admission fees, the cost is £7.95 for adults and £6.95 for children, with a family ticket costing £27. However, on leaving, you can obtain a Flambards Passport which entitles you to admission for £2.50 per person for as many repeat visits as you like that year. Food is varied and reasonably priced, with several restaurants ranging from burgers to 'proper' meals.The restaurants are all non smoking, although most have covered areas outside where smoking is allowed. There is a fish and chip shop on site, plus several gift shops and a plant centre - our favourite is the joke shop. (Perhaps that's why we don't have any friends?) There are also stands throughout the park where you can buy pizza, candy floss ice-cream and hot and cold drinks. At regular intervals, visitors can see a laser show (beware, strobe lights) and a performing parrot show, which the birds seem to love as much, if not more, than the audiences. There is ample parking - even a special shaded area for dog owners so that you can leave Fido in the car without worrying about him cooking on hot days. There is also a small,fenced compound (for his calls of nature) and fresh water is always available. Inside the park there are ample toilet facilities which we have always found to be spotlessly clean. The staff are pleasant and helpful. If you're looking for the thrills and spills of Blackpool Pleasure Beach then Flambards is probably not for you.However, if you're looking for a family day out which will entertain young and old then I can reccommend this theme park.You should bear in mind that it does get crowded in the height of the tourist season and that you may have to queue for some of the mo
re popular rides - however, by and large, the staff keep things moving along pretty quickly. Some of the rides are also weather dependent and may be closed in heavy rain or high winds.
Flambards is one of the biggest theme parks in the West Country and has been going since 1975. It is situated near Helston about 20 miles from Penzance on the A3083. There is also a bus service linking the centre with Penzance, which is the main railway centre in the area. Admission to Flambards is relatively expensive compared with similar attractions in the southwest. An adult costs £7.95, a child (over 3) £6.95. However there is a family ticket available for £27 and if you come in after 2.30pm there are special discounts. The one exhibit to head for and spend time on is the Victorian village and Home Front exhibition. Flambards have re-constructed a village (more like a town). You can walk down the high street and look into the olde worlde shoppe windows. The shops contain wax figures dressed in Victorian dress and are packed with nick nacks. If you have visited the streets in the Castle Museum York or the Granada Studios – you will find this even better! The visitor can also peer into living and drawing rooms of the well to do. It’s fascinating. The Home Front exhibition is equally as good. This has been set-up with the help of the Imperial War museum and is about recreating the feel, sounds, smells and atmosphere of the war years. There is a re-created GWR station packed with models of young evacuees from the cities arriving on the train. In the centre, the museum has recreated a bomb site with piles of rubble, fake smoke and the sound of a ‘doodlebug’ flying over and later exploding! Again, those who have visited the Imperial War museum will know what I am describing. Excellent stuff. That aside, the rest of Flambards is really quite patchy. There are a few rides but nothing more superior than fairground quality. We received a free ride on the F1 go-carts, which was fun. Normal cost would have been £2.75. This was the problem. Having paid to get in, you would expect to get everything included
. But no, certain rides had to be paid for (including those for young children). This is quite a shock when you compare it to Alton Towers, Disney etc. Also a number of key rides were not working. This did not impress me. There was an indoor adventure playground for children (free as well!). We arrived there when it was raining and it was only after 4pm when some of the rides had dried off sufficiently – that we were able to get onto them. Given the weather in this part of the world – there was little under cover. Perhaps I am getting cynical. On our 2 week holiday, we visited so many of these parks that one gets to be like another! Flambards isn’t a bad theme park – I have been too worse. The exhibitions are superb and are worth spending time on. The rest of the activities are pretty average and need reviewing. Flambards is not Alton Towers – but I did expect more for my money.