Newest Review: ... 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... more
Fantastic Fun at Flambards!
Flambards Village Theme Park (Cornwall)
Member Name: lyndsey1989
Flambards Village Theme Park (Cornwall)
Advantages: Indoor exibitions
Disadvantages: Not many rides
*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/
Summary: Good place to visit
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