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Oakwood Park (Narbeth, Pembrokeshire)

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Address: Canaston Bridge / Narberth SA67 8DE / Pembrokeshire

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      19.07.2012 23:40
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      A brilliant day out at Oakwood Park!

      ~ Oakwood Theme Park ~

      Oakwood Park is an amazing attraction here in Wales. It is somewhere that I have been visiting since I was a child and return on a more or less yearly basis.
      Admittedly I much preferred going as a child with my parents but only because they used to pay the entry fee's and buy all of the goodies! Now however having my own family it is up to us - The parent to pay for everything ... More's the pity!

      Every year we holiday in West Wales simply because it is affordable and close to home so travelling isn't a problem. We are lucky enough that my parents own a static caravan onsite in Pendine so it really does keep our costs down low meaning we have more money to spend on doing fun things with the kids, it also helps that we are big kids too!

      As I have said I have been visiting Oakwood Park since I was a child and one of my earliest memories is of operating the Pirate Ship from the booth when my dad dragged my mother onto the ride even though she hates them! We had gone to Oakwood as a group but through the day we had all split up as some of my cousins are older than me and wanted to go on different things etc. So after my dad and I had gone on the half swing Pirate Ship ride, he decided to take my mum on for the full swing, we were waiting for other family members to come to watch me, but the young man operating the ride said that I could wait with him and operate the ride, well I was so excited. I had always wanted to know how it was done and now I was not only going to find out I was going to do it! Wow!
      My parents got onto the ride, with my mum warning me not to make it swing too high ... Yeah right! I knew the next ride was for the full swing anyway but there was a limit to how high it was going, but the man said if I pushed the button it would go an extra bit higher, which as you can imagine filled me with glee, so I pushed the button and listened to the riders screaming! It was so much fun, my mum was a strange shade of green getting off the ride but she soon recovered, incidently me and my dad got back on again for the half swing.

      Not only would we visit as a family I would also have great school trips there and went numerous times with the school. It was always a fun day no matter what the weather but I can only really remember one time when it rained, I think I have always been quite lucky weather wise on nice trips!

      So obviously as you have already gathered Oakwood Park is a theme park in West Wales. Driving to West Wales from Mid Wales where we live there are a good few brown sign posts for miles before you actually get there. In Camarthen however the brown sign posts get more frequent showing how far you have left to travel and what directions to take. It really is very simple to find as the whole way is sign posted. I have never traveled there from any other direction so I can't comment on that aspect but a sat nav would get you there and from any surrounding areas nearby you will see the brown attraction sign posts.

      To help with directions I have taken this from the Oakwood Park website ~

      We're easy to find.
      From South Wales follow the M4 West until Junction 49 and take the A48 to Carmarthen.
      From Mid Wales follow the A40 to Carmarthen.
      From North Wales follow the A487 from Machynlleth, then the A478 Cardigan to Tenby road. Then turn right at Penblewin roundabout onto the A40.
      Oakwood is clearly signposted on brown tourist information signs from the end of the M4 and throughout Pembrokeshire.
      You can find us off the A40 at Canaston Bridge, 8 miles East of Haverfordwest.

      Once you arrive you are greeted with a huge carpark, which gets full quite quickly, you are best off to arrive early to get a parking spot closer to the reception.

      You go in and enter through the reception area, where you pay for your visit. This is a very simple process. You then walk through and can either hop onto the train which is a little nice feature that takes you into the park, or you can of course walk. Walking is actually quicker and you get to the larger rides and attractions quicker but the train ride is just another way to please the kids and take in a bit of scenery.

      After paying to get into the park most rides are free all day with the exception of Vertigo with costs £36 for three people, however this is something I have paid for and I can say that it was well worth it. It was an absolutely amazing experience.

      Making your way around the park you will see that Oakwood Park has quite a lot to offer.
      There's the Kidzworld which has lots of small, gentle rides that children can use.

      The rides here require you to be under 1.3m tall so they are aimed at little one's and are all nice and gentle.
      There's a few different things to do just in this area of the park alone. You have ~
      * Playtown Rides, which consists of a fab mini fairground, a trucks and tractor ride along and also a plane ride along.
      * Wacky Factory, which is an indoor play area with lots of stuff for the kids to do.
      * Lost Kingdom, which is a funfactory.
      * Bunny Rabbit Ride, here you take a mini tractor ride to see the small holdings which include fluffy bunnies, guinea pigs and chickens!

      There's plenty here to keep little one's amazed and busy for hours. It's always nice and clean with benches here and there so you can sit down and have a bite to eat.

      Moving on from here it's up to you where you head to next. You get given a map of the park so it's easy to track where you are and where you want to be.

      I head to the more venturous rides now, and even though I have been on them numerous times I never fail to get bored of them!
      Following the map on the website I will go through the rides in order so I don't get confused and mention one twice or not at all!

      * Speed - This is Oakwood Parks newest coaster, and it is huge! You will need to prepare yourself for 2000 feet of fast twists, turns, and rolls on this orange tracked bad boy!
      I will be honest and say I was pooping myself over this, but not to be out done by the boys, that consist of my hubby and eldest child, I was not not going to go on it!
      I braced myself to be scared witless but I loved every adrenalin pumped second of it, so much so I have been on more times than I care to remember!

      * Megaphobia - I remember when this was new. I couldn't wait to try it and have been on that coaster so many times, I think the seats may have my bum imprint ready for next time!
      This coaster is a huge wooden framed beast. You can hear the wood creaking which adds to the scariness of this coaster. It has been voted the UK's best ride and ranks at the third best ride in the world! It really is a brilliant ride and is always the first ride I go on.
      The queues for this ride can get really long as it is so amazingly popular and there are cameras to catch your expression! You can buy the photo, if you so wish for a nominal fee of about £6 (I think, I haven't bought a photo in a while!).

      * Drenched - As you can probably guess this is a water ride. You will get wet on it and you will get wet if you stand watching it!
      This ride takes you 100 feet into the air and drops you at speeds of up to 88kph into the pool below for an amazing wet experience. Standing on the bridge you will not escape the 45 foot splash wave! So either on or off you will get soaked.
      This is my son's favourite ride ever. He loves it. I haven't been on it as I don't fancy walking around wet, but I will remember to take a change of clothes next time and give it a try. I will say however it does look awesome!

      * Bounce - Bounce is one of those rides that takes you up into the air before letting you drop and bounce, back up and drop. I have always liked this and even bagged myself a boyfriend on it when I was about 13!
      It's another fast adrenalin pumping ride.
      Again it's another ride that often gets big queues.

      * Vertigo - £36 for three people to do a skydive type jump. This is amazing. I loved it. Me, my dad and cousin went on this a few years back, my dad and I loved it but my cousin cried and whinged the whole time. You basically get strapped into a harness and the person on the end has to pull the clip to free you, letting you into an amazing fall which see's you flying back and forth over Oakwood Park.
      They make a video of you doing it which can then be purchased afterwards.
      This was incredible and is something I would love to do again.

      And that is it for the bigger, fast paced rides. As you move around the park you will find so much more to do.

      For more family based fun there are all these for you to do ~

      * Treetops Coaster - This is a gentle coaster that as you can imagine takes you around the tree's of a little forest like area. It's not very fast and my 8yr old who isn't all that keen on rides loves this coaster. It's nice to take in the views around you whilst still feeling the wind in your hair. This is a favourite with kids which is obvious from the queues. There is always a queue filled with young kids and they really seem to enjoy it!

      * Plane Crazy - Another gentle ride that takes you up in a plane which travels around a circular path. You get a brilliant view of the park from this ride.

      * Bobsleigh - This is fun, you go into the booth, queue for your black bobsleigh which carries you up a gentle slope. The track is set into a hilly grassy area and upon being released at the top you whiz around the track having fun. A really fun ride!

      * Spooky 3D - This is a big haunted house, and we have never been in here as my son hates anything scary. My eldest son has gone in and he quite likes it, he said it was really spooky but good fun. It looks quite cool from the outside too!

      * Snake River Falls - This is a large water slide, which would probably look more at home in a water park but never the less, it is fun. There are two open air slides and two under cover. The undercover ones have twists and turns and are very dark inside. The open air ones are bumpy. You have to ride in a dinghy and you may well get a little wet at the end. A bit of gentle wet fun!

      * Waterfall - Another water slide that scares me still! You have to walk up lots of steps to access the incredibly steep slides. When I was younger it scared me that much I walked all the way back down! However I have since been on them only two or three times as they make me feel so sick! They are really steep and really make my stomach turn! You also get wet at the bottom!

      * Pirate Ship - See the beginning for a little tale about these.
      The ship is fun. It operates on a full or half swing and is like any other pirate ship in other theme parks. It doesn't go all the way round though but is still fun. Even though it make me feel sick every time!

      * Skyleap - This is an indoor slide. It's very steep and again is something I don't really like, I see children loving it and going on again and again yet it just makes me feel sick!

      * Boating Lake - You can go on pedalos and have a gentle pedal around a nice little lake.

      There's also little activities to do such as panning for gold, which is where you pan for fools gold in little water and sand troughs. I quite like this for relaxing before food!
      There's mini golf which is self explanatory really!
      And Brer Rabbits Burrow. I haven't been in here either, but it's more suited to young children.

      There are plenty of places to grab some food and also plenty of picnic areas. There are also meeting points through the park incase you get lost or decide to do your own thing and meet up with people later on.
      For food there are ~

      * The Restaurant - They serve the meals here you would expect like fish and chips, pasta, jacket potatoes and the like.

      * Woody'd Burger Bar

      * Dixie's Chicken Diner

      * Ice Cream

      * Acorn Tea Rooms

      * Pit Stop

      There's also a well stocked, over priced gift shop.

      Another great way to experience Oakwood Park is After Dark. I have been in the night and loved it. They do an amazing firework display over the boating lake and also a laser light show. This runs in July and August on certain dates so be sure to check the dates if this is what you are after not to be disappointed.

      ~ Entry Prices ~

      Standard Prices:
      Standard (ages 13+) £21.00
      Junior (ages 3-12) £15.00
      Under 3s FREE
      Disabled ** £15.00
      Senior citizens £15.00
      Family Tickets
      Family ticket for 2 Standard + 2 Juniors * £66.00
      Family ticket for 2 Standard + 3 Juniors* £79.50
      Annual Pass Rates
      Standard annual pass *** ( ages 13+) £63.00
      Junior annual pass *** (ages 3-12) £45.00
      Group Rates (15 people or more)
      Only available when pre-booked.
      Standard (ages 13+) £16.00
      Junior (ages 3-12) £11.00

      Public Service Discounts are now available - simply present a Police, Fire, HM Forces or NHS/Ambulance ID card at our entrance tills on the day of your visit and you will receive £2 off per person for up to 6 people to come into the park.

      I hope I have covered everything in this review but if you feel like I have left anything out check -

      www.oakwoodthemepark.co.uk

      On the website you will also see the opening times and dates.

      I would highly recommend a visit to Oakwood Park as it is an incredible day out. The rides are free with the exception of Vertigo so you only pay to get in. You can use the rides as much as you want - There is no limit to how much fun you can have.

      Thanks for reading :o) x

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