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Wicksteed Leisure Park (Northamptonshire)

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16 Reviews

Wicksteed Park is located in Kettering, Northamptonshire, NN15 6NJ Telephone: 01536 512475 Fax: 01536 518948
Information Line: 01536 485454

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    16 Reviews
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      30.07.2013 12:42
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      One Flag Magic Mountain

      As kids there was no Alton Towers or Six Flags Magic Mountain anywhere near Northamptonshire for me growing up. We had Wickstead Park and that was it, one of those 'things to do' leisure parks that had a paddling pool, a small fairground and a model train running around the lakes. This was not the place for rollercoaster's and screams of excitement! Today it has improved but only as ever as ambitious as the nearby town of Kettering to be a flagship destination in East Anglia. The resort of Great Yarmouth dominates that particular thrill seeker arena with places like Pleasurewood Hills the most notable, which is understandable, any reason to get out of Great Yarmouth when you are on holiday a good idea. For a decent rollercoaster for people from Northampton it's at least a 100 mile journey.

      Wicky describes itself as 150 acres of 'grade two parkland', whatever that means, and a family theme park with 'Europe's busiest narrow gauge railway. Think those toy trains that chug around the market square at Christmas and you are in the right ballpark. It has three miles of track so the railway fun in its own way for kids. Its other claim to fame is its founder Charles Wickstead was the man that invented the kid's playground back in 1915, so lots of playgrounds here, from swings to adventure. It has some small thrillless rollercoaster's for smaller kids and fairground type rides and a day ticket option system to use them. All the rides are very much aimed at smaller children so nothing in the park for mum and dad or big brother and sister. Rocky River Falls is always good for a good soaking though. There are lakes for row boating, canoes and pedalos and they do school events and summer holiday specials so mum can go off and do other stuff. With lots of green spaces to run around it's also a decent open space to escape to from the retrace (and there's lots of those in Kettering!).


      ===Ticket Prices===

      Adult Annual Wristband Great Value! £48.00
      Adult Ride Wristband (Single visit) £12.00

      Child Annual Wristband - full price £67.00
      Child annual wristband £67! (Two for £100)
      Child Ride Wristband (Single visit aged 16 and under) £16.50
      Group Rate Wristbands (Group rates apply to purchases of 20 wristbands or over in a single visit) £12.00

      Senior Citizen Annual Wristband Great Value! £33.00
      Senior Citizen Ride Wristband single Visit £8.50.


      The parks rides and pay things to do are pricey for what it is and I can't see it being place you would visit more than twice a year so no value in annual passes for those rides and things to do. It's probably best to get up a group of parents and kids to go to earn summer discounts that way. The last time I was there it was clear it was for tweenies and so not the sort of place to see stroppy 15-year-olds looking bored and kicking cans. But if you have a young family then it's a great place to stroll in free and use the playgrounds as you would your local park and a good safe atmosphere.

      They do private hire in the new conference facility they have recently rebuilt, The Wickstead Pavilion rather stand out. It has bands and shows on all year around and popular with the locals. They also have camping and caravan pitches but not really that kind of place. Two consecutive nights caravanning for £25 (caravan units under 20ft) or £40 (unit over 20ft). Tents are a tenner a night.

      As I say it's free to get in on the gate because of its charitable status and great for younger kids and mums to spend the day. The local red buses drop at the gate and not too far from Kettering train station. It reminds me a bit of Krusty World on The Simpsons. If you are older than 15 then this is not for you and Billing Aquadrome in Northampton more your thing. There is not a lot else to do in Kettering so reason enough to avoid Wickstead if you are paying for a day out.

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        14.11.2011 15:00
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        Pop over and check it out for yourselves. It's a brilliant day out at wicksteed park.

        "shall we pop to Wicksteed?" is our usual Sunday afternoon what to do. We live around 6-8 miles from it, so it's not too far to travel. Wicksteed is a jumble of different activities and things to do throughout the year. The park is in Kettering, Northamptonshire, East Midlands.

        THEME PARK:
        Wicksteed has a small theme park which you can buy wristbands or tickets to use. It's open from April through to mid September as it is a seasonal park. You can still visit the other areas out of season but the rides will not be operating. They have lots of different things for adults and children.
        They have a lazer maze game in the Hexagon, A train that rides around the park, A rollercoaster, Petrol bumper boats, Ferris wheel, big racing slides and much much more. The price for a wristband is around £16 and tickets cost £1 each. I would suggest a wrist band if you are going to be staying all day as it can get very pricey if you decide to use tickets as rides can be as much as 3 tickets per go and if you have more than 1 child, you're going to be very much out of pocket.

        FREE THINGS: at the entrance to the park, there is a choice of different things to use if you just want to go for a free day. They have swings, slides, climbing facilities and lots of things for toddlers to use. These things are free to use all day everyday and are available throughout the year. They have picnic tables, benches and seating areas for you to take your own picnic along. Parking is still charged throughout the year. I would suggest if you are going out of season, to take food and drinks with you, they do not have their food counters open so will not be able to purchase anything to eat or drink.

        OTHER AMUSEMENTS:
        Around the park there is lots of other things to do. At the bottom of the park you can see the bird in the aviary, a huge sandpit for children to play in (preferably in the summer) and lots of space to play football and other sports with the family. I have a 2 and a half year old daughter and we haven't been in season yet as it is always rather crowded for such a small child. We always take our lunch with us and sit down somewhere. It is much more enjoyable to know such a fun day has cost you just your parking.
        They also have an arcade area and lots of things which cost extra money including fair ground games such as knocking bottles down to win prizes. These are also only in season and mostly on weekends. In the middle of the park is the pavilion which can be rented out for wedding receptions, proms (which my school had here at Wicksteed park) and other large venue events. The room is wonderful and i have been there a few times for different school events, one which was to construct a new theme park ride with crafts.
        There is even an option to camp on the grounds of Wicksteed. There is a charge of between £15 and £20 per night for a plot. You have to provide your own equipment and it's all self catered. Wicksteed offers all sorts of family fun, even night events such as fireworks displays around November 5th, live bands, pantomime shows for children and much much more. You can find all the information you need on all of these different things to do on the Wicksteed park website. They have a list of all up coming events and you can check out their calender to see when the park's season officially opens and closes. School and bank holidays may cost more for different things, but you can find those out online.

        MY OPINION:
        I would suggest this park to anyone who are looking for something a bit different with a park. This place has everything to do, and doesn't cost you entrance fee, just parking of around £2. It caters for all types of families, so don't think you need to have money to go because we go there for the whole day and come home with change from a £5 note. I really rate this place highly for all their activities they have for children and adults to enjoy. Lots of rides for the little ones as well as the bigger children.
        It is worth the drive if you're further out than us, as your saving a lot of money going somewhere like Wicksteed which is full of different things to do, than going to a place like Alton Towers where the queues are huge whether you go in peak or non peak seasons.

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        23.08.2010 22:03

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        WICKSTEED PARKdon't bother going if the forcast is anything less than completely dry. we went to day and the most of the rides closed as soon as the rain started and didn't even all open again once it stopped! the "circus" was there when we went and it was embarrassingly awful.the decor is shabby and the rides tame compared to other theme parks. having said all this, my children ( age 7 and 6) had a great day. glad i used tesco b=vouchers rather than pay full price though.defo take a picnic.YOU HAVE TO PAY EXTRA TO PARK -6 POUNDS EXTRA!

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        29.03.2010 16:59
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        Kids paradise!

        Wicksteed park is a fantastic place for a family day out. It is such a shame that it is not more well known, because it is a real gem. It is in Kettering, Northamptonshire, a short drive from junction 15 of the M1 motorway.


        The park itself is made up of four main sections, each a short walk away from each other. I shall review the facilities of each section in turn:


        The playground:

        Back when I was a kid, when ever you went to a park, no matter where it was, you were guaranteed to see the words "Wicksteed Kettering" stamped on the play equipment. Thus the Wicksteed name became synonymous with good quality playground equipment, and their products were sold worldwide. Wicksteed has one of the biggest playgrounds in Europe and best of all, it is completely FREE! The playground is open every day of the year and has every item of play equipment imaginable, including adventure playground, swings, slides, roundabouts and more in a cast area dediacated to play. An absolute kids paradise. I guarantee you will have never seen a kids play area this big before with so many different pieces of play equipment.


        The Lakeside:

        There is a massive man made lake at the heart of the park, wjere you can hire a rowing boat and explore. There is a small lake next to it, where kids can paddle canoes in safety. They love the independence of being able to do it themselves! There is also a bumper boat ride where, again, kids can control their own boats. There are some really old rides in this section, including a waterchute which dates back to 1926. It is the forerunner of popular log flumes today, although a little more gentle. The "nautic jets" are little boats that travel at very high speed down a slope before flying off the end into the water. I wasn't brave enough to try it, but the kids loved it!


        The fairground:

        This area mainly consists of traditional kiddie rides. You will find a carousel here, as well as dodgems and a pirate ship, as well as a host of other classic rides. There has always been a bouncy castle in this spot for as long as I remember, but I presume it isn't the same one! The fairground is also home to the fantastic astroglide slide. The kids come down this one really fast and you can see them actually fly off each bump as they go down!


        The Arena:

        Finally, one for the grown ups! This is the area with all the thrill rides such as the roller coaster and log flume. The whole section is situated within a karting track, and my son was really upset that he was too small to drive the amazing karts! This section also includes the milder ladybird coaster, which my little 4 year old went on about 10 times in succession.

        As you can see, the park is geared mainly at families with children aged between 3-10. Apart from the coaster, karts and log flume, there aren't many attractions for teenagers and adults, which is good because it gives the park a more friendly atmosphere, and there aren't many yobs about.


        There are several restaurants dotted around the park, but to be honest, they usually get very crowded, service is slow and the choice of products is not overwhelming, unless you like Mcdonalds imitation food. I would recommend taking a picnic, as there are many lovely nature spots in the park and arboretum.


        The park also has a super mini railway, which enables you to get a really good look at the park. You have to time it right though, because the train only goes at certain times.


        Prices vary, depending on what you want to do. As I have said, the playground is free, but you will have to pay £6 to park your car. If you want to use the fair, your best bet is a wristband, which cost £16 for kids and £11 for adults. You can get vouchers with Tesco clubcard to pay for rides, with great day out tokens. Individual ride tickets are £11 for a sheet of 12, so as I have said, it is better to get a wristband, unless you have a very young kid who won't want to go on a lot of rides. The car park is very big, so there is no problem finding a space.


        The park opening times are available on their website www.wicksteedpark.co.uk, and vary greatly between low season 11am-4pm, and high season 10:30a.m.-6pm, so it is vital to check times and dates to make sure the park is open before you go.


        The park is wheelchair friendly, but has a limited number of rides that are not suitable for wheelchair users. All dogs must be kept on leads.

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          24.08.2009 02:26
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          If you live within a 50 mile radius then give it a go!

          Having enjoyed being taken to Wicksteed Park by my parents when we were young I now delight in taking my children. Personally Id say its a fantastic all family day out especially for those with children 12 and under.

          Wicksteed Park can be found at Barton Road, Kettering, Northamptonshire.
          For those of you with the sat nav's NN15 6NJ.

          Wicksteed Park is foremost a 'ride' attraction but it also has beautiful gardens, spacious green areas for lazing, having your own game of cricket of picnicing! It also boasts one of the biggest and best FREE adventure playgrounds in Europe.

          On arrival parking will set you back £6 which although seems a little steep its excellent to have your car on hand. If you choose not to park on site than you can enter the park free of charge.

          Just through the main gate you will find the free adventure playground area which in my experience keeps the kids busy for an hour or so itself!
          There is an area in this playground that is undercover and all bark chippings underfoot. This area is aimed at the younger guests age 5 and under and includes climbing, slides and a 'pedal' roundabout.
          The remainder of the playground is uncovered and tarmac. To name just a few it contains both baby and bigger swings, seasaws, climbing frames, slides and tunnels, a play tyre, a basketball net and a play 'jeep'.

          To go on the rides you will need to visit a ticket kiosk first. There are four ticket offices dotted around Wicksteed but I must say that I have visited on days when they have not all been open so I would recommend you visit the main one located on the other side of the playground.
          Here you have two choices. You can buy wristbands which offer you unlimited rides all day long or sheets of tickets which you trade in at every ride. Prices were as follows in JUly 2009.

          Child wristband £15
          Adult wristband £10
          OAP wristband £7.50 (nice touch I thought!)

          children under .9m ride free and ther are aprox 12 rides that are suitable for these little ones. Wheelchair users are also free of charge.

          Tickets can be bought in sheets of 30 for £20, 12 for £10 or single tickets for £1 each. Most of the rides apart from the baby ones are two tickets per person so the wristbands really do offer good value for money. Left over tickets can be used on a later visit though if for example you are rained away! The ticket kiosks open at 10.15am and the rides at 10.30am.

          The park is split into 5 areas. I have covered the playground except to say that the pirate ship and carousel are also located here. As is a small outdoor stage area which weather permitting hosts the 'Wicky Bear Shows'.
          We visited such an advertised show two weeks ago but unfortunately the children were quite disappointed as it lasted aprox 5 minutes and Wicky Bear dashed off at the end without letting the children have a cuddle! I can only assume that Wicky had diarreoh or such like perhaps as on previous visits the shows were longer with lots of audience participation and photo opportunitys with Wicky at the finish!

          The Fairground hosts the dodgems (Im sure when I was little they were bumper cars, these days they are all'dodge' cars!)The wavy slide (after climbing the stairs the 5 allowed go's dragging the heavy mat the children are suitably worn out so save this til last) the small rocking tug boat, the bouncy castle, mini jets, laser tag, golf, cups and saucers.

          The Wicksteed pavillion hosts the sunken garden which is excellent for 5 minutes calm, peace and quiet. Wickys cave is here and you'll need to check the blackboards for show times and the bandstand.

          The arena houses the older action rides. The roller coaster, Rocky river falls (Wicksteeds newer ride and pretty much a log flume - yes you will get wet!), the racing cars, a small ladybird roller coaster.

          The Lakeside is just as it sounds. Rides on or around the lakes. Here is Wicksteeds oldest ride The Waterchute, the veteran cars, nautic jets (that splah you will stale smelly green water), childrens canoes, the monorail (not for the weak legged!) bumper boats and rowing boats (no this is not as easy as it looks!) there is also a sandpit to play in here and another playground area (both foc) and finally the Wicksteed railway. This steam engine basically gives you a tour around the bottom half of the park which the children love but dont be tempted to use it to get from one area of the park to another as it doesnt do stops!

          For those with children or weak bladders there are toilets located in three spots, lakeside, the arena field and the fairground area. They are clean enough be very old with old fashioned chain pulls and in two of them only one handbasin.

          We usually take a picnic but there are various eateries around the park offering hot and cold drinks, snacks and ices. The Hexagon offers pies, burgers and chips. There is a family friendly licenced restaurant which offers bar meals. I cant really comment on the restaurant as theres no way Id ever get the kids to sit still for an hour so have never tried it! There is even a Cornish Pasty Shop!

          For the children looking to spend their pocketmoney there is a gift shop and a sweet shop located near the main ticket kiosks.

          The caravan and camping field is worth a mention although I cant comment as have had no experience of this. As I understand it there is no electric hook up at the moment but will be in the future. It is also all on grass for the time being. THere were quite a few tents up when we visited The cost for this is £12 per night per unit.
          There is a fishing lake available for all to use at the cost of £5 per adult / half price for children.

          As well as the rides and activities mentioned, Wicksteed and the Pavillion host various events throughout the year from rallys to shows, Beer festivals to dragon boat racing, summer balls to halloween events not to mention firework night and christmas parties.

          All in all Wicksteed is a fun filled packed day out enjoyed by families and I have enjoyed revisiting with my children and the grandparents (Well they are half price afterall!). I live half an hour away so will definately visit again but not sure that I would travel anything over an hour to get here!

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            23.05.2009 19:07
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            love it.

            Wicksteed park is in Kettering and it holds some fun memories for me, both as a child and as a parent, it has been home to some great fun days out over the years.

            The park itself is huge and you can see it clearly before you park your car, you do have a fee to pay to park your car in the car park ( or field as I should say ) The fee is normally around £5 per car for the whole day, which I dont find too bad. There are also coach rides to the park, depending on where you live.

            Wicksteed park has a lot of funfair rides and amusements which are all paid by via tickets which you pay for at th ticket stations, the cost of these vary depending on whether you are going on a lot of rides or just a few. My daughter only has a few tickets as she does not go on loads, but if you have older children then it may be worth investing in a wristband and this allows them to go on any rides for as long as you are there.

            Once in the park there are so many places to visit, there are four parts to the park which are:

            The free play area:
            ****************

            This is a huge area where the children can play and there is no charge. It has slides, swings, climbing frames, wooden play equiptment shaped as cars and houses etc etc and provides a lot of fun for the children, there are also a few cafe's around here where parents can get a cup of tea/coffee or ice creams. Near by there is also the double pirate ship, and even as a child this was a daunting ride, but as an adult it scares the hell out of me!!!

            Theme park rides:
            ***************

            This part of the park is where the larger rides are, it houses the roller coaster, umbrella's an the fab little race track where adults and children can race each other in go karts, I love this ride. There are also some smaller rides for the younger ones. Again this has a cafe near by to get a bit to eat or a cuppa!

            Water park:
            **********

            This part is where all the water rides are, there is a water slide that has been ther years, I remember it as a child and it has not changed over the years at all, still great fun. They have a large lake where you can row boats or peddle them if you prefer, but again lots of fun to be had. This area is nice for younger children too as it has lots of animals around for them to see.

            Small theme park:
            ***************

            This area is a smaller one which has the normal fair rides like the ferris wheel, roundabouts, helter skelter, etc etc, this is my daughters favourite part of the park, she loves all these kind of rides. There are a few amusements and slot machines placed around the park too, but I tend to stear clear as you spend an absolute fortune in them and if your lucky enough, only come out with a key ring!!!

            The only down side that may apply to some people is that there is a lot of walking in between area's and a lot of up hill paths too.

            I normally take a picnic when I go for the day as it can be quite expensive to eat out there, and I love having a picnic and being able to watch the kids play football on the fields.

            There is also an old fashioned small steam train that takes you all around the park, this is a lovely ride and my daughter loves this, she gets to see all the wildlife and rides and she screams with delight all the way round, my enjoyment comes from seeing her beautifull little face light up at everything new she see's, for that it is worth it.

            I love going to Wicksteed park, with its oldie worldy feel and relaxed environment, it may not be anywhere near the likes of Alton towers, but I find it has much more of a family feel to it, and you can go around the whole park at your own leisure, where as at Alton towers it can be very rushed.

            All round a great place for family fun.

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              25.10.2008 13:55
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              a enjoyable day out for my family when on a budget

              I was born in kettering and many days out as a child were spent at wicksteed park.
              Wicksteed park is split into 4 areas.
              The playground which is all the climbing frames and general playground equipment. We tend to chill out here with a picnic as it keeps the kids entertained as well
              The lakeside which has the boats and waterchutes and jets however we tend to give these a miss as we have young children and it would be to much hassel.
              Then there is the arena which has the bigger rides faster and scarier so as me and my husband are wimps we leave out this area.
              The fairground is great all the classics like the dodgems and cup and saucers and a huge bumpy slide that my son loves. It also has the amusements where I drop off my husband for half an hour.
              The food is overrated and over priced and you are better with a packed lunch.
              We only payed £6 parking and that was it.
              You buy tickets for rides and as mine don't go on much it is a fairly cheap day out.

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                14.10.2008 10:10
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                A fabtastic day out, especially if it's sunny and you take a picnic.

                Wicksteed Park is a great theme park if you have younger children. Most of the rides are probably aimed at 8-13 year olds. However I'm 23 and thoroughly enjoyed it and went on most of the rides! My 3 year old thoroughly enjoyed it, she must have gone on one ride that was aeroplanes going round and up and down at least 25 times, no joke! It's nice that they do have several rides suitable for toddlers, do check the height restrictions though. Wrist bands are a good idea as you can go on any rides however many times you like. Childrens are £15 and adults are £10. Otherwise you can buy tickets for the rides but this can work out more expensive. You have to pay £6 for the car park but this goes towards the upkeep of the park too. There is lots of park area for picnics. My favourite was the racing cars - drivers must be at least 1.6metres tall or 1.5 metres if your an adult.
                Passengers must be 1metre

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                  09.08.2008 21:14
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                  You can spend as much or as little as you like for a good day.

                  Living near to Wicksteed Park it seemed an ideal place for us to take our daughter and our two young grandchildren for a picnic.
                  The two girls are 4 years and 2 years and had been looking forward to the picnic for some weeks. We all live quite close to the park and the kids had been before but they were much younger then.
                  Being a senior citizen and living in Northamptonshire all my life
                  I have obviously seen many changes and improvements to the park. The marked safety features are so noticeable to when I was a child, ( Heath and Safety do get some things right).
                  Anyway we watched the weather forecast for a nice day and off we went armed with a good picnic to suit us all.
                  We arrived at the park at 10.30 and payed the £6 car park fee, this was good timing because the rides start at 10.30. You are allowed to park in a big area of the park and can picnic close to your car which saves carting bags around.
                  The rides are on a ticket system with various combinations, £15 for a chids wristband , but we opted for 30 tickets for £20.
                  £1 pound each if bought singly. We were pleased to find out that the two year old could ride for nothing if properly accompanied where necessary.
                  I notice that of the reviews posted only 1 is during the last 5 years so I am sure that there have been many diferent and extra rides and improvements since then.
                  There are basically three amusment areas with plenty of well kept grassy spaces between, so if you need to rest you can always find somewhere to yourselves.
                  Many of the kiddies rides only required 1 ticket, not bad for 67p nowadays. At the south near the lake there are various boats for hire, perhaps more suited to older children and an aerial pedal ride which generally includes mum or dad to take the smaller kids on. In this area you will find a few caged bird,the water chute and a large sand pit and a few catering facilities.
                  To the west of here are the go karts which use the old cycle race track, these were very popular events on Sunday afternoons
                  in the1950's and early 60's. In the middle of the track are numerous rides and stalls.
                  The main amusment area is just inside the main gate and includes all the usual free stuff, swings, climbing frames of all shapes and sizes(our kids loved these) slides etc.
                  Then there are other rides scattered about and putting and crazy golf courses.
                  If you dont take food with you there are plenty of places to buy , but if you are watching your budget take a picnic and limit your buying to an ice cream.
                  If you want to avoid the really busy times week days are the best but queing is nowhere as bad as it used to be due to more ticket booths and extra catering facilities.
                  I nearly forgot to mention the train which goes all round the lake and it is a really favourite with the young ones. Also the memorial gardens are worth a look when you walk down to the train. We finally left at 5.30 and all agreed we had a good day,
                  for about £30 for three adults and two small children.
                  Wicksteed park is very well kept and every effort has been made for the safety of the children but as always the safety of a child is an adult's responsibility.
                  Summing up I would say that children up to about eleven could perhaps get the most enjoyment but having said that there are
                  quite a few rides for the older ones and plenty of space for football and cricket etc.

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                    31.03.2008 17:44
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                    Wicksteed is a great family park, with lots of fun rides

                    Wicksteed Park is a amazing family park, with lots of family-friendly rides and parks. Wicksteed is unusual because it is a country park mixed with rides, which is quite nice. Also, it has the BEST ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND EVER!
                    You can get food from the various outlets round the park, but this tends to be expensive and quite crowded, so save your money for ice-cream and don't bother getting big meals- picnics are great to bring.
                    There's a fast rollercoaster- no going upside down or anything like that, just a fun ride. I also confess to loving the Ladybird Coaster- it's great. :)
                    I personally think that the ride with the two boats which jump is REALLY scary but really fun!
                    There's a great Laser Tag area, but some of the guns are often broken and won't shoot. The Fairground in general is amazing, with rides like Rockin' Tug, the Pirate Ship, and the thing that goes up and drops down!
                    I'd recommend getting wristbands, especially if you go on every ride in the park. It works out cheaper than getting loads of tickets.

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                      20.09.2003 02:42
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                      Wicksteed Park located in Kettering was where the theme park was invented, this was the first theme park to be opened in the world back in 1921. It was the brainchild of Charles Wicksteed who as one of Kettering's most senior and wealthiest son's decided to build a park with huge open spaces and a lake for the people of Kettering to enjoy, what a nice man - you don't get people like that nowadays do you !! So, it was the first theme park and it has been virtually unaltered graphically since the day it opened BUT is it worth a day out ? One and a quarter million visitors a year and Northamptonshire's leading attraction would indicate YES. ~Location Like I said, Wicksteed Park is located on the east side of Kettering about a mile from the A43 which links the East Midlands to East Anglia, it is about 30 minutes from the M1/M6 junction and it is said to be accessible to half of England within 3 hours because of it's handy central location. The park itself is set in several acres of beautiful scenery - wide open grassland dotted with trees ideal for picnics. At one end is a huge man-made lake which is hugely popular with fisherman. In the middle is the main pavilion, an original building, which is the point where most of the fun and frolics occur. Around this pavilion are four themed areas encasing all of the activities and rides housed in the park. A miniature railway runs around all of the themed areas to help you get around quicker. ~The Playground Area This is for young kids - countless slides, swings, trampolines, climbing frames, nets, helter skelters, roundabouts, carousels, mini ferris wheels. You name it, it's all here and it's all FREE. It's quite a large area with an abundance of safety measures so your kid shouldn't be either disappointed or hurt ! Also in this area is a pirate ship, Crazy Golf, Dodgems and go-karts but these do require payment. ~The Ar
                      cade Area This is a large hall encasing hundreds of slot and gaming machines, there's fruit machines, shoot-em-ups, air hockey, speed games, coin machines, grab machines and even my personal favourite, a Hillbilly Moonshine! Also in this area are several refreshment and relaxing areas. ~The Lakeside Area In this area are where the water rides are located, they are pretty soft really compared to modern water rides and you're unlikely to get soaked. There's also loads of other water-based attractions like water guns, remote-controlled boats, swan boats, rowing boats, motor boats and bumper boats which are great fun. This area is heavily policed so the bumping doesn't get out of control, preventing accidents. ~The Arena Area This is the location of the larger rides such as the medium sized roller-coaster. This is mainly for the adults and older children as the rides have height restrictions. Also in this section is the Laser Dome where you can have a game of quaser for 3 quid a go. ~The Pavilion The Pavilion overlooks all of the areas and plays host to many activities in it's own right. Firstly it houses several eating areas including a tea-room, snack-room and a very plush silver service menu restaurant. The pavilion also boasts further areas which can be hired for events such as weddings, banquets, fairs, dances, corporate events and musical events. It is a very impressively designed building with a polished history some of which can be found by way of posters and pictures dotted around on the walls. ~Other Events The Park also plays host to extra events throughout the year. These include car-boot sales, Farmers markets, firework displays, Christmas gatherings and just the other day a Robot Wars exhibition - now how can you keep away now I've revealed that !! ~Opening times and admission Park opens at 9:00 am, rides open at 10:30 am. Rides a
                      re op en from March 16 to November 17. There are two ways to pay, wristbands or tickets. Wristbands are purchased on the day and give access to all rides and attractions all day (except activities which require a monetary payment). Tickets can be purchased on the day or can be pre-booked, the main differences being the tickets can be split between people and can be used on return visits. All prices in pounds; Wristbands Child : 12.50 Wristbands Adult : 8.50 Group rate pre-book : 7.00 School group rate : 4.50 O.A.P : 5.00 Wheelchairs : FREE Ride Tickets 12 : 8.00 Ride Tickets 30 : 12.50 Single Tickets : 90p Season Ticket Child : 50.00 Season Ticket Adult : 35.00 Group rate Child : 9.00 Group rate Adult : 8.00 (A group rate is based on parties of 20 or above) Lake fishing : 5.00 a day or 30.00 a year Car entry Peak : 5.00 a day Low Season : 3.00 a day Personally I find the endless list of prices and different ways of paying incredibly difficult to understand so god knows how the kids get on. To me it is unnecessary and surely someone could come up with a more simplistic pricing schedule. The way things are, the best option is to buy 30 tickets at twelve and a half quid because you can split them up between your party and works out much cheaper than getting unlimited access for everyone at twelve and a half quid each. ~Other Info The Pavilion is where you can find wheelchairs, babychanging facilities, public telephones and public telephones. Dogs are allowed in the open areas BUT must be kept on a lead at ALL times. Telephone enquiries : 01536 485454 Website for info and pre-booked tickets : www.wicksteedpark.co.uk ~My verdict Wicksteed has a very family feel to it, of course it cannot compare to the likes of Alton Towers but it wasn't designed to be and it doesn't intend to be. It
                      has been the same since 1921 and it doesn't intend to change so don't expect white-knuckle, hairy-scary rides. The emphasis is much more on traditional family FUN and that is to be commended. The prices are fair although the different pricing schedules are incredibly difficult to fathom. I would highly recommend the park to lots of different people - first and fore-most families with kids, their is easily enough to keep them occupied for a whole day. Apart from the rides their are endless amounts of side-shows and attractions to keep them amused. I would also recommend to couples or older visitors who maybe just want peace and quiet in the more secluded areas where they can park up their car and get out a picnic (weather permitting) and I would also recommend to the fishing fraternity, the lake, as would no doubt the visiting Herons and other rare birds. A particular area which is worth a mention is the customer service, The Wicksteed Trust which was set up after Charles Wicksteed's death has successfully continued the prestige and traditions of Charles intentions and the service required to carry this out. They appear to be highly accomplished in terms of staff training. The food in the various cafe's and snack bars vary in quality and is quite expensive but that goes hand in hand with theme parks doesn't it ! Basically, I would suggest a day out at Wicksteed Park if you live local or are visiting the area as it holds a definate pleasurable experience, my only word of warning is to expect huge crowds in the peak summer season when the kids are off school - it is heaving. Many thanks +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ WormThatTurned 2003

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                        12.12.2002 05:34
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                        Wicksteed Park first became a consideration for a leisure park in 1913 by Charles Wicksteed. Later, after a considerable amount of time planning, the park first opened its gates in 1921. The park is located in Kettering, a town in Northamptonshire. Motorways, fields of grass and hills, surround the park. The park is for people of all ages, young children and babies to the elderly and the disabled. There are unisex toilets and easy access for the disabled around the park. There are also baby-changing facilities in the toilets. If you happen to lose your children at any time, you can go to the Lost Children centre located in the centre of the park. There is also a first aid room, so help is there for you, if it's ever needed. Dogs are welcome inside the park as long as they are kept on a lead at all times. If you feel you have lost something during your day visit, there is a lost property room next to the first aid centre. There is also a drying room (you never know what might happen if you go on a boat trip). If you desperately need to phone home or anyone, there are public telephones in the centre of the park. The park opens at 9am but the rides don't open until 10.30am. Admission to the actual park is free, though you have to pay for the car park, which in high season is very expensive. You also pay for the rides and any special events that may be taking place that day. You are also given a map of the park so you know where everything is and you won?t get lost. Here are the prices for the time of year you would like to visit: High Season - £5 (very expensive) very busy, long queues for the rides Mid Season - £4 (still expensive) also busy at this time, but the queues aren't so long Low Season - £3 (not so bad) not very busy, not very long queues Out of Season - £1 (very cheap) some rides may be closed due to maintenance etc, usually no queues, quite deserted You can also purchase a
                        seas on car park ticket for around £20, which would be a great saving, if you decide to visit a lot. Sometimes you can find space to park your car on the side of the road outside the park for free. But then your car isn't as secure as it would be inside the car park. There is a Pavilion located in the centre of the park, which can be hired for weddings, antique fairs, wedding shows and musical events. The pavilion can be hired all throughout the year. There are many restaurants and eating outlets situated around the park, so you'll never be hungry. There are loads of vending machine filled with ice cold drinks. It would be best to bring your own food i.e. picnics, as the food and drinks are pretty expensive, but if you wouldn?t like the hassle of getting the picnic ready, then I have listed the restaurants below and the kind of food they cook: Oak Tree Takeaway: Fish and Chips, Chicken and Chips, Hot and Cold Drinks, Ice cream, Kids Meals etc The Bistro: Hot and Cold Food, Licensed Bar etc Hexagon: Burger Bar, Hot and Cold Drinks, Ice cream etc Lakeside Diner: Sandwiches and Baguettes, Hot Dogs, Hot and Cold Drinks, Ice cream etc I am sure you are all dying to know what kind of stuff they have, so I will move onto that now!!! There is a mini aviary with peacocks, rabbits, ducks and birds etc. This is situated at the busier end of the park and is ideal for young kids, as they will like to watch the animals. There is a 30-acre man-made lake over the busiest side. Around the lake you will find a lot of ducks and swans. If you wish to take a relaxing trip around the lake, then why don't you catch a ride on the big boat or if you fancy a go yourself, why not hire out a small boat all that is required is a small deposit. There is a train that runs around the lake. So if you get tired and want to enjoy the scenery of Wicksteed Park, then why not have a
                        ride. You will get to see rides in action, go through a dark tunnel, and go over a bridge on the lake and by some fields. Also inside the park, there is a huge adventure playground for the kiddies. I used to love this when I was younger and even still go on it, when it's deserted. It consists of loads of different climbing frames, swings, lots of different slides, sand pits, rope apparatus, seesaws, activity modules plus many many more. Why not leave you kids entertained on the playground whilst you look around the gift shops or even the flower gardens? Wicksteed Park has a few gift shops located next to the playground. So why not, buy yourself some postcards to remember the park by, or pencils or bags etc, or take a walk around the gardens and relax on one of the benches. When you have decided to meet the kids to enjoy the rest of the park (if you can get them off the playground that is), why not have a look in the hall of mirrors? This is situated opposite the playground and offers a variety of different mirrors that will leave you in hysterics and keep the youngsters entertained for ages. Can?t imagine yourself looking any different? Then look in the mirrors and all will be revealed. Maybe you?re one of those people (like me) who is afraid of going on big rides, but still wish you weren?t so afraid so you could try it? If so, then pop over to the big green dome. It?s hard to miss ? it?s a huge green dome like building. Inside here, but only in high season, they have a cine 2000. This is a little like a simulator but instead of sitting in seats, you stand up on the ground and there are big screens all round the outside that fit the whole of the dome. The way they make you feel like you are actually riding the world?s biggest roller coasters or taking a tour on a carpet (the carpet is actually the floor you?re standing on, which isn?t actually moving, but feels like it is) over New York City or being in the car that
                        is being chased by the police is absolutely amazing. I think it is just like a film being projected onto a screen, which makes you believe you are taking part in it. This is by far my favourite ride, though I only like this one and not the ones where you sit strapped up in a seat in a cramped little simulator with the seats moving etc. Plus, what?s so good about this cine 2000, is the fact that you feel like you are moving and like you?re going to fall over all the time. If you?re into amusement arcades like me, there is one there. It consists of air hockey, fruit machines, 2p, 5p and 10p machines, cuddly toy machines and mini arcade games etc. If you fancy an ice cream, you can buy these from many of the restaurants, eating areas or the ice cream factory. There is also a museum, but I haven?t been in there before, so I can?t tell you what it?s like. There is also an 18 hole crazy golf course for adults consisting of some very hard holes, and also small, easy cartoon character course for young children. You have to purchase ride tickets or wristbands before you go on the rides. These can be obtained from one of the many ticket halls located around the park. I have listed the prices below for the tickets and wristbands, so you can make sure you take the right amount of money with you. Ride Tickets: (Bear in mind that most rides take 2 or 3 tickets) Sheet of 30 = £12.50 Sheet of 12 = £7.50 Single Tickets = 90p Wristbands: (These can?t be used on game stalls, coin operated rides or crazy golf, but they give you unlimited access to every other ride) Adults = £8 Senior Citizen = £5 Wheelchair User = £5 Child = £12 You can also get group rates but you have to give them a couple of weeks notice Wicksteed Park has quite a few rides, but mostly for the younger generation. Some rides and attractions have height restrictions, but this is detailed on boards next to the r
                        ides, if you?re unsure. Rides i nclude the following plus many many more: Dodgems: Not allowed to bump other cars Ferris Wheel: This is a small one. This is an even smaller one for the kiddies Bouncy Castle: For young children Swings Ride: For young children Miniature Go Karts: For young children Roller coasters: 1 for small kids, the other for the older generation Water Chute: It took me years to pluck up the courage to go on this ride. You have to go up really steep steps over looking some weird houses that always remind me of witches houses, with their tattered, overgrown look, wobbly chimneys and surrounding countryside. When you get to the top, you sit in this seats on this big boat and it goes slowly down a ramp and into the water. If you sit near the front, you get wet! Pedal Cars: You have to pedal these little helicopter cars round this track in the air, which goes around the lake, so you can watch the water rides Water Rides: There are quite a few of these. There are these really long water slides, where you sit in a little car and it goes down a long track into the water! But you should only go on these if you don't mind getting wet (hence: the drying rooms) Bumper Boats: If you bump into another boat, as I have seen before, you can fall out! Astroglide: This is a big bumpy slide. There are 2 ride attendants. 1 stands at the bottom collecting the money and the other stands at the top helping you sit on your mat when you go down Paratroopers: These are those little umbrellas that go up in the air in a circle, but bear in mind, that these are the very fast ones Pirate Ship: This is one of the best rides at Wicksteed for the people who dare to go on it! I wouldn?t dare of course! There is also a little pirate ship for the kiddies Rotor Ride: You can either spectate here or have a go. Basically what happens, is p
                        eople stan d in a circle against the wall, and it spins round very very fast and people get lifted up off the floor! I just like to spectate for this one Adult Go Karts: This track goes round some of the park's rides. It is quite a big course. You should only go on this if you are a confident driver of Go Karts, though if you crash there are tyres around the outside Mini Roundabouts: For the youngsters Etc Access around the park is very easy with paths, ramps, walkways and roads! It is also easy to get there with loads of signposts! You can visit their website at www.wicksteedpark.co.uk or you can email them through the site for more information. I have many memorable times at Wicksteed Park which will stay with me forever!!! Maybe you can too. Thanks for reading my opinion. I hope it has been useful for you

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                          09.08.2002 21:51
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                          Wicksteed Park first became a consideration for a leisure park in 1913 by Charles Wicksteed. Later, after a considerable amount of time planning, the park first opened its gates in 1921. The park is located in Kettering, a town in Northamptonshire. Motorways, fields of grass and hills, surround the park. The park is for people of all ages, young children and babies to the elderly and the disabled. There are unisex toilets and easy access for the disabled around the park. There are also baby-changing facilities in the toilets. If you happen to lose your children at any time, you can go to the Lost Children centre located in the centre of the park. There is also a first aid room, so help is there for you, if it’s ever needed. Dogs are welcome inside the park as long as they are kept on a lead at all times. If you feel you have lost something during your day visit, there is a lost property room next to the first aid centre. There is also a drying room (you never know what might happen if you go on a boat trip). If you desperately need to phone home or anyone, there are public telephones in the centre of the park. The park opens at 9am but the rides don’t open until 10.30am. Admission to the actual park is free, though you have to pay for the car park, which in high season is very expensive. You also pay for the rides and any special events that may be taking place that day. You are also given a map of the park so you know where everything is and you won’t get lost. Here are the prices for the time of year you would like to visit: High Season - £5 (very expensive) – very busy, long queues for the rides Mid Season - £4 (still expensive) – also busy at this time, but the queues aren’t so long Low Season - £3 (not so bad) – not very busy, not very long queues Out of Season - £1 (very cheap) – some rides may be closed due to maintenance etc, usually no queues,
                          quite deserted You can also purchase a season car park ticket for around £20, which would be a great saving, if you decide to visit a lot. Sometimes you can find space to park your car on the side of the road outside the park for free. But then your car isn’t as secure as it would be inside the car park. There is a Pavilion located in the centre of the park, which can be hired for weddings, antique fairs, wedding shows and musical events. The pavilion can be hired all throughout the year. There are many restaurants and eating outlets situated around the park, so you’ll never be hungry. There are loads of vending machine filled with ice cold drinks. It would be best to bring your own food i.e. picnics, as the food and drinks are pretty expensive, but if you wouldn’t like the hassle of getting the picnic ready, then I have listed the restaurants below and the kind of food they cook: Oak Tree Takeaway: Fish and Chips, Chicken and Chips, Hot and Cold Drinks, Ice cream, Kids Meals etc The Bistro: Hot and Cold Food, Licensed Bar etc Hexagon: Burger Bar, Hot and Cold Drinks, Ice cream etc Lakeside Diner: Sandwiches and Baguettes, Hot Dogs, Hot and Cold Drinks, Ice cream etc I am sure you are all dying to know what kind of stuff they have, so I will move onto that now!!! There is a mini aviary with peacocks, rabbits, ducks and birds etc. This is situated at the busier end of the park and is ideal for young kids, as they will like to watch the animals. There is a 30-acre man-made lake over the busiest side. Around the lake you will find a lot of ducks and swans. If you wish to take a relaxing trip around the lake, then why don’t you catch a ride on the big boat or if you fancy a go yourself, why not hire out a small boat all that is required is a small deposit. There is a train that runs around the lake. So if you get tired and want to enjoy the sc
                          enery of Wicksteed Park, then why not have a ride. You will get to see rides in action, go through a dark tunnel, and go over a bridge on the lake and by some fields. Also inside the park, there is a huge adventure playground for the kiddies. I used to love this when I was younger and even still go on it, when it’s deserted. It consists of loads of different climbing frames, swings, lots of different slides, sand pits, rope apparatus, seesaws, activity modules plus many many more. Why not leave you kids entertained on the playground whilst you look around the gift shops or even the flower gardens? Wicksteed Park has a few gift shops located next to the playground. So why not, buy yourself some postcards to remember the park by, or pencils or bags etc, or take a walk around the gardens and relax on one of the benches. When you have decided to meet the kids to enjoy the rest of the park (if you can get them off the playground that is), why not have a look in the hall of mirrors? This is situated opposite the playground and offers a variety of different mirrors that will leave you in hysterics and keep the youngsters entertained for ages. Can’t imagine yourself looking any different? Then look in the mirrors and all will be revealed. Maybe you’re one of those people (like me) who is afraid of going on big rides, but still wish you weren’t so afraid so you could try it? If so, then pop over to the big green dome. It’s hard to miss – it’s a huge green dome like building. Inside here, but only in high season, they have a cine 2000. This is a little like a simulator but instead of sitting in seats, you stand up on the ground and there are big screens all round the outside that fit the whole of the dome. The way they make you feel like you are actually riding the world’s biggest roller coasters or taking a tour on a carpet (the carpet is actually the floor you’re standing on, which isn&
                          #8217;t actually moving, but feels like it is) over New York City or being in the car that is being chased by the police is absolutely amazing. I think it is just like a film being projected onto a screen, which makes you believe you are taking part in it. This is by far my favourite ride, though I only like this one and not the ones where you sit strapped up in a seat in a cramped little simulator with the seats moving etc. Plus, what’s so good about this cine 2000, is the fact that you feel like you are moving and like you’re going to fall over all the time. If you’re into amusement arcades like me, there is one there. It consists of air hockey, fruit machines, 2p, 5p and 10p machines, cuddly toy machines and mini arcade games etc. If you fancy an ice cream, you can buy these from many of the restaurants, eating areas or the ice cream factory. There is also a museum, but I haven’t been in there before, so I can’t tell you what it’s like. There is also an 18 hole crazy golf course for adults consisting of some very hard holes, and also small, easy cartoon character course for young children. You have to purchase ride tickets or wristbands before you go on the rides. These can be obtained from one of the many ticket halls located around the park. I have listed the prices below for the tickets and wristbands, so you can make sure you take the right amount of money with you. Ride Tickets: (Bear in mind that most rides take 2 or 3 tickets) Sheet of 30 = £12.50 Sheet of 12 = £7.50 Single Tickets = 90p Wristbands: (These can’t be used on game stalls, coin operated rides or crazy golf, but they give you unlimited access to every other ride) Adults = £8 Senior Citizen = £5 Wheelchair User = £5 Child = £12 You can also get group rates but you have to give them a couple of weeks notice Wicksteed Park has quite a few rides, b
                          ut mostly for the younger generation. Some rides and attractions have height restrictions, but this is detailed on boards next to the rides, if you’re unsure. Rides include the following plus many many more: Dodgems: Not allowed to bump other cars Ferris Wheel: This is a small one. This is an even smaller one for the kiddies Bouncy Castle: For young children Swings Ride: For young children Miniature Go Karts: For young children Roller coasters: 1 for small kids, the other for the older generation Water Chute: It took me years to pluck up the courage to go on this ride. You have to go up really steep steps over looking some weird houses that always remind me of witches houses, with their tattered, overgrown look, wobbly chimneys and surrounding countryside. When you get to the top, you sit in this seats on this big boat and it goes slowly down a ramp and into the water. If you sit near the front, you get wet! Pedal Cars: You have to pedal these little helicopter cars round this track in the air, which goes around the lake, so you can watch the water rides Water Rides: There are quite a few of these. There are these really long water slides, where you sit in a little car and it goes down a long track into the water! But you should only go on these if you don’t mind getting wet (hence: the drying rooms) Bumper Boats: If you bump into another boat, as I have seen before, you can fall out! Astroglide: This is a big bumpy slide. There are 2 ride attendants. 1 stands at the bottom collecting the money and the other stands at the top helping you sit on your mat when you go down Paratroopers: These are those little umbrellas that go up in the air in a circle, but bear in mind, that these are the very fast ones Pirate Ship: This is one of the best rides at Wicksteed for the people who dare to go on it! I wouldn’t dare of course!
                          There is also a little pirate ship for the kiddies Rotor Ride: You can either spectate here or have a go. Basically what happens, is people stand in a circle against the wall, and it spins round very very fast and people get lifted up off the floor! I just like to spectate for this one Adult Go Karts: This track goes round some of the park’s rides. It is quite a big course. You should only go on this if you are a confident driver of Go Karts, though if you crash there are tyres around the outside Mini Roundabouts: For the youngsters Etc Access around the park is very easy with paths, ramps, walkways and roads! It is also easy to get there with loads of signposts! You can visit their website at www.wicksteedpark.co.uk or you can email them through the site for more information. I have many memorable times at Wicksteed Park which will stay with me forever!!! Maybe you can too. Thanks for reading my opinion. I hope it has been useful for you

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                            23.06.2001 06:03
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                            The other Sunday we were sat at home wandering what to do with ourselves when the phone rang. It was our friends from just across the road wanting to know if we fancied a look out for the day. As we were bored out of our skulls it was definatley a good idea, so we made up a picnic and got the kids ready for the grand day out. Half an hour later we arrived at a place called 'Wicksteed Park', a place unknown to me. If I remeber rightly its not far from Kettering, I didnt drive there, but I am sure that all good info guides will list this place and exactly how to get to it. Upon arrival you come to the gates, my friend has a season car pass, cost him about £13, a complete bargain when it doesn't cost per occupant and you can go as many times as you like in that year. The normal cost for non-season ticket holders is £5 per visit per car. Once we had got parked up (and there was plenty of car parking space even though it was a nice sunny busy day) It was a tough decision which way to walk as we were surrounded by all the attractions. This place is by no means Blackpool pleasure beach, the rides are smaller and theres no sign of any donkeys, but there is something for everyone. I even managed to have a few goes on the bumpy slide and a small roller coaster. The rides are all colour coded , just so you can tell if it is safe for your child to use the rides, but most of the rides are suitable for kids from the age of 3 upwards. Payment for the rides is by ticket only in most cases, the bigger rides costing 2 tickets, and the tickets were 75p each (fortunatley or unfortunatley for us our friends son was knocked over by a member of staff and they got billions of free tickets!) Food is available from numerous outlets on the park,but as its got the punters there the prices are a bit steep, I would recommend taking some sarnies and some cans of pop!
                            It took us the best part of 6 hours to see all the attractions, there was everything from a log flume to small roundabouts, bouncy castles and miniture go-karts. All these rides cost you tickets ,but if you head over towards the road then they have just spent thousands of pounds on climbing frames and slides, a vdery impressive set up indeed! This is where we spent the most time, its always the same with kids! Pay loads for a ride and they are not that impressed, but when they are on the free ones we couldnt get them off again. As well as the usual rides there was also a very large boating lake and a sandpit thats the size of an olympic swimming pool. This place is well worth a visit in my eyes, so if you live in or around the midlands and Kettering is within your range, go see what your missing!

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                              18.09.2000 05:31
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                              Wicksteed Lesuire Park is situated in Kettering, in Northamptonshire. This can be quite a fun day out especially if you have younger children as there is alot for them to do here. There are all of the usual things such as swings and slides, and there are also rides such as the pirate galleon, rollercoaster and water chute. However, this can work out quite expensive to go on all of the rides as tickets are 75p each and many of the rides need at least 2. There are wristbands available which cost £11.50 for a child and £7.50 for someone over 18. These allow unlimited use on all of the rides. The rides for children are not bad, but there isn't really much for older children. The best thing there is the pirate galleon (its better than the one at Alton Towers), but the rollercoaster which is meant to be scary is over in about a minute and you would probably get more excitement out of driving fast down the duel carraigeway!! Thereis a train ride which takes you round the whole park which is good for just seeing the scenery and there are also rowing boats available, although you do need to pay a deposit to be able to use them. There is also a mini zoo, where you can look at different birds and also rabbits, but that about it, still you dont have to pay any extra to look at the animals. The worst thing about Wicksteed Park is the price for parking as it costs £5 which I feel is a bit of a rip off. Prices for food are also very expensive. There is absolutely nothing to do here if it's a rainy day, so only come if it is sunny!! It's worth a visit if you don't live too far away, but I think that if you had to travel a long distance to get here, you would be disappointed.

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