Days Out | Paulton's Park

Image of a young girl riding on a vintage Victorian carousel. She is sat on top of a carousel horse, holding on with one hand and screaming with excitement. To the left of the girl is a title that read 'Days out, Paulton's Park, Romsey, S051 6AL,'

We live a four hour drive away from Paulton's Park, factor in travelling with a four year old and with toilet breaks, snack stops and leg stretches you're looking at a full day travelling. I needed this theme park to be exceptional, it had to be a roaring success or the stress of the journey wouldn't have been worth it. Thankfully Paulton's Park really pulled it out the bag. We had an absolutely amazing time at this all ages, family friendly theme park.

The main reason we visited Paulton's Park was to visit Peppa Pig World. Iris used to be obsessed with Peppa Pig, thankfully that stage has passed and we're firmly into Paw Patrol. I can honestly say I'm glad to see the back of the Peppa Pig stage, like most parents I despise that ill mannered, poorly behaved pig but she's very hard to avoid and kids just seem to love her so when evaluating where to visit for October half term we settled on Peppa Pig World before Iris and her cousin Evie got too old to enjoy this part of the park. I've written a separate blog post about all that Peppa Pig world has to offer.

Image of a young girl stood at a metal fence looking out onto a well known scene from the Peppa Pig Cartoon. The scene features mummy pig, daddy pig, peppa pig and george pig as they make pancakes. Daddy pigs pancakes is stuck to the ceiling.

If you've read my post about Autism and Holidays you'll know that I like to research any places we're visiting and make a plan. This was especially important for Paulton's Park as the theme park is quite large and has lots of activities to fit in. Based on this we decided it would be better to spend two days at the theme park. We looked at the short break offers available to book direct through Paulton's Park but as we needed to travel so far we decided to stay in the area for 4 nights rather than the 2 offered on the short break deals. This meant we weren't eligible for the free second day offer and had to pay full price for two full days. If you've not got far to travel than I'd definitely look into the short break deals. We paid £110 per day for myself, daddy and Iris to enter the park so £220 for two days park access. Initially I thought this was expensive especially as we then had to add accommodation costs on top but in reality £110 for as many rides as you can fit into a day is quite good value, especially when you consider how much an individual ride costs at a local fairground. We stayed at Room and Roof Southampton whilst visiting Peppa Pig World.

Once you're in the park you don't have to spend anything if you don't wish too. You are welcome to bring your own food and drink into the park which will help keep costs down but temptation to spend is around every corner. Many of the rides take photos and you have the option to purchase these at booths located next to the rides. They are £12 per photo, reducing to £8 each if you purchase over 5 photos. I think this is really expensive but when you see your darling child grinning at the camera in such a cute way it's hard not to buy it. Of course all the photo areas have lots of sweets arranged at the perfect height for children to see. We did end up buying a few sweets (a toilet filled with sherbet that came with plunger shaped lollipops for Iris) but these were surprisingly reasonably priced. There are gift shops dotted around the park and there is the main gift shop located at the entrance/exit. As expected the toys in the gift shops are overpriced and are cheaper at Argos. Iris was really chilled in the shop and only asked for a £1.75 wheelie bin filled with slime so who could begrudge her that! One of the nice things about the park is that you don't have to exit via the gift shop, you can by pass it if you wish to. 

Image of the entrance to the Tornado Springs American themed part of the theme park. The image shows the Tornado Springs sign and the looping tracks of the Storm Chaser rollercoaster.

The park is split into several different sections, each hosting rides and eateries that fit within the theme. There is Tornado Springs which is an industrial American style area with some of the bigger rides such as The Cyclonator. There's Critter Creek which features insect inspired rides and attractions, The Lost Kingdom which has lots of dinosaur themed rides and of course the infamous Peppa Pig World that entertains younger children and is home to a fantastic soft play area. As you can see Paulton's park caters to so many different levels of ride goers from adrenaline junkies like Auntie Claire and those that are less keen, like myself. It has to be said that I don't actually enjoy rides.  I'm the one stood at the side lines holding the bags and coats. I went to watch Iris enjoy herself but found myself enjoying a few of the smaller rides. I particularly enjoyed the dinosaur themed Lost Kingdom.

Image of the dino chase rollercoaster situated in the Lost Kingdom dinosaur themed part of Paulton's Park. The roller coaster carriage is shaped like a dinosaur and is riding through lots of green jungle inspired foliage.

In terms of ride queue times we didn't queue for anything except the Helicopter ride in Peppa Pig World. We expected the place to be heaving as it was half term for us in the North but down South it was still term time. We managed to get on every ride at least once, some rides even twice - and the Cater-coaster around 20 times over the 2 days!  I certainly think visiting in term-time during the week was the best option as the staff informed us that the following week would be carnage! We were very fortunate indeed.

If, like me, you're not into rides there is still plenty for you to do at Paulton's Park. I wouldn't recommend a visit here if nobody in your party likes rides but for the less enthusiastic there's still a lot of fun to be had. Firstly there are lots of animal sections to explore. There's the Beastie Burrow which is an indoor attraction housing lots of reptiles and insects such as lizards, locusts and spiders. 

Close up image of a frog half submerged in water and resting on a rock.

Another really fun animal area is Little Africa which is home to meerkats, fennec foxes and a fantastic walk through aviary. Something worth factoring into your day is the penguin feeding time as it's educational and entertaining and so much fun to watch the penguins hop and dive through the water. 

Image of a young girl stood at a viewing platform looking out onto the penguins at Paultons Park.

The park has some lovely gardens to meander through and there are aviaries dotted around that are home to various exotic birds and a rather entertaining flock of flamingos. I especially like the gardens as they provide a quiet space away from the hustle and bustle. Sometimes we all need a breather and it's a lovely little spot to take a break and is ideal if you've got younger children that need a nap.

There are many opportunities to meet and greet with characters and as we visited during Halloween we got to have a meet and greet with Pickles the Pumpkin. We were greeted at the entrance by a singing corn on the cob and there were plenty of props around the park for perfect pictures. 

Image of a young girl with her face showing through a photo prop of a scarecrow that's face is made of a pumpkin.

One thing I would recommend visiting is the 4D cinema. I was a bit hesitant at first as I've only just got over my fear of 2D cinema so 4D felt like a bit of a stretch but I tried it and I loved it and so did the kids once they got over the initial apprehension. The film is a short 20 minute film about an abandoned cat. The cat stumbles upon a dark, seemingly deserted mansion. There are various sensory elements throughout the show and the chairs move in-line with the on-screen action. This scared Iris a little at first but she persevered. I won't say too much as I don't want to ruin the element of surprise but if you get chance to visit here then it's worth it- it's not on the scale of the Disney 4D experiences but it's fun and different.  

Covid-19 Information for Paulton's Park.

There were no government restrictions in place at the time of our visit though there were signs dotted around that requested you to wear a mask indoors and in crowded places if possible. We never felt the need to wear our masks as we visited the park mid-week during term time so it was incredibly quiet. We are all double jabbed and used hand gel after every ride. We found that there was ample hand sanitiser throughout the park and didn't encounter any dispensers that were empty or broken. We did lateral flow tests prior to arriving at the park- it wasn't a requirement to show any proof of Covid-19 status but we like to test before we mingle. 

Does Paulton's Park Cater For Those with Coeliac Disease?

Like most theme parks, there are food options that are classed as being  'non gluten containing ingredients' rather than specific gluten free options and due to kitchen size and shared facilities there is a risk of cross contamination. Personally in this kind of environment I would bring my own food. I brought my own gluten free sandwiches and was able to eat them in the Route 83 Diner alongside my family whilst they tucked into a glorious looking burger, chicken nuggets and curly fries. The general consensus on the food was that it was 'okay' and 'quite expensive'- something that I think is to be expected at a place like this. 

Overall there's so much to enjoy at Paulton's Park, far more than just the Peppa Pig World that it's famous for. There is such a wide variety of rides and so many different areas to explore, it really does cater for everyone. There are playgrounds in every area, rides for adrenaline junkies and rides aimed at children. There's animals, cinema experiences and character meet and greets. It's a great day out and I am gutted we don't live nearer as this is one of the best family theme parks I've been to and would love to visit again and again.

 Thanks For Reading 

Blog writers signature 'Katrina'
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