Last Friday, we headed down south for our first (and definitely not our last) visit to Paulton’s Park, to check out the new rides at Peppa Pig World. It’s a fair journey for us to travel from the Birmingham area to Southampton and the outskirts of the New Forest, but we had such a lovely time at Thomasland over Christmas that I knew the journey would be worth it. I’ve never been much of a theme park junkie, but it turns out – children’s theme parks? Exactly my cup of tea!
The main reason for our visit was primarily to test out the two new rides the park is opening this week: The Queen’s Flying Coach Ride and Grampy Rabbit’s Sailing Club.
The Queen’s Flying Coach Ride
If you’re looking to get your bearings around Peppa Pig World, I’d recommend a trip on the new Queen’s Flying Coach Ride. It’s a monorail that travels all around the new area of the park, allowing you to overlook the rest of Peppa Pig World and pick out the rides you want to enjoy next!
Pickle really enjoyed climbing the steps up to the ride, and going into the castle gives you a lot to talk about to your child (great in case there’s a queue!). Once we’d reached the top, we hopped into the carriage (which can seat up to four adults and two children) and off we went, with the familiar Peppa characters’ voices talking to us on our journey.
I have a feeling this ride is going to be really popular. It’s a nice, steady paced ride which shouldn’t scare any little ones, but it’s high enough to give great views and provide something different to the ground-level track rides. We went on a few times! And I enjoyed both being on the ride myself, as well as watching Pickle and LPD travel around and waving like a lunatic from below. It’s got to be done, right?
Grampy Rabbit’s Sailing Club
Of the two new rides, Grampy Rabbit’s Sailing Club was probably my favourite (although, it’s very close!). Individual boats seating up to four people gently make their way around a lazy river, discovering lots of Peppa related treats on the way around – including Pirate Island! The boat spins around gently, allowing you all to take in the sights all around and the occasional bump adds an extra bit of excitement.
It was particularly cute when Pickle spotted Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig whilst sat in the boat. He pointed, he wriggled in excitement and grinned. So, of course, we hurried over to say hello when we got off the ride… only for him to end up feeling a bit shy. He loved them from a distance, but was very hesitant to get too close. I suppose they are much bigger in ‘real life’ than he was probably expecting!
I’d love to think if we were to return that he would be a bit braver and go up to enjoy a cuddle, but probably quite wise of him to be wary.
Our other Peppa Pig World Favourites
We kept dipping in and out of the new extended section, making the most of our preview invitation, but I wanted to make sure we made the most of the other rides already at Peppa Pig World too. As it was our first visit, there was so much to take in and although I thought we might have had time to explore some of the other sections in Paulton’s Park, I don’t think we even managed to do everything in Peppa Pig World! There is such a wealth of rides and activities that there’s no way you could take it all in during one day.
Knowing that Pickle loves anything with wheels, we tested out lots of rides that allowed him to ‘drive’: Trekking Tractors, Grandpa Pig’s Little Train, Daddy Pig’s Car Ride and Grandpa Pig’s Boat Trip too! He took it all in, watching the world go by, steering appropriately when needed. He seemed to take it all very seriously which I think proves how ‘real’ he thought his driving experience was. Bless him.
With all the rides, I was really pleased with the length of them. Although we didn’t have to queue for a long time for any of the rides, I bet there are times when the queues are longer, but I don’t think you’d feel shortchanged if you had. They were the perfect length to keep Pickle entertained throughout, but not too long that he grew tired of it. It was a nice balance.
George’s Dinosaur Adventure
George’s Dinosaur Adventure was a definite favourite! LPD and I both had a turn going on the ride, and both times, we saw adults riding the dinosaurs without children. Fun for all ages! We were lucky that Pickle was just the right height to ride (the minimum height for riding on the front seat is 850mm). His face in the photos make me laugh so much – I really don’t think he has a clue what’s going on, but as you can see, LPD and I were loving it.
We also made sure to visit Mr Potato’s Playground – where I bumped into an old friend from school! Seeing as I went to school some 130 miles away, the chances of that were mindboggling. Dave, if you ever read this, it was absolutely lovely to bump into you! What a special treat, indeed. I hope Erin enjoyed the Cbeebies party!
Mr Potato’s Playground
Although spending time in a park just like the one we have on our doorstep doesn’t sound like the best value for money – having a playground with all your child’s usual favourites is actually quite a good idea. In a day filled with excitement and a lot of new things, it provides a little bit of normality and familiarity. The park itself in Peppa Pig World is seriously well kept, with the springiest floor I’ve ever encountered. No need to worry if your child falls over, as they’ll literally bounce back up again.
Pickle has a bit of a thing for climbing up slopes at the moment, so he mainly chose to imitate Spiderman and try walking up the steep slopes of this mound which had a slide on top. No fear, this child. No fear.
Seeing as it was a fairly nice day, I did come prepared for the Muddle Puddles Splash park and brought with us swimming nappies and Pickle’s Splash About swimsuit. But when it came down to it… I wasn’t sure I could quite be bothered with the faff of getting him changed and I knew he’d just end up cold, wet and grumpy. Poor Pickle. As soon as he saw the water, he really wanted to go in! He even sat down and lifted his feet up to show me he wanted to take his shoes off. A mini tantrum ensued but we soon managed to distract him by further exploring the park. Thank goodness for roundabouts.
LPD managed to enjoy a water ride, though! He took a turn on the Wave Runner, a ride for all the family (except ours – I was too much of a wuss to have a go, and I wouldn’t let Pickle on!) where you shoot down over fast-flowing water in a rubber dinghy. Look at his face.
Peppa Pig World Extras
Rides aside, there are lots of things at Peppa Pig World that help to enhance your day. Not only are the staff really lovely and helpful – I was really impressed that a member of staff offered to take a photo of the three of us when we finished one particular ride. It was really thoughtful, and then as we got off the ride, I saw her go out of her way to pick up some rubbish off the floor and pop it in the bin. No wonder the park is kept so clean and tidy.
We bought our own packed lunch with us, but there are plenty of catering outlets to choose from whether you fancy a full hot meal or just a snack or ice cream. I couldn’t resist the smell of hot doughnuts, and LPD was lured in by a tub of candy floss.
I was particularly impressed with how beautiful the park was. There were pristine flowers and greenery everywhere you looked, and that added something magical to the feel of the place. The team behind the gardening at Paulton’s Park really know their stuff!
From start to finish, the day was all that I hoped it would be and more. It’s one I’ll look back on in years to come with such fondness and gratitude. It was lovely to bump into some of my blogging friends, and make some new ones, but there were lots of bloggers that I didn’t get chance to say hello to (which was probably due to our slightly later-than-planned-for arrival!).
Whether you’ve been to Peppa Pig World before or not, I can highly recommend a visit to check out the new rides there. Definitely make the most of your child being under 1m tall if you can, as the entrance tickets sky rocket once children are over this height (which I’m not entirely sure I agree with). Although, when I think of how much fun we had… maybe it is all worth it.
Disclaimer: we were invited to the Preview Event on Friday 11 May to test out the two new rides at Peppa Pig World. All opinions and views remain my own, and as always, are 100% honest.