Daddy and Munchkin Blog
Go Wild at BeWILDerwood review

What’s Bewilderwood About?

Based on the book series by Tom Blofeld, BeWILDerwood is a magical forest playground for the whole family. With wooden playgrounds, a sky maze, ropewalks, balancing beams, and the fastest and longest slides, all set within the trees in a beautiful forest setting. Everything is suitable for the entire family too so adults can play alongside their children for a truly enjoyable but exhausting fun family day out, so here is our beWILDerwood review.

Entry costs* £17.50 for an ‘Almost Wild’ child of 92 – 105 cm, £19.50 for over 105 cm to 65 years and £12.50 for the over 65’s. Entry includes all day climbing and exploring, free parking, and is inclusive of story times, dancing events and craft activities, so there’s no extra cost. *as of August 2021

bewilderwood review

A brief word on Covid

With restrictions lifted, I think its still nice to mention the Covid restrictions in place. BeWILDerwood supported digital ticket entry and cashless payments so there was no wasted paper and no handing over of tickets or payment cards. There were signs for social distancing in queues (although widely ignored by most) and instructions to keep left on pathways. There were also hand sanitiser stations at every section of the park (and most were full, which is quite the accomplishment as this has been a rarity elsewhere).

Munchkin’s (a two and a half year old toddler’s) experience

The forest is munchkin’s favourite place so that was a good start. Then, to add to that, there were slides, things to climb, and plenty of things to explore. Munchkin had a absolutely fantastic day, given a longish wait to enter and for the (very short) boat ride.

Which is probably my only negative. While Munchkin was excited for the boat, a 30 minute wait for a generally unexciting 2 minute journey isn’t really worth it. That said, it may be better for fans of the series as sets the scene of the books.

To avoid the long wait to enter, I recommend arriving early to beat the queue, get straight onto the boat and arrive first on the large structures such as the sky maze.

With only one or two things that were too big for his height, such as large ‘demon drop’ style, almost vertical bag slides, he was in his element. Climbing ladders, going across rope ladders and down the largest and fastest slides he’s ever seen! There was nothing he didn’t want to do. Ultimately proven by falling asleep before we even left the drive out of the wood!

Food and Drink

For this one we took a picnic, and there were numerous picnic spots, including one right next to the car park for an each lunch grab, so it was a breeze finding a free table.

If you to find something to eat there, there’s sausage buns, hotpot, nachos, sausage rolls and picnic food, such as sandwiches, crisps and fruit. Although we didn’t try their food, it was reasonably priced (£4.35 for a sausage hotpot), so we will likely eat there next time. They also do ice cream!

Where do you find Bewilderwood?

BeWILDerwood can be found in two spots in the UK, in Norfolk (north west of Norwich) and Cheshire (half an hour south of Chester). Here’s their handy dandy maps from their website.

Star Rating

No complaints here. A fantastic day out for the whole family.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Daddy reviewed, Munchkin Approved.

Other Places to visit?

Where else shall we take our toddlers I hear you ask?

Hobbledown Review

Sundown adventureland review

Chessington World of Adventures with a toddler review

National Trust properties

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Sundown Adventureland Review

I wanted to do something with Munchkin for my birthday, and Nanny has always said about Sundown Adventureland, which was somewhere I fondly remembered from my childhood, ever since before Munchkin was born. I have reviewed the other parks we have visited with Munchkin including Hobbledown and Chessington World of Adventure, so here is my Sundown Adventureland Review.

What is Sundown Adventureland?

Maybe this video will answer that?

Sundown Adventureland is a theme park aimed at the under 10’s. It features numerous play parks, all with different themes from an old American wild west cavalry post, to a pirate cove, a sand pit play zone and Angry birds themed play area. Then there are themed zones to walk through and play in, including story book houses, the yellow brick road and a toy town, with miniature town buildings to go through and explore. There are multiple rides, including a train ride, tractor, a boat ride (where you get soaked), flying pigs, tea cups and an ostrich ride. There’s a driving school, but you have to be slightly taller (over 1.0 m) to have a go at that one.

Entry cost varies throughout the year. We visited in early June so it was off-season. This meant rides were subject to opening times, but the entry price was reduced to £14.50 for adults and children over 90 cm in comparison to £17.50 in summer*. Children under 90 cm are free, and are also too short for most of the rides, but have plenty of play parks to explore. *Prices correct as of June 2020.

Covid guidelines

Having visited during the pandemic. Its only right I assess their Covid guidelines and how they were managed.

It all honesty it was slightly mixed bag here. There was no temperature testing on arrival, like that used in many other places. There were zones in which masks were to be worn, but the signage wasn’t always the clearest. Some rides had clear social distancing markings, but many did not, and where they didn’t, people didn’t tend to distance.

One thing they did well however, was clean every ride every time. Thankfully it was low season and this didn’t add to the wait times.

Munchkin’s experience

At just over 90 cm Munchkin could go on all but one ride, and being low season, he went on all but one ride, and some twice!

He had an absolute ball, he was completely made up when he saw the Noah’s Ark play area as we arrived and that was just the start. He left multiple rides asking ‘again Daddy/Nanny!’. Even if he seemed to look a little scared on the rides, I now realise that was his interested face. He was thrilled to ride a tractor and the train and bounce up and down on the ostrich ride. We had to pull him out of every park to explore the next area. He had the time of his life and we can’t wait to take him again.

There were so many bits maintained from my childhood which were a joy for me and Nanny to explore. I had vivid memories of the yellow brick lane and Nanny loved seeing and exploring the miniature town like we did when we were children.

Food and drink

There are several establishments on site offering hot food which is ‘tasty, not gourmet’ (their words not mine, but do sum it up quite well). Two of these offer soft play too to give parents a rest, though these were closed when we visited due to restrictions. If you would like to bring your own, there’s tons of space for a picnic and the car park is a short walk from the entrance.

Where do you find it?

Sundown Adventureland is located east of the A1, east of Worksop and north-west of Lincoln.

Sundown Adventureland Review

Sundown Adventureland Review Star Rating

Taking away a half star for the little annoyance of limited Covid-10 restrictions, we would give Sundown Adventureland:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

This rating is for perfect park cleanliness, really reasonable pricing, the variety on offer and the enjoyment had by myself, Nanny and Munchkin.

Daddy reviewed, Munchkin Approved.

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Daddy and Munchkin

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Munchkin’ing around at Hobbledown review

On the final day of our UK break away we visited Hobbledown, a farm and activity park a stones throw from Chessington World of Adventure, north of Epsom. So, here is our Hobbledown Review.

Covid Restrictions

For starters let’s talk Covid as this visit was in October 2020 just before wave 2. Hobbledown had it totally right. They had bookable arrival slots so it was quiet on arrival, an app to book and order food and activities, a limited time at the park for busy days and bookable soft play time. We felt safe from the off.

Our Experience

Aiming to please all ages; there is a decent number of animals from the recognizable tortoise, lemur, pig and goat to the more unusual Rhea, Nilgai (Mighty Bloo) and Gibblegook parrot. It was a learning experience for Mummy and Daddy too! There’s also exciting ways to get up close with the animals such as the new Lemur walk-through.

Hobbledown Review

There is then the soft play for the little ones (perfect for Munchkin who has recently realised that soft play is the play of dreams) with bookable slots (due to covid). This is split into a large soft play for the tiny humans, a bigger one for the older kiddies and a hard play zone.

Back in the farm, for the older adventurers, there’s also the added experiences of zorbing and a small high ropes course which can be added for a tiny supplement (high ropes was just an extra £2).

During the day they have an itinerary of events. On our visit was a fire show and bug eating try outs. On other days there are also bird of prey events and many more…

There’s also the best play park I’ve seen in my time as a parent. It’s huge, with a bouncy pillow, role play stations, a water play area and numerous slides and climbing frames, all designed around the quirky Hobbledown theme.

One of the amazing park areas.

Lunch

When you need some munch, the onsite Hobnosh restaurant provides delicious street food in eco-friendly packaging. I had a chicken katsu curry and chips which was divine! For Munchkin, there was a healthy variety box, with fruit and sandwiches.

Price and location

The best part for us adults is that it doesn’t break the bank. At £16 for adults and children midweek and £18 at weekends (Oct 2020) and free for under 2’s. Its an affordable fun-filled day out.

Hobbledown is located a stones throw from Chessington World of Adventure in Surrey, three miles from the A3 and 5 miles from the M25. Click the map to visit google maps.

Hobbledown Review Overall and Star Rating

Hobbledown was the perfect end to our little breakaway, well suited to a 20 month year old. It’s already on the ‘visit again when Munchkin is older’ list!

As we had such a fantastic day, there is no more accurate rating than the full 5 stars!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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Daddy reviewed, Munchkin Approved

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A Howl-oween at Chessington Review.

Chessington at Halloween with a toddler Reviewed.

Sadly, Chessington came up with the Howl-oween pun, but I just had to use it for the title.

Chessington world of Adventure

What’s Chessington?

Chessington World of Adventures was our second day activity for our trip away. It’s a family theme park and we thought it was a perfect choice with Julia Donaldson themed rides (the Gruffalo and Room on the Broom), zoo animals and a sea life centre all covered in the entry price making it good value. Rides vary from toddler accessible, to thrill rides, but there’s nothing upside down to please Daddy.

The entry price, being a theme park, was £38.50 per adult (OCT 2020) but can easily be lowered by promotions such as using a Carex bottle knocking the price down to £24.

Covid Restrictions

I felt Chessington was the least prepared of our four spots we visited over our break (2 x National trust, Chessington and Hobbledown). The website said numbers had been reduced, however cars absolutely packed the car park on arrival. Everyone also arrived simultaneously, and only the temperatures of adults were checked. That was a little disappointing. That said however, ride queues were extended to allow for social distancing, and masks were enforced in indoor areas by stewards.

Our Experience

The park opens at 10 am, which in hindsight is a little late for a toddler who wakes around 6 am and naps in the afternoon. That said, we had a good day although, we only managed a grand total of three rides (queues were still up to an hour).

We quickly found out Munchkin wasn’t a fan of a the dark, starting on an indoor Mummified shooting ride, as he clutched to Mummy. It was a better, but similar experience for the Gruffalo ride too, but there was a mix of excitement and fear on that one. We won with the third choice though, a car ride where Munchkin got to ride in a 4×4 and point out the animals. He loved that.

Beep beep

When it came to lunch, with a lot of the takeaway eateries closed, to help with Covid restrictions, and with a constant drizzle of rain, everyone was forced to eat indoors. This resulted in huge queues from 11:30, which was the worst time to try and get Munchkin to wait. After queueing the experience was pleasant, we were taken to a table and there was a QR code to order so we could stay put.

In the afternoon, it wasn’t long before Munchkin nodded off in his pushchair. Sadly, by napping he missed the zoo and sea life centre too which I rated highly. We must have tired him out at Cliveden National Trust. You can read about day one, with a double helping of National Trust here.

Where is it?

Chessington World of Adventure is in Surrey, two miles from the A3 and M25 and 35 minutes from central London by train. Click the map to go to google maps.

Overall and Star Rating

In hindsight it wasn’t the best location for a toddler, even with the 13 rides he could go on, there simply wasn’t the time with the late entry and his afternoon nap. It would be much better for us if it opened early for parents with toddlers, to make the most of that morning energy. This would also space out guests in light of the pandemic.

That said, the park is a perfect attraction for children of all ages, with gentle rides up to the slightly more thrilling (nothing upside down here). It’s a great park and on our revisit list when Munchkin can last a full day!

For the stars, due to the less pleasing covid restrictions, and opening time for toddlers we give it:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I can see that rating score shoot up when we revisit.

For other park reviews we have visited see our review of Hobbledown and Sundown Adventureland.

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