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Please advise - theme parks near bideford - which are best ?

(17 Posts)
lisalisa Tue 09-Aug-11 17:25:07

I am coming to bideford on holiday next week with my children aged 7,5 and 8 months. I'd like to do a theme park and originally chose woodlands only to find its a 2 hour drive! Crealy is 1.5 hours too which is still very far . Looked at Milky Way and Big sheep and neither really take my fancy.

Was considering Watermouht castle theme park but wondering whether that may be too young for my 7 yr old?

Ideally we'd like a few scareyish rides - water rides are ideal plus other outdoor stuff to do, maybe some animals . About one hour froom Bideford is ideal.

Thanks everyone

kochanski Tue 09-Aug-11 17:36:40

Not much around the area in the way of bigger theme parks with proper rollercoasters etc. Milky Way and Big Sheep are ok.

My kids and nephews still love Watermouth Castle (oldest now 9.5). The rides are fairly tame but nice and they like to do the maze and gnomeland. We can let them go off by themselves there as well.

Crealy is great especially the water ride. I reckon less than 1.5h from Bideford unless unlucky with traffic. Would go link road then M5.

lisalisa Tue 09-Aug-11 17:47:23

Thanks Kochanski. The truth is I really fancied Crealy but the thought of 1.5 hours there and then back again with a young baby is putting me off! Do you really think it is less than 1.5 hours?

Does Watermouth have any bigger riders? I can see from the website that there are rides but as you say they look a bit tame!

My itinery so far is

Day 1 - Westwood ho beach. [ would you agree that it is best beach within striking distance/]
Day 2 - pool at our cottage and to quince honey farm which is about half hour drive so ideal
Day 3 - wanted to do theme park here - crealy or watermouth etc
Day 4 - beach again
Day 5 - we have to go home - boo hoo!!

What do you think of this itinery? <Maybe we can push a long drive to crealy here as all other drives are quite quick

McDreamy Tue 09-Aug-11 17:50:20

Milky Way ok but I loved The Big Sheep, might be a bit young for your 7 year old. Crealy is good but shockingly bad overpriced food - take a picnic if you do decide to go. Have never been to Watermouth Castle so can't comment but wouldn't mind some feedback if you do go as we are in Bude for a week at the end of the summer.

allthefires Tue 09-Aug-11 17:53:13

We did enjoy milkyway but prob doesnt fit your criteria.

Which crealy - Devon or Cornwall?

lisalisa Tue 09-Aug-11 18:09:28

I don't mind either Crealy but on AA routeplanner they are both coming up as 1.5 hours away. Allthefires can I just ask why you think milkyway doesn't fit criteria? I just found when looking at the website it seemed a bit disjointed and neither here nor there

Muckyhighchair Tue 09-Aug-11 18:17:20

The big sheep is much much much better then crealy.

I used to take my 2-4 ds there lots, the soft play is great and is sized so mums and dads can fun to, alside the little ones. Plus it's not all sheep, pony rides, train, beer making, birds displays and a petting zoo. Really good fun.

Crealy I find dirty and very over rated.

If you have bigger kids there is a go ape, climbing zip wire thingy just next door. They may have to be over 12.

Muckyhighchair Tue 09-Aug-11 18:19:14

As for the drive down to crealy, youd be lucky to do it in less then 2 hours due to silly heavy traffic this time of year. Lots and lots of caravans!

Muckyhighchair Tue 09-Aug-11 18:21:05

There is a good cycle track around bideford to oakhampton. It's all off road down by the river and though woods. There's a few cycle renting places around too. About 8 all day I think

allthefires Tue 09-Aug-11 18:43:50

You wanted scaryish rides - Cosmic Typhoon just looked rickety and a little unsafe in my opinion! However I have reread and seen that you have younger children so you may enjoy the other things.

lisalisa Tue 09-Aug-11 19:38:54

Ooh allthefires - that is milky way out then - dont' want to do any unsafe rides! Thanks for the heads up on Crealy muckyhighchair. I really won't bother then.

Anyone else been to watermouth theme park or have any other ideas perhaps for little farms to slot in between the big days out?

UniS Tue 09-Aug-11 19:48:25

Big Sheep is a fun day out IF your kids are old enough to sit through a 30 min "show" on sheep and then feed lambs.
Woodlands is A VERY long way from north devon on wiggly roads.
Crealy is not worth the long drive , big queues and with 2 active kids and a baby you will struggle to get the older two on the rides they will want to do unless you have another adult with you.
If you have a train fan in the family you might like teh Lynton and Barnstable railway. A steam preservation line, short train ride ( about 20 mins each way) so lots of chances to watch the engine coupling, being coaled & watered, drink tea and go on the train again and again as your ticket is good for rides all day, 1 child per adult rides free as do under 5s.

lisalisa Tue 09-Aug-11 19:55:00

Thanks UniS - not going to bother with Crealy. Don't fancy Big Sheep for some reason. Is there anything else at all? can someone else back up or not Watermouth?

cornishpasty Tue 09-Aug-11 21:38:01

We went to Watermouth Castle in June and my two loved it. They're 13 and 9. But neither of them like big, fast rides.
It's very quirky, and a bit bizarre in places.
First you go through a bit of the castle which includes a small model railway.
Outside you walk through the gardens to where most of the rides etc are. On the way there are lots of things for little ones to look at - small little displays of gnomes and nursery rhyme characters.
There is a crazy golf and snooker which my two loved. You dont pay anymore for these - just a deposit for the golf ball which you get back when you return it.
There is a sedate snail ride and a water ride where you sit in sort of half a barrel and float around.
There is a maze and some small rides for little ones.
The only other cost once inside are lots of old arcade games which mostly cost 2p each.
My two would love to go again but it's not the most modern of places. I imagine it's been the same for years.

cornishpasty Tue 09-Aug-11 21:41:12

Meant to add that we didn't like the big sheep. We went in the afternoon - about 2pm and seemed to have missed all the shows and anything outside they wanted to do was not open or working.
Everyone seemed to be in the indoor play and it was so noisy and busy - your typical soft play nightmare.

maudpringle Tue 09-Aug-11 21:56:48

I would recommend widemouth bay, near bude, for your 2nd beach day.
There aren't too many other options around bideford, but on the way to bude there used to be a play area called killarny springs.
Minehead, though a bit of a drive would be a good day for a theme park @ butlins

UniS Tue 09-Aug-11 22:39:08

2nding Widemouth bay. Much nicer than bude. Car park is big but busy by late morning. Loos decent and close to beach. not many shops but an ice cream van or two.

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