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Sandcastle in Blackpool or water park at Alton Towers??

(15 Posts)
chicaguapa Fri 21-Aug-09 18:34:54

Which is better? The prices work out about the same for us but AT is a bit further to drive. We've been to AT before but never been to Sandcastle. Not sure whether to give it a go or stick with what we know?

roisin Fri 21-Aug-09 19:12:51

I'm really surprised they are the same price. I haven't been to either but have contemplated both.

I would expect AT to be much, much nicer tbh and less crowded.

But that may just be my middle-class prejudices against Blackpool!

If you go to either, please post a review.

chicaguapa Fri 21-Aug-09 19:20:54

That's my concern tbh blush. They are 'about' the same price, by the time you factor in parking charges in Blackpool and buying fast food for lunch. I know from experience that you can take cool boxes into the waterpark at AT so can take sandwiches etc. They say you can't but people do. Not having been to Sandcastle before I wouldn't plan to take a cool box.

roisin Fri 21-Aug-09 19:24:18

Have you been to the water park at AT before?

chicaguapa Fri 21-Aug-09 19:56:22

Yes, we've been a couple of times. The kids have enjoyed it but it's more 'splashy' than Center Parcs and less tropical paradise. The name gives it away I suppose. We'd go again without hesitation but it is further to drive than Blackpool (we're in Manchester) so wondering how Sandcastle at Blackpool compares.

roisin Fri 21-Aug-09 20:04:24

Do you stay at the hotel, or just go to the water park?
Do your children not complain about not going to the theme park too?

We live in SW Cumbria, so it's even further for us. I've always fancied the water park at AT, but it's such a long way, we would really need overnight stays before and after, and if the boys want to do the themepark too it ends up being a very expensive day out/short break!

GrimmaTheNome Fri 21-Aug-09 20:12:16

I'm relatively near Blackpool so I'd be interested to hear about SandCastle too - hasn't anyone been there?

Maybe its not that crowded after all!

roisin Fri 21-Aug-09 20:13:30

We took 200 yr7s from school. It was pretty crowded that day!

GrimmaTheNome Fri 21-Aug-09 20:20:32

Roisin, sorry to be dense - I thought in the earlier mail you said you'd not been to either. Well I guess taking 200yr 7s isn't the same as going there as a family!grin

chicaguapa Fri 21-Aug-09 21:00:22

We stayed at the hotel first time we went as there was a special offer on in March. But it was a bit stressful with DD as she's really fussy food-wise and there wasn't much choice. We didn't like the Splash Landings hotel much even though DC were excited about the bunk beds. So we changed to the AT hotel on the second night which I liked better as it was carpeted and felt more homely.

The second time we went we stayed at the Holiday Inn just off the motorway and went to the water park twice. Both times we lived in the north Lakes so it was worth staying over and making a weekend of it. This time we'll just do it in a day as we have the AP in tow.

That said it was no comparison with Center Parcs as we prefer the freedom of self-catering and cycling to the pool. DC are young enough to be happy with just doing that but obviously CP in the summer hols is out of the question cost-wise! And we just want to go for the day.

DC hadn't been to the theme park when we went before, though they have now, so I don't know how they'd react to going in the water park instead. But we were there in June and haven't been to the water park for a couple of years so I think they'd want to go in the pool bit anyway.

roisin Fri 21-Aug-09 22:06:26

No, sorry, that's me being obtuse.

We took 200 yr7s from school
Staff from the school I work at took 200 yr7s on a trip.

It was pretty crowded that day
Apparently - second hand information - 200 yr7s in a wild leisure pool felt quite busy.

roisin Fri 21-Aug-09 22:08:43

Oh, that's interesting, especially the comparison to CP.
The boys want to go back again - we haven't been for a couple of years. I'm not desperately keen, but if we can persuade rellies to come and go in a big group it might be fun.

chicaguapa Sat 22-Aug-09 10:23:27

We love CP, but DC are only 7 & 4 so happy to just go to the pool and ride around on their bikes. But DH is training to become a teacher so I don't suppose we'll ever go again as CP in the school hols is too expensive.

We have now decided to go to the National Media Museum in Bradford instead. They have some Harry Potter activities on this weekend and we'll go to the IMAX too. Can show DD what an original Nintendo 64 looked like and compare it to the DS! grin

ONE day we might make it to the Sandcastle. Whenever we think about going we end up getting put off by the reviews and going elsewhere...

headless Wed 26-Aug-09 19:09:45

I've been to Sandcastle! We (me and a few other mugs) took 60 13 year olds last summer. It was busy, but the kids adored it and were fully occupied for about 4 hours. It was end of term activity day, so not sure how it would be in full blown holiday mode, and it was quite managable. There's a good seating area for watching, large clean changing rooms, fast food type place, and I did see people take packed lunches, whether its allowed or not is another matter. I haven't been to CP or AT splash place, but I would say that kids aged 8 and over and who are confident swimmers, would have a great time at Sandcastle.

roisin Thu 27-Aug-09 04:37:39

That's great, thanks headless.

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