Mumsnet's visit to BeWILDerwood came at a point when school holidays were wearing a little thin and a spell of torrential July rain had left everyone squabbly and stir crazy. The Norfolk sun finally returned as we arrived at the “Curious Treehouse Adventure” and were immediately transported to an Enid Blyton style enchanted forest, full of woodland magic, secret hidey-holes and treetop walkways.
BeWILDerwood is no ordinary “theme park”. Beautifully designed in keeping with it's natural surroundings, the zip wires, climbing frames and rope ladders blend into the Norfolk countryside in a way that surely means the pixie-esque “Twiggles” you learn about can only have built themselves. (The children loved spotting tiny houses amongst the branches and stood for some time waiting, “just in case” a Twiggle were to appear at his little window.)
The sky maze is a stunning wood creation of half a kilometre of walkways that even “Grand Designs” would be in awe of. This took us some time to navigate; we really could not find our way out! (By the way, don't wear white trousers on this day out; you will find yourself crawling through tunnels and hiding in dens. BeWILDerwood is not a day out where the kids explore and the parents sit and watch – oh no; we even found ourselves shinning down a slide at one point, for the first time in maybe 25 years!)
We loved the fact that unlike other days out we have recently been on, at BeWILDerwood there is no smell of greasy food frying, no noisy “rides”, no annoying electronic bleeping, no screens, no cars etc. Even the mobile phone signal seems to disappear as you advance deeper into a world of mystical Midsummer Night's Dream.
The Twiggle Team are on hand to offer help in an unobtrusive way at the top of zip wires and slides – again, all suitable for all ages – we had never seen a toddler seat on a zip wire before.
Highlights for us were definitely the triple slide and the fantastic parasqwauk parade (although it is a shame the parade only happens once a day at 3pm, as many families with very young children who had been there since opening may have left before this time, and it would be a real shame to miss it.) Kids can get their faces painted for free and make parasqwauk hats so they can join in.
The food looked fresh and inviting. A good range of child friendly sandwiches are available, plus healthy snacks such as carrot sticks, fruit, and fresh muffins.
Thank you BeWILDerwood, for a magical day out. In the words of one lively 6 year old “It was climby, swingy, adventurey, branchy, slidey, gobliny!” We will return!