A Family Day At Gullivers

A Family Day At Gullivers
It wasn't the best day weather-wise but over 50% of the attractions at Gulliver's in Matlock Bath are under cover, so we decided to risk it.

We set off on our journey; Thomas(12), Harry(10), Ellen(3) and my nephew Dominic(13). I decided we should go before all the schools broke up for the summer holidays as we figured it wouldn't be too busy. Also, because Harry is autistic he doesn't really like to wait in queues.

When we got there we walked straight in without waiting and got our map to see where the most exciting rides were, but eased ourselves in on the Crazy Barrels!

The park is split into little sections, Western World, Fantasy Terrace, Party House, Lilliput Land, Palais Royale, Bourbon Street and Dinosaur Kingdom, which is new for 2009.

Thomas and Dominic liked the Palais Royale and Bourbon Street best because they had the bigger rides. They loved 'The
Getting Wet at Gulliver's Kingdom
switchback', 'Pirate ship' and the 'Cycle Monorail' but I hated it and was laughing hysterically half way round because I was shattered from pedaling on my own while Ellen sat and enjoyed the view. So if you're not very fit (like me), going on with someone who can't reach their pedals is definitely a bad idea.

Most of the rides are perfect for children from the age of 3 because they are of the slower, gentle variety: carousels, ladybird ride, balloons ferris wheel, lazy river ride and plenty of play areas around the park with climbing frames, slides and ball pools etc. Ellen enjoyed all the rides she went on and kept saying ' I love this ride' on all of them. She also loved the miniature town, with its mini church complete with pews. She even got to lock her big brother and cousin in jail!

After travelling up to the top of the park on the chair lift - which
Doing the rounds at Gulliver's Kingdom
frightened the life out of me, but everyone else seemed to enjoy - we decided to choose where to have our lunch.

There is plenty of choice from the park with everything from home cooked meals, pizzas, sandwiches, jacket spuds, fish and chips and burgers. This is in addition to all the little kiosks dotted around the park selling pop, ice creams, doughnuts and waffles. There are also picnic tables with parasols around that you could use to eat your own food. We had some doughnuts earlier in the day and they were lovely, although the half pound of sugar in the bag with them was a little over the top! We all agreed on burger and chips from the Canyon Grill in Western World, which is right at the top of the park and a bit of a steep trek. This was even more so for me as when we realised you can only pay cash it was me who had to go back down the mountain to the nearest cash machine!!

The meals on offer are reasonably priced at £3.25 for a Child's meal and £4.25 for adults, which are burger, cheese burger, chicken burger or spicy bean burger with chips and a drink. We opted for the family banquet, which for £14.95 we got 2 Qtr pounder burgers or chicken burgers, 3 Fries, 4 Drinks, a dipper barrel, which is a pot of carrot and cucumber sticks with a pot of mayonnaise, 2 yoghurts and 2 toys.

Luckily for us we were tucking into our delicious lunch when the heavens opened up to a torrential storm. However, that didn't stop Thomas, Dominic, Harry and Dad going on the Log Flume, TWICE. It was so quiet they stayed on and went round again.

I bought 2 photos of them on the flume which were only £3.50 each which is a lot cheaper than other theme parks we've visited.

There are plenty of toilets all around the park and we found them all clean and with toilet rolls. The baby changing room we went in at Bourbon Street was very clean and also had a chair and table in. It would be ideal for breastfeeding Mums wanting somewhere quiet to go to feed.

Gulliver's Kingdom at Matlock Bath is very hilly and if I were going again I'd start at the top and work my way down because Ellen was getting tired at the end of our day. Having to make her walk up steep hills was hard for her little legs and mine.

They all got to buy something from the gift shop before we left. There is a range of gifts from toys and balloons to sweets and they were reasonably priced. Ellen came home with a giant Dora balloon which was as big as her and is still floating around the conservatory two weeks later.

I'd highly recommend Gulliver's Kingdom to families with young children. There is so much to do here and the facilities are brilliant, everywhere was really clean, the staff are really friendly and the kids all had a brilliant day out despite the rain .

It is such good value for money at £11.50 each. We'll definitely be going again!

Review By member of TheBabyWebsite Davina Watterson and Family
July 2009

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