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At the very end of the summer holidays we decided to try something a bit different...we had been told about Twin Lakes, an adventure park just in Melton Mowbray,a few weeks before and off we trundled. We pulled up onto the big car park and to be honest couldn't see a thing, we had to search for the entrance, in the rain I might add.....lol, not off to a good start, I am happy to say it did get better. As you go through the small entrance, they ask you to get your child out of the buggy to measure them, if they are under 92cm's they get in free. Now onto a short back ground of Melton and then onto the park.
*BACKGROUND ON MELTON MOWBRAY *
A large park situated just through Melton Mowbray In Leicestershire, ( home of the pork pie and famous for Stilton Cheese). It is a lovely little town, though the traffic does get pretty bad at times as we found out! It is 22 miles from East Midlands Airport which is situated to the west, 102 miles from London to the south, and very close to Stamford Oakham and Peterborough. The saying 'painting the town red' origanated from Melton, in the 1800's some young aristocrats went up to Melton for the hunt and got very drunk, and literally painted Melton town centre red.
* THE PARK *
The park itself is set in 60 acres of country side, so be ready for some walking. Each area has a different name and theme. There are stream's, lake's,tree's and grass all over the park which make's it really nice to walk around. There are also lovely picnic area's dotted over the park, all with chair's and table's most with tree's if you need some shade.
RED ROOSTER FARM......
This is where the animals are kept, you can walk round and see cows,pigs chickens horses,Llamas,goats sheep. This bit is all undercover and to be honest I wasn't that impressed with it, as when we have visited other parks of this kind you can feed the animals and pet them where as here you couldn't. However it does get better once you move outside. There are Rabbits, Guinea Gigs, Ferrets,some are for sale, there is also a Barn Theatre and demonstrations on how to treat your pets and look after them etc, really good fun for the kids and also educational.
This is one of the biggest if not the biggest out door play structure on the park.it is situted at near to the entrance, and also close to the first aid area and office. It has Tumblers soft play area which is a small indoor play area for 5's and under. Inside the barn like structure there is a ball park, everything is safe and soft for the little one's. Rapunzel's tower is also aimed at the under 5's and is a castle like structure with slides, scramble net and a large climbing area coming off it. There are baby swings on hereand a smaller zip line.It also has the usual things you would find on any village park. Next to this are the swings for the older one's, very unsual lay out, they all go round in a circle and face inwards, so when the kid's swing they could almost touch feet, I thought this was a great idea and the kids loved it. Black knight's Castle is a massive structure for all ages though if you have little one's I would go on with them as they could easily get lost.... I did! It's like a maze inside and has steps and alleyways to different slides etc. The biggest slide you have to take a mat up with you and it's a bumpy one. The other slide is a tube under cover you don't need a mat for this one. To the other side is a zip slide, there are a lot of these dotted all over the park in all size's. You have to pull the tyre up to the highest point and then sit on it and off you go...great fun.
There are also the usual bits and bobs around here such as stocks that you can have your photo taken in and small climbing frames.
GAUNTLET FALCONRY CENTRE.......
This is situated to the left of Excalibur Adventure. It has a wide variety of birds of prey that you can look at. Some. We saw Kestra's. a number of variety of Owl's, Hawk's, Vulture's and Eagle's, there were other bird's but to be honest I can't remember all of them. Out side each of the birds is the name and a brief description of each one and their habits etc. There are a number of trained staff there at all times that get the birds out for you, and answer any questions you have. They also give demonstrations or 'shows' at different times of the day. You can book a half day session to learn to handle the birds properly, it costs about £25 per session.
FARMHOUSE CAFE AND GREAT HALL....
These are in front of Excalibur Adventure, they sell a wide variety of food, though I have to admit we only glimpsed briefly in here as we went in the school holidays and it really was manic! It looked clean and efficient for saying how busy it was, you can also take picnics and eat them inside the great hall if it is raining, there are a number of places you can take and eat your own food under cover. Also next to the Cafe are the toilets, including disabled and also baby feeding/changing facilities. To the left of the Cafe is a large out door picnic area with table and tree's. There is also another zip slide in the picnic area.
Another indoor play area, directly infront of the Cafe. It has somewhere top eat, some arcade ganes etc, a spinning saucer ride which my 3 year old loved. All of the rides are free and supervised. They also have height restrictions on some of them, the downside being that you could queue for 20 minutes only to be told they are too small, as they measure them as they go to get on the ride. There was nothing at the start of the queue which we found very frustrating! There is also a bouncy castle in this area and shark bite another ride for the younger kids. Next to this is the ghost train which everyone seemed to love, again I can't comment too much on this as we didn't go on it. There are more toilets and baby feeding facilities here too.To the left of this is the treasure chest gift shop.
PRAIRIE PETE'S CITY.......
Small area with miniture house's,Church,bank,bar and a jail, the kids can go in them and play. Inside the church are little pew's and an organ, also a small alter etc, all made out of wood. The bank had a small cashiers desk. There is also a small wooden horse and cart they can sit on. There is a small picket fence surrounding this area and it had bark chippings on the floor. Next to this is a tractor ride.
I'm guessing this is where the name Twin Lakes comes from, There are two lakes adjacent to each other, on has rowing boats on it and the other has pedlo boats. They do not have an age restriction on them but children under 14 must have an adult with them. Again they are all supervised and young children are provided with proper life jackets. They do provide different size life jackets for older children if requested. Once on the boats or pedlo's you have about 15 minutes but I'm guessing if it wasn't busy they would leave you a lot longer.
This is all outdoor, with an American theme....Mmmm not quite sure why though. There is a really big assault course (Texan Assault Course), and it really does have everything. There are scramble nets and climbing nets, swinging wooden logs that you have to make your way across, tyres to crawl through, crawl on, walk on. Logs you have to climb up, over and on, Chains you have to balance as you walk across. In the middle of it all is another big climbing frame, with a two big slides coming off it, again one is a tube and the other a normal slide. We found that there were a lot of adults reliving their childhood in this bit and also some getting stuck either in or on the tyres.....no, I am happy to say I wasn't one of them......lol. There are two lots of karts on here too, Indy pedal karts are for the older kid's and then there are the Mini Karts for under 5's. A large sand play area is also found on here, with digging machines to sit on that can be operated to move sand etc. Bumper boats are like big rubber rings with motors, that you can whizz around the small lake that is infront of the Texan Assault Course. These were loads of fun and again there were life jackets provided. Dizzy Dune Buggies is like a fair ground ride, you climb in and they go round and round and up and down.
LABYRINTH VENTURE ZONE.....
Biggest indoor play area at the park, It has a massive ball park and soft play area and also a smaller one for the under 5's. Food and drinks can be bought from a number of small eating places in here, but you can also eat your own food here too, which is unusual in parks of this kind. There is an area with tables and chairs, also toilets and all facilities for disabled and babies under one roof. Even though there is a seperate area for under 5's you can also take them on the bigger play area, the only problem being if it is really busy which it was when we went it gets very rough once you are inside. It has some of the biggest slides I have ever seen inside a play area. The Astra Slide is a big 'wavy' slide and it has about 6 maybe more lanes. Next to that is one that to me looked like a sheer drop,you just sat at the top and well, dropped! On the other side of this one was yet another slide and again it was very steep and big. There were a couple more smaller tube slides too which were more to my liking....yep a bit of a chicken, I admit it. There really is too much to list in this bit, scramble nets,ball pool's,swinging ball's to sit on,mirrors maze's, firemens poles, it was so huge you could get lost in it. As you move around this room there are more fairground type ride's, a merry go round with swings for the younger ones, also Trauma Tower where about 10 people sit in a seat and it takes you to the top and drop's you,like the ones you see at theme parks only smaller and indoors. The under 5's play area is great again it had mirror maze's you go into it and slide's with ball pool's. There was only one way in and out and it was totally netted of with a thick nylon mesh,inside it was all padded every bit, very safe and secure. I'm pretty sure there was a toddler area in here too, a small soft area with padded bricks etc. There were two floor's in here but I have no idea about the second floor as we didn't venture that far, I believe there are a lot of tables and chairs. There was also a bouncy castle in here for the younger ones, the bigger bouncy castle shaped like a pirate ship is in the other indoor area.
Is an area that basically house's goats, it is a large expanse of mud that has been piled high into a mountain shape with house's perched on the top where the goats live, it has a fence around it and the goats live there very happily! Next to it are the animal paddocks where there are Donkey's and goats, I'm not sure if you can feed them or not, I didn't see anywhere to buy food from though.
All around the park there are other ride's such as tractor's that the kids can pedal,and also a lot of fairground rides, there are small stream's and ponds with duck's and geese. lot's of small and larger picnic area's with tables and chai's. Most of the pinic areas have small zip slides either in them or adjacent to them,All of these slides have either sand or bark chippings for safety.In the indoor play area's there are arcade games and machine's but not so many that they take over. I know I have missed some things out such as the small roller coaster, but there was so much there I can't remember it all....sorry!
In the autmn there is a Sunflower Maze that you can walk around, which is near the entrance and the largest of the picnic area's.
* MY OPINION *
I thought it was a great park and can't believe that living only 40 minute's away have never heard of it before. It has activities for all ages, from the very small to adult's. It is well thought out, and well maintained. Even though it is set out into different area's it all flow's into one and is easy to find your way around. You can get a map of the park as you go through the entrance, and also from different point's around the park. The map is easy to follow with picture's to show what they have in each area. As you are walking around the park there are also big maps to show where you are. There are however a few down sides to the park, in the school holiday's it does get VERY busy, one lady I spoke to said it reminded her of Dante's Inferno....Mmmm slightly extreme maybe! Also the fact that there is no way to measure your child at the start of the queue for the ride's, so you could queue for 20 minute's only to be to be told your child is too small,this meant we ended up with a very upset 3 year old on one occasion at least. He was only a couple of cm's too small too! Also don't expect a DraytonnManor or Alton Tower's type of park it isn't like that at all, it isn't a theme park. Would I go again .....yes with out a doubt though it won't be in the school holidays.
* FOOD *
The food was ok though due to the fact it was so busy the service was slow, it took 20 minute's to get a coffee. Most of the food is fast food, though we did see some salad and some cobs, the prices weren't too bad and there were plenty of places to get and eat food. There were also small Icecream shops dotted around the park and at most of them there were no queue's. We didn't venture into the main cafe again as it was too busy and we didn't fancy our chance's of getting served.
* EXTRA'S *
They do a Halloween week from the 21st October to the 29th, this include's face painting,pumpkin carving, live entertainers.
Fireworks festival Saturday 4th November 10am-8.30pm this include's a bar,BBQ, Jazz band, bonfire and also big fireworks display.
Meet Father Christmas in Fantasy Land December 2nd up to the 23rd includes treat's treasure hunt's, workshop's. The meeting Santa and gift are £2.50 extra.
* PRICES *
Adult/child £7.99 OAP £4.75 Under 92cm are free ( they do make you take your child out of the buggy at the entrance and measure them)
Discount ticket £29.99 ( this is for 2 adults and 2 children)
Season ticket Adult/child £31.95 ( this means that you and your child for that one price for both can go as often as you like all year)
Winter price Adult/chile £5.75 OAP £ 3.50
They also do discounts for groups of 10 or more ring for details. Birthday parties are catered for again ring for details.
Telepohne number; 01664 560070 Email; firstname.lastname@example.org Web page; www.twinlakespark.co.uk
Many thank's for taking the time to read this...mandy xx
Sorry there are no photos, I took loads then lost my digital camera on the way home, when we stopped for a meal!