Sophie Barton and her children Evie, George and Nancy, enjoy an adventure at Peppa Pig World.
When I asked my youngest child Nancy what she’d like to do for her third birthday, she didn’t skip a beat. “Go to Peppa Pig World,” she announced, a hopeful smile spreading across her face.
My older children – George, who’s six, and Evie, who’s eight – were equally as excited about the prospect, so when they finished school for the summer holidays, we made the long-anticipated trip to Paultons Park.
The age range in our family can make it tricky to find a day out that appeals to every child, but I hoped the family theme park, which is near Romsey in Hampshire, might be just the ticket. It has rides suitable for everyone, from toddlers to teenagers, and I knew adults could join in the fun too (even big kids love a roller coaster).
As soon as we arrived, just in time for the 10am opening, we made our way straight to the Peppa Pig World section of the park. With candy-coloured rides, tinkling music and manicured lawns sprinkled with vibrant flowers, it really did feel like we were stepping into an episode of Nancy’s favourite cartoon.
She was thrilled to see life-sized statues of all the Peppa Pig characters dotted around the park, and raced around saying “hello” to each one in turn.
Peppa Pig World Review: The Rides
First, we enjoyed a wander through Peppa’s house, where we watched the Pig family flipping pancakes – onto the ceiling of course. Then we began the rides, giving Nancy a gentle introduction with a turn on Grandpa Pig’s Little Train. All the children, even Evie, loved waving to the crowds as our carriage weaved its way around the track.
Next up was George’s Dinosaur Adventure, which proved to be one of Nancy’s favourite rides. In fact, all three children giggled with delight as their green dinosaurs bobbed through the gardens, especially when they spotted Emily Elephant and Suzy Sheep watching them along the way.
My own George was nervous about the prospect of soaring through the sky on Peppa’s Big Balloon Ride, so I took him for a turn on Grandpa Pig’s Boat Trip while the others queued for their airborne adventure with a family friend. He loved the mellow water ride, and was thrilled when a “real life” duck appeared and starting floating alongside us.
By late morning, the queues were inching up to 25 minutes long and Evie was itching to try a roller coaster, so we ventured over to the rest of the park.
It was quieter than Peppa Pig World, with no queues, and we enjoyed walking through the peaceful gardens, with their stunning displays of hydrangeas, flamingos and tropical birds. The whole site is incredibly clean and spacious, with plenty of shady picnic spots for families who, like us, didn’t fancy eating out in one of the cafes.
Evie was the only one of us plucky enough to take on Velociraptor, a swooping dinosaur coaster that whizzes round bends at up to 40mph. A budding adrenalin junkie, she loved all the rides in the Lost Kingdom, especially The Flight of the Pterosaur, a suspended coaster that sweeps you through a prehistoric landscape. She’s only eight, but in her book the scarier the experience, the better!
The Splash Park
Once she’d had had her fix of thrills and spills, we wandered over to Seal Falls, a gentle water ride, and the Digger Ride, where it was George and Nancy’s turn to have fun. But by the time they’d finished the sun was scorching hot, so we decided to make use of the nearby Water Kingdom to cool everyone down.
This vast 8,500 square foot splash park is filled with fountains, water jets and tipping buckets, with plenty of adjacent seating for parents. My only criticism would be that there is limited shade, which meant I was tempted to join them in the splash park too. I’d definitely recommend taking swimsuits and towels with you, because children will love getting soaking wet!
Nearing the end of the day, we decided to spend our last hour in Peppa Pig World. We’d downloaded the Paultons Park app before arriving, and could see that the queues were tiny, probably because tired toddlers were being taken home. Our plan proved a great success, and we walked straight onto several rides, including The Queen’s Flying Coach Ride, a monorail which affords you a fantastic view over the park. We loved Grampy Rabbit’s Sailing Club too, which is a relaxing ride on a circular boat. You softly spin past a series of adorable scenes, including Peppa jumping in muddy puddles with the Queen!
Paultons Park App
For anyone visiting Paultons Park, I’d definitely recommend downloading the app first. It features a handy map, as well as information on queue times. We found Peppa Pig World quieter at the beginning and end of the day, and the queues were shorter at lunchtime too. You’ll find four cafes and several smaller food kiosks within the park, but if you want to save cash there are plenty of grassy areas where you can enjoy your own sandwiches too. We also gave the children fruit and ice creams while queuing for rides, because it distracted them from the wait.
We enjoyed a fantastic day at Paultons Park, and there was still lots we didn’t manage to squeeze in, such as the 4D cinema and the Little Africa area with its cute meerkats. But the big mix of rides and watery fun made it a winning combination as far as my three children were concerned and well worth the £30.50pp price tag (that’s the advance price, children under 1metre go free). My brood are already talking about returning for Nancy’s fourth birthday, next summer.
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