28 February 2018

February Half Term Trip to Paultons Park

It was our February half term a couple of weeks ago and the schools in Fife were off for 3 days. Instead of mopping around the house and watching the kids fight I decided to book up a staycation trip and visit Paultons Park down South in Romsey, Hampshire. Paultons had a half term deal on their website where you could book and stay with a partner hotel (some included breakfast) and receive two days tickets to enter the park. So that’s what I did. There were several hotels to choose from and prices varied but I went for the Moorhill House Hotel situated in the New Forest 13 miles from the actual park itself.

Like previous trips down South we decided to drive. According to google the drive down should have taken around 7hrs ish but in reality the traffic plays a big part with busier roads so it actually took us 11hrs!! And that was leaving at 8.30am in the morning. It’s worth it though as Paultons is a lovely park which has Peppa Pig World inside it too. When we arrived at the hotel we couldn’t wait to check in and get some sleep. Our room was spacious with a big bathroom, small table and chairs, huge bed and bunk beds for the kids. It’s all we needed as we had no intentions of spending any length of time in our room. It’s worth mentioning that this hotel is dog friendly so you can bring your pooch which is lovely and there’s also ample free parking. Just drive slowly through the New Forest to reach it as there’s horses running free!

On our first morning we woke up bright and early, filled our tummies with a scrummy hot breakfast and headed to Paultons Park for it opening at 10am. We were 15 minutes early however the staff at the entrance scan your tickets so you can go straight in and have a nosey at the shop before the actual park gates open at 10am. I took the family straight to the first aid office as this is where you can collect a Queue Assist pass if a member of your party needs it. As you’ll probably know my son, Logan, is autistic and struggles with queues a lot. The Queue Assist pass allows him to enter a ride via the exit so he doesn’t have to wait and become distressed. Paultons Parks queue assist pass basically allows you to jump the queue once for each ride they have. It’s slightly frustrating when all your son wants to do is go on the same ride again and again however I do understand what they’re trying to do. Most of the ride attendants were amazing at letting us on to rides quickly however others had the idea that only one person/family with a queue assist pass was allowed on to the ride before another family could get on. This may work for some people depending on their needs however for children (and adults) with autism this can be extremely difficulty to comprehend. I think this really needs to be looked at by Paultons and maybe some staff training should be put in place.

Anyway, the actual park itself is lovely. It’s big (and clean) with lots of rides for small children as well as the big ones. I was really pleased that for most rides the height restriction was 900mm which meant my daughter, Harlow, could get on lots of things. She’s 3 years old but is still short for her age which can sometimes limit her at theme parks but there was honestly tons of rides she could enjoy at Paultons. I think her favourite had to be George’s Dinosaur Adventure. Even I thought this ride was great. Our first day there we spent a lot of time on the smaller rides and for the first time ever Harlow decided to go on lots. The second day she decided she didn’t want to go on that many rides which was fine as we spent that day going on all the bigger rides with Logan so it worked out well.

The kids really enjoyed the soft play located in Peppa Pig World. Us adults enjoyed it as well as it meant we could grab a cup of tea and relax our tired feet for a moment. As well as all the rides Paultons Park also have some animals on site such as birds and reptiles. They’ve also just opened a new area called Little Africa which is really nice to walk around. We enjoyed the nocturnal house in the this area which is home to some lovely creatures. Logan found it fascinating to see the animals of the dark.

We also happened to meet up with some friends when we were down there which was lovely and it gave the kids company on the rides instead of just adults. After finishing up at the park we headed to a restaurant just 5 minutes away to grab some food and have a good old catch up. It was busy but lovely, the food was budget friendly and you got a lot of it.

All in all it was a fantastic trip and we're looking for our next theme park to visit. We haven't done Alton Towers yet which has Cbeebies Land so I think that'll be on the cards soon. It's also closer to us with hopefully just a 5 hour drive depending on the roads but we'll save a longer trip for later in the year.

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