This weekend we headed down to Hampshire. Our trip had two purposes; the first was to celebrate my father-in-law's 70th birthday on Saturday, the second was to visit her Royal Oinkness in Paultons Park. Oh yes, I am talking about the one and only Peppa Pig!
Now, why couldn't we have had the weather on Sunday that we had on Saturday when we were stuck indoors? I am Welsh; the rain shall not deter me! "There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing" is a very good saying if you haven't left your waterproof in south Wales, 140+ miles away. Never mind!
Peppa Pig World opened in April of this year as a section of the rather brilliant Paultons Park, nestled in the New Forest. My husband is from the area but had never been to Paultons so this was a new trip for all of us. What struck me about Paultons is how unlike most theme parks it is; lots of family orientated rides, gardens, wildlife and birds, etc. There isn't screeching and flashing lights like in others; it's just fun.
The Peppa Pig World in Paultons is the only one in the world, and oh my, it is good. Bearing in mind it is aimed at toddlers and infants who don't want to walk far, the attraction is in a small-ish area which is really cunningly filled with seven rides, attractions and play areas.
- Windy Castle (all three of us)
- Daddy Pig's Car Ride (daddy and The Boy)
- George's Dinosaur Adventure (The Boy and me)
- Miss Rabbit's Helicopter Flight (all three of us).
The Boy and hubby also went on Grandpa Pig's Boat Ride, which both of them loved, especially The Boy. I haven't got a picture of that because they kept moving too fast to get one. I also went on Grandpa Pig's Little Train with him, which was a more sedate ride. He absolutely adored all of the rides, and would quite happily have stayed all day on them! In particular, favourites were George's Dinosaur Adventure and Miss Rabbit's Helicopter Ride. He hasn't stopped talking about them ever since.
In between all the little paths connecting the rides there are all sorts of delighful things to get the children excited. There's a play area with a row of Peppa Pig style houses, which lots of children were thoroughly enjoying. There's also a section called Muddy Puddles which initially I wanted to go and play in. When the rain started pelting down though, there didn't seem much point! There was also Madam Gazelle's School House and Peppa Pig's House. In that attraction there was a moving display telling the story of the Pig family having pancakes for breakfast which get stuck to the ceiling. The Boy was captivated by it.
Another thing that I really liked was that on the edge of Peppa Pig World were a few animal enclosures; Meerkat Manor (hubby's favourite animals, and now I think The Boy's too), tropical birds, rheas and emus, and penguins! They have two times during the day when they feed the penguins, unfortunately, we missed it by about 10 minutes.
On a practical note there are really good facilities in Peppa Pig World: plenty of clean toilets which have the two-in-one trainer seats for toddlers/adults, a cafe and a couple of snack bars, a big soft-play indoor area, and plenty of benches or tables and chairs for eating lunches, either bought or brought. There are plenty of bins and the whole area is tidy and very attractive to look at. They even have a smoking area tucked away in a corner out of the way.
We were lucky enough to even catch the special lady and her younger brother in pig-son, and The Boy brought home a memento of his trip! We really enjoyed our time at Peppa Pig World and didn't want to leave, but we were drenched and had a long car journey ahead of us. I am desperate to go again on a drier day, preferably mid-week. We went on a Sunday and before the rain started we waited about thirty minutes for a ride. As the ride lasted ten minutes, that wasn't too much I felt. If it had been busy I can see that the waiting time would be greater. When it rained we either walked straight on or waited five-ten minutes.
I now completely understand the appeal of Peppa Pig to The Boy, who says it's just for children?
I was provided with free entrance tickets for the purpose of this review. However the fact that I loved it and want to go again is completely my own opinion. Oh and that of The Boy. And daddy.