During half term we were invited by Wicksteed park to come and try out their theme park and playground for the day in exchange for an honest review. We were only too happy to oblige!
Our day began calmly enough.
I had a quick check of the weather and made a picnic lunch. We were in the car and away by 10am. We only live a 40 minute drive from the park and since the rides don’t open until 10:30 it made sense not to rush.
This plan would have been foolproof had it not been for a major road closure resulting in us making a very bumpy detour around some very pretty local villages. Col played navigator and thankfully I happened to have a map handy so it wasn’t long before we were back on course.
The first big difference you will notice between Wicksteed and other theme parks.
Instead of a big entrance fee, Wicksteed Park charge for the rides. This can be paid for either by purchasing a wristband granting unlimited access (aside from a few things – I will touch on those later) or with ride tokens.
I used to come to Wicksteed Park as a child and it has been the same charging model for as long as I can remember. That is a good sign that it works well! (Moose decided that he could just take his wristband off halfway through the day and although he did have a good go, it weathered quite well I thought)
The wristbands appear to be highly priced at first at £19 per child and £16 per adult but actually it turns out that they offer very good value indeed. A sheet of ride tickets costs £22 for 20 tickets or £37 for 40. They can also be purchased singularly for £1.25.
I counted 22 goes on the rides (and I am sure I missed a couple) and as each ride cost 2/3 tickets it is clear that the wristbands do represent better value for money. It was so lovely to be able to answer with a resounding YES when asked if they could go on something!
Parking at Wicksteed is not free.
With 137 acres of parkland to maintain and a wonderful free playground for the children to enjoy I can understand why. The charge for parking is £6 for the day which I don’t think is unreasonable.
Our first stop of the day was the train. This was 3 tickets per person and took passengers around the park. It was a lovely way to explore and to plan what we wanted to do next!
Lex doesn’t look particularly impressed but I can assure you, they absolutely loved the teacups! I think Bess and Col were in an unspoken competition to see who could spin the fastest. Bess won.
The Astro Slide was a big hit with all. The children loved that they could have more than one go and certainly made the most of it! Children under 1m have to be accompanied by someone over 14 so Col rode with Moose.
I think the dodgems might have been Bess’ favourite. We aren’t allowed to talk about how many times she crashed into the sides…
I really liked the little train station and the train. Moose said it was “a proper train”. High praise from a 2 year old.
Col, Bess and Lex all wanted to have a go at the driving. Much to the girls dismay and Cols amusement, he was the only one tall enough to drive so the girls were resigned to being his passengers and he got 2 goes!
Wicksteed is more than just rides. Although the rides are brilliant. There was so much to see and do that even though we were there for over 6 hours we were nowhere near having seen it all!
There is the opportunity to camp at Wicksteed Park and I think it would be a lovely way to spend a weekend.
We Loved Our Time At Wicksteed Park
Moose’s favourite ride was also the oldest! The Waterchute. Wicksteed Park opened in 1926 and the Waterchute has been there from the start. It was invented by Charles Wicksteed and was the forerunner to many of the theme park rides now popular all over the UK. In 2016 it was added to Historic England’s list of protected heritage sites. Moose just loved the SPLASH! and rode it 5 times!
We will most definitely be returning. It is difficult to find days out to suit all ages but Wicksteed absolutely gets it right!
Check Out Our Video
Mummy & Moose