A quick stop at the shop for snacks and cash was required and we pulled up in the car park. Just to confuse me they have changed the parking system. To reduce the number of people getting away without paying for tickets they now have numberplate recognition. You have to enter your numberplate into the meter and then put in your money. It was £5 for four hours which is the only compulsory cost of a visit.
For all our visits the first stop has to be the fantastic Adventure Playground:
We had been sent a John Crane Ltd Grandad this week so we took him along with us to enjoy the fun. Here he is enjoying a go on the swing:
After a while the children were desperate to re-use their fishing nets and we headed off to the lake shore. We briefly paused on the ferry jetty but they were too keen to get somewhere they could put their nets in the water:
Because they couldn't go far from shore as not able to go in the water there was slim chance of catching anything. Meanwhile Grandad took a few minutes to enjoy the view:
Then it was on to our favourite fishing spot on the non-ferry jetty. When we got there it was full of foreign tourists but my two managed to find a good spot to reach the water with their nets:
As you can see a non-controversial species of water fowl came to see whether there were any snacks on offer:
Eventually the continual failure to catch anything even made the children have enough so we abandoned the jetty and headed for the main centre on the site. I just had time to grab a photo of the temporarily empty jetty:
It was a brisk across the grounds, up through the gardens (currently being replanted) and into the main building. Some of us had a brief go on the traversing wall on the way in:
We successfully negotiated the shop without spending any pennies and then had to make choices in the cafe. The children had the kids pick and mix (£4.95 for 5 items) whilst grandpa and I shared a bowl of carrot, orange and ginger soup (£4.50):
We spent a further 40 minutes or so in the indoor soft play and the exhibition room. The soft play has lots of things to do on a wet day but all mine were interested in was being silly with the moveable soft play items... Once too many other people came in they were quite happy to go an play the games in the exhibition room. I took grandad round to take a closer look at some of the other bits and pieces in their. He was particularly taken the replica stone age axe:
The visit ended with a final return to the adventure playground. It was a lot busier this time and my son found a boy of a similar age to race around playing with. It was hard to get everyone out of the playground to go home as they were having such fun:
To see more photos of our fun day please watch this Smilebox slideshow:
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John Crane Ltd have sent me Grandad to photograph enjoying activities with my family this summer. I have received no other remuneration for this post.