On Sunday morning, we woke up in our caravan at Parkdean Torquay and had our breakfast, the husband and I packed our picnic & drinks while the children played in the play area just outside our van. It was a fair bit colder (and windier) than it had been on the Friday when we arrived so we put on our coats and headed off to Woodlands Family Theme Park for the day. We had pre-booked our tickets on-line for added convenience, so we only had to have them scanned at the gate, where we were also given a map of the park, and didn't have to spend a lot of time queueing.
On the drive to the park the children particularly enjoyed our brief ride on the 'floating bridge' in Dartmouth which cost us £8 for a return journey with the car and is necessary unless you're driving Chitty Chitty Bang Bang or fancy a swim! It's a very short ride across and gives you a few minutes to enjoy the beautiful scenery. It actually reminded me a bit of 'Balamory' with all of the pretty colourful buildings!
As we entered the park the children all used the facilities (to prevent having to backtrack about ten minutes later, being a parent also turns you in to a Clairvoyant) which were clean if a little cramped, and we headed off to have some fun.
The kids made a mad dash for the huge slides we came to first at the 'Action Zone' and were tearing up and down them like there was no tomorrow and screaming with laughter while they did so. There was a building full of coloured balls in this zone too. I lost them in there for a little while, and they thoroughly enjoyed swimming in there and using the slide to go crashing in to the ball pool at speed. It was relatively quiet at the park so we had most rides to ourselves first thing with no queueing required at all.
Then we stopped off at the Master Blaster (an indoor attraction with a covered seating area next to it) before moving on to the Arctic Zone where they had a great time whizzing around the course on the pedal cars, flying down the Arctic Gliders and swinging on the Polar Pilots rides. J even had a go on the Avalanche ride!
We moved around the park visiting all the zones, and enjoying all the rides that they had to offer. They had a great time on the pedal boats (although I think Mr Owl wasn't expecting that much of a workout, he was rather tired from pedalling when he got off the boat and also looked a bit green haha) and the toboggan run, A was a bit heavy footed on the brake and everyone was held up behind her earning her the nickname "Captain Slow"! She had no such trouble when she and J (and Mr Owl & H) were hurtling down the water slides over and over again before we sat and had our lunch. There are plenty of snack outlets and a restaurant on site, with lots of tables outside where you can sit and eat your own picnic.
After lunch we visited the wild west which E loved, even when she and Daddy were in 'jail'! When A and J got in there too we did debate leaving them there...!
It was getting a bit cold so we headed in to the Empire Zone and the kids were happy there for over an hour, going on the Trauma Tower ride more times than I can count, L thought it was the best ride ever! There was a lot there for E to do too which was nice, she and H went on some rides together and she very much liked the large soft play area for the under-3s. After visiting there we walked around and the kids had fun on the bumper boats, in the mirror maze and on the pirate ship, as well as visiting the petting zoo area and speaking to the parrot, and driving their tractors around the Dinosaur farm.
It was a lovely day out, well worth the entrance fee and kept all of us entertained for the whole day with so much to see and do. We will definitely visit there again some time in the future.
We headed home and the children played out around the campsite while we made dinner. In the evening we unfortunately didn't make use of the evening entertainment on site as the little ones were so tired after our days out, but A & J enjoyed spending time (and our money) in the arcade with their new friends for a while in the evenings.
On our final day, we tidied up our caravan, packed up our things and checked out of Parkdean Torquay at 10am. We were sad that the weekend was over so quickly but had a fantastic time there and will hopefully visit again soon.
We drove from the campsite in the Torquay town centre to visit Living Coasts at the harbourside. It is a coastal zoo and conservation charity, and home to lots of fish, penguins and birds, and has great educational value with lots of interactive exhibits within the zoo. H rather liked the 'penguin crossing' and was very excited when one crossed! It was lovely to be able to see them so close.
It doesn't take long to walk around as it is not a large zoo so remember to take your time and really 'take it all in', read all of the snippets of information on the walls and let the children play with the exhibits, it is a lot of fun! E loved seeing all of the fish and watching the seals playing through the viewing windows underground. The children all especially enjoyed being able to 'play' with the seals using the toys provided next to the window, it was lovely to see them interacting together!
We stopped off in the gift shop and the kids all chose something little each, before we made our way back to the car and headed home.
We had such a wonderful time in Torquay, even with the odd wobble and tantrum here and there the children had so much fun and it was a really lovely place to visit. We would definitely recommend it and will hopefully return in the near future.
*Disclaimer: 'Our Spring Break' is a personal account of our family holiday.