Twinlakes Park review

Our rating 
4.3 out of 5 star rating 4.3
User rating
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In a nutshell

A wide selection of activities makes for a fun-packed day at this theme park. The kids enjoyed the variety of things to do compared to other more ride-based theme parks and there’s also a farm and waterpark.
Fun for kids
5.0 out of 5 rating 5.0
Fun for parents
3.5 out of 5 rating 3.5
Worth the money
4.0 out of 5 rating 4.0
Facilities
4.0 out of 5 rating 4.0
Family friendliness
5.0 out of 5 rating 5.0
Pros: Lots of activities to choose from whatever the weather, short queues, fun physical activities, plenty of picnic spaces
Cons: Signage can be confusing, some rides a squeeze for adults

When we visited:

We visited on a Wednesday in late August. It was a warm day (approx. 20 degrees), with no rain and although there were plenty of people it never felt crowded.

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What age is Twinlakes Park best for:

Best for: Children aged 2-10 years

Still good fun for: Children aged 11-12 years

How much does it cost in 2018?

Ticket prices vary, with a colour-coded system showing cheaper (yellow) days up to most expensive (green).

Gate prices during school holidays and weekends: Adults and children 108cm+ £18, toddlers 95-108cm £12, under 95cm free

Are there discounts or cheap tickets available for Twinlakes Park?

You can save by booking tickets online in advance, but also check discount sites likes Picniq for special offers

Any extra charges once I’m there?

During our visit we spent an additional £7 on a family portrait, £7.20 on ice cream and £5.75 at the end of the day when we ran out of water and the girls desperately wanted something from the shop.

I’d say £80 would cover admission, food, snacks and a treat from the shops – for a family of 4 utilising the online discount.

We chose not to venture into the gift shop so saved a bit of money here. And I did appreciate that the gift shop was not forced upon visitors at the exit/entrance as it is at many attractions. In fact, the kids didn’t even notice it was there!

Additional spending we avoided were bird handling, a “unicorn” ride, slot machines and games in the arcade. Some special seasonal events carry an extra cost but none were on the day we visited.

I felt that any extra costs were made clear and so much is included for free in the admission price it was easy to keep the kids happy and not feeling deprived.

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How long will we spend at Twinlakes Park?

We arrived at Twinlakes at around 10:30am and left at 4pm. We had visited all the zones except the farm and the kids were extremely tired and cranky by then, so we needed to leave. There are 10 zones in total and we had visited 7.

Twinlakes is certainly a full day out and you’ll be able to visit many attractions before closing time (5:30pm on the day we visited).

What does Twinlakes offer for families?

Twinlakes is a 100-acre theme park, farm and water park with 10 themed zones. It’s great for families, and caters especially well for children aged 2-10 years.

We had so much fun and enjoyed so many new experiences compared to theme parks such as Legoland Windsor and Peppa Pig World. I don’t recall ever having seen bumper boats before so that was a fun twist on the usual.

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What shouldn’t be missed?

Highlights for us were:

  • My kids really loved the pedalos and putting on the bright lifejackets was excitement on its own. Although it was quite a challenging peddle for mum and dad while they relaxed singing “Row the boat”!
  • The trains were a big hit too – there was a larger one that ran every half hour during school holidays around the top perimeter of the park and a small train in Action USA zone which they liked just as much. The train schedule is displayed around the park
  • We spent the most amount of time in Action USA zone. The kids were comfortable with most rides and eager to explore the play areas there
  • The Fantasy Castle is impressive – a large wooden playhouse. However the kids both got overwhelmed and tearful and I realised I should have put them on the much smaller under-5’s playhouse
  • My eldest Jasmine told me she liked the caterpillar rollercoaster and the boat ride best during our visit. Both kids were spooked by some of the rides, but the caterpillar rollercoaster was just the right size for Jasmine and she immediately wanted to go on it again

What else is there to see/do apart from the rides?

So much!

  • An impressive water park area, which we didn’t use because the weather was a little too chilly for my liking. However, we were blessed with a heatwave this summer and had we visited then the Twinlakes water park would have been ideal. Saying that, a good few kids were still enjoying the water park the day we visited and I remembered how kids don’t feel the cold like I do and would probably have a blast there even in the snow!
  • There’s also a farm, several ziplines, jumping pillows (similar to large trampolines), sand pits, big swings, creepy critters, bird of prey centre and seasonal shows
  • One of the things I liked most about Twinlakes was that it was quite physical for the kids – they ran, jumped, peddled and got generally involved which I don’t feel they’ve done quite as much at other theme parks we’ve visited. This was all included in the entry price
  • The Falconry display was short but entertaining. My eldest is really into owls so we’ve seen a good handful of displays. The presenter was good – nice to see an all-female falconry team – and she got the kids involved by having a large Eagle Owl fly over the heads of kids who volunteered to sit up front with her
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Is Twinlakes Park easy to navigate?

I’d tried to prepare in advance by viewing the map on the website – but it was just too fiddly to view on my phone. So, the first thing we did when we arrived was to look at a printed copy of the map with the kids and let them choose what they wanted to do.

I found the map and signage confusing at first. Throughout the park there are several signs attached to a post but the direction they point varies only slightly – making it not that helpful to the unfamiliar.

After an hour or so it became easier to get our bearings and navigate as we became familiar with the space.

Does Twinlakes Park hold any special events for kids?

Yes, there are special events seasonally throughout the year. The “spooky” zone caught my eldest’s eye on the map – however we didn’t notice the small print until later that this only ran during Halloween season. Not a problem as I just told her to choose something else from the map.

Is there anywhere to hide out if it starts to rain?

Two of the zones – Labyrinth and Buccaneers Island are under cover – so great if it’s raining. I was impressed by how many rides were under these big tent-like structures.  There was plenty to keep kids amused if outside isn’t an option – including a mini ferris wheel and a Wind-in-the-Willows water-based barrel ride.

Are there any scary elements that young or sensitive children might not enjoy?

Our kids were going through a sensitive phase and they definitely needed time to warm up to the theme park. The pedalos got them relaxed and we were then able to explore more.

They preferred very small rides that they could go on solo and only did the bigger rides which mum and dad could join them on. My youngest didn’t like the jumping pillows and came off quickly. I feel that she went with the older kids because of her height but should probably have been with the younger ones because she’s still just 3 years old.

It was nice that there were big and small versions of many of the rides, so any that they didn’t want to go on we quickly found alternatives for.

Some of the indoor areas I personally found quite a sensory overload and noticed one child with a noise reduction head set on. There are loud noises, bright lights and strong smells –all in a large but enclosed space with little daylight. Perhaps worth keeping in mind for more sensitive individuals and enjoying the outdoor areas instead.

Did Twinlakes Park cater well for different aged children?

I think it does. Kids can go on rides based on their height. I would say 2-10 year olds will get the most out of Twinlakes. I feel that there is loads that this age group can do despite the wide range of their abilities. Kids under 95cm are free – it’s stated that there aren’t many rides for that height but they can still enjoy soft play and the playgrounds. I saw a small kid turned away from a ride and get tearful but I’m sure their mum found something else.

For us it was quite easy to choose rides because my kids fell into the upper height category. However, my youngest is tall – at 3 years old she wears age 5-6 clothes and is 107cm in height barefoot – so she qualified physically but is still my baby!

I did notice older kids having a ball too. The 10-12 year olds seemed to be having very independent and fun days out – especially if there was a group of them.

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Should you measure your children’s height before you go?

It does help to know roughly how tall your child is before you visit. We measured the kids against a wall chart on entry to the theme park and then the ranger at each ride had a measuring tool for every kid before they could get on.

There’s a height guide on the website, but I found it easy enough to read the sign at each ride and was reassured by the rangers always making their checks.

Will younger children need a pushchair?

We have weaned our 3 year old off the pushchair but she was exhausted by the end of the day. In fact they both wanted carrying as we left. So if you have a little one who won’t last walking the whole day I would recommend the pushchair.

There are a few play areas with woodchip and I know that can be a challenge for wheels but many people parked up their buggies to enjoy the activities.

What to bring:

  • Cash – everywhere we went asked for £5 minimum on cards. I did spend unnecessarily at the end of the day when we just needed a bottle of water but had to meet the minimum spend. Hubby and I both use contactless on our phones so rarely have cash – our £1 between us wasn’t cutting it
  • Wellies came in handy too. A few scattered puddles – from rain the night before – were too tempting for my 3 year old who had to jump in
  • If you want to let the kids have a splash don’t forget swimsuits and towels – there are changing rooms and sun loungers
  • I saw a few large sandpits too so you might want to bring kit to get all the sand off after they play (talc works a treat)

What are the queues like?

Short. Our longest wait was the bumper boats – approximately 12 minutes. It went really fast as they kids were excited watching the boats and I never would have noticed it was 12 minutes without timing the wait. On most rides the queue time was barely noticeable – maybe 5 minutes to wait for the current ride to end then it was our turn. The only noticeably long queue I spotted was for the Log Flume.

It was really great that on some rides there was no queue and our kids even got to enjoy some rides to themselves. Also, some of the play areas could be enjoyed free from other kids which is quite a luxury.

Maybe we picked a good day – there were plenty of other people – just not crowded. At Twinlakes we spotted empty rides and opted to go on them for that reason – the kids could jump straight on. This is a huge plus point compared to some other attractions we’ve been to such as Legoland, where the queues got a bit too much.

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What you need to know before you go:

  • I would suggest booking online in advance – the group ticket is a good deal. Also if you’re local and have little ones to amuse for the next 12 months an annual ticket would be worth it
  • I tried to plan in advance but found it easier to just let the day unfold. It was helpful to park close to the entrance when we left as the kids were so tired
  • There’s ride information at the entrance of each ride – lets you know minimum height and if the child needs to be accompanied by an adult or wear a lifejacket
  • Performance times are displayed throughout in wall cabinets – useful for the train timetable and falconry displays – also what time the park closes that day
  • Some of the rides were small for 6’2” daddy and even my 5’8” frame (it gave hubby the opportunity to appreciate the yoga I make him do with me!). If you’re long-limbed or suffering with painful joints then accompanying kids on some rides may be a challenge
  • There are offers and promotions throughout the park including discounts for day 2 or sister attractions if you purchase tickets when you leave
  • As with any kids days out there were a few meltdowns (including my own little darlings) so make sure they’re well rested so they can enjoy being active!

What are the food and drink facilities like at Twinlakes Park?

The food options are quite varied and there’s a key on the map indicating the outlet’s price range, and whether it offers healthy options and bottle warming facilities. A kids meal at The Labyrinth Café, for example, costs £3.95 for burger, chips and drink.

There didn’t seem to be a shortage of seating. There were also a good amount of ice cream stands, which is what we opted for when it came to treat time. Coffee was advertised throughout if adults needed a boost!

Can you take a picnic?

We did take a picnic and it was lovely. A good choice of tables – especially outside – so when hunger struck we quickly found a table. I also found a covered picnic area in the USA Action Zone which provided fresh air but protection should it rain. In the covered themed zones there are specific areas for picnics.

I couldn’t find any recycling options – which is a shame – but this may be down to the local council more than Twinlakes.

What are the toilets like?

When nature called it was slightly difficult to find a toilet quickly and I struggled to find signage pointing us to the nearest option.

In the end we found one and the toilets were acceptable but quite basic. There was no toilet roll in our cubicle, despite it being quite early in the day.

There were no queues either of the times we visited the toilets and always a baby change and accessible toilet nearby.

How well does it cater for disabled visitors?

Twinlakes is mainly connected by flat paved surfaces and I saw no obvious accessibility issues such as stairs or narrow doorways. We saw a good few wheelchairs on our visit

  • Some areas are covered in woodchip which could be difficult for wheelchairs
  • There are stairs in the covered zones – leading up to the big kids play areas
  • There are reduced ticketing levels for wheelchair users
  • For more information see the Twinlakes website

Opening dates and times:

Twinlakes Park opens at 10am daily – you should check closing on times on the notice boards when you arrive. The park is only closed on 25and 26 December and 1 January

How to get to Twinlakes Park:

Twinlakes Park is located in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire

  • It’s best reached by car but don’t use the postal address for your SatNav, instead use LE13 1SQ
  • This will take you to Thorpe Road: from here follow the brown tourist information signs to the park
  • There’s also a local bus but check times before travelling

Do you have to pay for parking?

No, parking is free and plentiful. A parking attendant helped us find our spot and it seems the car park was filled by placing the earliest arrivals closest to the entrance. So if you need to park near the entrance it may be worth arriving early.

Worth a long car journey?

For our family, a car journey of no longer than 90 minutes would work best for a visit to Twinlakes. It makes it possible to leave the house and return home at a reasonable time.

As we were staying in the area already, it was certainly worth the visit.

Is it worth an overnight stay?

Twinlakes is in the East Midlands and doesn’t seem to be promoted to families in the South East (the website states travel distances from cities like Leicester, Nottingham and Birmingham). However, we fancied something different for our annual summer staycation, and so planned 2-night stay around our visit in a delightful Airbnb in a small village called Peckleton, a 45-minute drive to Twinlakes.

From London directly, this would have been too far for a day visit with 2 young kids in the car. Google maps estimates 2.5 hours but our drive took about 4 hours to our Airbnb – there were a lot of toilet stops and about 3 accidents causing traffic on the M1. However, the journey home took just 2 hours and 20 mins and the girls slept all the way. A welcome break!

Which hotels or holiday accommodation are near Twinlakes Park?

There are plenty of accommodation options nearby, including:

  • Stapleford Park Luxury Hotel & Spa is a real treat experience, from the plush rooms to the spa and sumptuous restaurant, just 11 minutes away in the car
  • The Harboro Hotel is even close (5 minutes) and has great-value family rooms
  • We stayed in a family-friendly studio flat in a village called Peckleton, close to Leicester and Birmingham should you wish to check out the many family attractions in those areas
  • For a home-away-from-home feel, look for deals on HomeAway.co.uk  and Sykes Cottages
  • Find family-friendly hotel deals near Twinlakes Park on Booking.com

Nearby attractions for a longer day out:

Close by is Melton Carnegie Museum, with lots of interesting local facts, while little ones will love Rutland Farm Park (22 minutes away), and Wicksteed Park is less than an hour’s drive.

MFM verdict:

Twinlakes was an enjoyable day out allowing our little ones to explore, play and be entertained to their hearts’ content. It’s different from other toddler theme parks in the way it embraces its countryside setting and in the range of activities offered in addition to the rides.

I loved that the kids could direct our day, picking what they wanted to do. I would certainly visit again if we lived closer- as there wasn’t enough time (or energy) to cover everything in one day.

The newer areas, like the water park and fantasy castle, were particularly impressive.

Visit Twinlakes Park website

See more reviews of Twinlakes Park on TripAdvisor

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Intro to me:

Hubby and I enjoyed our summer holiday staycation in the last week of August with our trusty assistants Roselyn 3, and Jasmine, nearly 6.