Woodlands Leisure Park – Review for families

Boats, buggies and big hills - everything you need to know about Woodlands Leisure Park in Devon

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What is it?

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It’s the largest family theme park in the South West, with both indoor and outdoor fun zones. Find it in Totnes, South Devon. It’s approximately 5 miles from Dartmouth.

Best for:

Toddlers & preschool / 5 – 8 / 9 – 12

OK for:

Babies / 12+

Cost

£££ – Cost will vary depending on how many people there are in your party, as they offer a variety of family tickets, but an average advanced ticket booked online will cost £14.60. Child tickets can cost up to the amount of an adult ticket. Children that measure under 92cms go free.

What’s on offer

This giant amusement park has are ten zones for families with children, some of which are indoor and most of which are outdoor. Each zone has a theme (including forest fantasy and obviously, ninjas) and there are a variety of rides and activities for children of all ages.

Get ready to enjoy an action-packed day. The park includes but is not limited to slides, swings, rollercoasters, bouncy castles, ball pools, jungle gyms, pedal boats, Ferris Wheels and Trauma Towers. There are ponds and a wildlife sanctuary to explore, plus even more fun rides in the form of a mirror maze, bumper boats, go karts, an army commando course and shuggy boats galore.  For especially young children, there’s a specific toddlers play area with a little campervan to play in. Don’t forget admist all the madness of the amusements that there’s also a zoo-farm filled with exciting animals to learn about!

Families can visit one of the site’s cafes or head down to the picnic barn, where there are plenty of benches to enjoy a packed lunch or picnic on.

There are some facilities available; including some well-hidden baby-changing facilities (just ask the staff where they are), as well as bottle and food-heating facilities is available in the Empire of the Sea Dragon. We’re sure that’ll make more sense when you’re actually there. Lockers are available in the Empire of the Sea Dragon, Circus Drome and Love Grove Café.

Highlights

There’s no denying that for families with young children who are living in or visiting the South West of England, this is a park you have to visit.

There are so many highlights, but most of them will be subjective. The toboggans are always fun, the farm is interactive (you and your little ones can speak to the Macaw and even bottle feed some of the baby animals) and the indoor play areas keep everyone occupied whilst the weather is misbehaving.

The majority of users on TripAdvisor spoke really highly of the water rides. They’re often popular with youngsters, especially on a hot day. The cherry on top of the cake is that they’ll be so worn out after a day at Woodlands that they’ll be fast asleep as soon as you get home. And relax…

What to watch out for

– The park offers advanced and on-the-day tickets valid for one day, in addition to week tickets. Make sure you know what you’re paying for.

– Their child ticket pricing system is based on height rather than age, so check the website carefully before booking. This can end up being quite expensive for families with tall children.

– Tickets purchased in advance are NOT valid on the day of purchase. So, if you want to book online and save some money, please buy them a few days ahead of your visit.

– Watch out for unruly SatNavs that may encourage you to take the A380 towards Torquay, which actually involves a ferry crossing.

– The lockers cost 20p per use, so make sure you have some handy!

– During your visit, you should consult the safety notices about what is and isn’t allowed. Children are advised to remove their glasses whilst in the ball pools and on slides. No loose articles are permitted on any rides or slides. You can’t always wear shoes, either.

– It’s not signposted very well.

– Some rides involve water – so keep spare clothes in the lockers if you’re worried about the drive home.

– Some surfaces can be quite slippy – sensible shoes should be worn where applicable and children should always be careful!

– Some of the height and age restrictions on rides are a bit questionable, such as under 5’s are not permitted to play mini golf. Yet, this park is more suited to younger children than older children who enjoy Alton Towers style thrill rides.

– The SeaScape Mirror Maze features strobe lighting.

– Some rides may cause claustrophobic or anxious children to feel confined in a small space. Please use your discretion and allow them to use theirs when selecting which rides to play on.

– Children with food allergies should not eat the food served at the park, as Woodlands cannot guarantee the origins of the food they serve. You’re best off bringing your own snacks, packed lunch or picnic.

– The website says staff are ”trained” to find missing children and that you should tell your child to wait at reception if they get separated from you.

– The park is located in a valley, so expect lots of slopes and hills to walk up and down. Therefore, bringing your buggy around with you may not be ideal. It will be challenging for some small children or children who aren’t great at walking, at times.

– It’s also not particularly suited to mums-to-be or expectant mums with children, not only because it’s difficult to walk around but also because you’ll be told you’re not allowed on many of the rides AND you’ll have to pay full price.

– Finally, the park hasn’t been brilliantly maintained. It could do with an overhaul or at the very least, a lick of paint. It’s well loved. Don’t expect to show up in a glitzy, glamorous Universal Studios type theme park.

MFM tips:

– The park has lots of indoor attractions, rides and play areas – so don’t be deterred if it’s raining outside.

– If you’re in the Totnes area for a while, why not take a day trip on the South Devon Railway? Totnes is also about 35 minutes in the car from Plymouth, home to the National Marine Aquarium.

– There’s free entry to the park if you stay at the Woodlands Park camp site. Please visit their website for full information

What the owners say

“Woodlands Family Theme Park Devon provides a whole day of variety for all ages. Incredible indoor play centres, outdoor adventures, Zoo-Farm, and Falconry Centre. For a great family day out in Devon come to Woodlands Family Theme Park!”

Visit the official Woodlands Leisure Park website

Read our top tips for more family attractions in South Devon…

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Plymouth Aquarium
Sea Tractor
South Devon Railway
Miniature Pony Centre
Babbacombe Miniature Village
Paignton Zoo
Brixham

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