Stockeld Park, Wetherby, North Yorkshire

The Summer Adventure

Having only been to Stockeld Park for the Winter Wonderland, I was unsure what to expect in summer and didn’t actually think it could possibly be as much fun.

But I have to say, it’s just as good – if not better – when the sun is out! Unfortunately for us, it rained during our visit, but that didn’t stop the fun.

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Oliver and Jasmine Lovell play in one of the adventure playgrounds at Stockeld Park

Stockeld Park is a seasonal attraction – open for all of the main school holidays and closed between seasons. Prices vary throughout the season. In summer there was a one-price ticket for all, but when we visited at Christmas you could pay per activity, or pay for everything in one.

There are four main adventure zones at Stockeld Park. The winter open-air ice skating in the chilly air at Christmas is swapped for outdoor rollerblading in the sun, the Nordic ski makes way for an electric scooter trail and the magical enchanted forest walk is just as good, with several parks to stop at along the way. The maze is also open in all seasons.

  1. The Enchanted Forest

The enchanted forest walk is a day out in itself, without everything else on offer. After nearly jumping out my skin with the “welcome to the Enchanted Forest” voice as you walk through the gates, I think this trail was actually my favourite part of the day.

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My boy at the start of the Stockeld Park forest trail

It’s great for the adults, who get the stroll through the forest, but the kids are kept well amused with three large adventure playgrounds along the way, plus plenty of other things to spot as you walk through the forest – I won’t ruin it for you by listing them.

The forest walk also includes a treasure trail you can take part in to see how many you can find as you make your way through. Halfway, there’s also a café, outside seating and toilets.

 

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One of several playgrounds at Stockeld Park

 

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2) The Rollerblading rink

For my five-year-old son Oliver, his favourite part was the rollerblading.

Despite it teeming it down with rain, he was desperate to get out. I think the guy giving out the skates could see I wasn’t jumping at the chance to get outside with him, so he happily took him around the rink with him.

Thanks, James, you were brilliant with him, taking your time not to rush him, teaching him how to do it and listening to his stories about school!

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Oliver enjoys rollerblading (in the rain) and Oliver & Jasmine stop to play on the forest walk at Stockeld Park

 

MORE REVIEWS: Stockeld Park at Christmas

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3) Electric Scooter Trail

The electric scooter trail looks like great fun but costs an additional £5. We didn’t try it as my little ones are too young but it looked like a great way to get through the forest. You can also park it up half way round and stop off at the café in the forest.

MORE REVIEWS: Sundown Adventureland, Retford, Nottinghamshire

New for this year are the boats – but they’re not included in the entrance fee and are usually £6 per boat but currently there’s an introductory offer on for £3.

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The new boats at Stockeld Park

There’s also a farmyard play area which is designed for younger children where they can climb into the hen house or ride the tractor. Next to that is the huge inflatable slide for the older ones.

4) The Maze

And no visit is complete without a run around the maze. There’s plenty of places for outdoor picnics with lots of benches and there’s also a small undercover picnic area.

Stockeld Park has rainy days covered, too, inside there’s a large café and a big indoor play area with a bouncy castle, a cushion pillow, wooden train, large Lego bricks area with a wooden house to play in.

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Stockeld Park has rainy days covered with indoor play

It’s definitely a full day out, so if you do go, give yourself plenty of time.

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Indoor fun at Stockeld Park

Reviewed August 2016

NEED TO KNOW…

LOCATION: Wetherby, off the A661, us postcode: LS22 4AN

OPEN: Stockeld Park is a seasonal attraction – open for all of the main school holidays and closed between seasons. There’s a Summer Adventure, a Halloween Adventure, the Spring Adventure, an Easter Adventure and a Christmas Adventure. Prices vary for each. check their website here

CALL: 01937 586333

VISIT: http://www.stockeldpark.co.uk

 

 

 

 

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Ribby Hall Village at Christmas, Preston, near Blackpool

As we drove into the five-star luxury holiday park for our Winter Wonderland mini-break, the Christmas lights were twinkling as far as the eye could see.

Situated in more than 100 acres of landscaped grounds, the village-feel complex has a mixture of self-catering holiday cottages and lodges, with several lakes and is surrounded by a woodland trail.

We stayed in a Ruby Cottage, which sleeps six people in three bedrooms. It was very modern and spacious, with a new kitchen and bathrooms and very cosy – making it home from home.

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Our cottage at Ribby Hall Village

More reviews: The Polar Express Christmas train ride 

We were very impressed, it was ideal – clearly everything had been thought of, there was even every kitchen utensil you could possibly imagine – including a rolling pin if you get the urge to bake while away! Back in the real world there was plenty of wine glasses and champagne flutes which were perfect for my Prosecco!

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That’s one well-stocked drawer, at Ribby Hall Village

We had patio doors leading to a terrace area with gorgeous field views – the perfect place for the kids to feed the visiting ducks.

Included in the price of the holiday is entry to the indoor swimming complex – complete with slides and a designated toddlers pool with toys.

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Meeting Santa and the ducks at our cottage, at Ribby Hall Village

There’s a full programme of events for each week of the year – with individually priced activities – so there’s plenty to do.

Open 365 days a year, Ribby Hall is a fantastic getaway any time of the year, but it does feel extra special at Christmas.

The highlight is Santa’s Treehouse – you won’t be able to get away without a visit as it’s lit up in the heart of the resort. Its lights put Blackpool Illuminations to shame and make it really magical.

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Santa’s tree house at night, Ribby Hall Village

If the kids weren’t excited enough, they got to climb the stairs to the top, where they were encouraged by an elf to knock on his door before entering.

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At Santa’s tree-house at Ribby Hall Village

MORE REVIEWS: Thomas Land at Drayton Manor at Christmas

And you won’t come away with the usual naff toy either – every child was given a lovely, quality teddy elf, which will last years. I know the present will be something different, but equally as special for Christmas 2016 – but I won’t ruin it by telling you what!

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Inside Santa’s tree house at Ribby Hall Village

My nephew is convinced his is a magic elf – sent from the real Santa to report back on his behaviour and my children have slept with them every night since.

We booked a few activities before we went and my four-year-old son loved the balance bikes indoor session and my nine and seven-year-old nephew and niece really enjoyed laser tag.

TIP: Download the programme of events before you go and book your activities in advance

One event that was definitely worth paying the extra for was the Frozen Tea Party.

Think afternoon tea with mini sandwiches and exquisite cakes – beautifully presented with cookie decorating and a colouring competition – followed by party games with Anna and Elsa.

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Jasmine Lovell with Elsa at the tea party at Ribby Hall Village

Held in the beautiful Lavender Tea Rooms, this wasn’t just a treat for the kids.

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Scrumptious: Food at the Frozen Tea Party, Ribby Hall Village
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The Frozen Tea Party at Ribby Hall Village

MORE REVIEWS: Family holiday to Menorca

Available during the Winter Wonderland programme is everything from breakfast with Santa, baby ballet, mini golf and segway sessions to Santa’s story supper time, archery, bike hire and junior fencing – to name a few, not forgetting the park.

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My son, Oliver, 4, tries out the balance bikes session at Ribby Hall Village

There’s also a panto once a week – oh yes there is – and it’s free for all the family and a free family Christmas movie showing, on the big screen, in the Bar & Grill.

MORE REVIEWS: Sundown Adventureland (summer & Christmas)

For a nice family meal, I recommend the Bar & Grill. The food is excellent and far exceeded our expectations for a family restaurant, and it’s also in the same building as the nighttime show, which all four children really enjoyed. There’s also a more formal restaurant, a tapas bar and Harrison’s Bar which is for over-18s only.

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The combo at Ribby Hall Village
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Disco in the Bar & Grill, Ribby Hall Village

It was only when we came to leave I realised we hadn’t left the resort in three days despite only being a ten-minute drive from Blackpool. If you fancy going, there’s still some availability for pre-Christmas breaks.

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Lewis and Emily outside Santa’s Grotto tree-house at Ribby Hall Village
  • Reviewed December 2015

NEED TO KNOW…

INFO: Holidays at Ribby Hall Village start from £279 for a family of four, based on midweek stay between 18 Nov  –  22 Dec 2016. Ribby Hall Village’s Winter Wonderland is open from the end of November until the beginning of January – where families can enjoy a fun festive break and visit Santa in his magical treehouse up until 24th December.

Ribby Hall Village is open all year-round, 365 days of the year.

LOCATION: Ribby Road, Wrea Green, near Blackpool, Lancashire PR4 2PR.

CALL: 0800 1070336

VISIT: www.ribbyhall.co.uk