The cool kids at Paultons Park invited us down to experience their family friendly theme park. If I'm completely honest, I'd never really considered visiting Paultons before. It is famed for 'Peppa Pig World', as James is growing up fast, I was convinced he'd probably outgrown it. Plus, it felt like it was MILES away. We're close to Thorpe, Chessington, and LEGOLAND Windsor - we're spoilt for sure. However, I was happy to step out of the Merlin Group parks and see what Paultons Park had to offer.
It's 150 miles from home, so we booked a room for the night before our day on park at the Doubletree by Hilton Southampton. It's one of the 'official' hotels of the theme park as they don't have accommodation on-site. It was a fantastic place to stay, lovely room, cracking breakfast - it was an excellent way to start the day. We were 15 minutes away from Paultons Park and were fresh and ready for 10am when the park opened.
When we got in, we went straight to Peppa Pig World. James wanted to start off gently. I'm glad we went straight there, we actually did a lot of the rides before 11am. By then it was a lot busier, and the queues were building up. It was a good time to check out the brand new 'Little Africa' - a new animal attraction. James was fascinated by the fennec foxes, and loved the Meerkats. We started to explore the rest of the park to find some 'bigger' rides to conquer. The whole park is beautifully maintained - the landscaping, the theming - everything was spotless. The attention to detail is everywhere. It's got a nice vibe to it as well. I was pleasantly surprised, and slightly annoyed I hadn't visited before.
We had lunch in the Station Restaurant - yeah, it's not the fanciest of establishments. However it was clean, well looked after and service was swift. It would have been nice to see some more veggie friendly options here. However, the Wild Forest Family Restaurant and Base Camp do have a bit more veggie choice.
Feeling the need to keep down lunch, we took a stroll through the cute gardens and explored the 'Lost Kingdom'. The Lost Kingdom is where the bigger rides are. The best thing about Paultons Park's 'big' rides is that they have family friendly height restrictions. The three 'big' rollercoasters have height restrictions of between 1m and 1.1m, so even the smallest of thrillseekers can partake. James did - he had two rides on the Flight of the Pterosaur and the Velociraptor. He probably could have done a LOT more. Despite having small footprints these rides pack a lot of fun in. I was pleasantly surprised.
That sums up my first experienced of Paultons Park - pleasantly surprised. It's a super cute, well thought out, and well looked after family theme park. There aren't any massive, iconic rides or coasters here. What they do have is an excellent selection of rides for the whole family. Despite Peppa Pig World being the main jewel in Paultons Park crown, and seemingly drawing the biggest crowd. The whole park is excellent, and really well looked after, the 'family friendly' message is clear throughout. From family friendly dining, to toilet seats that can switch from adult to child sized - they've got you and the family covered.
This was our first visit, and certainly not our last - James spent the journey home rattling through the rides he wants to do again (and again).