Twinlakes – a theme park
We visited Twinlakes as part of our weekend in Leicestershire. For those of you who may not have heard of Twinlakes it is a theme park / farm / animal encounters attraction based in Melton Mowbary, Leicestershire. We returned from the attractions with mixed emotions, Maya and Raihan had a fab day and really enjoyed themselves, whilst I was little unsure of it.
As mentioned the attraction is in Melton Mowbary. We put the postcode in TomTom which brought us to the right road (1 mile away) but we didn’t see one single sign for the attraction during the entire journey. Even the sign on the entrance of the attraction we nearly missed. So if you are going here make sure you keep your eyes well and truly peeled and clear instructions/sat nav set up.
We visit a number of theme parks through out the year so if you are expecting a park in league with Alton Towers/Thorpe Park/Blackpool you will be disappointed, but then these attractions do charge a huge entrance fee for the attraction. Don’t get me wrong Twinlakes does have its own charm and for the cost of entrance it will be a great family day out for the right age group. The day we visited was quiet and the car park is located close to the entrance. There is no charge for using the car park. Once you purchase your tickets (there are always fab deals online so check before going!) you are given a map of the area and timings for all the talks/displays and feeding times that you are view and get involved in.
On entrance to the site there are loads of pumpkins in preparation for Halloween and they had a great display for the children providing lots of unusual facts about pumpkins (think Doc particularly enjoyed them!). The attraction site itself has a “rustic” feel but for me it added to the charm and appeal of the place. The attraction is split into a number of different areas with different rides throughout each area. We went straight to the farm area as it was “kid’ feeding time. However, we hadn’t realised that you needed to collect a free token on weekends so we didn’t get a chance to get involved in that session. There are a number of animals on display and you are able to purchase animal feed from inside the barn. Maya loved this and was happily running around feeding all the big and small animals. We did managed to get a ticket for the afternoon feeding time so the little adventurers did get to have a go. Twinlakes have a range of different animals that the children can see and feed from meerkats to reindeers which the children may not normally come across.
The park is itself quite small so perfect for little legs to be able to walk around much of the area. There are lots of grass areas/picnic tables both outside and in (great idea for wet weather) which visitors are able to use. The one thing that does annoy me about the other attractions and the inside seating area is reserved only for people purchasing food on site. Twinlakes had provision for both which was a refreshing change.
My major issue with the park was the height restriction. On arrival, we saw many families with children the same age as ours (some with even younger children). However, except for the train ride there was no rides that Zayn could sit on. He is a little too adventurous for his own good but 95% of the rides had height limits of 0.9m with a couple limited to 0.8m. I know the safety reasons behind this but given the demographics of the families that do visit, I would have expected there to be more provision for younger children. So every ride that we went on would lead to a fresh start of tears and screaming as Zayn had to again sit out. This made the day very stressful and disappointing for me as having one of your children constantly upset can soon take its toll. In addition, there wasn’t enough “other” things to distract them with whilst the others went on the ride.
Now the flip side of this was that nearly all the rides were perfect for our tall 3 year old and definitely fine for Maya ages 5. This was great as Maya whose the daredevil of the family was happily running from ride to ride. Usually, we spend a lot of our day trying to cheer Maya up as she is too short for the crazy rollercoaster that she has chosen. I usually have to console the boys and Doc has Maya so in Twinlakes Doc could happily watch our little princess being able to run around without any tears (well on her part!). Twinlakes do have a number of different rides that we have seen in other parks, Maya’s favourite being the lying down, flying ride and Raihan’s was the Peddalo boats (he’s the scardy cat of the family!). There is soft play areas, a ball park area. As the park is quieter than the other more well-known parks, you can easily watch your children and the queue times are 5 minutes compared with hours that we queued in Legoland. Each area had about 5 – 7 rides and they were a good mix. However, I would say that these rides were most suitable for 5 – 10 years old. Older children would have been a little bored as I know my 13 year old nephew would have wanted “bigger” rides. Some of the areas are situated indoors which again is a nice touch for families who visit on a rainy day so you can still take the children on rides without getting soaked. After our recent visit to Thorpe Park in “summer” when we had a full day of torrential downpour having some rides indoors was a really well thought idea.
In summer, there was a lovely water area with slides and other water activities. As we had visited in September, despite being a clear day the temperature was still quite fresh so we decided against using this, but i think that was more reluctance on the adults part rather than the children! But the area did look lovely with some slides which would keep the little adventurers and older ones entertained.
One area that I was disappointed with was the food. Like most theme parks the food at Twinlakes was disappointing. Given the quietness on the day we visited, there was still quite a long wait for our food. If we had visited on a busy day, I can imagine the wait times being significant and quite frustrating. They do offer a range of food, with special children meals but the portions are small bordering on tiny. I would recommend making a picnic from home!
There was a lovely shop on site which sold a number of things that you don’t normally see in theme parks with a cute area for fairies (maya was in fits of glee) and a animatronics dinosaur. This was definitely a plus point of the park as they had things for all price ranges and you could buy a treat for the children without breaking the bank. We bought these great bubbles which we had seen at Hamleys but here they were sooo much cheaper!
Overall, i still have mixed feelings of the park, however after writing the review and looking at the things that we did on the day and what the theme park does offer has made me rethink my initial doubts. We are from Lancashire and I am still not sure I would recommend that a family make a special trip solely for the park. However, if you are visiting the area, whether it is in Leicestershire, outskirts Warwickshire or South Derbyshire, Twinlakes could be a choice of a great day out especially if you have children between the ages of 4 – 8 years old. The park may seem a little “run down” compared to the other parks but its still still well maintained and looked after and for us didn’t detract at all from the attraction. In addition, there are lots of fun activities that the attraction offer, i.e, free pumpkin carving over Halloween (half term) and great online discounts which are much better then anything offered by the competition. Maya and Raihan did have a great day out and the park was very suitable for them, if you are about child led fun, then this is a sure hit. I do also like a theme park combined with animal attractions and having an interactive animal experience is great!