A couple of weeks ago we went on a great family day out to Wicksteed Park in Kettering, Northamptonshire. This is a theme park I have visited many a time as a child as it has been around for decades. My friend Claudy said her Mum used to go as a child
and with Claudy now having her own little girl it really has been family fun for generations.
We have only lived in Northamptonshire since I was 5 but this place brings back fond memories from growing up and I couldn't wait to share it with Ted. Some of the original rides are still there including the Waterchute which was installed in 1926 and is still every bit as fun as imagine it was back then!
As we went with our best friends Claudy (mentioned above), Dave and their daughter Isabella we were able to take it in turns going on rides while the others stayed with the little ones. The rides are divided up in to area's called Lakeside, Arena and Fairground.
Clauds and I were the only ones brave enough to go on the Waterchute and risk getting a little wet. Luckily we were at the front so other than damp bottoms from the seats we did quite well
Ted and Bella came in under the 0.9m height limits so were able to go for free on a lot of the rides when accompanied by and adult. Ted was a little bit small to go on any on his own yet but there was a big selection of rides for toddlers to go on.
These cars were good fun, they have changed the cars themselves and had an overhaul of the original track but they still have that hint of nostalgia about them and Ted loved being able to 'steer' the car. He actually cried when it was time to get off!
Behind the cars you can see the monorail, this is well labelled on the website as "fun for all the family but strong legs are required". Very well put! My Uncle went on it a while back and nearly passed out half way round, it does take a lot of pedalling to get around the track but a great way to see the park from the air.
There is also canoes, rowing boats, and bird Avery's at the Lakeside, I won't go in to details but I once got us stranded in the lake because I didn't know how to row a boat...I was about 15 at the time but my parents have never let me live it down!
Time for a cheesy group shot...Ted refusing to participate as usual!
The arena in my opinion is the thrillseekers area of the park. There are 2 Rollercoasters, the Paratrooper, a Log Flume and Go Carts plus a couple of smaller rides.
We had a couple of goes on the rollercoaster which for a small theme park was good fun and the boys went on the log flume after we had our yummy picnic.
Before we even had time for the food to go down myself, Claudy and Dave let our competitive side out and had a go on the Wicksteed Racers Go Carts, they were good fun and I was able to lap Dave who was adamant that lapping wasn't possible at that speed and felt quite pleased with myself!
We then let Ted have a go on the Honey Pots which he loved, not sure Uncle Dave loved it so much as all that spinning around after lunch must have been a bit nauseating!
The fairground is the most child friendly area of the park in my opinion. Packed full of smaller rides and lots of climbing frames and swings which are free to go on.
This is also the home for the amazing Carousel which is a classic fairground ride and one that has to be a childhood favourite. Ted loved the giant cockerels that sat alongside the horses and kept squawking at them as the carousel went round.
To name just a few of the 'Young Fun' rides there are the Mini Jets, Roundabout, Teacups and the Inflatable Bouncy Castles. There is even a small Rocking Tug to match the giant Pirate Ship (another classic ride).
There is an amusement arcade, café and a host of eatery's, gift shops and even an old fashioned sweet shop for that much needed sugar hit. Some days they even have free samples! Mmm FREE SWEETS!
Our final ride of the day was the Astroglide. We had a fantastic day but by this point our Ted was a bit on the grumpy side but I knew he would like this huge slide and he was able to go on when accompanied by an adult so we went for it. There were a lot of steps to climb but with our mat under my arm I helped Ted up the stairs to the top of the Astroglide. This was when we came to a standstill.
10 steps from the top we reached a queue of people and after a while I realised the staff members were spraying the slide with what looked like polish as they then slid down to 'buff' the slide. Problem was they didn't just do it once they would get to the bottom, come back up and do it again...about 5 times.
Eventually the staff did what they needed to do and we finally whizzed our way down the slide. There was the option to go 6 times but once was enough for us! Ted enjoyed the slide once he got on it but I felt so frustrated that the staff had let so many people up the stairs before doing their polishing job as it really wasn't ideal for us all to be stood at the top of that slide least not with small children in tow.
Despite having a tired grumpy boy at the end of the day we had an amazing day out and have lots of great memories to share with our children and maybe even grandchildren! There is also a camp site which we have stayed at before and car boot sales every weekend. The parking is £6 for the day and you can visit the park for free if you just want a walk or a picnic but wristbands are reasonably priced at just £14 for Adults and £17 for Children. They also offer annual passes too!
Wicksteed Park is a fantastic family day out and packed full of nostalgia. We will definitely be visiting for many years to come!
New to 2014 is the #RUSH experience which includes a Zip Line, Climbing Wall and Leap of Faith. With packages from just £10.50 this is great for adrenaline junkies!
*We were provided with wristbands to share our experience at the park but all opinions are our own.