Drayton Manor and Thomasland

drayton manor

I can’t quite believe I am going to say this but despite living under an hour away, I had never ever been to Drayton Manor. Luckily, the wonderful folk there invited us to the park and I really regret not going sooner as we all had such a wonderful day! This is my review as a first time visitor; enjoy!

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As we arrived, we drove into the park we went past the hotel which looked gorgeous and had its own dedicated parking. As we followed the road to the main car park I was surprised by how much parking there was and even better – it is completely free. This seems unheard of nowadays where you are charged for absolutely everything on top of your entrance fees so my husband was most impressed.

We got our tickets and were welcomed in the first of very friendly staff we met throughout the day. Thomasland isn’t far from the entrance and it was brilliant knowing we weren’t going to have any tears as everyone was going to be able to go on everything.

 

We headed to Harold’s Helicopters first to see how the girls would get on being up in the sky; as you can see from my video at the bottom of the post we didn’t need to worry as they loved it.

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As we attended a special blogging event, they opened the park an hour before it was open to the general public – talk about really feeling like VIPs! We capitalised and got on most of the rides before there were any queues meaning very happy children as we got our pick of them.

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We were really lucky that we got to have a nose at the VIP rooms and they were so gorgeous with sofas and beanbags. Charlie loved that we went into the room that had Charlie in it and naturally had to have a photo!

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You get a spectacular view of the park from the rooms too so it was lovely to be able to go inside. They are based at the Sodor Airport above the restaurant below.

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After riding our hearts out, we decided we would hop on the train to the other side of the park and go over to the zoo. We waited for the train and took guesses who we would get and Charlie was happy as we got Thomas!

You can walk over to the other side of the park but as we hadn’t been before we wanted to try and experience as much as possible. Don’t be daunted by the queues for the train as it soon goes down as so many can get on it each journey.

At the other end, we hopped off and popped into Mrs Kyndley’s cafe for a quick refuel. Prices weren’t extortionate and perfect for filling us up. We had three huge warm homemade sausage rolls to share, plus a bottle of pepsi max and a hot chocolate with cream for £11 which we were amazed by as were expecting huge prices.

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I loved the style of the café with all the different engines, we chose Percy to sit on and we all warmed and filled up before heading over to the Dinosaur Trail.

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P2 the past few months has become obsessed with dinosaurs so she got very excited when she spotted a huge T-Rex. Charlie tried reading all their names out to us which ending up with lots of giggling as he tried to pronounce them – he got stegosaurus and T-Rex right though!

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As we were walking round the trail, the girls spotted the slides on the playground so we spent the best part of an hour on there as they absolutely loved climbing and running around.

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After we wrestled the girls out of the playground, we headed off to the zoo area which is just a short walk round from the playground.

IMG_5807 I was expecting more of a farm like zoo – nope! It’s 15 acres with over 100 species so I was amazed when I saw they had chimpanzees, monkeys and even a tiger – who was sleeping but looks absolutely huge. There were so many different things to see and lots of information boards with questions which Charlie really enjoys doing, giving an extra depth to the visit.drayton manor

 

We found some very noisy parrots who liked to say hello much to Charlie’s amusement and all three decided that they were their favourites as they gave us all a good giggle (and headache!!) They were such beautiful colours and the girls seemed fascinated by them.

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The girls will be 3 in June and Charlie was 7 in December. The park is just perfect for them as the girls had all of Thomasland to explore, and being with his sisters Charlie is still excited by Thomasland but also tall enough to try the bigger ride (he’s an incredibly tall 7 year old!) He has said he would love to go back to try the bigger rides and my husband and I will be arguing over who gets to take him on as we are both thrill seekers ourselves. So that will be the plan for the summer, as the park wasn’t fully open when we visited.

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Drayton Manor’s 2016 season runs from Saturday 12th March until Friday 28th October, with the Firework Spectacular weekend taking place on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th October, which I have heard a lot of wonderful things about along with their Christmas event that my friend goes to religiously every year and raves about. There is so much to see and do – and without the main rides even being open! It was a really great family day out enjoyed by big and smalls!

Here’s a little video from our fun day

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Disclosure – we were all given complimentary entry to the park and this is my entry to become a Drayton Manor ambassador. All views, opinions, photos and videos are my own.

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21 Comments

  1. 29th February 2016 / 11:32 am

    It was BRILLIANT wasn’t it? It was a bit cold but despite this we had a super time too. Nice seeing you there! Your video is fab – you get a good feel for the day and place 🙂 xx

    • 1st March 2016 / 8:18 pm

      Really brill. Lovely to see you guys – must catch up soon xx

  2. 29th February 2016 / 1:01 pm

    It looks like you had such a wonderful day out…How lovely x

  3. Amy
    29th February 2016 / 3:59 pm

    This is a great post, wonderful photos and a great video! It looks like you have all had a wonderful day out at Drayton Manor Park, after seeing the video and photos I am going to mention to my partners brother as they have a little one who is obsessed with Thomas the Tank engine so this would be a perfect day out! Thanks for sharing!

    • 1st March 2016 / 8:17 pm

      It’s a lovely place especially for Thomas fans x

  4. 1st March 2016 / 8:26 am

    Oh my goodness, how much fun does this look! I don’t think it’s too far from us, so we really must go. What gorgeous pictures you’ve taken and you’ve really given us a feel for the place. Thank you! #triedtested

    • 1st March 2016 / 8:16 pm

      If you book online you can save lots of money so well worth looking at! x

  5. 1st March 2016 / 10:03 am

    I didn’t realise Drayton Manor had so many different facets to it – Dino World looks amazing and I know my two would love it. What a great review and best of luck with your entry to becoming an Ambassador!
    #TriedTested

    • 1st March 2016 / 8:16 pm

      I didn’t either Tracey – it really was a thoroughly good family day out x

  6. Coombe Mill - Fiona
    1st March 2016 / 11:01 am

    I wish mine were younger so I could take advantage of this one, Thomas went on tour in my day and my kids were so excited to see him at our local station, how much more fun is this! It looks a great day out and your review certainly does it justice. Please share with me on Country Kids, this would be perfect. #TriedTested

  7. 1st March 2016 / 8:39 pm

    Looks like you had a GREAT first experience of Thomas Land & Drayton Manor. Isn’t it fab?! My girls love it there and it’s not hard to see why. The little things like super friendly & helpful staff, and free parking, make all the difference too.

  8. 1st March 2016 / 10:09 pm

    Good luck! We adore Thomas Land and would so have tried to become Ambassadors had we not lived 2 hrs away! #triedtested

  9. Robyn
    2nd March 2016 / 2:47 am

    Looks like great fun, I’d love it if we had somewhere like this nearby to bring our toddler to, he’d be so impressed! Glad you all had a fun day out 🙂

  10. 2nd March 2016 / 2:59 pm

    This looks like a wonderful day, you seem to have had a great time

  11. Emmy
    3rd March 2016 / 2:51 pm

    The free parking is brilliant – the last thing I want on a day out is to pay for bloody parking! Loved the vid, I know that the helicopter look out onto the park would be a massive hit with our family, really good idea.

    How cute is the cafe…?! Those wooden named seats are divine! We are in the same area as you and have never been either (how bad) but deffo think we will be paying a visit as it mm doesn’t look too overwhelming for Freddie and would be a great first themed day out for him!

    Thanks twinderelmo!

  12. 7th March 2016 / 6:30 pm

    My word! What an action packed day with your cuties. I had no idea there were animals – mine would adore that. Great film too 🙂

  13. 7th March 2016 / 8:06 pm

    This looks amazing! I really want to take Boo – I am sure she would have so much fun – I might wait for the nicer weather though as I hate the cold!

  14. 7th March 2016 / 8:23 pm

    What a great place! I mean I cant think of a little on in the land that wouldnt want to see thomas AND dinosaurs AND a zoo all in one place!!! #ToddlerApprovedTuesday

  15. Laura Tovey
    16th November 2016 / 7:14 am

    I wish we didn’t live so far away, my youngest loves Thomas and he’d love this!! Looks like a lovely day was had!