Great weather is never guaranteed in the great South West. But no matter - we have you covered! Kath Kay takes her family, including five-year-old Harvey and two-year-old Harriet to road test three of the most popular theme parks, to see what might work for a wet weather day (and not too far from Gwelmor).
A 50 min drive fr, Camel Creek is a popular Cornish family attraction with plenty to keep all ages entertained, whatever the weather. And we should know. We chose one of the wettest days in recent Cornish history to visit.
Thankfully a selection of animal related diversions were close to the entrance.They included Pet’s Corner - a barn with enclosures housing birds, reptiles, rabbits and guinea pigs - and the Reptile House with a surprisingly lively Chameleon, a Caiman peeking above water and various other slithery friends to delight our two and five year olds.
We braved the horizontal rain to try some of the more adrenaline-fuelled attractions.
Sadly, Harriet (even on tippitoes) didn't quite reach the minimum height for most of the rides, however she loved the teacups which we sloshed about in until mummy felt dizzy... Meanwhile Harvey - towering above the 0.9 minimum for most rides, embarked on the Clown Coaster and Swampy's Drop nearby (on repeat). There's so much else to explore too, from water rides of Thunder Canyon to the new 5D cinema. A number of rides, including the soft play, were closed when we visited due to Covid-19 restrictions, but hopefully they will be up and running soon.
There's plenty of options for snacks, lunch or an ice cream - all undercover, so a good place to escape for a little respite from the rain. One of our favourite things about the day was the lack of queues - thanks largely to the rain of course! Made visiting with two excited little people all the easier.
Just 30 mins drive from - the Milky Way is compact but perfectly formed for a half or full day out in wet weather. We arrived in a short blast of sunshine so made the most of the Jumping Jupiters outside - enormous trampolines blown up like pillows. Brilliant fun for little ones and even better for adults! I stayed on with Harriet while husband James took Harvey off for a couple of speedy rides down the Gravity Rider donut slides next door.
As the clouds and rain appeared, we headed inside for a space adventure on the new Ziggy's Blast Quest, where we sat two to a cyber shuttle and 'blasted' asteroids with little hand-held lasers. Harvey absolutely loved this and Harriet was mesmerised by the lights. Close by was the Droid Destroyer dodgems, where they alternate between 'fast' rides and 'child friendly, no-bumping' sessions, so everyone can have a turn. We took time out for lunch in the Planet Play indoor area with speedy slides and a fun Ninja Stars activity arena.
It brightened up briefly for a bird show in the Birds of Prey centre, where eagles and falcons swooped around us.We then managed a couple of spins on the Cosmic Caterpillar rollercoaster (Harriet's first white-knuckle ride - she wanted more, more, more...) and caught the last train on the Milky Way Railway. This does a little loop around a pond and past small animal and dinosaur figurines. The park closed at 2pm to allow cleaning for the next day but we felt we'd had a good day out and been on most of the rides.
Family days out in Devon don’t get much better than this. With activities, shows and rides to occupy all generations, The Big Sheep is a theme park and farm rolled into one. Even better, it's only 45 minutes from Gwelmor.
Ride ponies and a piggy tractor, or take the scenic train ride around Swan Lake. Then - for children of a certain height - the Rampage Rollercoaster (the biggest, fastest and highest in Devon) awaits, with its twists, turns and surprisingly dippy dips. Five rounds later, Harvey reluctantly agreed to join us for lunch. But only if he could go on the Jumping Pillows and Twister flying chairs en route.
The weather turned in the afternoon but this was the perfect opportunity to visit the newly born lambs, fluffy guinea pigs, rabbits and llamas in the Nursery Barn and Pets Corner. Greedy sheep vie for the attention of anyone brandishing a brown paper bag of food. If you’ve bought one, you’ll be warmly welcomed.
There’s also plenty of opportunity to get hands on in the indoor show arena, with lamb bottle feeding and sheep shearing. In the duck trials, Craig the border collie chased Indian Runner ducks through gates, under bridges and down helter-skelters.
In Ewetopia, soft play awaits, along with probably the best baby sensory room you’ll ever find in a theme park. Harriet passed a happy half hour tugging at LED string lights and rustling crackly paper. Meanwhile, Harvey was a blur of colour up and down the slides.
It’s one of a number of places to grab a coffee, but if you need something stronger, then The Big Sheep is also home to its own mini brewery. Free beer tastings are on offer and we challenge you to leave without a few bottles tucked in the buggy basket.
Please check with individual websites for opening hours and areas closed due to Covid-19