Mike and Megan took off to Gulliver’s World, Warrington this week to make the most of the Easter sunshine. Gulliver’s World is a favourite for Megan, simply because she’s too dainty for the huge rides at parks like Alton Towers & Thorpe Park – if we head to the bigger parks she spends a lot of time watching everyone else ride – and sulking because of this (the joys of a nine year old!) so we tend to take Megan to smaller parks, and Tristan to the bigger ones.
Gulliver’s World theme parks are designed for the littles, with a scary looking rollercoaster just big enough to be terrifying for the youngsters and give a buzz as an adult. As expected, food and drink there can be quite expensive so we usually take a packed lunch with us – although Mike mentioned Megan managed to buy her own carton of juice for under £1, so I do wonder if the prices have been lowered to a more appropriate range. With the demographic that Gulliver’s World targets, I honestly find prices that are at the same level as Alton Towers and such quite off-putting so it does make me incredibly happy to hear they’re much more competitive.
Gulliver’s World is situated close to Burtonwood Air Base – in fact, its right next door. Otherwise known as RAF Burtonwood, its located two miles outside of Warrington and used to be home to the American forces in the 1950’s. It held the accolade of biggest airbase in Europe during the war and there were over 18,000 personnel stationed there at its peak – now however, it is almost erased – the runways lie under Junction 8 of the M62. Almost all traces of this base are gone, which saddens me – although Gulliver’s World have taken a nod towards the local heritage by the photograph above.
One thing I love about visiting places like this is the jaunty paintwork a lot of the rides have. Its what I spend a lot of time at local fairs looking at and photographing – a lot of work goes into keeping rides vibrant and while they sometimes aren’t as current as they could be I find them charming.
When we visit somewhere like Gulliver’s World we have a checklist. Megan is particularly reluctant to follow it, but she does appreciate it throughout the day even if it does stand in her way of dominating the fashion circuit at whatever we are visiting. The checklist gets run through as we all get dressed: t-shirt, with vest if possible. Jumper or cardigan. Coat – waterproof one, this is a necessity (we often get around any moans and groans by reminding our little ones they can be tied around a waist if they get too much). Comfortable shoes. Two pairs of socks – when you pound the pavements at an amusement park or even out in the wilds, your feet feel the cold first. Finally, for us ladies – a hair bobble. As you can see by the vlog we did at Thorpe Park last month, rollercoasters and rides are hell on your hair.
The theming around Gulliver’s World is very medieval – well, as medieval as a theme park can get without terrifying the children. Castles, princesses, dragons and knights.. All are pretty prevalent as you wander the park, and while some aspects may look a little tired the park is absolutely charming to take in and appreciate. A lot of the visitors here (such as Mike) used to visit here themselves as children, so nostalgia is a huge factor for adults that bring their own children to the same park they used to excitedly drag their own parents around.
One of the wonderful things about this park is that Megan can independently explore things – she doesn’t need to cling to her Dad to line up or have someone next to her on everything. Things are tame enough for her to bravely go explore on her own, socialising and interacting with other children doing the same. Perhaps its because I work in a school, but I love watching children be children around other children. Under her Fathers watchful eye, she was able to be a child with no hang-ups or without constantly appealing to an adult for social cues – something that you don’t get to experience too often this day and age.
Gulliver’s World will forever be popular with those in the North-West, because they’ve grown up alongside it and will continue to bring younger generations to the park. The closure of Camelot impacted a lot on the themepark attractions in the area, and I think if Gulliver’s World keep on improving and aiming for the younger children – they’ll expand into the Camelot mantle and thrive. Why not book online and save money on tickets today? The park is open all summer, and into the later part of the year although please check your desired dates before dropping by – you could be attending one of the ‘special events’!
(I sat this one out because of my recent diagnosis of Femoro Acetabular Impingement, so Megan and Mike both put on their blogging caps and did this alone!)