When we were asked if we fancied going to stay at Carden Park I jumped at the chance. A swanky night away just me and the hubby I thought – how wonderful! But that wasn’t the offer, the offer was to take the kids and find out how child friendly it was. A slightly different proposition but exciting nonetheless.

Hubby was in Telford on Friday so we agreed to meet at Carden Park at around 4ish. Our eldest was on a mini holiday with her Grandparents for the weekend in the Lake District with Park Resorts so there was just me and the twins. We packed the Ford Smax and set off for yet another adventure. We really are doing out best to put it through its paces.

As we were driving to Carden Park, I picked up a call from hubby (blue tooth hands free in this Smax!) who had arrived and was calling to say he wasn’t sure how child friendly it was going to be: it’s a bit nice he said!

However as we found out, nice hotel doesn’t have to mean it’s not child friendly. Carden Park welcomed our girls with open arms and they had a fabulous 24 hours. So what did we do?

Well we bounced on the beds! Having received a press release which started Bouncing on beds is strictly allowed at Carden Park.  We thought we would give it a try!

Carden Park

After all the bouncing, me and the girls took a wander round the estate to see what we could find. Hubby took a conference call in the room (which the rooms are very well set up for) and met up with us as we discovered the crazy golf.


I was really surprised on our wander round to find a huge and very well maintained adventure playground. The girls loved the fact that it was empty and could happily have whiled away the rest of the afternoon just there. There was however more to see. We found the event station where you can arrange Archery, Laser Clay Shooting, Mountain Biking etc and saw the Kong aerial ropes course. We booked in our session at the driving range and the girls swung their tiny clubs round whilst watching music videos on a very large screen. So far so good!!

 As we had dinner booked in in The Vines bistro for 5.30pm we decided not to play crazy golf that evening but the twins never let rules get in the way of fun, so they made up their own challenge which was who could run round the course the quickest! Dad encouraging and Mum wondering who was going to trip and fall first!


Dinner at The Vines was superb. The staff were all very kind to the girls and the activity pack for them to play with whilst waiting for their meals was one of the best I have ever seen. Granted the cost of the kids menu was slightly higher than in a Harvester or Pizza Express but not much more. The portion sizes for the main course were also huge and the girls could easily have shared (in fact all three of them could have).


They chose to try the salmon fishcakes and the cheese fritters for starter and both opted for Mac and cheese with garlic bread. There was going to be chocolate brownie and ice cream for pudding but they were too full and too tired after all the earlier fun.

The bistro menu we had to choose from was very fairly priced. Much less expensive than I would have expected from a bistro within a luxury hotel. My chicken liver parfait with brioche was very good as was hubby’s ham hock terrine. We washed this down with a glass of Carden Old Gold sparkling wine which is produced using grapes from Carden Park’s onsite vineyard. This was really good and I really do wish I had bought a bottle to bring home with us. The lamb and burger that followed were delicious. My burger was possibly slightly bigger than I expected….

But I managed to make quite a dent in it as it was so good! The wine list was again fairly priced and whilst I imagine the wines may have been slightly pricier in Redmond’s restaurant which boasts a AA Rosette; our Malbec at £24 was really very nice.

We all went back to the room at 7 with the idea of watching a film before getting the girls to sleep and reading/watching iPads ourselves. The girls were shattered though and just wanted to sleep so we turned the light off to help them get to sleep and promptly fell asleep ourselves! Whilst the Malbec clearly helped we obviously needed the ten hours sleep we all got!

I expected the girls to wake up early as we were all sleeping in together but it was actually 7.30 by the time they woke up, and then movement only really started because Isobel needed to find the activity pack from The Vines which she had slept with under her pillow!


We managed to delay breakfast until 8, although breakfast is served from 7. This is very important to know when you have little ones, particularly if they wake early. We can’t be the only ones that have been camped out in the past at breakfast buffets desperate for them to open!?! The girls were happy to find Coco Pops and Rice Krispies and there was enough different types of bread to ensure any child would get the type they were used to.

Full breakfast for Hubby and an omelette for me. All types of eggs can be cooked to order and fish requests are placed with the waiting staff, otherwise it’s all self service. The food was excellent, no hard eggs or fatty stringy sausages at Carden Park!

After breakfast we made our way to the Event Station to hit some balls about. There are 14 stations in the driving range and as it was quiet we managed to use 3 of them. I don’t think either of the twins are going to give Tiger Woods a run for their money but they had lots of fun hitting the balls, just off the edge of the range and watching Daddy try and aim for the various targets.



After the driving range it was time for my Spa treatment. I had been booked in for a Poultice Treatment. The treatment is a traditional Thai massage and it was 55 minutes of pure unadulterated Me Time!   I was given a fluffy robe and a pair of slippers and made my way into the treatment room.  My therapist spent some time making sure I understood what the treatment was going to feel like and checked pressure and heat throughout.  It’s a similar idea to hot stones, but at the end you get to take the poultice home with you to use in the shower.  I opted for an energising oil as I had the rest of the day with the girls to enjoy, and found the whole experience wonderful.


During my treatment time, hubby took the twins swimming. Thanks to the amazing float jackets from Splash About he is able to do this safely as he doesn’t have to hold both up.  The pool at Carden Park was plenty big enough for those wanting to swim (there was an adult lane) and play like the girls.  It was warm and clean and they played very happily for an hour in there.  I was sad to have missed out on the swim time as I’d have quite liked to relax on the heated chairs!

We re-grouped in Morgan’s Bar and borrowed clubs from reception to play Crazy Golf or Childrens Golf as it was renamed by mine.  Evie kept kicking my ball into the hole so I’m not entirely sure she got the point, but again we had a lovely time playing about and we laughed a lot. After a quick game of draughts (I think I will say I won!) we decided to move away from the front lawn as there was a wedding about to start and no bride wants their vows punctuated with laughter or tears. You can get both at the same time from mine!



There was just time for another go on the brilliant Adventure Playground before Afternoon Tea in Morgan’s Bar.

We had a fabulous 24 hours at Carden Park and the girls happily recounted their tales to their Sister at length when she got home today. Carden Park you are definitely child friendly and our Mini Travellers will happily recommend you.

My Travel Monkey
Mini Travellers

Mini Travellers

Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!

Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.


  1. September 7, 2015 at 7:19 am — Reply

    I wondered about this when I saw all of your photographs at the weekend. I spent a week at Carden Park on a residential course with work (about ten years ago) and would not have considered it child-friendly then. I might pop back … we quite like nights away with the boys but prefer to keep it somewhere under an hour away because we don’t like travelling time to eat in to ‘holiday’ time too much. I’m sure they’d adore the golf too.
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  2. barjerow
    September 7, 2015 at 9:10 am — Reply

    Wow, that all looks fabulous, especially the afternoon tea!!

  3. September 7, 2015 at 11:15 am — Reply

    OMG I would travel here just to try their Sparkling Wine! Such a good reason to stay! Looks fab – why do kids always insist on jumping on beds? Not so bad when they’re not your own 🙂

  4. September 8, 2015 at 8:43 pm — Reply

    Fab post Karen and the hotel looks fab, it is so important to have activities on the suit the family and that afternoon tea looks amazing x
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  5. September 8, 2015 at 9:10 pm — Reply

    This does look like a great place for a family break. I love that you bounced on the beds!
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  6. September 8, 2015 at 9:26 pm — Reply

    I adore Carden Park as this is where I spent my 30th birthday weekend (many years ago). Even shared a Jacuzzi with Nick Knowles lol. I love the fact that even though it is a luxury hotel, its still really child friendly. The afternoon tea looks amazing as does everything else about the hotel. Its really making me want to go back now x
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  7. September 9, 2015 at 1:41 am — Reply

    Not only do I love that you jumped on the bed, I love that you were instructed to do so! What a wonderful place. You simply can’t beat a hotel that knows how to spoil both parents and kids – thanks for the recommendation!
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  8. September 9, 2015 at 10:49 am — Reply

    Love this post and such gorgeous pics of the twins. Loks like a great hotel and awesome that you got to jump on the beds. Great to find a new hotel, can’t wait to give it a try 🙂
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  9. September 9, 2015 at 10:53 am — Reply

    What a fabulous review and night away – it certainly looks like Carden is family-friendly in every way – love the bouncing on beds and the size of that burger. Sounds like a perfect weekend for us, hubby swinging the clubs and me in the spa and Monkey in the adventure playground! Win Win. Thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes
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  10. September 9, 2015 at 12:59 pm — Reply

    What a great combination – lots if luxury and properly child-friendly. Love that you’re actually encouraged to bounce on the beds too!
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  11. September 9, 2015 at 1:15 pm — Reply

    Mine love golf, would be fab to take them away for a weekend somewhere where they could play. Like Ting, I want to go to the spa though 😉 Isn’t it magical when the places we think will be too smart for kids turn out to be the best places – everyone wins!
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  12. September 9, 2015 at 3:09 pm — Reply

    What fun – to have some “me” time and some family time too! Everyone looks really happy and the activities for the kids look fab (we especially love crazy golf!)

  13. September 9, 2015 at 8:41 pm — Reply

    This was really interesting as I often find that luxury hotels which claim to be family friendly don’t always do it that well with lots of adult only areas or disapproving looks from other guests.

    It looks like you all had a ball. And I love the bouncing on the beds. And there should be a law that every hotel has crazy golf, either indoor or outdoor.
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  14. September 12, 2015 at 7:59 am — Reply

    Sounds like a perfect little get away Karen the spa would be right up my street, it’s nice to know that they are so accommodating with children! Xx
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  15. September 12, 2015 at 9:13 pm — Reply

    I’m so impressed by this! It isn’t often you get luxury without it being a bore for the kids.
    Love this and great photos… did you save me a cake?! xx

  16. September 14, 2015 at 7:01 am — Reply

    […] Photo by Mini Travellers […]

  17. September 14, 2015 at 3:24 pm — Reply

    […] Ford S-MAX through its paces.  We have taken the car on lots of adventures, to the North East, to Carden Park, Kite Flying  both hubby and I have used it regularly for work and this weekend we asked the girls […]

  18. October 6, 2015 at 1:14 pm — Reply

    […] to read more? We were recently reviewed as a child-friendly Cheshire hotel on Mini […]

  19. November 4, 2015 at 9:37 am — Reply

    They are so cute. Traveling with these cuties are so good plus the stay at the Carden park is a perfect combination. I so love the idea of the playground and different activities which surely give fun to children. I will keep this one and I’m sure it will be another exciting place to visit.
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  20. January 26, 2016 at 4:37 pm — Reply

    This place sounds and looks amazing!!! We could do with a weekend away xx
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  21. January 27, 2016 at 8:38 pm — Reply

    This looks like the most amazing 24 hours. I am so impressed that Carden Park is luxurious and kid-friendly. I love all your photographs. But especially the photos of the girls bouncing on the beds. Cute! Hugs Lucy xxxx
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  22. March 1, 2016 at 1:28 pm — Reply

    What a fabulous looking place. It looks like you had plenty to do and that afternoon tea looks fab
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  23. March 1, 2016 at 4:07 pm — Reply

    This looks fabulous Karen! I’m always looking for good places to take the kids cos even though two of them are teenagers, the place does need to be suitable for them too. Looks great…especially the food!

  24. […] time I was at Carden Park I was with my husband and 3 year old twins and summarised that it was an incredibly family friendly hotel.  It’s tricky for a hotel to get the balance right between family friendly and spa/golf […]

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