We were invited to review Oakwood Theme Park during our trip to Tenby this week and, having first visited when it opened in the late 80’s I couldn’t wait to go back with my sister and introduce the next generation!
It’s hard to beat a holiday in West Wales when the weather is good, you’re spoilt for choice with beautiful beaches to explore, villages to visit and some fabulous family friendly attractions.
When we were growing up, all of our holidays were spent at our Grandpa’s farm in Pembrokeshire. Summers were a busy time with shearing and haymaking and getting ready for harvest but, once all of that was out of the way we were rewarded with a trip to…. OAKWOOD!!!! It was the highlight of our holidays so when the opportunity arose to go back with my sister and our kids I couldn’t wait!
Wednesday was the only day we could do so, when were woke to the rain hammering down on the caravan roof it was more than my spirits that were dampened. We checked the weather app and found that the worst of the rain would have passed by early afternoon so we made the most of the indoor pool in the morning and headed over around 2ish. Oakwood Theme Park is less than 20 minutes from Kiln Park Caravan site where we stayed (part of the Haven group) and throughout August the park is open 10-10 on Wednesdays and Saturdays (plus Bank Holiday Monday)- ideal given the circumstances as it meant we could still get almost 8 hours in the park.
The benefit of the mornings rain was that Oakwood Theme Park was super quiet and queues were minimal. First shout for us was the Bobsleigh which was damp, greasy and fast, just as good as I remembered!
Next up we headed to Treetops, another of Oakwood Theme Park original rides. The map you receive on entry advises you on the height restrictions for each of the rides so you can avoid the tears and tantrums simply by steering away from those attractions; as always, knowledge and advance planning is power! Brilliantly we were able to stay on and ride the rollercoaster 3 times in a row which, on a sunny day would be unheard of. The kids were over the moon and so were we.
The youngest in our party was just 2 so we headed to Neverland which is idea for toddlers, there is a teeny pirate ship, a taxi tour and some slides as well as a log flume- LOVED IT!
Hooks House of Havoc was a pristine soft play and empty when we visited- another bonus of visiting on a drizzly day and the perfect place for your picnic.
My sister and I braved Speed- super scary but brilliant and the girls were terrifited – their new word for Terrified and Excited in equal measure to try Megafobia the wooden rollercoaster. I was impressed by their courage and pleased that they ended the ride as happy as they were to begin with!
There is plenty to keep older children and teens entertained including several water slides and flumes and scarier rides such as Vertigo and Bounce but we were more than happy to go with what the kids fancied including pedeloes and a pizza pit stop.
Once dusk descended it was time for Colourfest- a random UV paint throwing party during which the rides are lit up in rainbow colours and there is music and entertainment on the outside staging. The DJ barely had chance to finish his sentence before Bethan, Hannah and their cousin raced for the stage, hoisted themselves up and started freestyling. My sister and I watched on and tried unsuccessfully to disguise our giggles! They were in their element J
There’s lots of accommodation options less than half an hour from Oakwood Theme Park and they offer a re-entry stamp so, if visiting with littlies you can realistically arrive at the park for opening, go for a nap and some dinner mid afternoon and come back for the evening entertainment and firework finale.
Being honest, some parts of the park look tired. Tinks Flying School ride for example is rusty and sun-bleached but the kids didn’t notice and it was actually a great ride. Some of the props and mannequins could definitely do with a jet wash and a paint job and there are bits that could benefit from being a little more ‘behind the scenes’ such as fuel for the rides etc but these are things that catch an adults eye; the kids were too busy racing from ride to ride to notice or care and none of them detracted from our enjoyment either.
There is something special about sharing experiences with your children and, if going to a theme park with kids doesn’t extract your inner child I don’t know what will. Watching their faces light up with sheer joy as their tummies turned over is a memory I’ll treasure and, being able to do that with my sister and her family made it all the more perfect.
Annoyingly my phone battery died late afternoon and 3 very tired girls meant that we left just before the fireworks finale (turns out howling wind and pelting rain sounds pretty loud on a caravan roof!) but we all really enjoyed hurling neon paint powder at each other – we left with paint plastered plaits, aching cheeks and feeling super smug for risking a theme park in the rain.
Our advice for Oakwood Theme Park in the rain? Whack on a waterproof and suck it up, you’ll swerve the queues, skip the sunstroke and, if you really strike it lucky you’ll be allowed to ride the rollercoaster 3 times in a row. Winning at life right there. Thanks for having us Oakwood Theme Park, we can’t wait to come back next year.