Reviewed by Louise Forbes
So much niceness to cram into a review I hardly know where to start. We visited the Almond Valley Heritage Centre in Livingston on Easter Sunday and had a lovely warm welcome from the manager who gave an informative chat about what we could expect and the extra things that were going on for Easter.
We made our way into the museum area where there were numerous interactive areas to keep the kids interested and occupied including tunnels for the kids to go through, old fashioned shops and washing areas.
Outside there were lots of animals that have light hearted explanations about them which appealed to both the adults and children. Our favourite were the giant rabbits which were truly enormous and Arthur the Billy Goat who had his own castle like play area (very cool!).
There were indoor play areas for both children under and over 5 years old although we didn’t utilise them since it was so lovely outside they looked well equipped and clean. We took full advantage of the gorgeous weather and bounced on the trampolines, big inflatable pillow and had a shot of the go karts!
There was such a lovely play area with ample space for picnic goers and a small kiosk also outside with snack like menu. In addition to this there was an indoor cafe which sold various hot and cold foods including a great selection of homemade tray bakes and scones. My friend who was with me has a few dietary requirements and on asking if specific ingredients were in items they produced a folder which detailed all ingredients of each item. Very impressive and the staff were obviously used to these kind of questions as it did not fluster them at all. Prices in the restaurant were very reasonable and we were able to feed 2 adults and 3 children on less than £20 in the cafe with the kids enjoying a lunch box each which included a sandwich, drink and either a yogurt and raisins or crisps and fudge bar.
There was a lovely tractor and train ride around the park which ran approximately every 30 minutes and was an additional 50p per person for the tractor ride and £1 per person for the train ride. They had some out buildings which also housed some more history of the local area and a milking shed where there was an opportunity to milk a fake cow! Lots of hilarity at this from us all!! There was a further area where you were able to touch some animals including chickens and rabbits which was child friendly too. There were plenty hand washing stations around the park for when you had touched the animals and ample soap and paper towels to dry your hands.
The toilets were very pleasant, clean and well stocked throughout the whole day with both soap and toilet roll.
We spent the whole day there and left at the closing time of 5pm and we thoroughly enjoyed our time together.
I would recommend this to families of all ages as all areas are accessible to both prams and wheelchairs. It may be a bumpy ride for a wheelchair user as the paths are mainly gravel but manageable. We will definitely be back over the summer holidays and had an absolute ball.
Thanks so much for an awesome place to visit. We absolutely loved it and couldn’t have been made to feel more welcome by the staff there.
Tickets cost £6.50 for adults, £5 for children aged 3-17. Annual passes cost £25 per adult and £18 per child, there are also childminder and corporate passes available (see www.almondvalley.co.uk/Passes.html for full details).
For more information visit www.almondvalley.co.uk.
Almond Valley Heritage Trust, Heritage Centre, Millfield, Livingston, West Lothian, EH54 7AR