Reviewed by Jo Tebbs
I’m not sure who was more excited for our day trip out to Paultons Park, myself or my toddler!
We were kindly invited to a ‘Tinies & Toddlers’ event which was being held in association with Tops Day Nurseries at the theme park located in Romsey, Hampshire.
When I told my little one that we were going to visit Peppa Pig World, even though she had absolutely no idea what was in store, she immediately went straight to get her shoes and was ready to run out the front door!!! She squealed ‘Peppa Pig, Peppa Pig’ for a good 5 minutes!!! I’m pretty sure that most parents with a small child is at least familiar with the friendly, little, pink pig even if they’ve never had the joy of watching an episode (or it permanently being on repeat)!
Paultons Park holds many nostalgic memories from my childhood. In fact, it was the very first theme park I ever visited! My parents would treat my brother and I to an action packed and thrilling adventure day out every summer holidays. When reminiscing and looking back, I often have vivid memories. In particular, I fondly remember Paultons Park having a large outdoor climbing tower with 2 big metal slides coming out from it. These were the tallest slides I had ever climbed up to and then had the sheer pleasure of sliding back down!! I also remember singing along to the radio advert from Paultons Park which would often play whilst we drove around in Dorset – “you’ll have a ‘hoot hoot,’ at Paultons Park” (the Paultons mascot has always been Percy the owl)!!
I know that theme parks have to evolve and change in order to remain up-to-date and current, so after approximately 30 years since my last trip to Paultons, I was really looking forward to experiencing the theme park as an adult, seeing how it has developed over the years and experiencing Peppa Pig World (this never existed in my day). 2023 marks the 40th Anniversary for Paultons Park and it now has over 70 rides and attractions including a number of different animal enclosures, play areas, soft play, a splash park and much, much more!
To get there, Google maps assisted with directing me straight to the car parking facilities (which are FREE I hasten to add) but the park was also relatively well sign posted from the turn off/ slip road of the M27, so I wouldn’t have had any difficulties trying to find my way there even without a navigation system. The car park was your typical parking lot, a vast amount of flat tarmac with nicely demarcated parking boundaries and clearly labelled parking sections. I parked in row ‘D.’ I always find it helpful to take a picture of where I’ve parked, so when the end has come to your busy day and you’re tired with exhausted little people in tow, you can find your car with relative ease and you don’t spend hours trekking up and down the isles of the whole car park trying to locate your vehicle.
In regards to purchasing entry tickets, these can either be bought online for the specific date of your visit, or on arrival at the park itself. Please note though, there is quite a considerable saving when buying tickets in advance online (https://paultonspark.co.uk/tickets/), so it might be worth opting for this method of purchase especially if you are planning for a trip ahead, rather than having an ad-hoc adventure. If purchasing an individual day ticket online, the price is £41.75, compared with a price of £55.50 at the ticket booths located at the park entrance.
The website (https://paultonspark.co.uk) also displays whether specific dates are already sold out or if tickets are selling quickly. In my opinion, it’s always best to be prepared and purchase ahead of time – I would hate to see the disappointment on little people’s faces if you arrived at the theme park but couldn’t enter because the park was already at full capacity!
There is also an option to buy family tickets for 3, 4 and even 5 people. Again, if you buy these on the Paultons Park website, large savings can be made. Annual passes (different levels at different rates) are available for purchase and these are certainly worth considering especially if you intend to visit a minimum of 4-5 times during the year.
One thing that I love about this theme park, is that the park allows all children under 1 metre in height to enter for FREE!! This is perfect for preschoolers and toddlers where you can immerse them in the world of Peppa Pig and you only have to pay for your own entry fee.
Unfortunately, the British weather was working against us on the day of our visit but we wrapped ourselves up, pulled on our waterproofs and we were determined not to let a dreary grey day with a bit of rain dampen our spirits!!! The rain just meant a few extra puddles for us to jump and splash in!
For convenience, there are an array of kiosks dotted around throughout the park selling various snacks, ice creams (perfect for the summer months!) and drinks including slush puppies, teas and coffees (an essential on a cooler day!). There are also a multitude of venues like Route 83 when you can have a sit down meal and order the likes of breakfast or a more substantial lunch meal in order to keep you fuelled up with energy for running around the park.
We decided to have a mid-day pit stop and ordered some lunch. A kids meal generally costs under £8 and you can order the likes of mac’n’cheese or chicken tenders with chips and a FruitShoot drink. The portion size was really generous and actually not far off of the size of an adults meal!! Adults can choose from burgers, chicken tenders and salads to name but a few dishes. I think there is something that would suit everybody’s taste and palate including vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options!! I visited with a friend who suffers with a medical condition and has a very specialised diet that is both gluten and dairy free. Oat milk and soya milk alternatives were available and she had a gluten free burger with chips (the chips she was served looked different to the ones I was given) and a fountain drink.
An adult meal was on average about £13. These prices are in keeping with what you would expect to pay at a fast food restaurant let alone one inside of a theme park. The food was actually very tasty and more importantly, it was served hot – hallelujah!! This was welcomed on a cold and blustery day. You could order via self-serve screens or alternatively via a cashier. I was most impressed by the speed of service. By the time I had picked up some condiments (ketchup and mayonnaise), napkins and wooden cutlery provided, my order number was being called! It literally was ‘fast-food!’ This meant my hungry little munchkin wasn’t kept waiting for food and we could get back to enjoying the rides sooner.
Do not fear, it is not compulsory to purchase food and drink inside the park. Food can quickly make the cost of a day out double in price. At Paultons Park, if you so wish, you can take your own snacks and lunch into the park. There are some gorgeous spots within the grounds whereby that you can set up a picnic and enjoy the surrounds of the pristine, manicured gardens or listen to the soothing sound of trickling river waters. On a wet and windy day, you might prefer to enjoy sitting down on a dry picnic bench under the cover of a marquee and taking some shelter whilst you have a well deserved feast.
There are bins found everywhere throughout the park, not only next to the food kiosks. A nice touch is that the park are actively trying to encourage recycling so various bins are utilised which are clearly labelled for particular rubbish types ie food waste, plastic, recycling.
We all need to pay a quick visit to a bathroom when we are out all day and I must admit, I dislike using public toilets. Once again, I was very pleasantly surprised. Not only were the facilities clean and tidy but they looked (and more importantly smelt!) well maintained. I think a block of toilets was always within a short walking distance at all times within the park and they were clearly sign posted. Having a toddler who’s bladder control is still a ‘work in progress,’ I always like to know where toilets are situated in case of a last minute emergency dash being required. Another small, but really appreciated feature to note, was that every toilet cubicle I went into, had a child’s smaller toilet seat neatly attached onto the ‘adult’ seat. Also children’s sinks were installed in each toilet block too.
When you visit a theme park, most people are primarily visiting for the rides. Whether you like to twist, drop, spin, turn, splash, swoop or dive, you will undoubtedly find a ride that you’ll love here! Fast or slow, they have it all!!
As a self confessed adrenaline junkie, I love the thrill of a ride! Paultons Park caters for all age ranges, heights and all levels of adventure seeking, so all members of a whole family can find an experience that they will enjoy!
Having a small child, we spent the majority of our day in Peppa Pig World. This area of the park caters for the smaller members of the family with a number of rides being suitable for little ones under 1m in height. For older children and adults wanting a greater buzz, there are a number of roller coasters in the Lost Kingdom which would appeal to the more daring of individuals.
I saw a number of buggy parks within Peppa Pig World. When visiting with a small child, this is really useful so you can park it up under cover (helpful when it’s raining) whilst going on rides. Although, I tended to find that most people with buggies just seemed to leave them in non-designated areas at either the entrance or exit to the ride that they were going on.
Lockers were also available so bags with valuables could be safely locked away whilst you enjoyed going on the rides. Although I didn’t use this facility myself, I believe a locker to hire was £4 for the day. These would probably best be suited to people going on the more adventurous rides where bags were not permitted to be taken or carried on the ride.
Waiting times are clearly displayed at the entrance to each ride and screens dotted around the park showed the waiting times for the most popular of the attractions. Being that we were visiting the park in April during term-time on a Thursday (and it wasn’t the best of weather), the wait times for rides were minimal. I think the longest we waited at any point was 5 minutes. However, in the height of the summer holidays, I can imagine that Paultons Park could be heaving and have wait times of over 30 minutes for some rides.
Height requirements are also highlighted for each ride at the entrance, along with measuring facilities. Staff operating the rides may double check children’s heights to permit them onto the ride, or in some cases, there maybe some requirements for the seating positions on the ride dependant on the height of the individual.
Some attractions also have photo opportunity moments whereby a picture is captured during your ride experience. These can then be viewed and purchased from a booth usually located at the exit of the ride.
All the staff I encountered within the park were professional yet friendly and they often made jokes and conversation with us which made our experience more enjoyable and positive.
The attention to detail, overall layout and design of all of the displays and rides were stunning. Such care and thought have gone into the visuals making everything very aesthetically pleasing and beautiful.
It was quite refreshing not to have a souvenir gift shop at the exit of every ride, especially when my daughter is somewhat of a magpie with eyes wide open when it comes to seeking out toys and pretty coloured objects to touch! However, if you do enjoy wondering around these shops and like to buy something as a memory of your day out, there are a number of gift shops within the park (a large one is located at the exit of the park) where clothing, toys, trinkets, sweets and other souvenirs can be purchased.
Paultons Park not only met my expectations for a theme park but it completely went above and beyond in exceeding them. We had a tremendous day out filled with lots of fun and laughter and new experiences for all were had. It really was a ‘hoot’ of a day out!!
Rather than buy presents for people this year, why not gift them a day out at Paultons Park where they can make memories that will last them a lifetime!
Rating: I would rate the Paultons Park theme park as 5 out of 5
The price of tickets (bought online in advance);
Children under 1m in height: free
Individual ticket: £41.75
Family of 3: £125.25
Family of 4: £167
Family of 5: £208.75
Tickets can be booked online by visiting;
The address for Paultons Park is;
The New Forest,