Reviewed by Catherine Brown
‘Robin Hoods Wheelgate Theme, Farm & Water Park’ is the perfect place to keep your young children entertained during the school break or beyond. We visited the attraction as a family of three (1 adult and 2 children aged 11 and 9) early on in the summer holidays. Wheelgate is located near Farnsfield in the Sherwood Forest area of Nottinghamshire. It is open daily from 10am to 5pm, 7 days a week and you can easily fill a couple of hours or more exploring the range of activities on site.
After purchasing your tickets (which are reduced in price if you purchase online in advance) you are able to enjoy the majority of activities at no extra charge. Exceptions include unicorn rides, which are available during school holidays and arcade style games. A map of the park is provided on entering, however there are signposts as you walk around, and the site isn’t too big that you could get lost.
The first room we entered was the butterfly garden. We were surprised by how few butterflies there actually were but the boys enjoyed buying fish food for 50p to feed the fish and terrapins in a small pond. We then moved onto the outdoor climbing frame which was ideally surrounded by picnic benches for the adults to sit on. The site includes a few motion rides such as a carousel, bumper boats and pirate ship. Most were manned with just a few short queues. There is a notice saying that if during quiet periods a ride is unmanned you can approach a member of staff and ask for them to run it.
One section of Wheelgate that my boys particularly enjoyed was the water park. This area contains a number of slides plus a splashabout area for younger visitors. The water doesn’t get very deep and there are lifeguards dotted around to make sure no one is running. The boys also spent lots of time in the play structure in the Land of the Pharoahs. Although it was a fairly busy day there was plenty of seating for adults. The Sheriff’s Falconry Centre included aerial displays and bird handling with show times listed in an events board at the entrance. Younger children would particularly enjoy the Animal Adventure Zone which included common farm animals plus more unusual creatures such as otters, skunk and snakes.
There are a variety of cafes dotted around the site selling hot and cold food. We also saw some people had brought their own picnics. There was also a gift shop with reasonably priced items. The staff were very polite throughout the venue and helpful when we needed directions.
I think it would depend on your children’s age and the weather as to how much you enjoyed a visit to Wheelgate. There were plenty of attractions that would appeal to toddlers and primary age children, the price is very reasonable compared to some of the larger theme parks and this is a great middle ground between a regular park and the larger venues. Some of the areas looked a little tired, but this wasn’t noticed by my children.
I would give this attraction a 4/5 and would recommend it to others as a great spot to visit in the summer sunshine.
Tickets cost from £4.49 to £13.99
For more information or to book tickets online visit www.wheelgatepark.com.
Robin Hoods Wheelgate Park, White Post, Farnsfield, Newark, Notts, NG22 8HX