Attractions

Wookey Hole at Halloween Review

Wookey Hole LogoWookey Hole at Halloween
Wells, Somerset

www.wookey.co.uk

Reviewed by Sarah Hicks

To coin an overused phrase at this time of the year – yesterday, Halloween, the 31st October, my family and I enjoyed a Spooktacular day at Wookey Hole Caves! And on this occasion I think Spooktacular was pretty fitting. I visited with a friend and her young children – in fact with us today we had 7 children aged 7 and below – so think we did well to survive, and not just survive but really enjoy our day out.

We arrived at the ticket/entrance booth around 10.15am and whilst in the short queue were greeted by a resident witch, with a cackling hello! When it was our turn at the booth, we were given a fair bit of information to aide our enjoyment of the day – some written, some verbal. There were various events going on during the day of which we were given an information sheet with all the timings on, also as we had two pushchairs with us for our younger children, we were informed that we were unable to take the pushchairs into the cave tour. This part of Wookey Hole is unsuitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs – I was already aware of this as the information is readily available online, the cave has uneven flooring in places, has around 200 steps that need negotiating, the rock roof requires even the not so tall of us to duck down and there are some seriously high bridges to cross, but that aside it’s an amazingly beautiful environment that – to me – is the highlight of the day.

An audio guide explains more about the history of the caves and the legends and myths that surround them. The caves themselves are a cool environment – not cold but cool (they age Cheddar Cheese and wine in them!) so be prepared for that – after finishing the tour and emerging in the bright sunshine (yes even in October) it was quite a stark contrast.

During the cave tour my friend had to carry her one year old around so the first job for us after getting out was to retrieve the buggies from the buggy park – she was get quite heavy after all that time! This was a bit of a trek as we had to go past and though most of the other attractions to get them back and then “double back” on ourselves to enjoy the things we’d rushed past. Dinosaur land was a hit with the young boys and all the children enjoyed playing in “ball firing” play area. We then stopped for lunch and sat in a lovely outdoor area with picnic tables – it was lovely to be able to enjoy the sunshine at this time of year – but there were indoor tables available dotted around the site. We’d taken a picnic with us, but Wookey does have a couple of areas where food is served – including a 400 seater restaurant – so if you want to dine on site you can.

After lunch we watched the fabulous Circus show in the theatre – the children were mesmerized and (mostly) sat still beautifully. The young performers all did so well and they really are a credit to Wookey Hole – well done to you all!

We then thought it would be good for the children to let off a bit of steam and we went to the indoor play area, it was a very busy area to be in – it is a walkway linking various areas, it’s also by the cafe style eatery – so you can grab a coffee/food if you would like, but we did manage to get a table to sit at whilst the children charged around enjoying themselves.

Off next to the 8D Cinema experience – a new attraction to Wookey Hole – and what an amazing addition it was – although in my head I keep trying to work out what the 8th dimension was – I got to 7 – which is surely enough for anyone! We were a bit worried it might scare the children too much, but no it was fine – I took in 4 of oldest the children with me (the age restriction is 4 upwards) – they all really enjoyed it – and so did I!

There is so much at Wookey to enjoy on a normal day, but as I mentioned we had a “spooktacular” day – our visit included a visit to the Witches Grotto – and this was possibly the scariest bit – the children knew there was a sweet treat reward at the end of the Grotto so were keen to go in, but the reality was a little too scary for a couple of them – but we sped past the worst/best bit (depending on your point of view) and met a very scary grim reaper type chap at the end – the kids weren’t keen until he revealed the sweets, they were each allowed to choose one thing – otherwise he said he’d eat their fingers!!! – love it!!!! Once out, they were also given Halloween masks – highlight of the day! I must say Wookey does Halloween very well – there were dismembered bodies strewn everywhere!

We all had a fabulous full day out at Wookey Hole – my only small negative to mention would be the trek to the toilets – but that’s probably more to do with the fact we had 3 recently potty trained toddlers with us – so we did spend a lot of time going to and from them! The main attractions are all based in the old Wookey Paper Mill so there are steps to tackle (wheelchair / pushchair access is available but it seemed like you have to take the long way round to take advantage – one thing I would say is if you can get away without taking a pushchair, do – obviously wheelchair users are not going to have that luxury.

I’d give Wookey Hole a 4.5 out of 5, as mentioned the only negative would be the toilet situation and steps – unfortunately because of the setting these issues are very difficult to address, but customer service, and the attraction as a whole is fantastic and well worth a visit.

Rating: 4.5/5

Standard tickets cost from £12 to £18 (save 15% by booking online in advance). Under 3’s are free.

For more information or to book tickets online visit www.wookey.co.uk.

Wookey Hole, Wells, Somerset,  BA5 1BA | 01749 672243

4 half Star

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