One of the best places to get some relief in a heatwave is in the shade of the trees, so we headed over to Stockeld Park for some fun in the Enchanted Forest. It had been a while since we’d visited, so we were interested to discover what was new at this family-friendly outdoor attraction just outside Wetherby.
Getting there: It’s just 25 minutes from our house in York to Stockeld Park by car on easy, relatively quiet roads. We arrived just after 10am and there was plenty of room to park in the free car park.
Admission: During the summer, the family admission ticket will set you back £52 for four, with under 2s entering for free. The pass gives you entry to everything except for bucanneer boats (£6 per boat) and electric scooters (from £5). We were right to arrive early, given how much there is to do at Stockeld Park. Since we last visited, the whole place seems to have been given a subtle facelift: everything looks lighter, brighter and shinier, from the restaurant to the play zones. Someone has sprinkled some fairy dust over Stockeld Park, and it’s all the better for it.
What we did: A day pass includes entry to the maze, inflatable zone, roller skating, go karts, small indoor play area, craft area and the famous Enchanted Forest. We started, as we always have, with the Enchanted Forest: a walk through the woods with a twist. You’ll encounter talking trees, fairy villages and the odd dinosaur along the way, making it far more fun than the average family walk.
There are also play areas galore as you make your way around, starting with a native American-themed area, complete with totem poles, and ending with a huge new area with a spider theme that’s particularly good for older children. I took our eight and three year-olds with me and there was plenty for both of them to do. The eight-year-old has very fond memories of Stockeld Park and I’d worried he’d now be too old for it, but I now know that he’s got a few more years of enjoying it (next time we’ll do the roller skating and electric scooters with him). We didn’t try the bucaneer boats, but will do next time we visit as it looked great fun. It took us about an hour and a half to get through the forest – stopping at every play area and having the obligatory ice cream and picnic break – but we could have stayed longer.
Next stop was the inflatables: I looked on while the kids threw themselves down the inflatable slide (one side of the slide for little ones, another for larger kids) about a hundred times. We then tackled the inflatable obstacle course and I was roped into joining in – it’s harder than it looks! The go-karts are a great addition to the Stockeld Park offer, and it’s great that they’re included in the price. We didn’t have enough energy to tackle the maze, but it’s good to have a reason to return. We had a little play in the farmyard-themed area and then it was inside for some more jumping, this time on the bouncing pillows. Our little one also loved the indoor playhouse and train.
Although Stockeld Park is definitely an outdoor attraction, it’s great that there is somewhere to escape to that’s undercover. The children were now red-faced and exhausted, so it was time to go.
Food and drink: We packed a picnic but bought ice creams and drinks, available at several locations throughout the site. The food at the restaurant looked good and was reasonably priced, with hot and cold options and some delicious looking cake.
The Little Vikings verdict: It’s rare to find an attraction that appeals equally to our eight and three-year-olds, but Stockeld Park definitely does. The sweet, Disney-esque parts of the Enchanted Forest are more for younger children, but older kids love things like the go-karts, skating, zip wires and many opportunities to climb and clamber. Although it isn’t the cheapest day out, it feels like good value for money because there’s so much to do. We probably did about half of what was on offer and still had a full day out. As I’ve been writing this review, the kids have been asking me if we can go again this summer, which says it all.
The Summer Adventure runs at Stockeld Park until 3rd September – Stockeld Park, Wetherby Road, Wetherby LS22 4AN – Visit the Stockeld Park website for details