Sunny Down Farm and the Tractor Ride are a popular part of Sundown Adventureland. The farm is animatronic animals, and you can press buttons to make them sing and move. The dancing chickens are especially fun.
The tractor ride is on a similar theme, with four to a tractor, and was the biggest queue of the day at all of five minutes.
Next door to Sunny Down Farm is one of our favourite parts – Story Book Village. This is a collection of miniature houses for various fairy tales, such as The Three Little Pigs, and Jack and the Beanstalk. Lots of buttons to press and things to fiddle with, perfect for little people. I had to drag the twins out of the little pigs house so we could move on.
So, we moved on to other areas of the park. The pirate area is lots of fun. There is a new area with bridges to explore, which leads over to the huge pirate ship. The bridges go over the top of the very fun Jolly Pirate Boat Ride, where you sit in barrels and go round a water-course. Beware, you may get very wet! You do have to accompany children on this ride, so there’s no getting out of it. Just make sure your non-waterproof items are safe.
Lollipoppet Castle is very popular with my children. There’s not a lot to do, but there is a lot to look at. Explore the castle and find out how sweets are really made – with elves obviously! Find out what it’s like to be small and sit on Polo mints. Smells galore. Look out for the cheeky King’s bottom!
If you’re a fan of all things Wild West, then take a visit to Shotgun City. Here you will find a western street with a saloon (animatronic sing-along shows are several times a day), an indoor soft play area with a cafe and toilets, the Rocky Mountain Train Ride, a bank with exploding vault, and a shooting gallery – again, all included in the price. There is also a very nice ice-cream shop.
A short walk away to the Fort Apache play area, with a zip wire, slides, and lots of climbing fun. And some welcome benches for the grown-ups!
And then back to the Market Square for more prodding and poking, and possibly a chance to meet with Honey and Sunny again. Make sure you pay a visit to the Pet Shop, and if you want a souvenir of your visit, the gift shop is next door.
There is also a Robin Hood ride near to Sunny Down Farm, which is good fun, and several other things we didn’t even get chance to do, like the play area in Smuggler’s Cove, the pedal carts, and Captain Sandy’s Play Cove. But we just didn’t have time to do everything.
What I like about Sundown Adventureland is the value. I don’t always talk about value when reviewing somewhere as I think it’s a very subjective thing, but I think £12 per person (aged two and above) for seven hours of non-stop fun is awesome. For under 10s, it’s much better value than somewhere like Alton Towers where you can spend more time queuing and walking about than anything else. You don’t pay for anything apart from food & drink and shop purchases once you’re in, so you’re not constantly shelling out for extras.
Sundown Adventureland has been criticised in the past for being a bit tired, and not having as many facilities as bigger theme parks, but it’s the informal, friendlier atmosphere that I like. There has also been a noted improvement in park maintenance with better toilets, more benches, and more litter bins than on previous visits. The staff are very friendly, and helpful, and there are plenty of them around. Don’t expect pushchair or wheelchair hire, or lots of choice when it comes to food – but there are the expected toilets, baby changing, and first aid facilities, and you can do the short walk back to your car if you need any extra essentials. Just ask for a hand stamp for re-entry.
I recommend Sundown Adventureland for anyone aged up to ten, although my ten-year old does still enjoy going and probably will for a couple of years yet. While it’s best if it’s sunny, there is still things to do in rainy weather – just take a rain coat.
For more information and to book tickets, please visit their website at http://www.sundownadventureland.co.uk/themepark/
Disclosure – We were given free tickets to come and visit and to give our honest opinion