Family Magazine

Holiday Day 1 – Gulliver’s, Matlock Bath

By Mummyoftwo @RaspberryGiggle

August 10, 2013, admin, Days Out, Family, Photos, Play, Reviews, , 1

Review of Gulliver’s in Matlock Bath

On Monday we were lucky enough to visit the fabulous Gulliver’s at Matlock Bath.  I had been before with Little Mr A a couple of years ago and couldn’t wait to take him back as I knew he would enjoy it all the more this time around.

If you have not been before, Gulliver’s is a theme park designed specifically for children aged between 2 and 13.  There are three parks to choose from, Matlock Bath, Warrington and Milton Keynes, each with their own unique attractions.  Matlock Bath has recently added ‘Spy Zone‘ which is a new area designed more for older children.

So, back to the park itself.  On entering you are taken into Bourbon Street where there is a shop and some toilet facilities as well as the chairlift and a small play area.  On entering we were greeted by Gully Mouse and Little Mr A couldn’t wait to have his picture taken with him.

Meeting Gully Mouse Gulliver's Matlock Bath

There are lots of different themed areas at Gullivers all with different rides and attractions:

Dinosaur Kingdom

Unfortunately when we visited some of this area was closed for the addition of Diplodocus Falls.  We did however get to ride on the Dino Explorer Cars which were great little cars we could all ride in.  On the way round you get to see lots of different dinosaurs and your little one can pretend to drive the car around too.

Dinosaur Kingdom Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Dino Explorer Cars Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Dino Explorer Cars Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Dino Explorer Cars Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Dino Explorer Cars Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Dino Explorer Cars Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Dinosaur Kingdom Gulliver's Matlock Bath

Smugglers Wharf

This area, as you might imagine, is Pirate themed which Little Mr A loved.  The ride that really stood out in this section was the Pirate Ship.  We went on this ride last and Little Mr A loved it.  He insisted that we sit right at the back so we would go the highest and would have stayed on there all day if he could!

Pirate Ship Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Pirate Ship Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Pirate Ship Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Pirate Ship Gulliver's Matlock Bath

The carousel was also a nice ride that we had a couple of goes on throughout the day.  We had wanted to have a go at the Pirate golf, however, we could not for the life of us find out where to get the clubs and balls from and there was no way we could have got the pushchair around so we left this activity.

Carousel Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Carousel Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Carousel Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Carousel Gulliver's Matlock Bath

Lilliput Land

Another favourite ride was in Lilliput Land, the Crazy Barrel ride!  I remember from last time how much Little Mr A had enjoyed this ride and he couldn’t wait to take his Dad on it this time.  It is a lovely ride for children of all ages – a gentle ride around a small ‘river’ seeing pirates along the way.

Crazy Barrel Ride Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Crazy Barrel Ride Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Crazy Barrel Ride Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Crazy Barrel Ride Gulliver's Matlock Bath

 

We also really enjoyed the Lilliput Loco and Little Mr A was very happy he got to sit at the front and ‘drive’ the train.

Lilliput Loco Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Lilliput Loco Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Lilliput Loco Gulliver's Matlock Bath

The only thing I was disappointed in in this land was the Castle.  From the outside it looks really exciting, however, inside there is a Dinosaur Simulator which I did feel was very dated and felt a lot more could be done with the castle itself.  Little Mr A did enjoy it though.

Lilliput Woods

Little Mr A loved all of the rides in this area which include a small, very tame, roller coaster (even Big Mr A went on and he hates them!), a fire engine ride where you have to squirt water at ‘fire’ whilst moving up and down and around and the balloon ferris wheel which we were all able to go on together.  This ride gave some great sites over the beautiful scenery and was a lovely ride for Little Miss A’s first time!

Balloon Ferris Wheel Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Balloon Ferris Wheel Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Balloon Ferris Wheel Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Fire Engine Ride Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Rollercoaster Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Fire Engine Ride Gulliver's Matlock Bath

Toyland

There are lots of rides in Toyland which are suitable for all ages.  Little Miss A loved the elephant ride and ladybirds and enjoyed looking at the signing orange and gully mouse.  Little Mr A also went on the cycle monorail with his Dad and had a quick play in the little play area.

Elephant ride Toyland Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Talking Apple Toyland Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Ladybirds Toyland Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Monorail Gulliver's Toyland Matlock Bath
Talking Gully Mouse Toyland Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Talking Gully Mouse Toyland Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Pedal Bikes Gulliver's Matlock Bath

As well as the small play area there is also quite a large play area with lots of big slides next to a really big ball pool which both of the Little A’s loved going in, although Little Miss A did get a bit buried!

Ball Pool Toyland Gulliver's Matlock Bath

Party House

The party house is a great place to visit, particularly if it is raining (like it did on and off for us!).  We were able to take shelter in there to have our lunch whilst there still being lots of things to keep both of the Little A’s entertained including the jumping star ride, sandpit and diggers.  There was even a little table with lego for Little Mr A to use.

Play House Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Play House Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Play House Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Play House Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Play House Gulliver's Matlock Bath

Adventure Land

There wasn’t a huge amount to do in Adventure Land compared to some of the other areas, however, it is worth a visit for the Dodgems and this is also where the other end of the chair lift is.

Gullier's Matlock Bath

Western World

The final area to tell you about is the Western World and I would say this is probably one of the best areas with the most to do, however, it is right at the top so you do need plenty of energy to get there!  Before you do go up to the top though it is worth a quick stop in the soft play area which is great as it is undercover with an undercover area for parents to stand or sit.

Soft Play Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Soft Play Gulliver's Matlock Bath

The rides that really stood out were the log flume and silver mine ride.  There were also lots of little houses to go in and more diggers.

Log Flume Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Log Flume Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Log Flume Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Western World Gullier's Matlock Bath
Western World Gullier's Matlock Bath
Western World Gullier's Matlock Bath
Western World Gullier's Matlock Bath
Western World Gulliver's Matlock Bath

The other attraction we thought was excellent (and again another shelter from the British weather!) was the Mineral Wash.  For this attraction you go into a cave (be warned it is COLD!) and the children are given some tools to go and search for minerals.  There are some sandboxes and one filled with stones and children can use their tools to search for the minerals that are buried in them.  Once they have finished the minerals are weighed and they are told how much they would be worth and they are given a certificate.  If you want to purchase the minerals they find you can do for a small fee, however, there is no obligation.  Little Mr A insisted we took his away with him!

SAM_0376
Mineral Wash Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Mineral Wash Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Minerals from mineral wash Gulliver's Matlock Bath

Overall we were very impressed with Gulliver’s; the staff were incredibly friendly, always going that extra mile to talk to the children; there were lots of rides for even children Little Miss A’s age to go on so she wasn’t left out; there were lots of good toilet and baby change facilities throughout the park which I think is really important when young children are involved!  There are also plenty of places to either buy food or picnic spots so you can take your own.    It states on the website that over 50% of the park is undercover and I would agree with this.  Even when you cannot get indoors there is plenty of tree cover.

Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Gulliver's Matlock Bath

I would say that out of all the theme parks I have been to this definitely wins on scenery.  With it being set on the hillside you get some absolutely fantastic views out over the gorgeous Derbyshire countryside.  The only downside to this though is the slopes you have to go up to get to places.  Although the paths are all very accessible with a pushchair, it is hard going in some places and you definitely feel it the next day!  On the steepest slope, up to Western World, there is a travelator to take some of the pressure off but it is very steep going back down!

Views from Gulliver's Matlock Bath
Heights of Abraham from Gulliver's Matlock Bath

I was also impressed with the range of gifts in the shop.  I usually find at these places everything is extortionately priced and it really adds to the cost of the day out.  Although there were expensive items, there were also lots of smaller, cheaper items and both Little Mr A and Little Miss A were able to have some items to take away with them without too much expense.

Although I think this is value for money for those over 120cm (being the size you have to be to go on all of the rides) I do think perhaps there should be a reduced rate for those between 90cm and 120cm as they can’t fully utilise all of the rides and activities.  It is however a full day out and for just under £16 a person I do think this is reasonable for what is included.

One thing that did shock me was how quiet it was on the day we went.  OK so it was drizzling a little but that certainly didn’t spoil our enjoyment.  I would certainly recommend Gulliver’s to anyone with young children as a really great family day out.

Disclaimer – We were provided with tickets to attend Gulliver’s and produce this review.  All opinions are honest and my own and all photographs were taken by me and are not to be used without my permission.

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