Crystal clear waters. Golden sands. Meeting new friends you know will become a part of your life for many years to come. Last year we were lucky enough to visit San Lucianu, a Mark Warner resort in beautiful Corsica. Not only did we have an amazing time taking in everything Mark Warner has to offer, we also met some really special people. One such family are The Doves – Charly, who blogs at PODcast, her hubby and beautiful POD. We all first bumped into each on the bus from the airport when Charly’s hubby very kindly gave up his seat so I could sit with the children, and then Charly and I bonded over our over-tired kids who eventually fell asleep in our laps whilst we got to know each other.
From then on Holly and POD became firm friends and us grown ups thoroughly enjoyed each others’ company. We watched the children blossom under the glow of the sun and freedom that a holiday grants, and we appreciated adult-only time when the doors of kids club opened and the beach bar offered happy hour cocktails.
Since then our families have kept in touch and last August we ventured down south and met them at Legoland Windsor for a fantastic two days. This year we decided to meet half way between the two of us at Drayton Manor and spent a gloriously sunny day chatting, laughing and of course enjoying the rides.
Drayton Manor is a theme park located in Staffordshire. I’d heard lots about it from other bloggers who had visited, but I didn’t realise that there is actually a zoo and play area as well as all the rides and attractions. The main feature of the park for us was Thomas Land, which opened in 2009 and features buildings and models from the original Thomas & Friends show as well as themed rides. The rides are mainly aimed at young children, which was perfect for our four and five year olds who couldn’t go on the bigger rides in the main park.
We arrived about half an hour before the gates opened, which worked out really well as we parked really close to the doors and the queue wasn’t big at all. Once the gates opened we head straight for Thomas Land and had a wander before the rides got going. I have to say it was really quiet in the morning of our visit, but as it was the first day of the holidays I’m guessing it just worked out well for us and I have been told it gets very busy during the summer.
The children loved the rides, although it was a shame for Jack as he is quite a daredevil, more so than Holly, but couldn’t go on the rollercoaster as he was too small. I managed to pacify him with an ice cream whilst we watched the girls and daddies have a go.
After enjoying Thomas Land in the morning we had some lunch then decided on a wander through the zoo before heading into the main park. The zoo is a really great feature of the park and a nice place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the rides and people and take a breather.
We then took a walk around the main park and went on some of the rides that the children were tall enough for, including our favourite, Splash Canyon, which is a ride through rapids where we came of soaking wet and laughing our heads off (namely because it was POD’s dad and myself that got the majority of the waves).
After enjoying all the rides we finished the day of with a trip to the play area, which is absolutely huge and gave the children chance to run around freely whilst us adults had a chat and a coffee. One of the things I love most about blogging is how much is has opened up for me and my family, and the friendships I have made through it. No matter the distance between everyone, it just goes to show that all that really doesn’t matter in the end. Watching our two girls together, who are only a week apart i age, is an absolute pleasure and they had such a blast just being with each other.
If you are looking for a day out the definitely give Drayton Manor a try, it wasn’t particularly expensive and if you have Tesco vouchers then they can be used here, and there is so much to do. There is also a hotel on site so you can spend a couple of days here casually making your way around and getting the most out of your trip.
You can also watch the video from our day to see more of Drayton Manor.
*I was not provided with anything from Drayton Manor for this trip, I just wanted to write about our time there.