UK / ENGLAND / STAFFORDSHIRE

Tittesworth Water/Reservoir, near Leek in Staffordshire – our review and tips

Tittesworth Water/Reservoir, near Leek in Staffordshire – our review and tips

We take our children for a picnic, walk and play at Tittesworth Water in the Peak District National Park.

What is it?

This family day out is around a water storage reservoir with walks, a good outdoor play area and cafe/restaurant.

The reservoir, fed by the River Churnet, is run by Sever Trent Water and was built in 1858.

The water from it can supply up to 45 million litres a day to homes and businesses.

The reservoir

The reservoir

Where is it?

It’s in the village of Meerbrook in the Peak District National Park, just off the A53, three miles north of Leek.

What did we think?

A wooden seat at Tittesworth Reservoir

This was a lovely day out, with a good mixture of walking and fun for the children in the play area. It was a sunny day and we took a picnic. We also had a snack later at the café, where you can sit inside or out.

The café/restaurant

The café/restaurant

Our highlights

*The walk – there are two main, signed routes – a red one of 1.5 miles or a yellow one of five miles, they both start out the same so you can decide further into the walk.

A stream at Tittesworth Reservoir

We did the red route – it’s not a circular route around the lake, the first part (which you also travel back along) is open and the second part through woodland. The longer, yellow walk is said to  have wonderful views and is hilly but the red is billed as wheelchair and buggy-friendly, but is narrower and certainly not flat in places.

The toddler play area at Tittesworth Reservoir

*The play area – a good size with some exciting equipment for different ages and a sand pit.

The play area at Tittesworth Reservoir

The play area

Top tips

*Some navigation systems (including Google Maps when we visited) take you to a farm. Helpfully they’ve put a sign up explaining it is not the reservoir.

*You can’t swim in the water but if you want to get on to it, go to Tittesworth Water Sports and Activity Centre. From there you can try sailing, kayaking, raft building and paddle boarding. For more information see this link.

*If you want to plan a walking route before you get there you can download a map of the site here.

Tittesworth Reservoir information

Food: There are plenty of areas for picnics (barbecues are not allowed). There is a nice cafe/restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. It has a lunchtime children’s menu, with meals like pasta or sausages for around £4.25 or a child’s lunchbox, available all day, for £4.35. There are baby’s food and bottle warming facilities in the restaurant too. You can also buy ice creams from a kiosk in the corner of the play area.

Opening hours: Open every day except Christmas Day. Visitor centre opening hours are: April to September 10am to 6pm. February, March and October, 10am to 5pm. November, December and January 10am to 4pm.

Cost: Entry is free, car park is £3 for two hours and £5 for all day.

Best for: All ages.

Time needed: As much as you want depending on the child’s age, you could easily fill three hours.

Access and restrictions:

*The red route is signposted as suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

*Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a lead.

*There are toilets around the site, including those with disabled and baby changing facilities.

Address: Tittesworth Reervoir, Meerbrook, Leek, Staffordshire, ST13 8SW.

Thomas the Tank Engine proves just the ticket for a boy’s birthday break at Drayton Manor hotel and theme park

Thomas the Tank Engine proves just the ticket for a boy’s birthday break at Drayton Manor hotel and theme park

We stay in a Thomas-themed hotel room before trying out Thomas Land at Drayton Manor Theme Park in Staffordshire

I wake to find a giant Thomas the Tank Engine staring at me.

Then my son’s excited face pops up over the top.

What a wonderful way for a boy to wake up on his birthday – in the top bunk of a Thomas bed.

A boy looks over the top of his Thomas bed at Drayton Manor Hotel

Thomas-themed bedroom

We are at Drayton Manor Hotel near Tamworth in Staffordshire. It is on the same site as Drayton Manor Theme Park and our stay-and-play package includes breakfast and tickets to the park.

Our Thomas-themed room has no less than four television screens and a railway line printed on the floor which continues into some of the corridor.

We choo choo our way along it and make our way down to breakfast before skipping into the park.

A Thomas-themed room at Drayton Manor hotel

A Thomas-themed room at Drayton Manor hotel

Thomas Land

First stop – and our main reason for the visit – is Thomas Land. Having heard tales of long queues over the holidays, on this term-time day, the place is blissfully quiet.

James and the Red Balloon Ride

James and the Red Balloon Ride

And with the sun shining, we go quickly from ride to ride, enjoying such delights as Cranky’s Drop Tower and Jeremy’s Flying Academy. And the quite exhilarating Troublesome Trucks Runaway Coaster is clearly enjoyed by us adults as much as the children.

The rest of the park

Then we climb aboard a Thomas the Tank train at “Knapford Station” and ride to another part of the park. Here, our two children enjoy all the birds and animals at the zoo and take the Dino Trail where there are model dinosaurs.

We then try out the handful of bigger rides suitable for younger children in the rest of the park, like the big wheel and the water rapids, which I scream my way through, much to everyone’s amusement.

Daringly, we board the very fast (I think) Accelerator (formerly known as The Ben 10 Ultimate Mission Coaster), suitable from aged four.

We alight full of happy laughter.

And it is this, not just Thomas, which is the theme of our stay.

People ride Shockwave the stand-up roller coaster

Drayton Manor is also home to the stand-up roller coaster Shockwave

Accommodation: We stayed as guests at Drayton Manor Hotel for the purposes of this review. All views are our own.

Activities: Drayton Manor Theme Park.