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Review: Wookey Hole Caves and Attractions – kooky by name and kooky by nature

Review: Wookey Hole Caves and Attractions – kooky by name and kooky by nature

All you need to know about Wookey Hole Caves and Attractions, near Wells in Somerset

Name

Wookey Hole Caves and Attractions

What is it?

A family attraction centred around one of the UK’s largest series of show caves, said to be home to the Witch of Wookey Hole.

Aside from the caves, there is crazy golf, dinosaurs, a vintage penny arcade, 4D cinema, soft play and a circus theatre.

Where is it?

In the Mendip Hills near Wells in Somerset, in the south-west of England, 20 miles south of Bath.

What did we think?

The caverns are well worth a look, a stunning natural phenomenon. Eight of the chambers are open to visitors. You can see underground pools and even a cheese tunnel, home to Wookey Hole cheese.

Cave-aged cheddar cheese at Wookey Hole Caves and attractions

Cave-aged cheddar cheese

The rest of the attraction is curious in that it is quite a mish mash of themes and ideas filling the space – I still can’t decide if that makes it charming or confusing.

Nevertheless, we easily filled over half a day and all enjoyed ourselves.

Highlights

*The caves – they are filled with history – they began to be formed millions of years ago and have been used over the last 50,000 years by various inhabitants including giant hyenas, lions, bears, Neanderthals and Romans. More recently they have featured in films and tv shows such as Doctor Who.

Inside the caves at Wookey Hole Caves and Attractions

Inside the caves

The temperature is a constant 11° Celsius.

*The Enchanted Valley area when you exit the caves is great for dinosaur fans – there are lots of them to see, some moving and roaring, along with a huge King Kong and a woolly mammoth.

A dinosaur fossil dig at Wookey Hole Caves and Attractions

Digging for dinosaur fossils

*There’s a maze of mirrors which is fun to explore, inside a traditional arcade area.

*The circus theatre is worth a look – it stars local young performers who really impressed us with the scale of their skills including aerial, unicycles and even a sprinkling of magic.

Circus at Wookey Hole Caves

Circus at Wookey Hole Caves

*The 4D cinema plays different films – we saw a Scooby Doo show.

*There’s a nine-hole pirate-themed golf adventure course (crazy golf) included in the ticket price.

*We all enjoyed an area with soft foam balls that you can fire out of cannons.

*The staff are very friendly with some getting into character dressed as wizards and witches to enhance the experience.

Top tips

*The layout can be confusing. Buy/collect your tickets opposite the ice cream parlour near to the hotel (we stayed here, don’t miss our review), then cross the road and walk up the slope to access the caves first.

A t-rex at Wookey Hole Caves and Attractions

You walk past the dinosaurs on your way to the caves and through them afterwards.

*The caves take around 35 minutes to get around. They are dimly lit and a bit slippery, with some steps. And watch your head as it can be low in places, but this all adds to the fun of exploring.

*We went during school holidays, but during term-time, you book on a guided tour of the caves. Make the most of the staff stationed in the different caverns to ask them questions as it enhances the experience.

*Wookey Hole Caves is one of over 200 attractions around the UK that Blue Peter badge holders can get into for free. Badge holders with a valid badge card must be accompanied by a full paying adult.

* Look out for the human-shaped stalagmite that legend says is a witch turned to stone by a monk from Glastonbury, hence the legend.

*When you first go into the 4D cinema experience, you enter a room with a talking bat (he natters on for rather a long time) and a witch on a big phone screen – it could be rather dark and scary for some younger children. The 4D cinema experience involves the chairs moving and shaking at times and sensations such as puffs of air. Children under three are not allowed in.

Our video

Wookey Hole Caves information

Where to stay: We stayed at the hotel on site Wookey Hole Hotel, which means we were first in the caves in the morning, read our review to find out more.

Wookey Hole Hotel

Wookey Hole Hotel

Food: There’s a large restaurant on site selling meals such as chicken nuggets and sausages and chips. There are a few sandwich and cake options too. It has a bit of a canteen feel so could be nicer to sit on one of the few tables outside.

Next to the car park is an ice cream parlour with a delicious array of flavours.

Opening hours: For current opening times visit Wookey Hole Caves

Cost: For current cost visit Wookey Hole Caves

Best for: Ages five to 12 but adults will love the caves.

Time needed: At least half a day.

Access and restrictions: The caves are not accessible for wheelchairs or prams, the ground is bumpy and slippy and there are around 200 steps. The rest of the site is said to be accessible.

Parking: There’s a large car park and parking is free.

Address: Wookey Hole Caves, The Mill, Wookey Hole, BA5 1BA.

Telephone: 01749 672243

Email: witch@wookey.co.uk

To book: Wookey Hole Caves

RELATED CONTENT: Review: Wookey Hole Hotel in Somerset (at Wookey Hole Caves)

RELATED CONTENT: Things to do in Bath for families

RELATED CONTENT: Cheddar Gorge – all you need to know about this natural phenomenon

*We were given free admission for the purpose of this review, all views are our own.

Review: A day out at Blackpool Zoo with our two children

Review: A day out at Blackpool Zoo with our two children

Advice and all the information you will need for a family visit to Blackpool Zoo

What is it ?

Blackpool Zoo is a medium-sized zoo which has been open since 1972, with animals to see including elephants, tigers, lions, orangutans and live sea lion shows.

Where is it?

The zoo is set in lovely, green woodland on an old airfield in Blackpool, near the town’s large Stanley Park.

What did we think?

The zoo isn’t too big and the route is flat and well-signposted meaning it is relaxing and simple to get around.

There were really good live shows, a well-done dinosaur safari set around a lake and a large selection of animals.

Highlights

*As you go in, the Elephant Base Camp and impressive Dinosaur Safari are a great way to start. The elephants have a new indoor enclosure and plenty of outdoor space to enjoy.

*The Dinosaur Safari features replicas of around 20 dinosaurs lurking around a lovely lake. Our children loved this area and we went round it twice.

A boy looks at a dinosaur at Blackpool Zoo

*The live shows. The Sea Lion Pool and Arena is very well done and we enjoyed a fun 15-minute show with tricks and information about these amazing animals.

*The Bird of Prey Show is also worth seeing in the Display Arena with flying macaws and owls.

*The entertainment at the children’s farm is also good fun for younger ones – they can see and touch donkeys, pigs, sheep and goats.

*At Lemur Wood, you can get close to these lovable creatures in a short walkway. This area isn’t huge but is very cute.

*An unusual species to see, our children loved the Wolf Ridge area with particularly creative signage and information as you walk up a gentle slope to where the wolves have lots of land to roam.

Our top tips

*Bring £2.50 in cash for the car park with you. The machines don’t take cards and you have to go to the reception, get a ticket and go back to your car if you don’t bring the cash with you.

*On busy days, go around in an anti-clockwise direction doing the dinosaur and elephant areas last as these seemed to be the busiest places. Alternatively see these areas first thing in the morning or late afternoon.

*Follow the show and feeding times closely. We found the shows were well spaced out and you had time to get around to all of them if you wanted.

*Get in early for the Sea Lion Show – it was full when we went – plus they shut the doors a few minutes before it starts.

Blackpool Zoo information

Food: The Nawala Street Food area near the Dinosaur Safari was the most interesting food outlet with curries, samosas as well as the usual chips and burgers. There is also the large Lake View Cafe. Alternatively, there are plenty of picnic areas in pleasant surroundings.

Opening hours: From 10am daily except Christmas Day. Closing varies depending on the season from 3.45pm in winter to 5.45pm in summer.

Cost:  Family ticket (two adults, two children) £59.99. Adults £18.99, children (from 3-15) £14.50. Discounts available for pre-booking online.

Best for: Ages two to 10

Time needed: three hours.

Access and restrictions: Excellent flat site for wheelchairs and buggies. Wheelchairs available to hire. Entry discounts for disabled children and carers. 

Address: East Park Drive, Blackpool, FY3 8PP. Parking on site for £2.50 per day.

Note: We were given complimentary tickets for the purposes of this review. All opinions are our own.