Somewhere in the north of England there is a little known theme park. We stumbled across it when we were visiting Telford and Ironbridge and we were delighted! We had seen a sign for it on the previous day, and as we quickly ran out of things for small children to do at Ironbridge, going and investigating Wonderland seemed to be a great idea.
Wonderland is a tiny theme park almost in the centre of Telford and boy do you have to want to get there!
We spent almost half an hour traversing Telford following our SatNav and becoming more and more confused, but it turns out that you can park in the centre of Telford and get into the park, or travel round to the back (which we did) and get in from the rear. We arrived around 2.30pm and the park was open until 5pm so we were a little concerned that we wouldn’t be able to get around the park in a few hours, but in reality it is a tiny park so we managed to see everything.
So what’s it like?
Well, imagine going back around 20 years to a theme park – a few small rides, a maze and several little houses to explore. No great big thrill rides, no fast track passes, no mad music and, best of all, hardly any people! The rides were perfect for our 4 and 6 year old – we queued for no longer than 5 minutes for each of the 4 or 5 rides, and adults weren’t allowed on any of them, so the children felt that it was just for them!
But the best part for us of the park were the Fairytale houses we could explore. Winding through a forest, down a hill and over a stream we would suddenly come across the Three Little Pigs house, or the Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe, or The Crooked House. Lovely little houses recreating the nursery rhymes or fairytales of our childhood, and we were able to share them with our children. There were buttons to press on many of these which told the story of Hansel and Gretel, or which read out Humpty Dumpty depending on what the scene showed.
Reviews we had read said that it was looking tired and there wasn’t much to do – and we did, in fairness, manage to get around the whole park in a few hours, but for two small children this was perfect! It did look a little tired but that added to the charm rather than detracting from it.
The cost was a little much for a family of four (around £36) but I guess compared to lots of other places this isn’t actually too bad. I think the thing for us was that it felt that we were taking the children to a calmer time with the innocence of childhood enveloping the site, and in this day and age of wanting faster and further rides and children wanting computerised everything, it was lovely to spend an afternoon together, revisiting fairytales and nursery rhymes and enjoying each others company in a gentler environment than normal!
I’d say it’s well worth a visit if you find yourself in the Telford area!