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Last week we were kindly invited to spend the day at BeWILDerwood Cheshire. I’d only heard good things about BeWILDerwood Cheshire and the original founding site in Norfolk, so I went with high expectations and had everything crossed that I wouldn’t be dissapointed as I was (not so secretly) looking forward to joining in and having fun alongside my boys.
We had an absolutely amazing day out- time really does fly when you’re having fun, but we certainly managed to squeeze a lot in!
What We Loved
The Soopa Setting
BeWILDerwood Cheshire is set in the most beautiful woodland, on our visit the rhododendrons were a mass of colour and beautiful foxgloves punctuated the woodland too. If you’ve ever been to a family friendly festival then it had the same kind of buzz about the place – it really does feel like you’re in a little world of your own for the day. Which it turns out you are, not only that, one that is inhabited by Boggles, Twiggles and a Crocklebog called Mildred too.
I know this probably isn’t for everyone but the whole fairytale story theme and language of BeWILDerwood made it extra magical for my boys (aged 7, 4 and 2 years) and really added to the atmosphere. They picked up the lingo in no time, and ran with it all day. For older kids it’s not too in your face however, and is only really shouted about at the story time shows where you get to meet the characters.
The site is well planned and spread out over a large area. Popular attractions like the slippery slopes are available in two different areas so nothing gets overly busy – we went on a sunny weekend and it really didn’t feel like we were waiting in queues for long at all. There are also two main eating areas with outdoor seating, the picnic benches can fill up quickly though so it might worth packing a picnic blanket or walking to the far end of the site by the theatre where there are more benches hidden away – we chose to have our lunch in this spot and there was plenty of space at 1pm – which is peak time!
Turning into Twiggles
Once you have entered BeWILDerwood then there are NO additional costs for any of the hoomans in your party to go on the attractions. You are free to play, have fun and create at your own pace all day. Adults are actively encouraged to join in alongside the kids and you’ll see all ages flying past you on the zip lines.
I also liked the fact that the toddler areas had similar but scaled down versions of the main attractions so in the mind of my [very] independant 2 year old he was getting the same experience as his older brothers. For example, opposite the main zip lines there is a toddler friendly seated version which Eli absolutely loved!
The recommended age range for BeWILDerwood is 2 – 12 years which makes it a perfect day out for those larger families or with children within a wider age range. When we visited we did see teenagers enjoying themselves too – everyone loves a zip wire though, don’t they?
My boys absolutely loved the story time performance. It gave us oldies a chance to sit down and catch our breath too. I did wonder whether Stanley (7) would think it a bit babyish but nope, he was up on his feet doing the Swampy Shake with James and Eli. The show is ‘meet the characters’ mixed up with a helping of outdoor theatre, a lot of audience participation and some crazy dance moves.
It is however geared towards younger children so if you have pre-teens then maybe give it a swerve and concentrate on the other areas.
Story time performances are every hour, on the hour. As I mentioned earlier we ate lunch just outside the story time theatre in the picnic area and then went straight into the next performance. Due to the current limited capacity/social distancing rules if you want to catch a performance then plan ahead and get to the gate 10 – 15 mins beforehand.
Our Top Tips For Visiting
Don’t just stick to the drop slides and zip lines, try the den building, get crafty making your own crown in the Big Hat workshop and go to the storytelling show. All these different aspects add up to make BeWILDerwood a really unique day out.
Treat yourself to lunch to save lugging a picnic around. The two eateries Munch Bar and Cosy Cabin are both reasonably priced compared to other large attractions we’ve visited. We chose to order munch boxes for all 3 boys – a choice of a ham or cheese sandwich and includes crisps, biscuits, raisins and a drink for £4.95. There are BeWILD bangers (hooj hotdogs) for £4.50 and a Boggle Banger Hotpot will cost you £4.35. There are ice-cream vendors at both of the café areas too.
Make sure you spend the full day there! We arrived at around 11.30am and left just before closing but in hindsight I wished we’d got there early doors too as time flew by. Admittedly we did spend a little more time in the maze than we would have liked – we couldn’t find our way out, but I guess that’s all part of the fun! BeWILDerwood, Cheshire is open 10-5 daily.
Wear comfy clothing and footwear. I clocked up over 15k steps on the day we visited, mostly because our boys tended to run in different directions! Cover up little legs in hot weather as the slides are made of metal and can get very hot! There are shaded areas on sunny days but also being set in woodland you will get some shelter from bad weather too.
Everyone stops to play at the first slippery slopes site on entering (left hand side of the park map) – make your way to the back of the site first to and work your way back around anti clockwise if you want to beat the crowds. In all honesty though we visited on a sunny Sat and it didn’t seem overly crowded, but if you have preschoolers I’d recommend visiting midweek when it will be quieter.
BeWILDerwood is currently operating at 1/3 capacity so you need to book your tickets online before you visit. Weekends sell out pretty quickly so try and book a few weeks in advance in order to get your preferred date.
And mostly importantly…
Bewilderwood really is fun for ALL the family. Join in and release your inner child – you’ll thank me for it, and you’ll be awarded those soopa important cool parent points from your offspring too!
Book your Twiggle tickets now
Check out our BeWILDerwood Instagram reel to see us in action throughout the day! Follow us for more adventures.
All images are my own unless otherwise credited and must not be reproduced without permission.