Recently, we were invited along to BeWILDerwood’s 10th Anniversary Party where there was lots of cake, ice cream and fun! Since moving to Suffolk, I have always wanted to take my little one along so I’m so glad we got the chance to attend the event.
BeWILDerwood is a breathtaking, treetop adventure within a large woodland area that is based on the books written by Tom Blofield, who is also the creator of the park itself. It offers an all-natural, outdoor playing experience for children and adults. Yes, adults can enjoy it too! Everything has been built so that adults can enjoy it with their children instead of sitting down and being a bystander. So, when you visit make sure you are ready to get involved with the adventure!
The party kicked off with Tom Blofield, giving a speech about how passionate he is for providing a space for children and their families to enjoy outdoor play together. During Tom’s speech, he announced the new and exciting plans for BeWILDerwood. They are opening a second park! This park will be located in Cholmondeley Castle, South Cheshire and will include boardwalks, tree houses, a boat ride and a huge climbing frame, which sounds amazing!
After enjoying some food and the cake getting cut we then headed into the heart of BeWILDerwood by boat. The boat was by far Joshua’s favourite part. Joshua was excitedly repeating, “Me go on boat and BIG wheeee” and looking out for it during our car journey there. Joshua loved the boat so much that we had to do it twice!
As you walk into the park you are greeted by friendly and helpful staff. There are two ways to get in and out of the BeWILDerwood park and that’s either by boat or walking. We didn’t walk because Joshua was so excited by the boat but from what I’ve heard it is a short walk for those little legs! The boat ride only lasts about 5 minutes which is perfect for the younger ones who may not want to sit still. During the boat ride the driver tells you the story of BeWILDerwood and where all the enchanting creatures live. I loved that you get told different parts of the story travelling in and back out!
As we got off the boat and walked into the first play section we found, I realised just how big it was. I knew it was going to be a decent size but nowhere near as big as it was. After being there for a couple of hours we had only gone around 1/3 of the park!
No matter what section you go into, there is so much for children of all ages. Before going I was worried that Joshua wouldn’t be able to do quite a lot of it, but I was pleasantly surprised that he was only unable to go on one small part!
When to Go?
Most people will be going during busy holiday periods, but don’t ever let that stop you from going! BeWILDerwood is absolutely huge so the amount of people there will never ruin the experience for you. I went during an event so there were lots of press people, more staff running around as well as their normal daily visitors and I definitely didn’t feel that it was too busy. While waiting times for the boat rides will get longer during these times but even then, the wait isn’t too long. Both times we queued up for the boat we were right at the back of a long queue but even then, we were only waiting 10 minutes or so!
As well as the holidays, people will want to go during the summer or days when it isn’t raining. It rained a bit while we were there and it honestly didn’t matter – the trees shield the rain a fair bit, as long as it isn’t tipping it down. The trees also shield the sun, perfect for little ones running around without getting too hot. My son absolutely hates the heat so I was worrying about him but it was perfect. With everything being under the treetops, it just adds to the already perfect environment for outdoor playing.
What’s brilliant about BeWILDerwood is that the entire place has been designed so that pushchairs can go through with ease, even the boat ride is able to take them without having to fold them down which is perfect and makes us parents lives that little bit easier. I usually dread taking our pushchair anywhere but BeWILDerwood was an absolute breeze with it. The staff are even happy to help you get it on and off the boat too.
What I really liked to see were signs saying that certain areas were designed for disabled children, although all children are allowed to enjoy them. The park is also easily accessible for wheelchairs just as it is for pushchairs.
Get the Most Out of Your Trip
We spent 6 hours there and we still didn’t do everything! We only missed out one bit though. Joshua never used his pushchair and only sat down once while we were there because he so wanted to get everywhere and do everything – we had to remind him to stop and drink!
I definitely won’t be taking the pushchair next time just because I missed out on all of us playing and enjoying the day together as a family, as one of us had to stay with the pushchair at all times. If you don’t absolutely need the pushchair I recommend not taking it as you will enjoy yourself as much as your little ones!
I was impressed by the entire park and so pleased that Joshua could do pretty much everything. BeWILDerwood has everything you can imagine – zip wires, sand pits, slides and even a sky maze.
Dotted around the park are also some other activities that your children can get stuck into. There is face painting (they also paint arms for children who don’t want their face done!) and there is even a tent where you get to be creative with crafts! There is also a stage where there are three story telling shows on throughout the day, which we unfortunately missed out on because Joshua was so not wanting to move away from playing!
Joshua absolutely loved our day out (and so did we!) so we will definitely be going back this summer!! Although, we were disappointed in one small way – the gift shop. While the gift shop sold a lot of amazing things (including the BeWILDerwood books) the hefty price tags on a lot of the gifts made us unable to purchase anything. Joshua really wanted a small tub of sweets (£5) and a toy (£13) but when you visit parks like this you expect to pay a bit more in the gift shop, so it isn’t really too much of a problem!
Disclaimer: While we were given tickets to attend the press event for their 10th Anniversary, all of my opinions are my own.