Written By Claire
I’ve often driven past Trago Mills on the A38 and been curious about what exactly it is – with its many white turrets and huge size it looks more like a castle than a shop! I’d heard that as well as selling just about everything imaginable, there is also a ‘family fun park’ there, so I decided to take the twins and check it out.
Although visible from the A38, it was 5 minutes drive or so from the exit. We followed signs for the Family Fun Park and parked in the carpark next to it.
First of all we went to the ‘Theden Animal Park’. This is no admission fee and you can wander in and out freely.
It had a slightly deserted air to it – we were the only visitors, and there were no staff to be seen either, although the animals appeared well cared for. On a bright sunny day with other people milling about I imagine it would feel more cheerful!
The first section has smaller animals – rabbits, giant rabbits, pygmy goats.
It would have been nice to get ‘hands-on’ with the animals but as far as I could tell they do not hold any ‘meet the animal’ sessions.
We then followed the path round some duck ponds, taking the opportunity to ‘walk like a duck’.
The path delivered us to a paddock area, with pigs and donkeys.
There was also an aviary which was pleasant to walk through.
Train-mad Monty was a bit distracted as he kept hearing the train hoot, so next we went to investigate. We headed to the Family Fun Park and saw the train (known as the Bickington Steam Railway) heading to the Station.
There are lots of places you can buy food and drinks, with kiosks, cafes and restaurants. There are also lots of picnic tables around. We nipped to the Bakery for a gingerbread man, then boarded the train. The ticket allows you to ride as many times as you like that day, and you can get off at different stations around Trago Mills – it is that immense you do need a train to get around it!
The carriages were really attractive with wooden seats, and it was pulled by a miniature Steam engine.
I was really impressed with the train ride. It was half hour long, passing lots of interesting features – over railway bridges, through tunnels and woodland and even past a large dinsoaur! (We were past it by the time I got my camera out!). It also gave a good overview of just how much there is to do at the Family Fun Park- we passed large go-karting tracks, boating lakes and plenty more. I think it was good value for £5 for the 3 of us, and would have been even more so if we’d ridden again!
Next, we had a wander round the Fun Park. Monty and Maisie were keen to have a go on the Bouncy Castle. Most of the activities are chargeable – either on a token basis, or you can buy day tickets (from £4 per child, see Trago Mills website for details).
The Bouncy Castle cost 1 token each (at 50pence a token).
We had it to ourselves, but it was the Twins first time in an enclosed bouncy castle. It was blowing a gale in there which mildly terrified them so they came straight out again. So that was a pound well spent, but as far as bouncy castle admission fees go I’ve seen alot worse!
We then heading over to the free play area, past a collection of Springers.
The play area has a mini Trago Mills style building with slides.
Along with one of the highest free-standing slides I’ve come across, and flat and cradle swings. The swings were ‘swingy’ – sounds silly, but some swing swing better than others! (ones on short attachments don’t impress my children!) These were good swings!
There was a also a slide complex, we went to have a look at it. It cost £1.50 worth of tokens per entry, with no spectators allowed and no re-entry. So given that I can’t send my three year olds in there on their own, and more than likely one of them would want the toilet as soon as we got in so we’d have to leave again, I decided against paying for that one. If we had gone for the day ticket, it would have been better value as that allows you unlimted entry. Had a sneaky peak though, and it had some long bumpy slides you go down on a sack, a drop slide, and a twirly tunnel slide.
Somehow, we’d been at Trago for 3 hours by this point and had only scratched the surface in terms of things to do – other things we saw but didn’t visit included the model railway, soft play, rides, remote control boats and plenty more.
Before heading home, we had to pay one last visit to the twins favourite thing before we left – a child sized toilet!
Address – Trago Mills Regional Shopping & Leisure Centre, Liverton TQ12 6JD
Phone Number – 01626 821111