In the first of a new series, we’ll be reviewing some of the attractions in and around the local area, to help you plan your holiday activities and days out. These reviews are entirely impartial, and will be written by local families and members of the community without connection to the venues and attractions under review. This week: the new play area at Wildwood.
The play area at Wildwood, near Herne Village and off the A291, has been closed for several months whilst it has undergone an overhaul. My children have been awaiting the re-opening with keen anticipation – they have jolly high expections when it comes to exactly what comprises a good play-area and what doesn’t, and what sort of play facilities ought to be included, given their vast experience of play areas across the south of England. So it was with a not inconsiderable amount of trepidation that we elected to visit Wildwood on the recent Bank Holiday, after it re-opened on the Easter weekend. The children’s excitement was palpable: what would they find, and would it live up to their demanding expectancy ?!
I’m pleased to say that they were thoroughly delighted with the new incarnation. The wooden fort has been extended to include two new towers affording great views across Wildwood itself, an excitingly convoluted twisting slide, and – most interesting of all – a new facility called ‘Tree Top Drop,’ a sheer-drop slide which appealed to children and adults (although not to any in our party – the children are perhaps slightly too young as yet, and neither my wife nor I fancied it this time round!). The drop slide is, according to Wildwood’s own blog, the tallest vertical drop-slide in Kent, and, the new build has been created by Wildwood’s own in-house team of rangers (see video below).
As a respite from the excitement of hurling themselves around the play area, which still offers an area for under 5’s, a zip-slide, swings and a nest swing, we were able to persuade the children to walk around Wildwood, where we found that the conservation park is also undergoing some rejuvenation; new developments are underway for a wetland centre, and there seems to be an aviary area under construction. The Arctic fox and the wolves are still hugely appealing to the children (and adults too), and there are now additional picnic tables situated between the play area and the cafe.
A hearty ‘thumbs up’ from the children on the new attractions at Wildwood; our annual membership ticket still affords good value for money. At £7 per month for family membership, which includes two adults and up to six children and permits unlimited visits during the year, our offspring clamour to visit Wildwood often. The site also operates a carbon-friendly policy, whereby all its electricity is drawn from sustainable sources, including solar power, and water is heated from solar thermal panels, so you can be confident that your membership fees are going to support wildlife conservation in an environmentally-friendly fashion.
If you haven’t visited since the play area was re-opened, do: highly recommended by our offspring, well versed in high-quality play facilities!
Wildwood’s own video about the new ‘Tree Top Drop’ slide.
(Reviewed by Tom O’Bedlam).
If you’ve recently visited somewhere and would like to submit a review, please do: click here to send it to us, we’d love to hear your views! Please remember views need to be impartial; appropriate illustrative images also welcome. The Forum reserves the right to edit or decline contributions if necessary.