Woodlands Family Theme Park is one of Devon’s largest family attractions, a few miles outside Dartmouth in the South Hams countryside. Inside the park offers a mix of outdoor and indoor rides, set in wooded surroundings, hence the name.
As with all theme parks and tourist attractions in the South West, the summer is far busier as good weather and school holidays bring visitors out in their numbers. But what is like to visit out of season, by which we mean Spring and Autumn?
Visiting Woodlands in Autumn
The temperature ranged from 12C to 15C on our October visit and some early morning rain had stopped by the time we arrived at the park. This meant that paths around the site were wet and with the combination of Autumnal leaves on the ground, care had to be taken walking on some of the paths between rides (still a nice Autumn walk though).
The outdoor rides were all operating as usual. Woodlands has a number of water flumes; the Avalanche Ride, Arctic Gliders and the Water Coasters so there are plenty of ‘wet bums’. Elsewhere a lot of the attractions are designed to fit in with the Woodland setting; the wooden forts and slides, pedal boats, zip wires and tornado toboggan all designed to run of energy.
Indoors, there are soft play areas, a huge adventure centre, and an expanding collection of animals (the hedgehogs and chipmunks were particularly popular).
Visiting outside the summer means shorter queues, and in October it means no queues. The early morning rain may have detered some people from visiting, but being able to go straight onto rides, such as the tobaoggan run and water sides makes such a big difference to the day where so much more can be crammed in.
Even the indoor areas were quiet enough to easily find a table in the food area, and be served straight away. Indeed there were parents relaxing with a newspaper or coffee which children enjoyed the rides and slides in the Sea Monster Zone.
There was an interesting contrast between the screams on the thrill rides and the peace and quiet walking around Woodlands. It felt very relaxed without the queues which definitely added to the day out. As the afternoon wore on, a mist descended over the park which added to the tranquillity and ambience.
As mentioned above, the temperature was in the mid-teens, so as the rain stopped, all attractions in the park were perfectly enjoyable. A lack of wind helped, as did the indoor attractions which help to extend the appeal of Woodlands beyond the summer months.
In summary, it was a great day out. The lack of queues meant that the rides could be enjoyed far more frequently and much more can be crammed in during the day. After October the park opens on a weekend only and some of the rides do not run, but visit in September, October, or in the Spring to enjoy all the attractions.
- The Water Coasters
- Pedal Karts
- The Hedgehogs and the Night Time Creatures
- Empire of the Sea Dragon indoor play
- Tornado Toboggan ride
Woodlands Adventure Park is open throughout the winter during weekends. See which rides are open and find out more.