Family fun guaranteed
Twin Lakes is a family fun theme park near Melton Mowbray, just a short drive from Spirit of Freedom’s base in Cambridgeshire. There are lots of motorhome-friendly camp sites within close proximity, and five-year-old Ellie Calpin loves the park’s high, fast rides. Dad Darren is a little less reluctant to unleash his inner child, as he explains here…
“Gee up, Neddy. Go! Go! Go!” Despite our encouragement, the cute yet entirely mechanical steed my five-year-old daughter Ellie and I are sitting on continues to meander around his track at a sedate pace. This pleases me, but doesn’t seem to satisfy Ellie who, upon dismounting and thanking ‘Neddy’ for our leisurely lap, immediately points to a towering ride looming large over everything else in the middle distance. It looks anything but sedate.
“Yes, Daddy! That!” she shouts with a gleam in her eye bordering on demonic.
This, according to our park map, is The Excalibur: a 70ft-high spinning tower ride fashioned in the shape of King Arthur’s fabled sword. It’s the newest addition to Twin Lakes, a modest-sized theme park on the outskirts of Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire that evidently does a nice line in thrilling kids and scaring the b’jesus out of parents… family fun!
Five minutes later and we’re strapped in ready to go. Ellie squeals with delight as the swing chair we’re dangling in spins round and round, going ever higher and faster until it’s essentially extended as far away from the tower’s crane-like limbs as far as the taught chains will allow. Ellie enjoys it so much that she’s still giggling when we get off. My fear of heights makes The Excalibur memorable for entirely different reasons.
Next stop is the Red Rooster Farm zone, a far more relaxed affair where visitors can admire farmyard animals, reptiles, monkeys, meerkats and exotic birds at relatively close quarters. As well as a welcome change of pace, this mostly indoor area affords us some welcome shade from the unseasonably strong sunshine.
The Susanoo Splash outdoor pool in the Ao Guang Dragon Zone provides an altogether more immediate way of cooling off. Honestly, the water here is so chilly that I guarantee you will not feel any heat on – or indeed in – your body for a long time afterwards. Even Ellie, who normally can’t get enough of water slides, calls it quits after ten minutes. Beware the huge water container that tips over and soaks unaware bathers at regular intervals. It’s pure shock therapy!
The compact size of Twin lakes ensures all of the rides, attractions and shows are within very easy reach. Thus we’re able to take in everything from kid-friendly rollercoasters, fairy tale playgrounds and swaying pirate ships to Wild West towns, falconry displays and ski slope toboggan rides without ever having to walk more than five or 10 minutes.
Seeking shade once more, we retreat into the Labyrinth zone’s indoor soft play area, a cavernous arena of cushioned tunnels, bridges and obstacles replete with three giant colour-coded drop slides.
Ellie, who was clearly born without a fear gene, favoured the super-scary red slide with near-vertical drop. The green and blue ones got my vote as as they both have ball ponds to land in at the bottom. And let’s face it, there really is nothing quite like zipping down a slide and landing in a ball pond at speed to release your inner child…
- For more on Twin Lakes family theme park near Melton Mowbray go to twinlakespark.co.uk