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A family day out in Evesham's 'The Valley' 1st May 2015

By 17:03:00 , , , , , , , , , , ,

It's been ages since we went on a day out as a family, so when some friends of ours with children J's age contacted us about going to 'The Valley' (Formerly Evesham Country Park) we were very keen to join them.

This was our first visit to 'The Valley' and I wasn't sure what to expect or how child friendly the place would be. What follows is a full report and review on our day out.

We met up with the others in 'The Valley's' car park at 10.30 with 6 adults, one 2 year old, one almost 18 month old toddler, and one 9 month old baby. One particularly good thing about the valley is that you don't have to pay to park and there is also no admission fee so that was great. Initially, we walked through the main parade of shops. They have quite a few options including Fat Face, Mountain Warehouse, and The Works so there is something for everyone and they also have a farmshop and a garden centre as well.

We then headed up towards the railway.

Evesham vale light railway takes you on a loop of the park to the children's adventure play area and picnic area and then back again to the station. I thought the pricing was very reasonable at around £2.50 per adult and frequent services every 30 minutes. Unfortunately there is insufficient room on the train to take buggies but as the 9 month old was in a rucksack carrier, and the 18 month old could do short distances on foot, we left our pushchair in the parking section on the platform before boarding and then collected this on our return. The journey up to the play area and picnic area probably took around 10 minutes if that and also included a ride through a short play area and the children and adults all seemed to enjoy it.

At the other end, we walked up a small slope and 3 steps to the adventure playground.

As you can see from the picture this was in the style of a wooden castle with a walk way around the top, a slide, fireman's pole and numerous ladders. J's options for play were fairly limited as he was unable to climb the ladder or ride down the pole but he enjoyed crawling around the walk way at the top and going down the slide backwards.

The slide did seem a bit steep and fast but we had no injuries so it was probably just me. It's a pity they didn't have swings or the individual springy rocker things you get in some play areas as that would have been more appropriate. The 9 month old only got to go on the slide with his mum and sit in the bottom of the turrets, so I did feel a bit sorry for him. I think the play area here is really for older children and our little ones would probably have a bit more fun with it when they are older.

We took the next train back and then headed for the cafe in the garden centre. My partner and I didn't eat any thing and ordered some drinks and we thought the prices were relatively reasonable - £5 for 3 drinks. The deals on food also seemed quite good particularly for the children - there were several options either for a packed lunch or cooked food and on the day we were there they also were doing a carvery. Service also seemed fairly quick and from the food our friends bought it did look really lovely and we have said that we would like to go back again and try the food next time.

We left about one due to other plans but we thoroughly enjoyed our morning at the valley and I would go there again, but maybe when J is a bit older. The place really did have something for everyone but the only thing I felt was missing was a soft play area. Quite a few cafe's and garden centre's in the area have them but this one didn't so that was a shame but with new businesses opening up all the time this could very well be something that is added on at a later date.

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