This weekend just gone we were gifted a weekend away by my parents. We had a two night stay at the Wookey Hole Hotel. Along with my Brother and my two Sisters and their children. My two sisters both have 3 year olds and probably for all of us it was a reminder of how parenting doesn’t ever get easier, it just changes…. Well we are upto 12 years of age and so far it has not become any easier. Anyway back to the review.
We arrived around 7.30pm on Friday night not long after the rest of the family had arrived and just before my sister with her husband and her twins. I had chosen to stop on the way for food as I knew we were eating in the hotel on Saturday night.
The restaurant in the Wookey Hole Hotel was very quiet and I expected it to be busier. Maybe the fact it was at the end of November meant it hadn’t hit peak visiting time. We all managed to have a catch up, my brother and I had a few drinks in the bar and we were all rested for a full day on the Saturday.
Breakfast was great, nice and easy self serve for the most part and then the cooked part was cooked fresh for each guest. We also had the added pleasure of being greeted by Santa. He was available to chat to and to have pictures taken with him. Plenty of room for everyone and all the family stocked up on food ready for the day ahead.
My parents gifted the stay for us and this included the day pass for Wookey Hole. The entry cost around £15 each and gave everyone access to a visit to Santa, a tour around the caves, a circus show and a 4D cinema experience along with other attractions.
As we have 6 girls between the families aged from 3 upto 11 years old we opted to see Santa first.
We got told that Santa was available at the time we entered the site and decided with all the children this would be a good option. We got greeted by some enthusiastic elves and then were led around a snowy scene full of festive characters. When we got there we were the first people there and so walked around this part very quickly. There were 8 adults in total and 6 children. We chose to see Santa in families and decided my parents would stay inside for each different family. This meant the queue got quite long behind us very quickly.
I am not sure if there was more than one ‘Santa’ however no one could go past us as we were waiting for the same one, if that makes sense. The ‘Santa’ was great and had time to speak to all the children in depth. He asked them whether they had been good or not and talked about what was on their lists. There was an elf inside helping to find suitable presents, everything was age and gender marked. The visit finished with a photo opportunity.
The children had gifts, my 11 year old had a head band ball catching game, my 8 year old had bubbles and the 10 year old had a character figure. They didn’t look like the most expensive gifts, but they were at least age appropriate.
My husband was travelling from London that morning as he had been held in work the night before. The rest of the family went around the caves but we decided to wait for him to go into the caves. By the time he arrived the others had come out of the caves and were heading a couple of miles down the road to get lunch in a Morrisons or similar and see if the little 3 year olds would sleep in the car.
The lunch menu was very expensive with a sandwich costing around £5. We ended up getting a couple of options between the 5 of us and sharing. However the food portions being served were very generous. A child’s meal deal box had a sandwich, a drink, a pack of crisps, 2 babybels and biscuits all for £5, it felt like quite a bit for that type of thing. Normally I find children’s meal deals will consist of a sandwich, drink and an other snack.
So we went into the Wookey Hole Caves after our lunch and were taken around by a lovely lady and it was a lovely tour with something for all the family. A lot of the areas had been decorated for Christmas also. My daughters all loved the experience and had questions for the lovely tour lady which is always a giveaway. If they don’t ask questions then they generally are not interested.
Once you exit the Wookey Hole caves you get taken past a dinosaur park and fairy village. We had to skip this part quite quickly as the circus show we wanted to watch was on soon.
This was performed by a youth group who apparently train in the theatre three times a week. There were circus skills ranging from juggling and tightrope walking to some more complex magic tricks. A lot of the family met up for this and everyone was fully engaged in the show, which again shows how interesting the show was.
4d Cinema Experience
We rushed out of the circus show to go and see the cinema show and with the benefit of hindsight I might not have bothered as it wasn’t that brilliant. It was Happy Feet condensed into 15 minutes and the story line wasn’t very easy to follow for children. The 4d effects were great but a bit lost on everyone.
Penny arcade and play area
After leaving the cinema show it was suggested the children let off some steam in the play centre. This was next to an old style penny arcade. My Dad, myself, my husband and my eldest all had some great fun and laughs playing some of the old style fruit machines and games that were around many many many years ago.
We had booked a table to fit us all in the restaurant in advance. As first time visitors we weren’t sure how busy it would be in the Wookey Hole Hotel. This meant that we had to prebook the food the night before which didn’t seem the easiest with the waitresses. We were put on a large square table which was lovely (I really dislike being on long tables). The food was generous in portion for most of us. However, my sister had decided to get her twins one portion between the two of them based on the previous night. The previous night the portions had been extremely generous, yet on the Saturday they were a lot smaller.
The food menu was your general pub type menu with steaks, fish and chips, hunters chicken etc. All of the mains were between around £10 and £18, so not the cheapest pub grub. The children we all settled in bed and some of the adults stayed up for a couple of drinks in the restaurant. The hotel was lacking in a separate bar/sitting area. If you wanted to just have a drink you had to do so in the restaurant or at the bar on bar stools.
Breakfast at Wookey Hole Hotel was a lot more manic on the Sunday morning with the tables and seats being very crammed in. There was barely room to move around the tables. However, the waitresses did a good job of maneuvering around the tables. Something they were obviously used to doing in busy periods.
We decided to go back into the play area for an hour before we headed back home.
This is something I am always keen to find out what places offer families, especially as we are 5. It normally means we can’t get a room for 5 and we split up. When my parents booked the holiday they explained we were 5. However, the idea was one of my daughters would go in with the family of 3. This didn’t need to happen as they put an extra bed in our room meaning we all got in the one room. This is great for us as, like I said earlier, it normally means one adult with two children and one with the other. The room had an average size bathroom which included a bath. Much to the delight of my dad! I would put the room on a par with a TravelLodge-type room.
On the whole it was a lovely weekend with the whole family getting together. I am not sure it would be on my hit list of places to take my children to see Santa, but the value for money was great. If you are going I would suggest taking a packed lunch as there was plenty of indoor seating available.
Our family is spread over the country and we don’t get together very often. We had talked about doing a cottage meet up as that normally would offer communal sitting areas. This is something I felt was lacking in the hotel. Also if all meals had been as busy and squashed in as they were on the Sunday I would not have been impressed. It might be that the meals were quieter as we were still in November. Now it is closer to Christmas it might be a bit more manic there.
Overall rating: 4/5