A few years ago we attempted to visit Peppa Pig World at Paultons Park with child one. After travelling a considerable distance and coughing up for the entrance fee, she decided that the only ride she was interested in was the swings. To me, these swings looked very similar to the ones we had in the park near our house. She was on there about 10 minutes so we probably paid about £1 per swing.
And so, we waited another three years before attempting our second visit to Peppa Pig World.
On this occasion we decided to stay at Sandy Balls Holiday Park near Fordingbridge on the edge of the New Forest. It was November, so we paid around £200 for a weekend in a caravan which was big enough for 8 people (well, you could squeeze in 8 people but I’d say 6 was plenty).
We arrived in the dark, which is never ideal with children and spent about 15 minutes scouring caravan numbers in the dark. The other half of our party was arriving separately, so I saved them the same anguish by sending them our coordinates on Google Maps. Sandy Balls is a large site and I suspect that my mother would still be driving round it now if I hadn’t offered assistance.
The caravan was a ‘woodland’ one which only seemed to be a few months old. We’d stayed in a few similar caravans, but my mother was expecting the kind of caravan which you’d hook onto a Volvo so was very impressed.
“A freezer!” she said with a genuine sound of shock in her voice.
“An en suite toilet!” she bellowed through from the largest bedroom as we unpacked in the lounge.
This went on for about 20 minutes.
In the morning, we got to see the holiday park in daylight and realised that a very nice playground was 20 metres away from our caravan. Luckily the children hadn’t seen it in the dark or it might have caused a few issues at bed time.
Peppa Pig World was 25 minutes away through the New Forest. It’s a lovely drive, as long as you can avoid the horses and donkeys which like to wander into the road.
The park itself was a much bigger success on this occasion. Child one was old enough and brave enough to try several rides and child two even had a go on some of them after seeing her sister’s confidence. The real plus point was that the queues were no more than 10 minutes, although the park was far from empty. It was certainly wise to arrive exactly at opening time, as we managed to squeeze in a couple of rides before everyone else turned up.
My highlight was winning a giant Peppa toy on one of those ball throwing games which you assume are rigged and completely impossible.
We did have a quick wander round the rest of Paultons Park, although quite a lot of it was closed for the winter. I toyed with the idea of trying out their largest rollercoaster before remembering that my stomach complains on a carousel.
Back at Sandy Balls we had a wander round the site which has had a lot of investment in recent years. There’s a well laid out courtyard area by the entrance surrounded by shops, a couple of places to eat and a swimming pool which is a lot cleaner and neater than some we’ve seen. We didn’t eat in the restaurant, but it looked appealing.
We also discovered a second playground which was smaller on the map, but much larger in real life.
As it was a pretty jam-packed weekend, we didn’t take up any of the paid-for activities although we did have a glimpse of the alpaca walks. There was a busy schedule, as well as evening activities if you fancied it.
All in all, our second visit to Peppa Pig World was much better value for money. Although that’s not saying much...
See our guide to holiday parks near Peppa Pig World for more ideas
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