Smiles all round at Gulliver’s Kingdom

The age-old question cropped up for my wife and I during the school holidays — how do we occupy the kids?

But we instantly knew we were on to a winner when smiles spread across the faces of my five-year-old son and three-year-old daughter with the mere mention of Gulliver’s Kingdom in Matlock Bath.

Just a short pitch away and, with everything you would want for the youngsters, we headed off to the family-friendly theme-park with my son determined he would test out the log flume at least five times.

Gulliver’s has been a staple attraction for East Midlands folk since it first launched in 1978 under the control of Ray Phillips. I remember going as a kid and still remember my aching legs from the steep inclines as you wind your way through the Derbyshire hills.

But for my youngsters — and any of similar age — the venue offers a perfect mix of rides without the kids being intimidated.

First port of call was the chairlift to get us to the summit of the park. Then, as per my son’s wishes, it was off to the log flume. With it being the park’s opening weekend and temperatures still low, we were straight into our carriage and bobbing towards the gentle incline with my daughter’s hands up in the air.

Thankfully a splash landing didn’t leave us too soaked but my little ones revelled in the ride. Then it was on to the Flight Of Fantasy before climbing aboard Gully’s Magic Bikes where pedal power sends you soaring into the sky.

A quick pitstop followed for an ice-cream for the kids — despite the wintry weather — and a warming cuppa for the adults. But quickly it was on the rides trail again as we hopped aboard the Dino Explorer Cars to learn about prehistoric creatures.

By now the kids were in their element charging towards the Flying Elephants and Ladybird offerings with mum and dad trailing behind. There was more cycling to do next, this time 20 feet in the air on the Cycle Monorail before heading to the Silver Mine Ride.

The park boasts too many attractions to mention here, but also benefits from the addition of a couple from the now-closed Camelot theme park.

At the moment, Gulliver’s is only open on Saturdays and Sundays for the remainder of April before extended opening kicks in throughout May and beyond.

Ticket prices start at £15.95 for a day ticket with a range of special offers in between up to a day-ticket for a family of four costing £59.95. For more details, including opening times, log on at www.gulliversfun.co.uk.