A chip off the old block in Legoland
You are never too old for Lego.
The brand has gone through a resurgence in recent years – teaming up with the Star Wars and Batman franchises and also launching a hugely popular movie series– that I nearly forgot Duplo was my own childhood favourite.
My seven-year-old son Harry is obsessed with Lego. During our holidays we were driving through England towards the Eurotunnel and just had to stop off at Legoland in Windsor.
It is in a great location, near Heathrow off the M25, and only about four hours from Holyhead.
We arrived the night before, staying in a nearby hotel, so everyone was well fed and rested for our day’s adventure.
Legoland is a fantastic place to bring kids. It is ideally suited to smaller kids (2-12) as there are no big roller coasters, but the parents can still have fun on some of the rides.
Our daughter Katie (8) and Harry really enjoyed it, although they thought some of the ‘thrill’ rides, while fun, were too short.
There are over 55 family-friendly rides and attractions to discover in the park. Some have got long queues in high season (up to an hour), but most are okay, especially with the Q-BOT (see tips below).
There is a good selection of attractions, including thrill rides, playgrounds, 4D shows, a huge water playground that is perfect to cool down in and lots of Lego playtime.
As with most theme parks, there are different zones and plenty to do in each one.
The newly opened Heartlake City was a real favourite. You must not miss the live show staged on the lake, Friends to the Rescue, featuring Mia and other Lego Friends.
The kids still talk about it.
The new area also has a lively horse ride, Mia’s Riding Adventure, that seemed to go down well with Katie, while Harry loved the Heartlake City Express train ride.
Lego City was another favourite – both my kids now have Lego driving licences – and Mini Land has to be seen to be believed. Both adults and kids spent hours walking around Europe and Katie loved the Taylor Swift portrait.
The Atlantis Submarine Voyage is a beautiful attraction with fantastic underwater views of fish and sharks, while the Dragon Roller Coaster is as much fun as it sounds.
If you ever find yourself driving past Windsor on your way to London or France, stop. You won’t regret it. :
If you are going in high season you must budget for a Q-BOT pass at £35 per person. It allows you to book your rides so you arrive at a scheduled time and skip the queues. If you plan your day well you can get around the park and get a go on most rides.
There is no point going in high season without one. You will spend most of the day in queues with tired, frustrated kids. Not fun.
The most popular rides have a Q-BOT waiting time of up to an hour. Book your ride and go and have lunch or head to a playground or the water slides. When you are finished, just head straight to the top of the long queue.
Bring swimming togs. If the kids want to go on the water slides they will need them. Children in pants are stopped from getting on.
- Heartlake City at Legoland Windsor Resort is open until November 2, 2015 (closed on selected midweek days in May, September, October and November).
- Advance online booking from £36.90/€48 for adults, from £33.75/€45 for children (free for 1-2 yr olds and from £141.30/€190 for families (two adults + two children)
- Book here: www.legoland.co.uk/en/Book/ or call 0845 373 2640
- LEGO Friends rooms available to stay from March 28, 2015. All LEGO Friends rooms are Premium themed rooms. Premium LEGO Friends packages from £369/€500.
- Themed family rooms (two adults and up to three children) available from £289/€390 (not including LEGO Friends rooms).
- Hotel price includes breakfast and Park tickets for two days, plus early-bird access to some selected rides in the Park (special rates are available for LEGOLAND Annual Pass Holders and Merlin Annual Pass Holders)
- Book here: www.legoland.co.uk/hotel/shortbreak/