Having taken my eldest child for a day at Thomas Land when he was three, it seemed only fair that his younger sister should have the treat of a visit here too. And so, before she started school, I arranged the trip for June. Deliberately going on a week day in term time to avoid the crowds, I also took advantage of the well-priced “Adult & Toddler” ticket. In spite of not being a mad Thomas fan, Ellie was beside herself with anticipation about going to her first ever theme park. And when we arrived at the hallowed gates of Thomas Land, on spotting Harold the Helicopter gliding through the air, I thought she was going to pop with excitement.
Thomas Land is a relatively new attraction. The park is well-designed, clean, fabulously shiny and colourful, with the appealing faces of those familiar train engines beaming out at you everywhere. There are 12 themed rides to amuse the children including what turned out to be Ellie’s favourite, The Troublesome Trucks; a 220 metre (quite nippy!) roller coaster that runs up and over Thomas Land. Generally, you’ll find that you need to accompany your little ones on all the rides: I had a whale of a time! There’s also Emily’s Indoor Play area to discover – we happened to catch it on a very quiet moment, so the kids had a fantastic time in this huge play zone. (Note: no adults are allowed at all on the structure in here, so your child needs to be happy enough to allow you to simply watch.)
We brought along our own picnic, and grabbed some coffees from the little café which I noticed did well-priced kids’ sandwich packs (£3.95). The main area of Thomas Land was rather busy at lunchtime, so we climbed aboard Percy and took the little train down to the other end of the park. There we found an empty picnic table and the brilliant Spencer adventure playground, it was almost impossible to tear the kids away from this!
We ambled back through Drayton Park Zoo (as Thomas Land is located within the vast grounds of Drayton Manor Theme Park, your ticket allows you access here too). We did a quick diversion via the pretty Carousel and got wet on the water rapids of Splash Canyon, before concluding our visit with a few re-runs on the kids’ favourite rides back at The Island of Sodor!
Thomas Land open: 15-23 Feb 11am-4pm,
March Weekends 10.30am-2.30pm, 29 Mar-2 Nov.
Daily 9.30am. Closes approx 5pm.
Adult £36, Child £27, Child 2-3yrs £5, under 2’s free.
Adult and Toddler (under 4 years) deal available weekdays during Staffordshire term times £20. For discounts, book online in advance.
Thomas Land at Drayton Manor Theme Park, Tamworth, Staffordshire B78 3TW
Tel: 0844 472 1960 draytonmanor.co.uk