We had a lovely albeit wet trip to Pecorama today. As it was a special charity day, the prices were set at £7.50 per person for all 3 years and upwards, rather than the usual £8 for 3-16, £10 for 17 to 64 years (correct at the time of writing!). They were raising money for Parkinsons UK, Step One and The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth.
We hadn’t been before so the first thing we were blown away by was the view from the carpark!! You climb a lot of hills to reach the carpark, all the time with the sea behind you so as you step out of the car and see the view of the coast, it takes your breath away. I’ve lived in Devon for a year now and still can’t get over it.
When you first arrive and buy your tickets, you can go through the ticket office to the Model Railway Exhibition and my 3 year old was mesmerised. All have working trains that are chugging or whizzing around the incredibly detailed tracks and there are little buttons to press to make particular things work on the models. You can also pay 10p to work the big train display that’s outside – again, with an amazing view.
Now, be prepared, it’s all set on a hill. So, little legs need to be ready and if you’re pushing wheels then be prepared for a bit of a workout. It is paved though so there’s no trouble getting pushchairs and wheelchairs around, it’s just a bit of effort!
We were very excited to meet a couple of miniature donkeys that had come across from one of our favourite places to visit, The Donkey Sanctuary Sidmouth. The representative from the Sanctuary was very welcoming and friendly and told us all about Angus and Fergal and let us have a little stroke.
We went for an early lunch in The Garden Room for the kids – a couple of sandwiches, a cream tea, a coffee and some desserts cost approximately £15. Friendly staff, clean tables and highchairs/colouring etc available, it all felt perfectly child-friendly. There was even a table set up for a Birthday Party (note to self: the 3 year old was very excited by this).
Then we let the little ones loose in the Play Station. A very tall soft play, which my husband (who considers himself an expert on such things) said is on the more ‘challenging’ end of the soft-play spectrum! But, he and my three year old made it round a number of times and enjoyed themselves immensely. Me and our one year old had some fun in the baby area – small but good – and a toddle around while she sought out attention from all the waiting parents. I then got her to sleep by walking her around the gardens IN THE POURING RAIN.
A free face paint afterwards (I imagine this was only on as it was a charity day) and then we headed home with a few things left to see for our next visit. We didn’t make it onto the train nor did we play in the outside play area due to the rain. There’s a picnic area should you wish to take one, plenty of toilet facilities and baby change and a well-stocked shop with lots of fun things to buy. There’s a few options for food if you don’t bring your own.
Top tip: take cash. You can only pay by card at the ticket office and in the restaurant (not sure about the Play Station cafe or the other restaurants). We didn’t make it on the train as it’s an additional £2.50 per person and we didn’t have cash – we could have gone back down to the ticket office but we decided with the rain coming down to call it a day. We also fancied a cream tea on the Orion Pullman Car when we first arrived but that too was cash only and for some reason we didn’t bring any!
In conclusion, we had a really lovely morning. Sadly rain stopped play a bit and so it ended up being quite pricey having cut the day short but we really enjoyed it and we’re considering an annual membership. Have you been? What did you think?