Joshua loves dinosaurs. I know this may sound like an extravagant statement as he’s only 14 months old, but he genuinely seems to love them. In fact, at the moment the only question that he seems to react to is ‘What does a dinosaur say?’ and he gives us a little ‘roar’ its so cute!
I’ve been waiting to take him to the Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur park, I hadn’t been there in years, but being from North Devon originally, it was definitely on my list of places to take him, and whilst we were anxious whether or not he would actually be interested in it, we were hugely relieved when the first thing he pointed to was the Stegosaurus just inside the park…Thank god, we hadn’t just wasted the cost of the tickets….it was already worth it just to see his reaction!
It had changed so much since I last went with some friends years ago, so we planned our way and started by going down to see the Wallaby’s, penguins, goats and emu’s. We walked down with Joshua in his trike…we had tossed up that morning, whether he should go in his trike or his buggy, but we know how much he loves his trike…It really seems to give him a sense of freedom and he interacts with the outdoors so much more than if he was just laying back in his buggy. (The only downside is the space underneath the trike to hold bags etc, is really limited, and you can’t really hang anything off the bar that you steer with, it just doesn’t work).
One downside about this huge park, is that it’s on a hill so be ready for some serious hill walking! I like to think we’re pretty fit and healthy, we don’t work out all the time, but we can walk for miles and not get worn out, however by the end of the up and down hill battle we were so hot! Not so bad when it’s just you walking around, but when you’re pushing a baby, and carrying lunch, it can be a challenge. We were certainly ready to empty our picnic bag.
Before we found somewhere to stop and eat, we found the Monkeys…Josh was obsessed! There were so many different types of Monkeys for him to see and many were playing around in the their enclosures, it was great to watch. He couldn’t wait to wander around. At one point he was trying desperately to get in and play with them!
We were pretty hungry by this point, so time to stop! There’s a few places you can stop for lunch. The cafe right at the beginning, (why is at the front entrance, surely half way around would be better?!) a small undercover picnic area, which tends to attract the flies in the summer (not so great), or a lovely outdoor picnic area by the showcase area. We went for the latter, but it was just a short walk from either of the other places to sit and eat. We took a picnic, but if you haven’t got any food with you and you wanted to stop for something at the bottom of the hill, your stuck. You’ll have to walk all the way back up again, and then go back down to see the rest, which is what we ended up doing, as we were starving and Josh was getting hungry too.
After lunch we headed back down the hill to catch the animals we missed due to our grumbling bellies, and afterwards, headed back to the beginning where we had an ice cream from the indoor soft play area (which is huge btw…and you must wear socks when you’re playing at all times) and took a ride on the train.
The train was cute, and Joshua seemed to enjoy it, but I was expecting it to go around the park, however it just went a few hundred yards to a waterfall, where you will get wet, and then back again. For £1 each I did expect a little more, but it cooled us down on a hot day.
After that, we headed back down the hill to the Sea Lion show, which Josh really enjoyed. Make sure you get there early to get a seat, or you can stand at the top (where we were, and actually we had a great view). Josh’s trike fit perfectly at the top and he had a great view between the fence. We wouldn’t have fit the trike or a buggy down by the seats, so it really was perfect for us. Plus there’s a little snack and drink stop there too.The car park is a steep uphill incline from the entrance, and far from the picnic spot we chose, so it really wasn’t an option to pop back for the food, so bear that in mind when you visit.
Check out Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur park next time you’re in North Devon!
If you want to get your little one a trike, I highly recommend it. We have the 4 in 1 QPlay Rito trike in Grey, which grows with your child, eventually turning into their own little trike they can ride around on freely.
Thanks for reading!