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“Love this place!”

Watermouth Family Theme Park & Castle
Ranked #2 of 40 things to do in Ilfracombe
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: With an enchanting mix of children's activities and nostalgic blasts from the past, Watermouth Castle appeals to kids from 1 to 100 years of age! Welcome to one of Devon's premier tourist attractions.
Reviewed May 17, 2012

I went here last weekend and had such a ball! It's a really kooky day out - not one of your usual "tourist attractions" which can all be very samey and dull in my opinion. It was like a step back in time and I Loved the feeling that it probably hadn't been changed very much in 20 or 30 years, it makes a refreshing change to most modern attractions....

We had great fun (both adults) sifting for gold in the Gnome land before getting our coin made in the machine - and looking at all the retro entertainment machines (they have an amazing collection of interesting antiques that would otherwise be long gone no doubt!). Go, get your future told by the spooky gypsy, go in the curious dungeon and get spooked by some of the random creatures in the garden machines, not to mention watch the Great British water fountain display (!?) - I loved every second of it.

The only bit of advice I'd give, which I always would to keep costs down on days out like this, especially if you are taking kids, is maybe take a picnic (the sandwiches were the usual tourist's day out let down they seem to be everywhere). Enjoy the view from the grounds, this place is fantastically unique, and there sure can't be many places like this left in England, so I hope it stays exactly as it is! Will definitely go back and would like to stay there in one of the rooms they hire out!

1  Thank missylepink
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,060 - 1,064 of 1,110 reviews

Reviewed May 6, 2012

its ok but a lot of money for a family,take a picnic to make the day longer with the kids,icecreams,sweets tacky gifts will cost you an arm and a leg!!

1  Thank countrygirlSomerset
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2012

Having been here as a child on a couple of occasions and really enjoyed it, I wanted to bring our own children here for a visit. Not a lot seems to have changed in at least 20 years, but that may just be the way I remembered it. There are new rides now though. We have been here twice whilst holidaying in Devon, most recently in July 2011.

When we came in 2009 our children were 7 and 4yrs and they simply loved it. They were begging to go back so we decided to have another visit. It was good fun day out. The only thing I would say is that our children were now 9 and 6 yrs and our son found a lot of the rides a bit babyish for him now, but our daughter still enjoyed it. However there is lots to do other than the rides.

It cost us £49 for a family of 4, which I felt was good value for money and did NOT leave feeling ripped off like so many places now days. If your child is under 3ft tall they go in for free. There was no extra costs other than a few pence here and there for the slot machines plus if you have lunch in the tearooms or spend in the gift shop

The setting for the castle is beautiful, overlooking Watermouth Bay and surrounded by countryside.

You start off going around the castle, which has lots of interesting displays for everyone, including a miniature railway in a large cabinet, lots of brilliant Victorian slot machines which your children can put money in (normally only 2p) and a Victorian museum section with rooms set out from Victorian times which was fascinating. Personally we found the castle great fun, I know some people have mentioned it is a bit mishmashed, but this just adds to the quirkiness. It means there is something for adults and children to look at.

After the castle you can enter the dungeons. The first bit is ok with fairy tale characters for children to view, a hall of mirrors (great fun) and lots of 2p slot arcade machines. We didn't enter the last bit as we don't enjoy attractions which are aimed at frightening people (why places do this I will never know, especially when they aim to attract lot of young children). I believe from the website that it was a dungeon with the usual ugly skeletons and spooky looking dead people etc

Right at the end there was a door which said something like “open if you dare” My husband had to open it as the children were worried what they might find! Inside was a dummy man sitting on a toilet with his trousers round his ankles and he says something like “oiy do you mind” They thought this was hilarious, the highlight of the day for them and was talked about for the rest of the holiday! Small minds and all that :o)

On exiting the castle there are toilets, a gift shop and tearooms. This is positioned well for lunch time and we all had a really nice lunch here. Can't remember exactly what the tearooms were like, but think they were quite good.

You then enter the gardens which are beautifully landscaped. Be aware the gardens are a bit steep in places, but this is due to being set on a hill with a beautiful valley running through the gardens.

There is loads to do for the kids in the gardens. As you walk round there are little wooden huts you can look in, to see moving fairytale folks. Press the buttons for them to light up (it is free). There is Gnome land with wooden houses where the gnomes live and enchanting stories written about then by each house . There is also panning for gold, a slide, tilting house, shadow barrels and a rolling log walk (makes you dizzy) all close by to Gnome land. Walking through the beautiful gardens, you then come to the theme park rides which couldn't be in a prettier setting. I think there were at least 12 rides, the teacups and the snake tube ride are fine for older children.

There is also crazy golf, further gardens and also further toilets, seating and refreshments in this part of the gardens. The last ride and adventure playground is quite a steep little walk but we thought was worth it.

We all found it really relaxing and even if your children don't use all the rides, it is still a great place to walk around. You can then stroll back through the gardens and back to the tearooms and gift shop and there is the dancing water show here too. My personal favourite and thought it a perfect end to a great day. The water fountains light up in different colours and “dance” to lot of very British music such as “Royal Britannia”, and “God save the Queen”, great if you are patriotic like us. Makes you feel proud to be British!

Got the following info from their website. “This is all played by the Mighty Mortier Organ built by Theo Mortier, in the 1920’s.
Technically known as a ‘Mortier 101 Key’, the organ contains over 500 pipes and reeds, and cards containing 101 punched holes which select the sequences for the music, water and lights to give a perfectly synchronised and spectacular display.”

It was very unique and we all loved it so much, we stayed and watched it twice as it wasn't that busy being term time.

We finished off in the gift shop which had a good selection of items for adults and children, plus a fudge shop at the back. We all ended up purchasing something. All in all a very fun time was had by us all. Would highly recommend this place for a family day out and would go back again.

3  Thank ChicPrincess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2012

Went with our children 3 and 8 yrs and they both enjoyed it which is sometimes difficult, even we found interesting bits - even more difficult I guess. Not cheap but where it is, and after paying first entrance you can get photos taken and get passes at the cafe so next time you always pay just 1,50 each - good offer. We had good time and definitely recommend it, we'll be back.

Thank KLCAL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2012

Watermouth Castle is great fun for all the family. Will go back again and highly recommend a visit.

1  Thank TooDirect
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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