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“Very Nice but standards are slipping”

Watermouth Family Theme Park & Castle
Ranked #2 of 38 things to do in Ilfracombe
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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.
Ripon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Very Nice but standards are slipping”
Reviewed June 13, 2013

Every time we visit North Devon visiting Watermouth Castle is obligatory and on most vists there's something new - this time the softball water cannon which was excellent. However, more care should be spent on the upkeep of the existing facilities. The first room you go in used to have a gentleman telling you about all sorts of trivia which was riveting - now its just a poorly animated robot music show. I lost my money in three games that did not work. The light/fountain show which used to be the star attraction is now poor with some on the talking and music tinny and hard to understand. In the cellar a hand was obviously broken off a figure and wedged against his face. The barrels as you go around are getting the worst for wear. The mushrooms in the woodland that originally produced nice birdsong now only emit a horrible static. On a positive the grounds are very well maintained. So please wake up Watermouth and get the basics right as a priority. You have a wonderful venue but if action is not taken you will certainly see a drop in your visitor numbers, especially as it is now so expensive to get in.

Visited June 2013
1 Thank Pvnicholls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Watermouth_Castle, Public Relations Manager at Watermouth Family Theme Park & Castle, responded to this review, July 29, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review us.
Firstly, I'm happy to hear that we are an obligatory visit, that's a real compliment in itself. Also that our new air cannon room was a success. We have had some excellent feedback since installing this attraction.
Our Robot Organ in the music room was installed to provide something new in the castle. We found people becoming less interested in the talks. We can still provide the talks, and do so when coaches visit. I'm sorry you found the fountain show to be poor. I can assure you it is serviced every year by a team of professionals. I will look into this to see what can be done to help improve the sound.
We have scheduled more regular checks of our antique machines, and I apologise if they didn't work. We have also begun to replace and renew the mushrooms you mentioned, and again apologise that they didn't work for you.
I will look into the hand in the cellar, but am unsure exactly where you mean. They are checked each evening, so this has likely been rectified already.
I'm glad you enjoyed the grounds, and hopefully your recent experience won't put you off coming again in future. We are striving to maintain high standards. I hope we can welcome you again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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954 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Level Contributor
33 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Fun for the kids in beautiful gardens”
Reviewed June 9, 2013

We had a day trip to Watermouth Castle on a recent half term holiday to Devon and thoroughly enjoyed it. It wasn't too busy, the queues for the children's rides were short and the gardens are absolutely beautiful. You start by walking through the Castle, but it's not like your normal stately home. This one is mainly a tour of 2p and 10p entertainment machines and slot machines, not forgetting the dungeons and the dancing fountains.

We had children aged 4 to 11 years in our group and they were kept entertained with gnomeland, the rides and mini-golf. Older children might find it less appealing. For adults, it's a pleasant change to go to a 'theme park' which is not full of garish plastic and concrete, but in really lovely, well-kept gardens and woodland.

We took our own picnic.Leave it in the car, do the house and exit back to the car park through the gate after the dancing fountains (that looks locked but isn't) before taking the long winding path to the gardens. Expect lots of walking - much of it uphill.

Visited May 2013
Thank evansfamily31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Near Brighton
Level Contributor
23 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Great Fun for Adults not just kids”
Reviewed June 9, 2013 via mobile

We fancied a quirky and fun way to spend our 11th wedding anniversary whilst on holiday so we chose Watermouth castle. We don't have kids but are big kids at heart and a huge fans of vintage (1920's, 1930's, 1940's and 1950's) arcade games, vintage animatronics and anything quirky and unusual. We had big smiles on our faces all the time we were there.

If you don't have little ones Watermouth Castle is still good fun and excellent value for money. You could spend a whole day there.

We had fun in The Maze, the Tilting House, the Barrel Walk, the soft balls shooting range, the camera obscura and Gnomeland.

The vintage arcade machines are fantastic. They are clearly lovingly looked after and only cost 2p or 10p to play ( change machines are available). There are some great naughty "what the butler saw" machines for any burlesque lovers and there's even fortune telling machines ( remember the film Big?) The collection of vintage machines is huge.

We liked the Victorian rooms as a piece of social history. The water and light show was very good. Didn't look it's age. Everywhere there are cool vintage animatronics that either go off as you walk past them or you press a button to set them off.

The staff are amazing too. Very friendly and helpful. You can take mobility scooters around the park and inside the castle. There's a discount for disabled visitors which was a very nice touch. The whole place is immaculate. Very well looked after.

We think we met the owner (lovely man) and we were asked if we liked it as he said it's not like a National Trust house at all. I hope this review shows we really fell in love with the place. We do like National Trust places but if you want good fun and vintage amusements then Watermouth Castle is well worth a visit. The grounds are very well designed, very pretty and there's lots of unusual things to see.

We would have loved this place as young children and as teenagers as vintage has always been something we both like so it's not just for young children. Older visitors in the park looked as if they were having a good time.

We will return on holiday next year and will bring our friends from Germany as we know they will love it and so will their little boy.

There's nowhere quite like it and we are very pleased it's unusual and quirky and not like a National Trust property.

Visited June 2013
2 Thank GothicPrincess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Great for everyone”
Reviewed June 7, 2013 via mobile

Having just returned from our 10th stay in the apartments at Watermouth with our 11year old daughter we are overdue a review on trip advisor. This place has been part of our daughters life, for her it represents Devon and all that is good about it. It's a quirky place, eccentric maybe but has some thing for everyone.

Reading previous reviewers who seem to think it is weird or strange we would say take it for what it is, a collectors paradise giving kids the ability to see things from days gone by. There is no stuffy museum 'don't touch' attitude with kids able to spend a few pennies to play old fairground games - very different from the standard theme parks where your wallet soon hurts.

The whole place is lovingly family run and it shows, especially in the apartments. These benefit from mini four poster beds for the children and some have great old fashioned bathrooms but everything is spotless, the kitchen has all you could need and the staff can't do enough to help. There's even a swimming pool and access to the park at all hours.

It will not be our last visit, we'll be back next year and the year after....

Visited May 2013
1 Thank Michelle G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yeovil, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Enjoyable for young families”
Reviewed June 6, 2013

We spent a couple of days here... the variety of attractions keep the kids very happy = happy parents. Good value for money. Wasn't open Saturday though!

Visited April 2013
Review collected in partnership with this attraction

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

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