Okay, so Bluewater Shopping Centre may not be a daytrip out that most kids would jump at the chance of, but hey the parking facilities are cracking! Situated in the Winter Garden area of the complex, parking is right outside, so no moaning on the walk to the Adventure Park. You can hear Pirate Cove before you get to it as music blares out across the tannoy system. However, it is not themed music, just general pop music, which in all honesty would have more impact if it was themed. The entrance is cosy and the staff extremely helpful and polite – it actually felt as though they wanted customers!!
We chose to undertake the ‘easier’ 18 hole golf course, as there are two courses laid out – one based on pirates and one on smugglers. Each of us were given our golf club (very good selection of sizes to accommodate all ages) and chose our balls, oh and given our all-important score card. Shown to where we would start, the courses are laid out in an easy to follow design around a lake. The area is very clean and tidy and all the holes were in very good condition. However, on reflection I think it’s more of an ideal for age 5 and over, unless you have a 3 year old who can take instruction and not throw a temper tantrum every time the ball doesn’t do exactly what you want it to do! As even the easier course is quite taxing. Having said that, we had a lovely time and a few giggles along the way. As with any crazy golf venue I have been to, I would hate it to be extremely busy as you always have someone coming up behind you waiting to have their go on the hole!
We had also requested to use the climbing wall and high wires whilst we were there for the older one, and were booked to do the climbing wall which would take 1/2hr. The entire high wire/climbing wall experience would take 2 hours approx., so if you have little ones as well, be prepared for moanings of ‘I’m bored’ etc, as the adult has to stay present at the wall etc. There is one instructor for the climbing wall and only one person at a time on the wall, so waiting can be a bit tedious. However, it was safely managed and enjoyable all the same.
There is a lagoon situated on site and you can hire pedalos for half an hour at a time for £10. Be prepared to use your leg muscles, but it’s not a big enough expense to go around for half an hour, so maybe sell cheaper 15 minute slots instead? There are also outsourced events available at different times, and whilst we were there it was water balling. The older child had a go on them, but again it was over 5 yrs of age, so the younger one was left doing nothing. There are no food facilities within the golf area, but situated so close to the food court at Bluewater, it gives you all the usual fast food outlets and restaurants within very easy reach.
Overall, I would take the family back to the Golf again, but maybe when the little one is old enough to take part in everything, including the climbing wall and zip wires etc. It is clean, welcoming and friendly – which so often lacks in customer interfacing places nowadays. Also I think it’s a great add on to a shopping complex, what a bribery tool to get the kids around the shops!
Reviewed by Lizzy and her children: Jack age 12, Lucy age 5, and Jessica age 3For more information on Pirate Cove Adventure Park, please visit: http://www.piratecove.co.uk/