Chocolate, Lego and Penguins
Updated: Jul 19
On Friday 16th July, we set off from Frome for quite a long 109 mile (2.5h) drive to Cadbury World in Bourneville, near Birmingham. Thankfully, Tiger slept almost the entire way. When we got there, it was baking so actually great to go to an inside attraction. The adult ticket was £19 but again Tiger was free (children under 4 are free, age 4-16 are £14). There was lots to read and short little shows to see which, for a 2 year old, are things we just had to try and stay quiet for allowing the other visitors to hear the chocolate story of Bourneville. There was a theatre where they had wobbly seats to simulate grinding chocolate nibs that were the exception to this and met with much hilarity by Tiger! We also enjoyed seeing the hand tempering demonstration and writing our names with liquid chocolate, finishing off our visit with a visit to the on site playground although we didn't hang about too long as it was so blooming hot!
We then drove into Birmingham, parking in the Arcadian Car Park (£10 for 24h with the Travelodge's discount, otherwise it would have been £20), and checking into an accessible room with walk in shower at the Birmingham Central Bull Ring Travelodge. This was a bargain at £27.99! The car park is also step free and about 2 minute walk to the hotel, so worked well with Tiger in the buggy and me with the big suitcase on wheels. We tried to have a bit of a quiet time / afternoon nap for Tiger which we didn't entirely pull off, before heading out the the Bull Ring Shopping Centre and dinner in Five Guys which I discovered is not that kid friendly (no kids meals) but Tiger shared mine and the staff were so helpful. For Tiger's milk there was a supermarket just around the corner.
In the evening, I had a Mummy treat with a Sitters babysitter (£9.50 an hour) and a visit to the Odeon cinema (adult ticket £7) to see Summer of Soul, a Sundance award winner all about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. Really enjoyed it and the Bull Ring is a buzzing area!
The next day, we drove a very short distance to the South car park at Utilita Arena Birmingham (BA1 8AE). This car park was quite pricey (1h £3, 3h £6.50, 5h £9.50) and of course we were slightly over 3 hours so had to pay the higher rate. But that said, it is right next to Legoland Discovery and the Birmingham Sealife Centre we were there to visit, no steps but it was useful to have the buggy to save the walking in the heat.
We had bought a multi-attraction ticket for £47.95 which covered us for Legoland Discovery, the Birmingham Sealife Centre and Warwick Castle. This was the adult price and under 3s are free but ages 3-16 are also £47.95. Alternatively, you can see Legoland Discovery and Sealife for £30.65 which certainly makes sense as they are opposite each other, or £20.60 for just one attraction. We are hoping to now go all the way up to Scotland and catch Warwick on the way back.
Legoland Discovery was wonderful. We had the 9.30am slot, but ended up arriving just after 10am. This was no problem and we stayed until 12 when our slot ended (they tell you this over loudspeakers and everybody in your slot time leaves together). So, although Tiger has never really played with Lego or Duplo, it was great fun. The staff were brilliant, there was a lift and buggy park, a train ride, Lego displays, a 4D cinema (which we missed out), soft play areas for under 5s and over 5s (Tiger went into both), a fairground type ride, and a cafe where we had our lunch.
Over the road, we went into the Sealife Centre. They were less accommodating having gotten rid of their buggy park (I was alternatively told they had got rid of it due to Covid - odd, as Lego Discovery still had theirs; and that they had just put something in its place) but I folded up the Yoyo buggy and carried it on my shoulder instead. We particularly loved seeing the penguins swimming, although I thought that the enclosure could do with a big of love and in general the whole thing was a little tired. But that said, Tiger loved it!