The second part of our 2013 summer break was a flying visit to Ruth and Andrew’s new house in Marlow, with the main event being a visit to Legoland Windsor.
Marlow seems like a lovely town. We wandered down the high street (which was full of shops, rather than bookies and tanning parlours like so many places nearer home!), visited a lovely park with a brilliant adventure playground for the kids and even wandered a bit along the banks of the Thames, eating ice creams in the sun.
Later, once the kids were in bed, we sat in the back garden enjoying the local beer (Rebellion Beer Company is in nearby Marlow Bottom. I particularly enjoyed their Red ale) and marvelling at the red kites circling over our heads. Apparently this is a normal occurrence, and it certainly makes a change from the crows, magpies and gulls we get back home. Sadly we weren’t able to take a picture that did them justice, but they were very, very impressive to watch.
The next day began very early, not because of our Legoland trip, but because the girls were up at the crack of dawn and Gem and I were vainly trying to get them to go back to bed. Although we weren’t very successful, it actually wasn’t the worst thing in the world as we wanted to be away early anyway to be at Legoland in time for its doors opening.
I’d read a few tips on the Unofficial Guide to Legoland Windsor, but still didn’t really know what to expect. We followed their advice, though, and made a beeline for the far end of the park, which seemed to pay off as we got on our first ride of the day, Atlantis Submarine Voyage, with hardly any queuing. And it was great! From our “submarine” we were able to watch all sorts of marine life swimming about, including a few Lego fish! The kids loved it, and so did the adults.
Other rides we went on included Boating School, Desert Chase, Aero Nomad and Knight’s Quest. The last of these was Heather’s first ever “thrill ride”, and she said it was “scary, but kind of fun too”. I explained that was kind of the point! We also watched the Pirates of Skeleton Bay show, which was fun, although getting to it quite late we didn’t have the best seats.
Lunch was a splendid picnic next to Miniland, which is an impressive collection of landmarks from around the world, all modelled in Lego. I had a lot of fun pointing out to the girls all the places that we’ve been to in real life, either as a family or individually.
We had planned to visit the newly opened Duplo Valley splash zone, but it was quite a cloudy and cool day so we decided just to carry on enjoying the dry attractions instead, as we were never going to fit them all into one day anyway.
Our final stop (before the gift shop, of course) was STAR WARS Miniland, where scenes from each of the STAR WARS movies have been recreated in Lego. Gem, who’s not a fan, was through this in a flash, while I took my time geeking out over all the models, and explaining to Heather what they all were. She’s seen a couple of the movies, and I think she recognised a few bits. She definitely recognised Yoda, and declared that he’s her favourite. Not a bad choice!
All in all, we had a fantastic day out at Legoland Windsor. So much so, in fact, that we’re already talking about going again next year. And why not? After all, there’s loads of stuff for us still to explore. If only it were closer to home…