Den building & creative play at William’s Den
When Joules invited us to take part in their Easter #JoulesLetsExplore campaign, I knew just where I wanted to go. Joules has a list of 25 fun activities to get families out exploring over the Easter holidays. They’ve invited families to share photos of their outdoor adventures with the #JoulesLetsExplore hashtag on Instagram of Twitter for the chance to win a £200 Joules gift card.
We decided to start our fun by building a den, and where better to go den building than William’s Den? William’s Den has been on my bucket list since last summer, but for one reason or another we hadn’t managed a visit.
Prior to our visit, I purchased our tickets for William’s Den online as the website suggested pre-booking to avoid disappointment. Pre-booking also got us a 10% discount so we paid £33 in total for a family ticket.
The journey to William’s Den took us just under and hour. It is located just minutes off the M62 through the beautiful village of North Cave.
On entry we were given wrist bands with a space to write phone numbers on for the kids. I also noticed that none of the doors open without pushing a button to the side of the door. This would make it much more difficult for a toddler to find their way out without a parent. Two small but important details to keep the day less stressful for everyone.
Our first stop of the day had to be the 475 square metre Play Barn. The Play Barn is home to a magnificent tree house structure. The Play Barn has activities built into every corner and turn including sand and water play, slides, music making, a swing and plenty of climbing.
The kids could have happily played indoors for hours, but I was keen to see the outdoor area as well. Once outside we discovered a 50 metre zip wire, a den making area, more sand, play frames, swings, picnic tables, two tepees and lots of space for the kids to run and play.
William’s Den allows families to bring their own picnics. You can even enjoy your picnic lunch inside one of the tepees if you wish!
The den area has three pre-built structures with den building sticks laid alongside to help you create your own den.
For her den constructing work Lily is wearing some pieces from Joules girl’s clothing. She chose pink Joules Kicker shoes, a pair of Joules Linnet Parisian Pink Jeans, a Joules Waterproof Jacket and a Joules Hattie Character Hat. I love that Joules clothing is bright and fun but comfortable and robust enough for a day’s outdoor play!
Lily and I now have matching Joules rain jackets. I am a more excited than she is about this I have to admit!
Leo took a break from den building to try out one of the many tire swings with Bill. Leo took a break from den building to try out one of the many tire swings with Bill. Leo is wearing Joules Navy Kickers Shoes, a pair of Joules Denim Jeans, and a lined Joules Waterproof Coat. Perfect for a shark crazy boy!
There isn’t much cover in the William’s Den outdoor area, so I would recommend wrapping up warm on a windy day. Our Joules rain jackets are all lined, otherwise we would have needed proper winter coats to stay warm.
It wasn’t long until the kids found their way to the giant water spicket in the middle of the outdoor area. We all took turns pumping the water while the kids constructed dams and played in the sand.
I am wearing some of my favourites from Joules women’s clothing. I chose Joules Navy Chelsea Boots, a Navy Waterproof Jacket, a pair of Joules Monroe Skinny Jeans (hemmed a few inches for my short legs!) and a Joules Wensley Navy Poppy Scarf. Like the kids, I was able to do some proper playing in my clothes!
Leo is warming his ears with a Joules Pomme French Navy Bobble Hat.
Before a late lunch we had a second play in the Play Den. There are plenty of spots for adults to sit and have a cup of coffee from the snack bar, but all areas of William’s Den are adult friendly so you’re free to climb and play as well.
Bill is watching the action in a Joules Hewney Gingham Classic Fit Shirt.
The Play Den does really offer lots of space to use your imagination and create. The sand area has places where you can load buckets full of sand at the bottom, work with a partner to send the buckets up to the top, and then dump the sand down a series of tubes. Lily and Leo must have spent an hour here shouting instructions down at each other, taking turns about who was where, and investigating where the sand was flowing.
Lily is wearing a Joules Cora Blue Striped Anchor Jersey Top and Leo is wearing a Joules Dale Half Zip Shark Dive Sweatshirt for their indoor fun. Let’s face it, you can’t have too many items of clothing with sharks on them when you’re 5!
There is a quiet spot at the top of the play structure ‘The Hideout’, where Leo and I spent a few minutes relaxing on giant pillows.
I have on a size 12 Joules shirt. It is very flowy and generous for a size 12. It’s a top I can wear for both work and play.
There were so many little details to be enjoyed at William’s Den that the kids had to be
bribed enticed away with a promise of pizza and ice cream onsite at The Kitchen Table.
While we waited for our food, I took the kids outdoors to a play area connected to the restuarant. If only every restaurant had a waiting space like this!
It cost £17.50 for an adult size wood fired pizza which Lily and I shared, a small burger for Leo, a water and two chocolate milks. (Bill had already had a bacon sandwich from the snack bar earlier). We ended the day with locally made ice cream (£2.50 for a one scoop sugar cone). The food is very good, proper restaurant quality food rather than play gym meals.
William’s Den isn’t a budget day out by any means, but it is a great day out with kids. It is immaculately clean and fresh and full of family friendly details. The bathrooms are unisex areas (the doors are marked male and female but they open to one shared area) with plenty of family and child toilets as well.
We spent about four hours there and we didn’t make it to everything. In fact, the kids wanted to stay longer. I think at 5 and 6 they were the perfect age for the visit. It’s not an enormous space, an adult could walk around the entire area fairly quickly. The fun in William’s Den comes from all the little areas where you can stop and construct, use your imagination and have a good, old fashioned tech-free play.
We were sent the Joules clothing in this post for the purpose of this review.
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