Firstly please excuse my stolen photos here – yet again I turned my camera on to find it out of charge *sigh*. Such a shame as there were some wonderful photo opportunities!
Trilakes (or ‘Jake’s at Trilakes’) is a venue in the Blackwater Valley close to the borders of the tri- county zone between Berkshire, Surrey and Hampshire. There are a number of lakes near Yateley and Sandhurst and amongst these lakes is this play zone which consists of an indoor soft play and an outdoor space around and amongst the lakes with play equipment, farm animals and birds which you can feed.
I’d been stuck indoors all morning and going slightly stir crazy so I suggested this little outing to the hubster as we’d never been before despite having heard about it from a couple of friends over the years. It’s only about a 15-20 minute drive from us and I knew the hubster wouldn’t be up for indoor soft play so it was always our intention to stay outside (fortunately, there was enough sunshine for that to be an option!).
When we arrived we discovered that what I’d described as ‘a nominal fee’ for the outdoor bit was actually £14 for the four of us which would have been ok if the play equipment had been a bit more up to date and the facilities a bit nicer although having said that there were elements that the children really enjoyed and the luxury as an adult is in the beautiful setting which you don’t get in your average playground.
JJ’s favourite bits were the ‘animal passports’ they give you on entry which have boxes for pigs, sheep, goats, rabbits, chickens and ponies and you have to search out each animal and use the stamps provided to fill your card. It took us ages to find the ponies & rabbits!
There were also a couple of activities – a (very small) bouncy castle and a little ‘pan for gold’ area – which had additional charges which I thought was a bit cynical on the part of the business given that they charged a fair amount for entry already.
At its worst the place feels tired and a little run down – even the poor peacock looked like someone had attempted to rip out it’s tail feathers – but at it’s best it has wonderful views out across some very pretty waterways – vibrant pink water lillies drifting on twinkling surfaces with koi carp slipping in and out of sight, and a backdrop of tall and varied trees giving you the sense of being somewhere a little bit special and magical.
One word of warning though – lots of easily accessible bodies of water and toddlers don’t always mix! This is not somewhere where you could let your guard down for a second – I recommend a second pair of eyes (preferably in the back of your head!).