We are always keen to find alternatives to traditional Motorway Services when we go on long journeys, preferring to find somewhere we can get everyone out of the car safely and have a good stretch of the legs and a proper explore. National Trust properties often fulfil this brief, and we recently featured Stourhead as a great place to stop off the A303. We recently visited Slimbridge Wetland Centre and found it to be a really useful location, close to the M5 J13 or J14, and it worked really well as a place to meet friends who live further north.
Slimbridge is not a cheap day out but if you travel that way regularly, membership of the WWT may be a really good value option. There is also so much to do and see that we felt the drive and cost were worth it. During school holidays there are lots of additional activites and events, with a duck hunt planned for Easter.
The play opportunities are fabulous, with an enormous outdoor adventure playground, a small indoor soft play area and a brilliant splash area in ‘Wellyboot Land.’ my children would happily visit Slimbridge for this alone and were unconcerned with how wet and cold they got (spare clothes an absolute must!).
Whilst there are huge amounts of ducks and other wetland birds (that you can feed with bags of food available for £!) there are also lots of other animals, including frogs and otters, and there are lots of information boards and talks, enabling you to really learn while you are there.
The whole site is buggy/wheelchair friendly and there are picnic areas where you can eat your own food as well as kiosks and a café where refreshments can be bought.
We had a brilliant time and will definitely be going back!