If you go down to the woods today…

 

… You’re sure of a big surprise. If you go down to the woods today, you’ll never believe your eyes. Because if you go down to the woods at Wollaton Hall, there be dragons.

Well, dinosaurs actually, not dragons, and though they’re not actually living and breathing, it’s as good as.

These are the animatronic creations of Jurassic Kingdom, which is being staged in the wooded area and gardens immediately surrounding Wollaton Hall until Sunday November 4.

We took advantage of the fact that it wasn’t half term and popped along this week. We went for the 10am tickets in the hope it wouldn’t be too busy, and were gratefully proved correct. And we were treated to the most gloriously lovely, bright and sunny autumn day.

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I have to confess, I wasn’t expecting the event to be as good as it was. The ticket prices were £11.50 because we’d booked online and in advance (adult tickets are £13 on the door, and I think it was worth that.

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I wasn’t overly impressed with the fairground-style paraphernalia in the entrance area: I do tend to believe that burger and other food vans, and the ride-type things are just ways of conning parents in particular out of as much their hard-earned cash as possible, but it did, at least, give me a chance to get this photo :).

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The rest of the event, though, was very well done. The animatronic dinosaurs are really quite impressive, especially when they start to move and roar when the motion sensors in front of them are activated by visitors walking past.

A number of young children were caught out like this and there were some very scared faces (a little screaming and a few tears) among the younger visitors. Other youngsters were fascinated and a couple of really quite tiny ones were also very knowledgeable if the snippets of overheard conversations were anything to go by.

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The exhibits are a fair size too and look fab hidden in among the trees around the park’s formal gardens (the bit nearest to the house).

You can’t touch or climb on the exhibits that move – although others you can – and I’ll let you into a little secret, they all had rope fences around them which spoilt the asthetics of my pictures (says she pretentiously) and so I removed them in the editing process (along with a fair few people and some other stuff like a merchandise van and some signs).

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This person (Phill) got caught by one of the dinosaurs.

Some of the models are very large. Beneath the huge feet of an enormously-tall dinosaur (sorry, I don’t know my brontosaurus from my brachiosaurus), there were some gardeners working. That amused me. ‘Yep, I know we’ve got a big exhibition on, but these bedding plants ain’t waiting for no one, no matter how big,” I imagined them saying. I wanted to take a photo but the dinosaur was so tall I couldn’t fit it in.

Wollaton is the perfect setting for something like this and we enjoyed a very lovely stroll around the parkland with the addition of some dinosaurs. What’s not to like?

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Actually, there was one thing not to like (apart from the merchandise van at the end of the trail) and that was this.

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The random use of bubble letters upsets me, as does the lower case i and d in the first word. I hate that there are full stops rather than commas between the different variety of coffees and I do not understand why people can’t understand how to use apostrophes: it’s children’s NOT childrens. Children is the plural. But not being able to spell the word dinosaur at a dinosaur exhibition is really quite a big faux pas. Epic sign fail.

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Traveler, writer, photographer, seeker of knowledge

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