Travel: Why Legoland is the brick of the bunch!

Luc and Alexei Burke-Lejeune at Legoland Windsor.
Luc and Alexei Burke-Lejeune at Legoland Windsor.

As the long summer school holidays drag on, parents everywhere will probably be experiencing the familiar cry of “I’m bored!”

If you are fed up of hearing that whine, there’s a perfect way to stop the grumbles of “there’s nothing to do” by heading for one of Britain’s biggest and best theme parks.

Believe it or not, Legoland Windsor has now been with us for nearly 20 years, and in that time it has grown to become one of the nation’s most popular days out, second only to Alton Towers.

And although its a fair old drive from Doncaster down south (set aside a good three hours and prepare for traffic jams right at the end of the trip), for sheer delight, things to do and keeping the little ones entertained, you can’t beat it.

Spread over 150 acres on the site of the old Windsor Safari Park site and now boasting its own Lego themed hotel, the park is a riot of fun and colour that offers up something for all ages.

Prepare to be amazed as you wander around Miniland, admiring a host of the world’s most famous landmarks and buildings, faithfully replicated with millions of bricks.

There’s Buckingham Palace, complete with mini Royals, the Eiffel Tower, the Angel of the North, St Paul’s Catherdral - round every corner you’ll find a new delight - and a few hidden surprises tucked in among the superbly constructed models too.

With Lego being a toy that’s delighted generations of youngsters, mums and dads too will love spotting throwbacks to their youth as they meander around.

But Legoland is about more than just models and little plastic bricks - its about the rides too. When we visited, queues - the bane of many a theme park day out - weren’t too bad - but be prepared to endure a wait for some of the more popular attractions such as Atlantis, the underwater submarine ride and the boating school, where youngsters can show off their shipshape skills. You can cut down on the waiting time by purchasing a Q-Bot, an electronic device which allows you to effectively queue jump - but they aren’t cheap and you’ll need a tough skin to cope with the dark looks as you move ahead of the rest.

My two lads raced for a go on the Driving School, where children can navigate the roads in little cars - although not all youngsters adhere to the Highway Code! - and then pick up a driving licence at the end of it.

There’s more than enough to fill the entire day - but make sure you pack a heaving wallet - because food options again aren’t the cheapest and you’ll definitely feel an elbow in your ribs at the huge Lego shop at the end of the day.

With it being quite a marathon drive back after more than seven hours of fun and frolics enjoying everything from Star Wars favourites to an action packed pirates themed live action show and the ever popular Viking River Splash, we opted for an overnight stay in the area to unwind.

Our venue was the Queen Hotel in Aldershot, a half hour drive away and a pleasantly relaxing and surprising gem in Britain’s best known military towns.

Part of the Wetherspoon chain, the hotel, which originally dates from 1857, has recently been renovated and reopened by the pub giants, with a range of tastefully furnished and comfortable rooms above the bustling town centre bar.

And with Wetherspoon prices crossing over from food and drink to accommodation too, it rounded off a wonderful day.

Tickets for Legoland Windsor are available online at www.legoland.co.uk with a wide variety of options available including day passes, two day passes and annual passes.

The Queen Hotel is situated at 1 High Street, Aldershot. Contact 01252 361770 or visit http://www.jdwetherspoon.co.uk/home/hotels to book.