We’ve always considered Center Parcs when we’ve wanted to take the Mini Mumblers away for a short break in the UK. They have always had a great time but now they are in school the price has always put me off. A friend asked whether I had ever considered Ribby Hall neat Kirkham in Lancashire and raved about what a great time both they and their kids had. I hadn’t heard of it before so decided to investigate.
When I googled Ribby Hall I was immediately impressed. The website was great and I immediately wanted to book it. Ribby Hall is a holiday village with individual lodges around a large lake. There is a choice of restaurants or takeaways, a mini supermarket, a Starbucks, an activity centre complete with pool and slides and many other indoor and outdoor activities.
Before we went we got the usual reminder emails and on the back of this pre-booked evening meals and activities. It’s best to do this although there are still options left on the day to book some of these (you may miss out on the most popular though).
We picked the Mini Mumblers up from school and travelled straight across so it did mean we hit some rush hour traffic but we were still there for 6pm on the Friday evening (if you set off earlier you can get your room from 2pm). Check-in was really quick, with no queue, and we were into our lodge in a few minutes. You can park your car right outside the lodge so we were unpacked quickly and after a short time could go out to explore. I was really impressed by the lodge. It was to a great standard and the kids loved their bunk beds. Inside there was everything you would want from a holiday home.
On the Friday evening we had booked into the Bar and Grill for something to eat. Our table was ready when we arrived and we got seated straight away. The menu was normal pub grub with plenty to choose from for both kids and adults. When we were eating the Mini Mumblers had started to see the evening entertainment getting set up. This is in an area adjoined to the Bar and Grill. Once we ate we went through to the entertainment area and the Mini Mumblers loved it! There was singing and dancing on the stage and involvement from kids was compulsory (a word of warning, some parts need parent involvement!!). The Mini Mumblers loved the evening and we had to drag them away at the end. We also learnt the actions for a few songs we didn’t know (and wished we still didn’t!)
On the Saturday morning we had planned to go to the indoor water park (recently extended). It’s something that you can’t book in advance and need to ring first thing in the morning to book a slot. I have to say I was frustrated in having to do this but we got through and although we didn’t get the slot we wanted we did get a booking for the morning. When we arrived for our time I could understand why booking ahead was important. When we went through to the water park it meant that we could get on every slide without a real queue. I was now really liking the booking in advance system.
The water park was brilliant. Limiting the number of people really works. It meant that you could use all the different parts without feeling like there were too many people. There is a water splash area ideal for little children, a mini pool, a water spa and then 2 bigger slides. The Mini Mumblers loved the slides and one of them gave you the choice of lights and music you wanted as you were going down.
Credit: Ribby Hall
Credit: Ribby Hall
Credit: Ribby Hall
We also had a number of other activities booked for the day. Our littlest Mini Mumbler did balance bikes and they both did Ribby’s Got Talent where they acted out a play and performed back to the adults! The Mini Mumblers loved it although I don’t expect to see them with Ant and Dec anytime soon! There are a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities on each day catering for all ages.
In the evening we decided to have a takeaway from the on-site Pappa John’s. The pizzas were great and it meant that we could get to the entertainment area earlier. We got there for the family bingo which the Mini Mumblers loved and then we were straight into the entertainment. It was different for each night and on this particular Saturday was the ABBA Twins. One of my Mini Mumblers loves ABBA so she was super-excited. They didn’t disappoint!
On the Sunday we had more activities booked such as Jewellery Making and Multi-Sports and they both loved these. Again they weren’t too busy, were for the right amount of time and involved everyone. Some were more busy than others and I would recommend pre-booking to ensure you get a place. We did go and explore the grounds as well and although there is lots to do including play parks, walks and nature centres it was very wet when we were there so we limited our outside time. There is also an indoor soft play with a dedicated area for smaller children.
‘Pirate Ship’ Park
Baby & Toddler Park
Although we had planned to do something different on the Sunday evening the pester power of the kids meant we again found ourselves at the Bar and Grill and particularly the entertainment area (it did mean we could enjoy a drink in relative peace!). It was a huge draw for the Mini Mumblers and again they loved it – a magician this time.
Checkout time on the Monday morning was 10am – the same time as most similar places. We decided to use this opportunity to take a day trip to the coast. Ribby Hall is only 25 minutes from Blackpool and even closer to St Anne’s. We started out at St Anne’s and after a couple of hours there went into Blackpool. My eldest Mini Mumbler loved the experience of walking through the Winter Gardens imagining what it was like when Strictly Come Dancing was there and they both loved spending their 2p’s in the machines in the amusements.
For anyone looking for a short break with the children then Ribby Hall is definitely worth taking a look at (bookings can be made Friday to Monday or Monday to Friday). During the year they also celebrate seasonal events such as Easter, Halloween and Christmas with lots of themed activities for the children. Even better, attached to the Holiday Village is a five-star spa so if you get the chance you can enjoy some pampering.
For more details visit the Ribby Hall website.
Ribby Road, Preston PR4 2PR. Tel: 01772 671111
*Mumbler was not paid for this review. All of the comments in this review are our open and honest opinion.