Age when visited – 5 months (We visited with our friend and their little girl who is 2)
Top tips for the day – Book online as it is cheaper and you will avoid the queues and check the daily board to find out about walks and talks, to make the most out of your visit.
Prices – These are the online prices, as it is cheaper to book online
|Ticket||With Gift Aid||Without Gift Aid|
|Concession (65+, disabled, full-time student and unemployed)||£11.00||£10.00|
|Child (4-16 years)||£7.50||£6.81|
|Family (2 adults and 2 children, 4-16 years)||£36.55||£33.22|
|Children (under 4 years)||free||free|
|Essential helpers assisting disabled visitors||free||free|
Martin Mere is an 800 acre wetland center suitable for the whole family, including Grandparents. There is an abundance of wild life to explore and lots of hidden gems to discover. The wetland is very well laid out and we experienced no problems with taking a pram. It is very flat with well tarmacked paths, so is perfect for little walkers and people who are a bit unsteady on their feet.
When we arrived there is a huge free car park, which is part gravel and part grass. There is a tarmacked area but we got there at 10am and it was already full. Once we had piled up the pram with changing bags and picnic items we made for the entrance. It isn’t made clear that if you have book online you don’t have to queue. After queuing for a couple of minutes an attendant stated customers who had purchased online didn’t have to queue. If you have purchased online use the door to the left of the entrance and head towards to gift shop, where you will see a reception desk.
Make sure you pick up your maps and take a picture of the daily activities board, as there isn’t another activities board in the wetland. You can also buy bird feed here if you brave enough to feed the birds. Due to the age of our children we went to one activity, which was pond exploration. Ralph was asleep for this activity but his friend loved using the net to try and catch small pond life. It was amazing how many creatures we caught and the gentleman running the activity was really informative with explaining what we had caught. Other activities including: flamingo experience, otter feeds, guided boat tours (£3 fee) and white stork talks.
As you enter the park you cannot miss the beautiful and elegant flamingos. They really are lovely to sit and watch. When we arrived they were huddled towards the back of the pond so were difficult to see properly. However, on our way back they were very close to the waters edge. Make sure you go back if you didn’t get a good look. You can also look inside their hut, which is very smelly, but worth a look.
There is a Lego trail for the children to find and explore. Once our children are a little older this will be great fun. The older children we spotted around the park seemed to really enjoying finding the huge Lego birds and finding out more information about them. There are 11 to find in total and are part of a bigger project to inspire the younger generation to build a better future for nature.
Make sure you spend some time in the hides, which are located around the park. Different hides feature different wildlife and are an opportunity to explore the views and point out the birds and plants to your little ones. You can hire binoculars at the reception desk but I would advise you take your own, as although the hire is only £5 the deposit is £20.
There are a number of adventure play grounds and the one located near the main entrance has a couple of water features. All the play areas were clean, litter free and in good usable condition. There is also a den building area, which requires children to scavenge for materials, bring them back and construct their own den.
There a number of kiosks and bins located around the site but they aren’t open all of the time. They sell a range of cold snacks, ice cream and drinks for prices you would expect in an attraction. The whole site is kept very clean and there wasn’t any bins which were over flowing. The cleanest toilets are located in the main entrance. There are toilets around the site but they don’t have plumbing and are just a hole in the ground, meaning it can be a bit smelly.
There is a cafe onsite, which overlooks the swan lake but as the weather was so nice we took a picnic. There is a number of picnic areas and benches but they are located in clusters so make sure you check your map and plan your walk around them.
The gift shop has a number of beautiful items, which are a little different to your normal gift shop stock. The prices are what you would expect in a gift shop. Our party did think the children’s gifts were a little expensive but other items were reasonable for the quality and style.
Overall, we had a fantastic day spotting wildlife, exploring hidden trails and watching our children enjoy themselves in nature. If you’re looking for a day out which is a little bit different and want to immerse yourself in nature then this is a fabulous day out.