Gulliver's Valley Stay & Play Review (Pirate Cabin)

This post is based on our visit in August 2021. Please always double check information with attractions direct when booking as information/details can change over time. 

Gulliver's Valley Stay & Play Review (Pirate Lodge)

We were looking for a one night short break to enjoy with my nephew (aged 5) this August and found many theme parks to be super expensive or for short breaks to have a minimum of 2/3 nights in August. I remembered the Gulliver's Theme Parks and noticing in the past that they offered good value, I checked again and they did have 1 night breaks in August which seemed like excellent value. 

Obviously, prices fluctuate but we paid just under £189 (so £47.25 each) for a Stay & Play deal in August.  This included: 

  • 2 days theme park entry (you can arrive at any time on check in day and stay until park closing on check out day if you wish)
  • 1 night's stay in a pirate themed cabin 
  • Continental breakfast 
  • Free on-site parking 
  • Evening entertainment 
  • Early access to the theme park bouncy castles 

Now I thought this was a pretty good deal! Full payment is required on booking and it did state in the t&cs that theme park entry was only included if the theme park was open (you can check theme park opening times here). 

I have checked, and the same deal is available for February Half Term, Easter, May Half Term, Summer Holidays and various weekends. They also seem to be open in December and have some lovely Christmas packages which you can read about here.

Generally, their website is pretty poor and I found most of my pre-visit information out by reading online reviews / asking those who had been before. 

Gulliver's Valley Location 

Just to confuse things, there are several Gulliver's Resorts across the UK. We stayed at Gulliver's Valley Resort, Rother Valley (South Yorkshire). At time of publishing, this is the newest addition to the Gulliver's franchise and it officially opened on 11 July 2020. 

This resort is a very easy drive, straight down the A1 and took just under 3 hours to reach by car. The theme park is also accessible by public transport with direct buses from Sheffield and Rotherham (both easy to reach by train). 

The Gulliver's Theme Parks are aimed at children aged 12 and under plus their families. The park is nice and flat, fairly compact and the queues were minimal on the day of our visit (we were straight on many rides). 

I wouldn't bring teens here as the rides are fairly tame but if I have younger kids, I might bring the older ones along to ride with the little ones if they wanted to. 

We visited with kids aged 5 and 10 and they were the perfect ages. There is also loads to keep little ones entertained and I would certainly recommend for toddlers etc.... too. Especially as there is minimal queuing. You definitely receive value for money when compared with somewhere like CBeebies Land which is usually super busy. 

You can check height restrictions for rides here. 

Gulliver's Valley | Rides 

Gulliver's Valley is a flat theme park. It is pushchair and wheelchair friendly with surfaced paths and the accommodation and car park are all very close to the theme park (30 second walk). The theme park is split into various 'zones' with themed rides and activities. There are little play parks dotted about as well as a few takeaway kiosks and plenty of loos / baby change and seating. 

Gulliver's Valley Stay & Play Review Map

Click on the map above to enlarge of head over to the Gulliver's Valley website to see more. 

With the one night stay & play package, you can access the theme park from any time on check in day. It doesn't really spell this out when you book (it just says 'theme park access if it's open') but many of my readers let me know that two days access was included. We turned up after lunch and indeed you were correct, we were able to access the theme park without any problems. 

You simply need to show your booking confirmation on arrival and they let you into the park. Accommodation check in is at 4pm and they ask you to come back to reception then and collect your keys. If you are in a ride queue, this timing isn't strict and the lead name could go and check in as the rest of the group stay in the theme park if they wish. 

The car park is right outside the theme park entrance, no long walks are required and you can come and go as you please (you just need your hand stamped) until around 10pm at night. I am sure there is probably access to the car park after this time too but it will be via security. 

One of the biggest selling points of Gulliver's Valley to me is that there are barely any queues. We were either straight on rides or queued for one turn before it was us. I also like that there is a good mix of rides plus other attractions and indoor and outdoor activities. 

At Gulliver's Valley, pretty much everything except food and drinks is included, we didn't feel as if we were putting our hands in our pockets all day at all. 

I received a couple of emails from readers asking about space on rides. I am not skinny and was able to go on everything. Some rides such as the water rapids or ferris wheel don't have lap belts but when lap belts were needed, I would say they were the same length as an airplane lap belt. There were no weight restrictions on the rides (that I could see) and many rides sat 2/4 people in once compartment so if there were just 3 of you, there would naturally be more space. 

Jack (10) was able to ride everything without an adult and Evan (5) could go on everything he wanted to as well (sometimes an adult was needed). 

Check height restrictions on the Gulliver's Valley website to see what your family would be able to enjoy. 

All of the staff we encountered operating the rides were really smiley and helpful. 

I would recommend going on the water rapids on your first day before checking in as I got absolutely drenched! 

We loved this ride where you pretend to be Fire people and have to use water to put out the 'fire'. 

There are a couple of 'tame' coasters including a runaway mine train (which had no queue!!) in the Wild West Zone and one ride in the Lost World section goes upside down. Other than that, the rides are pretty tame. 

I feel like this theme park would be easy to complete in a day. It is nice to spread over two days and enjoy at a leisurely pace but any longer than this and I think you may get bored. We arrived at 1:30pm/2pm ish on the first day and left at 2pm ish on the second day. Part of this was because Jack was sadly stung by a wasp and wanted to leave after lunch. We could have easily stayed until close. 

Gulliver's Valley | Other Attractions 

As mentioned above, there are quite a few other attractions at Gulliver's Valley which are all included with admission / your stay & play package. You can find out more about the attractions on offer here. 

There is a giant inflatable soft play which opens from 9:30am for resort guests and stays open throughout the day. The kids loved this! 

Gulliver's Valley Stay & Play Review soft play

There is also a set of climbing walls which looked great. 

Gulliver's Valley Stay & Play Review Map climbing walls

Next to the soft play is an indoor roller rink which looked like good fun. 

Plus there is mini golf and an additional soft play. 

There is an indoor and outdoor build zone where kids can play with various diggers (we loved this). 

Lots of dinosaurs in the Lost World section with information boards. 

Gulliver's Valley Stay & Play Review Map dinosaurs

An indoor haunted house walk through experience.......

And even a mini farm which actually had a fair few animals including a Llama, goats, chickens and ponies. 

In the 'Gears' section you will find classic car and model displays. 

But my favourite was the 'heist' area in the Wild West zone. This is kind of like a small role play village where kids can crawl between the various buildings and have fun playing sheriff. There is seating next to this area too. 

One thing to mention which I didn't get a photo of is that there is a toy soldier water fight area. You are given water guns on a mini field with objects to hide behind. These take place at various intervals across the day and looked fun. 

Gulliver's Valley | Daytime Food & Drinks Options 

I wasn't too impressed with the food on offer - two cheese toasties, two drinks and two mars bars was just under £14 in the cafe. There were hot dog stands, pizzas and there is a food court too. 

There are undercover seating areas and picnic tables throughout. I would 100% recommend bringing a picnic or making your own hot dogs. It would be easy to leave this in the car until needed. 

Gulliver's Valley | Evening Meals & Entertainment 

Again, there isn't much info online about evening entertainment but it is available and you are provided with a guide when you check into your accommodation. It all takes place in the Lilliput Theatre which is within easy reach of all accommodation. 

There is a play park and a playing field in the middle of all the accommodation for overnight guests to enjoy. 

At check in we were told we could order takeaway from nearby and this could be delivered to the car park which is what I would probably do if we were to stay again. You can also order food to takeaway from the food court and enjoy in your accommodation if you wish. 

The evening entertainment was actually good. It is in a big theatre with a pirate ship as a stage and seating/bar/restaurant. 

The hosts were fab with the kids and there was a chance to meet and greet character mascots, a mini disco, old school games (eg scavenger hunts) and party dances. Kind of what you'd expect at a holiday camp. Later in the evening there was a film night with complimentary cookies and milk which was a nice option. 

Flashy toys / popcorn / candy floss is available to purchase in this room. This sword was £6. 

You don't need to book a table - there is LOADS of space and you don't need to get involved in the entertainment if you don't want to either. 

One thing that really let our stay down was the evening meal. It was honestly the worst meal I have had in ages and ridiculously overpriced. The food here is very obviously microwaved and quite frankly, my meal was inedible (Hunters Chicken below).

When I checked my online banking the following day, I had paid £8.50 for one bottle of Corona and a blackcurrant juice. The staff behind the bar didn't seem bothered or provide good customer service which was a stark contrast to the entertainment staff and the ride operators we had encountered throughout the day. 

I cannot get over the prices - £10 for microwaved pasta and tomato sauce for example. 

Now I know, theme park food doesn't have the best reputation and is expensive in general but over the past few years I have visited lots of theme parks and zoos and found the choice, quality and prices to be so much better than here with no exception. I wouldn't mind paying £10 for a meal if I thought it was good value. Well here it's really not. Honestly, I urge you to order takeaway from somewhere nearby or pack a picnic to cook in your lodge. Even a micro meal in your cabin from the supermarket would be a better option. 

If you do visit the restaurant, I recommend the pizzas which were the nicest meal out of the bunch (still microwaved an £10+ though). Just be prepared to feel ripped off. 

Gulliver's Valley Stay & Play Review menu

Gulliver's Valley Stay & Play Review evening entertainment

We watched TV in our cabin in the evening and it was lovely and quiet on site. Everything closes at 9:30pm so you don't get loud drunks walking past disturbing you at midnight like you might at a holiday park. 

Gulliver's Valley |  Pirate Cabin Review 

There isn't a lot of accommodation on offer at Gulliver's Valley at it is very close to the theme park / accessed through the theme park. We checked in at the resort check in at 4pm, were given our key and personally shown to our cabin by a pirate which I thought was a nice touch. 

You do need to bring your luggage through the theme park from the main car park but it was only a short walk and we were only staying one night. 

Our pirate cabin could sleep up to 4 guests and was brand new. It featured simple furnishings with a nice pirate theme and was well equipped. 

I will get the negatives out of the way first. Firstly, there is no WiFi in these cabins. It did mention this on booking so I expected it. We had decent 4G signal on our phones. 

Secondly, there are no doors into the bedrooms or bathroom, just a curtain. Yes, I did make my bro, Evan and Mark wait outside our cabin when I went to the loo. Nobody needs to hear that! 

We had a nice outdoor terrace with seating which was perfect for evening drinks. There are a few pretend cannons around the pirate section and the kids enjoyed running around playing pirates. The play park is behind these cabins but it's not in your eyeline so small children would need to be supervised. 

Inside there is a sofa and TV, coat hooks, lamp, plug sockets, a table and chairs and a mini kitchen. Our mini kitchen included a sink, washing up liquid and cloth, full size fridge (no freezer), crockery and cutlery for 4 people, a microwave and kettle in the main living area. 

There is also heating throughout if needed (we didn't need it). For one night, we felt as if we had everything we needed. 

Gulliver's Valley Stay & Play Review pirate cabin kitchen

There is a double room and a bunk room with plug sockets and a pirate theme. Beds are made up for your arrival and towels are provided. I slept on the bottom bunk and it was actually pretty comfy. 

Gulliver's Valley Stay & Play Review pirate cabin bedroom

The bathroom is simple, new and clean. I had a shower and have zero complaints. 

Continental breakfast is included with a Stay & Play break. It is in a bag on your dining table when you arrive and consists of an apple, mini blueberry muffin, pain au chocolat and carton of juice. Not amazing but did the job. I bulked it out with grapes and a brunch bar. 

If you fancy something more substantial, you can also order breakfast and hot drinks from the Curiosity Cafe at the park entrance. 

On the day of our visit, this was a pre-order service only and you couldn't just turn up and order a coffee. This was frustrating when we visited soft play with the kids before the park opened and couldn't just buy a coffee. 

I am not sure if we were unlucky / there were staffing issues / something else was going on but other people have told me they've been able to just turn up and order a coffee before the park opens at other times. But be warned, if they tell you on checking in that it's pre-order only, this includes coffees for soft play before the theme park opens so get your order in! 

We were really happy with the accommodation for the price we paid. 

On the day of our visit, check out was 10am and the theme park opened at 10:30am although day visitors started to arrive at around 10am. You can take your bags to your car at any time (remember to get your hand stamped), we did at around 9:20am and then dropped our key in the key drop. I would recommend trying to do this before 10am otherwise you may have to queue with other day guests to get back into the resort (it is one entrance for everyone). 

Overnight guests have access to the giant bouncy castles from 9:30am until the park opened which was a really good perk and meant we weren't hanging around. 

From around 10am, the park mascot arrives with music / dancing and a little countdown to the park opening which is nice. 

On check out day, you can stay until the theme park closes or leave at any time. 

Check prices and book here. 

Gulliver's Valley | Other Accommodation Types 

All of the accommodation is fairly close together at Gulliver's Valley and very close to the theme park. There are dinosaur themed cabins, one shark themed cabin, two glamping tents, a mermaid cabin and a couple of princess and unicorn suites in the main castle too. Other accommodation may have different facilities to the pirate cabins so do check. Some accommodation types can sleep up to 2 adults and 4 children. 

Gulliver's Valley | Events 

Read more about events taking place at Gulliver's Valley Theme Park below: 

Please note, I have no info about the above events other than what is provided on the Gulliver's Valley website. Please contact them with any queries. 

Gulliver's Valley | Final Thoughts 

We had an absolute blast and I would definitely recommend Gulliver's Valley to families with kids from 0-12. 

  • At less than £50 pp, for everything that was included in peak school holidays including 2 days access to the theme park, breakfast and an overnight stay, we received exceptional value 
  • Very easy to get to via road or public transport 
  • Very short queues (or none at all) 
  • Good evening entertainment 
  • Nice range of rides and attractions 
  • Indoor and outdoor activities and rides 
  • Friendly staff 
  • Compact theme park, flat paths, easy to walk around 
  • Fab themed accommodation options 
  • A lot is included - you are not constantly paying for extras 
  • Easy access to your car throughout your stay if needed 

  • Not suitable for older thrill-seeking kids / teens 
  • Food is not up to scratch 
  • Evening meals and drinks on site are significantly overpriced 
  • No WiFi or internal doors in the pirate cabins 

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