Our holiday to Jersey was the first time I’ve ever taken N away and not had our car. I have to admit it makes me jittery thinking I haven’t got it to rely on, but I needn’t have worried on this holiday. LibertyBus kindly gave us family passes while for while we were on holiday, so we were able to explore the island.
For N, he loves public transport. Living where we do, the buses just aren’t viable to use. We’d have to walk to the village about 1.5 miles to get to the bus stop, then time it so we could get the one of the 2 morning or afternoon buses. So the only time he goes on public transport is when we go to Oxford and catch the park and ride buses. I knew N would love the adventure of using the buses on holiday as well as walking.
When I’m on holiday, I grab every attraction leaflet I can lay my hands on. N is taking after me on this. So I studied the leaflets, we decided on where we want to go, and checked the Liberty Bus timetables.
The buses run all over the island, with every destination seeming to take around 20 minutes. There are plenty of stops as well – along by houses, hotels, offices, and random stops in the middle of nowhere. The drivers were friendly, although they weren’t all familiar with the pass I had to convert it into a bus ticket, but if you didn’t know a route, they’d let you know your stop. But you didn’t really need that because the digital signs on the buses, and over the tannoy, they tell you the next stop and the current one. It’s a really easy service to get to grips with compared with more complex ones elsewhere.
For visitors to Jersey it’s great because you don’t need a car to get to the tourist attractions. Even on a bank holiday and Sunday there were still plenty of buses running in all directions. And with a variety of passes and tickets to choose from, it doesn’t have to be expensive either.
One trip we used the buses for was to Tamba Park. This is a newer attraction, which lots of the children in the hotel had raved about. The prices were so cheap – £3.95 for kids and £4.95 for adults, I thought it was worth checking out.
It’s inland on the island, and an easy bus journey. N was looking forward to doing something specifically for him.
Tamba Park is like a miniature adventure park, and when I say miniature, it is small. In fact we were done in just over an hour, including lunch. We started off at the indoor Rainforest play area as you enter. It’s all wooden, with a roundabout, swings, slides, climbing frames, ball pits and more. We’d arrived just after opening, and it wasn’t too busy.
Heading through the restaurant and past the small shop, we headed outside and past the African sculptures and statue display, which was alongside the owls and hawks. We didn’t see them out of their cages, but there are regular displays through the day. The next path took us through the mouth of a dinosaur and into the dino trail.
This is where things went a bit wrong. N decided all of a sudden that dinosaur models were scary. The trail has various moving dinosaurs on display. Despite N saying they weren’t real, he still rushed me through, only stopping at the end to watch a Tamba Park staff member cleaning one of them.
The outdoor play area was large again. It had lots of obstacle course style equipment, some swings and more, along with benches for sitting down to watch your children play. N had a wander through but the boating lake had caught his eye.
As well as a second smaller café (some of which is under cover), you can pay to go in a tethered sphere (zorbing style but in a small area), or to go in a boat you can drive. N was bursting to go in one of the boats, and as I’d got a leaflet with a half price voucher, I agreed. Only 3 boats can go on the lake at once (or did when we were there), and there are inflatable archways you can drive through. With 3 speeds, they don’t go that fast, so even N could have driven one. He refused of course, so I got to drive, but then found he was doing the forward and reverse, and helping with the speed control. The 15 minutes we had on the lake was plenty.
Before heading for some lunch, N also had a go on driving the radio control motor boats. I think he enjoyed that most of all. He’s certainly got good spatial awareness and ability to control a vehicle. It must be all the riding of his gator from a young age that’s helped.
Considering how empty the restaurant was when we headed there, it was a little chaotic. There didn’t seem much logic to the layout, and the prices weren’t the cheapest. I’m never a fan of pre-packed sandwiches, but we didn’t want hot food. The hot food had a long wait (30 minutes when we were in there despite the fact there weren’t many people in the restaurant…although some had gone to sit in the play area. The hot food is all cooked on sight though, so is probably a good option.
After lunch it was a quick play again before catching the bus back to St Helier again. I couldn’t believe we’d done everything N wanted in such a short time, but Tamba Park is quite small. While we did have to pay extra for a couple of things, overall for the children it’s good value given the price is around soft play prices. I’m not sure there’d be enough there to do for us to go back over and over again.
N was pretty pleased with the indoor play area though…and the trying to persuade me to let him have a go on the cars.
Our journey back to St Helier on LibertyBus was simple again. The only hardship was N refusing to come with me to the Countryside museum on the way back, so I didn’t get to visit everything I wanted to.
Have you ever been to similar places to Tamba Park? What would be the area your children would most like?
Disclosure: We were give family passes to travel on LibertyBus while we were in Jersey. All words and opinions are my own.
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