If you live in St Albans, Willows is popular place to take the kids. Where else can you enjoy sheepstakes, daft duck trials, gold panning and dog agility shows? We like the convenient location, tranquil lakeside setting and child-friendly approach to activities, shows and facilities.
So why just 3 stars? The catering (awful when we had lunch there - we now take a picnic) and the price. Since opening its new indoor soft play area (or is this just a coincidence?) Willows' entrance price seems to have risen. At the time of visiting (July 08) it was a fairly steep £10.95 for adults and £11.95 for children. This means that you’ll want to make a day of it so if you’re after an hour or two of fun then pop into a local soft play centre or buy an annual pass.
Admission prices also vary with school holidays, weekends and seasons – an unusual policy which is confusing at best. When we asked about this, Willows said: At weekends and school holidays we put on more shows and activities which is reflected in the price. Seems logical until you realise that no other attraction changes its prices like this. That’s because they cover the cost of extra shows and activities from the increased number of visitors during these periods, or by charging for individual events, not by raising the general admission price and forcing regular visitors to pay more. We hope that Willows will reconsider their pricing policy and find one that offers year-round value for money. [Oct 08]
06 Aug 08