A bouncing bumblebee – Flip Out Chester

So a trip to Flip Out Chester, tackling trampolines minus bungee ropes and side nets – with Emily, always slightly risky….

Luckily they both really enjoyed the adventure and were very reluctant to leave at the end of the session! With a total of 200 trampolines at Flip Out Chester you won’t struggle to find a spot to bounce to your heart’s content.

When you arrive at Flip Out there are parking spaces available by the entrance, and level access into the building. Once you have queued to collect your wrist bands and socks (£2 per pair or just swap your socks from another trampoline park); it’s a level walk into the room where you view the safety video (this is actually a really humorous video but also gets the message across!)

You then enter into the arena, to the left are the secure lockers, and behind them the impressive ‘Clip and Climb’. Once you have stored your belongings you enter the arena through a lovely fairy lit tunnel, definitely the prettiest disabled access ramp I’ve seen so far!

When we emerged from the tunnel it was a ‘wow’ from our 2 for the sheer size of the arena and number of trampolines (the biggest trampoline theme park in England!). The trampoline arena includes 200 trampolines in total (50 Olympic trampolines), 4 wall runners, 3 drop slides (2 of which look unnervingly vertical for the faint-hearted like me), a Total Wipeout area, 2 foam pits, and more.

There is a well managed wristband system so numbers are controlled. This meant there were plenty of free trampolines to choose from and the strict rules of 1 per trampoline meant it was really safe for Emily, as she does have to take it slowly.

A big favourite for our aspiring free-runner was the area at the back of the arena with loads of different sized and shaped trampolines, wall runners and stunt boxes. There is also a Ninja Warrior style area, and trampoline basketball (hilarious).

Emily wasn’t too happy to be missing out on the foam pit, but luckily there is a mini foam pit in the Under 7s area which saved the day (and a rest for those rosy cheeks).

We also discovered tucked away in the corner a lovely raised playbarn which Emily enjoyed. I was happy to see that a gate was installed at the top of the steps which meant I could sit down for a few minutes (until she decided to tackle the bumpy steps to the top, doing her usual trick of standing upright before reaching the top – eek). Cue Mum squeezing through areas designed for littlies, really must lay off the cheese.

After our time was up on the trampolines they reluctantly left the arena, but the arcades area and themed diner soon distracted them. All of this area is really level and wide, so is very accessible. The diner has free-standing tables and chairs, and plenty of room to negotiate around them.

Not so long ago I wouldn’t have thought trampolining was something Emily could manage because of her balance and co-ordination; but actually she has surprised us by how well she manages it with that extra bit of help (and a cheeky bit of physio thrown in too, to ease the parent guilt).

Flip Out Chester also offer weekly ASD and Disability sessions, which are dedicated quieter sessions with appropriate lighting and sound. Disabled visitors can be accompanied by a carer with free entry, and there is a disabled toilet. Flip Out have a large First Aid room and bed which can be used if changing facilities are needed. (The nearest Changing Places facilities are located at Ellesmere Port Sports Village 2.5 miles away).

Our big boy has already planned his next birthday party (in his head), and I think this is a fantastic party venue and trip out for all, whatever your level of ability!


We were kindly invited by Mike and the team at Flip Out Chester to visit and have a look at the disabled access and facilities. All opinions are those of Team Bumblebee!




Tiger Tails (and more!) – Knowsley Safari

An exciting around-the-world safari experience this time with a trip to  Knowsley Safari near Liverpool. This is a great place to go at any time of the year, we experienced a number of interesting weather systems during our day there; but luckily there are plenty of indoor and outdoor activities.

We started off with the Safari Drive (100% an indoor activity – or at least inside the safety of your car…). If you arrive by car you pay at the entrance booths, and drive straight ahead to begin the Safari Drive, or left to visit the Foot Safari, café, etc.

Adult entrance into Knowsley Safari is £17.50 (£15.75 online) and child entrance is £13.50 (£12.15 online). Carers can visit the park free of charge.

You are given 2 child-friendly maps, so our 2 excitedly consulted the Safari Drive map as we headed off onto the 5 mile safari drive (the longest in the UK!).  I won’t say too much about this, just add a few photos, no spoilers! It’s a great experience, you get so close to the animals and see them in a very relaxed habitat. They aren’t at all phased by the passers by, including those who randomly park up with their flasks.

It was slightly nerve-wracking when the lions walked right behind and alongside the car but you can imagine the excitement levels of the small people….

We chickened out of the baboon enclosure as we didn’t fancy being separated from our windscreen wipers, but pulled over on the car-friendly route to have a giggle watching the brave souls who did take on the ‘friendly’ baboons…

Once you leave the safari drive and head down to the main centre, there is very easy access from the blue badge parking spaces into the Oasis Restaurant where we took a quick pit-stop for lunch and to wait for the rain to pass.

We were really lucky as it cleared up and the sun came out; but before heading to the outdoor attractions we took in the lovely Sea Lion Display, watching Roger and Arthur and their clever tricks. Sea Lion Cove has raised seating, but if you speak to the staff on the way in you can be seated at the front without the need to use the stairs.

Once we left Sea Lion Cove, we were spoilt for choice for what to do next. There is a Birds of Prey display, the Bat Forest, Wolf Country, the giraffes and lots more animals to see on foot; a fairground, a train ride, some lovely parks – and more! The pathways are well-maintained and easy to manoeuvre with a buggy or wheelchair. Emily needed help onto the rides and with using the steps, but this is always the same when we visit rides.

Our final stop of the day was the fabulous Russian-inspired Amur Tiger Trail which we all loved! The tigers have been moved to a brand new enclosure which is visually stunning and also includes an intrepid explorer style activity trail for the children.

Once you arrive at the Amur Tiger Trail station, children can collect their own trail map and use this to explore the area, collecting stamps on the way back. You can enter the trail via the ‘Wobbly Bridge’ but there is also level access (which we used on the way back as the bridge was possibly one wobble too far for Emily as it was a two-man job!).

The trail has been really carefully planned and is completely accessible. There is a fabulous viewing platform with full-length viewing windows. We  were really lucky as the tigers were very active that day and we got unbelievably close to them.


Knowsley Safari Experience is a fantastic day out both for all the family and from an access point of view too. Access to all viewing platforms  is wheelchair accessible, and there is ramped or level access everywhere. The Equatorial Express train ride and Baboon Bus can accommodate wheelchairs.

If you are planning a day out and have a member of your party who has a disability, take a look at the accessibility page on the website (www.knowsleysafariexperience.co.uk); particularly the outstanding access statement which has photos of all areas of the park (I wish all attractions did this!). Knowsley has a number of disabled toilets, and there is a large disabled toilet with a bed and mobile hoist.

There is so much to see and do here for all ages. There are lots of extra experiences available including kids clubs, Safari School, keeper talks, den-building, Animal Encounters, Bat Nights and themed events (Christmas looks ace!).

There are lots of changes and exciting new developments planned at Knowsley, if they are of the same high standard as the amazing new Amur we can’t wait to go back once they are finished!

As you leave the park, pay a visit to the loo and have a giggle at the animal-themed humorous posters (see below for one of my favourites….).

The team at Knowsley Safari Experience kindly invited us to visit for the day to experience the disabled access and facilities. All views and opinions expressed are our own.

Thank you Knowsley!!