by Sally Churchward.
Dinosaur fans of all ages will love Jurassic Encounter’s dinosaur trail at Royal Victoria Country Park.
The temporary attraction features around 30 animatronic dinosaurs, which move and roar to the delight and occasional horror of visitors.
With a family ticket coming in at £9 per person (use the discount code earlybird20), it’s a reasonably priced attraction which offers a good few hours of fun, which can be extended by enjoying the facilities at Royal Victoria Country Park, making it a whole day out.
The dinos are laid out on a looping trail around a section of the grounds, leading past a triceratops, velociraptors attacking an apatosaurus, a wonderfully lifelike dilophosarus (as far as my dino knowledge goes, anyway), a huge brontosaurus and round to the star of the show, a gigantic t-rex.
There are a few optional extras you can pay for – a virtual reality experience which we didn’t try, and ‘riding’ on an animatronic dino which didn’t walk but moved around while you sat on a saddle on its back for the bargain price of £2, as well as helium balloons, face painting, a gift stall and various refreshment stands. Refreshments are also available at the park’s own facilities, and many visitors had chosen to take their own picnics and set up camp on the near one of the dinos, which seemed like a great way to extend the trip.
For anyone who doesn’t want to sprint onto the next dino to see what it does when it starts moving before taking a load of photos, there is an extensive information board next to each dino, so it can be a learning experience if you’re so inclined.
Tickets are sold for intervals throughout the day and although the attraction had a lots of visitors, everyone was well spread out along the trail and none of the exhibits felt crowded. It was easy to move along at your own pace, with ample opportunity for photos with each dino.
When you’re budgeting for the event, it’s worth noting that you have to pay for parking at Royal Victoria Country Park – ours added £7 to our cost for the day.
For anyone looking for a reasonably priced day out for the school holidays or who just likes dinos and something a bit different, Jurassic Encounters at Royal Victoria Country Park is definitely worth a visit.
- visit www.jurassicencounters.uk and use the code EARLYBIRD20. Runs in Southampton until September 4.
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