On Thursday 29th, ollie was off work and Eric woke up early. We decided that we would do something spontaneous and came to the idea of going to Leeds.
We go to Leeds often. Trains there from Sheffield are quick, frequent and cheap, especially with a railcard. There is loads to do in Leeds, so much that we still have loads we haven’t done yet and we have been quite a lot already!
We got a 08:06 train and decided due to the cold weather to go to XScape in castleford. XScape has its own train station, glasshoughton, which you have to change for at Leeds.
We ate breakfast on the train as it was bright and early!
We got to XScape and was excited. It has pretty good reviews online on trip advisor and such, I expected a large entertainment complex with a good atmosphere… but this was soon far from the truth. I know not everything is everyone’s cup of tea but this certainly wasn’t ours.
My first impressions was: bare. It seemed stripped back, no atmosphere. It wasn’t busy but wasn’t particularly quiet either, it was just… boring. There was no colour, nothing “going on” and it felt like walking through a bus station or shopping centre that hadn’t finished its renovation yet.
We headed for the 4D golf which was at one of the places called Xplore. We had planned to play the golf and I was so excited! It wasn’t too bad. It was just really small. I mean, I thought a place like XScape everything was going to have the feeling of “bigger and better.” There was only 2 courses; so we chose to do only 1; search for Atlantis. We had glasses given and went in to play. It was basically looked glow in the dark and with the glasses wasn’t very 4D… or maybe it’s just my eyes. We weren’t given any score sheets and it took us about 15 minutes to complete. So boring! I have done adventure golf before and all of them took longer than this. It seemed run down, there wasn’t much going on in terms of sounds and the displays were old.
Eric enjoyed playing with some extra golf balls while me and ollie played.
After the golf we went to look around the rest of the place. We were going to go to gravity, the trampoline centre. We looked in and decided not to. It was really small, very cramped and looked dirty. We ended up going back to the 4D golf place as it had a soft play.
Being the only soft play in the XScape centre I thought it would be one of those types of soft plays that are big and a bit crazy. It wasn’t either of those. I’m glad we didn’t have to pay for Eric (50p for adults, under 18 months free. Under 4 £3.99, over 4 £4.99) because I would have been asking for a refund. It was really small. Firstly on the front desk for both golf and soft play was one member of staff. This meant that those waiting to go in soft play with fussy, excited, antsy children that can’t keep still for 5 minutes were waiting 10 minutes as the staff went back and forward between desks. This means children getting bored and parents getting impatient. Inside the soft play was really dirty, bad layout, the toilets… none of the toilets had working flushes, no soap in any of the dispensers, looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in a while. Ollie said apparently that men’s was similar and the baby change also disgusting. Parts of the play frame were dirty, peeling off and just run down. I don’t expect much from soft plays; I’ve been to many before but this was a let down. We didn’t stay long.
We decided to go for lunch after and call it a day. In my opinion centertainment in Sheffield is the same if not better than XScape (at least it’s clean). We went for lunch at wetherspoons and got a train back to Leeds.
Once in Leeds we nipped into Leeds tap for an ale (not especially child friendly but baby was napping!) and then headed to Leeds city museum.
Leeds city museum is great! Right in the city centre at millennium square and very good for children. I definitely recommend it if you are in Leeds, you could easily spend good part of the day there if you spread it out. It’s totally free and has three floors. The lower ground floor has cafe and a great exhibition “life on earth” which is natural history. Lots of animals, including birds, butterflies and a tiger. It’s small, but has lots of activists and interactive displays for children, and because of the size means you can just let your child wander without worrying about them going too far (it’s all in one open room, circular shape). There’s a reading corner with bean bags and books, games, toys and a children’s table and chairs, and a separate crafts area with colouring, pens and pencils, competitions and quiz sheets. They had a reindeer trail available with free quiz sheet, we had to hunt reindeers around the room and had questions to answer about them… me and ollie enjoyed that! Haha. There’s a pretend fossil digging area which is great for young ones, and the information displays are good.
The other floors include world view and Leeds arena on floor 1, the Leeds story on floor 2 (which has a fantastic large play area; Wendy houses, toys, diggers, bean bags, books etc) and ancient worlds on floor 3 where you can see a mummy.
Eric really enjoyed the Leeds story play area, but after that we had to leave as he was getting tired. We will definitely return on another day, it’s a great place and I will take more photos next time! I was in a bit of a bad mood from the negative vibes left over from XScape! Haha.
As previously mentioned, we go to Leeds often and in my 2016 post it was mentioned quite a bit. We love tropical world, harewood house and royal armouries museum. You can read my post here: https://www.facebook.com/tripswithatot/posts/1827505487505861
Thanks for reading!
XScape castleford – http://www.xscape.co.uk/