I’ve been in two minds about writing this review. Those who come to this website on a regular basis will know that my reviews are 100% honest. If I don’t like something I say. But clearly, this is just my opinion and nobody else’s. Let’s face it we aren’t all the same and we don’t all like the same things.
Totally Attractions are a relatively new company that run themed trails across a few locations in England. We live about 1 hr 15 minutes from our nearest one in Yorkshire and I finally decided to book their Totally Spooky trail. They run different ones at different times of the year.
Totally Attractions – Totally Spooky Review
The Yorkshire venue is at Hazlewood Castle Hotel and Spa that is literally just off the A64 between York and Leeds. We went during the autumn half-term and aside from their website and Facebook page I had very little idea of what to expect. Their website only states the following about their Totally Spooky trail.
“Totally Spooky is suitable for all ages – it’s fun and spooky, but not scary. Enjoy a 1km trail through the woods, Find the answer to the puzzles as you go…It’s super fun without having anyone jumping out at you! Choose between our daytime or illuminated night-time trails.”
We were too far away to visit at night so I booked our visit for during the day.
The dictionary definition of Totally is “Totally definition, wholly; entirely; completely”. Let’s note this now, this trail is NOT Totally Spooky. I’d say only about 1/6 of the trail was ‘spooky’. Maybe it’s more suited to younger kids but mine was bored and not at all impressed. You can probably tell by the lack of him in the photos below….until you reach the ‘spooky’ characters where he had a great time and wanted to be in all the photos.
You can probably tell from the photos above that these characters are not spooky. The first section had random characters such as aliens, a spaceman not really connected with or to the aliens and there was even a load of dinosaurs (possibly left over from Totally Roarsome).
We had been warned that we needed to wear boots or wellies or we wouldn’t be allowed on the trail. They had actually gone to the expense of laying rubber matting down on virtually all of the trail which was very welcome and wellies really weren’t needed.
I had read that the trail takes about 2 hours including drinks at the ‘cafe’. It only took us about half an hour. We were offered a trail sheet where you have to find clues and answer questions. This was really confusing and it stressed us all out so we gave up. It just didn’t make any sense at all and there was no logic to it.
The whole of the first half of the trail had nothing spooky about it. What was really disappointing was how they’d positioned all of the characters. It just felt like they were plonked randomly along. Half the time you didn’t even know what you were looking at as no one had bothered to put a sign about any of the dinosaurs etc. Nothing moved, the music was on really low, there were no additional props and of course, it just wasn’t spooky.
About halfway along the upward half of the trail we came across a few spooky things (see above) but then we moved onto a load of Marvel characters. Again just plonked along the trail and most had big straps around them which spoilt the look of them. The electric plugs for the lights were all on view and it felt a little uncared for. Although it was nice to see no rubbish and they have walkie talkie points along the route in case of emergency.
Finally, for the last and sadly not very large section of the trail, they had some spooky characters. My son was immediately running about and having a great time checking everything out. If only it had been like this all around, perhaps with some things moving, maybe some other spooky props amongst the characters as well and we would have loved it.
There is SO much room for improvement and I really hope they do improve because it would be a shame for them to not get it right and to not see people making a return visit. This could be so much more than it is! It was nice that you could stand close to many of the characters. It’s just if a trail has a certain theme then you really do expect that theme and nothing else. Or at least for the theme to be the main element of the trail, which this wasn’t.
At the end, my son had the opportunity to make a potion. This was a nice touch and proof that there is some creative flair somewhere.
We visited a good few days into this trail. Sadly, no one prewarned us that the ‘pop-up’ cafe was closed. This was a big shame for us as we were going to spend longer there with my Mum, instead, we had to go our separate ways. It does state limited opening hours but it literally was shut with a note apologising on the door. Sadly for us, it was the final ‘nail in the coffin’.
Totally Attractions Yorkshire FAQ & Further Information
Address: Hazlewood Castle, Tadcaster Nr Leeds, LS24 9NJ, West Yorkshire
Category – Outdoor character trail – Outdoors – Suitable for all ages, although younger children may prefer most of the trails
What are the ticket prices?
Tickets are £7.95 per person daytime, £10.95 per person nighttime, under 2s are free.
What are the main facilities and things to do?
Themed outdoor character trails in the woods, perfect for selfies with a quiz. There are portable toilets and a pop-up cafe (limited opening hours)
When are they open?
Their trails and opening times vary throughout the year. Please visit their website for up-to-date information.
Is there food available?
There is a ‘pop-up’ cafe with limited opening hours.
Is there parking?
There is a free on-site car park.
Are they dog friendly?
Dogs are not permitted.
Are they accessible?
When dry they do allow wheelchairs and pushchairs. Due to the nature of the rubber mats, you may find that your wheels get stuck a lot. Not all surfaces have rubber mats.