Dinosaurs, wild animals and aliens – what it’s like on the Totally Roarsome trail at Arley Hall


A major new dinosaur trail has opened just in time for the February half-term holidays – although it’s packed with more than just Jurassic beasts.

Totally Roarsome North West has opened in the woodlands next to Arley Hall near Lymm in Cheshire, around half an hour from Manchester, with an accessible walk-through route featuring everything from dinos to cowboys, farm animals and even aliens.

The attraction is aimed at families with primary school aged children and below – so I headed along with my six-year-old and two-year-old boys to see what they made of it all.

READ MORE: Things to do with kids in Manchester this February half term

We struck lucky with the weather when we headed along at the weekend, although the first thing parents should note is that it is pretty muddy – so wet weather suits, wellies and a change of clothes in the car for afterwards I would highly recommend.

George, 6, loved the dinosaurs

The trail is all spaced along a concreted path so you can take your pram along – although, again, be warned you are likely to get very muddy wheels.

What’s it like?

At the start of the trail kids are given a trail map with a questionnaire inside to get them answering a range of questions on the trail.

My dinosaur-mad six-year-old George really enjoyed this, and was excited to spot and name all the different dinos along the route.

Meanwhile two-year-old Freddie was just as excited to shout “dini-saw” at every available opportunity.

George meets a T-Rex at Totally Roarsome

But there’s lots more than just dinosaurs to keep the kids entertained, for we soon discovered that the trail had a series of different “sections”, including ones dedicated to cowboys, the Arctic, farm animals and exotic animals.

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The farm animals were a particular hit with two-year-old Fred – and lots of other kiddies of this age group who were excitedly walking around and patting the chicken, pig and duck models on the head.

As we continued the trail we were even amazed to discover an eerie group of aliens, as well as a section dedicated to Alice in Wonderland and even a forest of sweeties.

How long does it take?

Aliens in the woods on the Totally Roarsome trail

Organizers state it takes between an hour and 90 minutes to do the full trail. For me, with the slow-walking two-year-old in tow, it was definitely at the 90 minute end of this.

It didn’t feel too long, except that we visited on one of the last time slots of the day (at 3.30pm) so it did start to get very cold as the sun began to set.

What facilities are there?

A large T-Rex signals the way into Totally Roarsome at Arley Hall in Cheshire

There are portaloo toilets at the main entrance (where you get a nice view of Arley Hall) but none inside the trail.

There were no food and drink outlets at the Totally Roarsome attraction, but there is a cafe at the main Arley Hall and Gardens which is a five minute walk away.

At the end of the trail there is a shop where you get a free photo taken of you and your family with a dinosaur (if you so wish).

There is also the option here to buy a goody bag for £6 which we did, and which contained a surprising amount for your money – a coloring book, dino egg, dino model painting set and dinosaur poo toy (yes, delightful I know but George loved it).

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How much are tickets?

Dinosaur models on the Totally Roarsome trail

Tickets are priced at £8.95 for adults and children, while under-2s go in free.

You book a time and date online when booking for your visit, but you are able to re-book the date if you need to change within 48 hours for any reason, for a £1 transfer fee.

When is it open?

Totally Roarsome North West is open daily over half-term from February 21 – 27, and then will be open every Saturday and Sunday in March.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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