EVERY one loves Thomas the Tank Engine.

If you are reading this and shouting ‘no’ out loud, then this review may not be for you.

However, the Wilson family decided to take a trip to Drayton Manor, near Tamworth to experience the full joy of Thomas and Friends in life size format rather than on the tellybox.

It was the first time I had been to the park, although the wife had been on a school trip many moons ago.

First experiences were pretty good. Car parking was nice and easy and there were small queues to pick up the tickets - even though some guests struggled to understand signs which pointed ticket holders to the main gate rather than the booths if they were already in possession of them.

We had turned up on a day that could only be classed as ‘end-of-term-thank-you-treat-for-pupils’. It was busy but luckily, many of the pupils were not interested in Thomas the Tank Engine.

The award-winning ‘Thomas Land’ at the park underwent a huge expansion in 2015 and contains more than 25 rides and attractions.

You can catch a ride on Thomas, Percy or Rosie as well as enjoy firm favourites such as Cranky Crane, and Harold Helicopter Tours.

I was sceptical if my two-year-old would go on any of the rides. But after one experience of Jeremy Jet’s Flying Academy he was hooked. So much so he fell over his own feet in excitement heading to the Toby the Tram ride.

This resulted in a quick visit to the first aid room, where the treatment was first class for a bump on the head.

Of course Drayton Manor is not just about Thomas and his friends.

The park contains 11 high adrenaline rides, which due to the small children present, meant only one of them - G-Force - was tried out.

I love a good rollercoaster and this was certainly good. Anything that results in being lifted out of your seat is a winner for me.

A pleasant neck bashing experience after enjoying the relative calm and serenity of Bertie Bus in ‘Thomas Land’.

We enjoyed a spot of lunch in the park - pie and mash (despite it being 26 degrees) - which was reasonably priced and pretty tasty. Drinks were a touch on the expensive side mind, nearly £3 for a large soft drink.

For tickets, starting at £25 for over 12s, and £20 for four to 11 year olds, and for more details, visit draytonmanor.co.uk.

james wilson