Today's trip was to Cadbury World, which I have long wanted to see, ever since I read about a trip round the factory in one of the Chalet School books. Factory tours, as such, ended in 1970, but Cadbury World, which opened in the 1980s, goes a fair way to fill the gap. Your tickets are for a timed start, and we had to wait 40 minutes before going in, but that was all right as we had a cup of coffee, and the minute's silence for the victims of 7/7. Then we had a quick look round the gift shop, and then it was time to go in. The first bit was a diorama showing how chocolate was grown and used by the Aztecs and the Mayans before Cortez landed in 1519. The next bit had some very good CGI film sections showing how chocolate was brought to England. Then there was a bit of a bottleneck while two live actors talked about chocolate in London and the Cadbury family, and a short film introducing John Cadbury, who could not enter a profession as he was a Quaker, so he opened a grocery shop instead.
There then followed two short films, in separate cinemas, first giving the history of the company and then showing how chocolate is made. After which there was a shorter bit of film showing how various different chocs were made and wrapped. Then quite a long walk past the packaging area - one could not go in, but you looked in through the windows, rather like the cheese factory in Normandy we visited that time. After which came an exceedingly silly "ride", which neither of us could at all see the point of at all, but I suppose fun for the little ones. And finally a section where we saw chocolate being made the old-fashioned way, and we were each given a little cup of melted chocolate with our choice of toppings. The tour then led through a display of various different advertisements, and a place where you could pretend to grow a cocoa plant (even the SW enjoyed this). This then led us back to the gift shop, and was the end of that part of the tour, but there was plenty more to see and do.
Outside there was a huge children's play area, and a "4D Cadbury Experience" which we didn't visit (no thank you!), and, in the back of the building, the "Bourneville Experience" which was a display about the Bourneville village built by the Cadbury family, with sports ground, school, swimming-baths, etc. There was a walk we could have gone on, but the heavens opened just as we came out, and we got soaked. So we went to the nearest Tesco and bought a sandwich, and then found the Bourneville park to eat it in, and as the rain had stopped, we walked round the park and saw the sports ground and pavilion.
All in all, we very much enjoyed it, but I did slightly wonder who its target audience was. It was a very odd mix, although mostly it worked.
Then we went and bought a motor home.