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“Dark and dirty!”
Review of The Happy Castle

The Happy Castle
Ranked #4 of 7 things to do in Penicuik
Attraction details
Reviewed 8 July 2014 via mobile

With a 3 year old and an 8 year old I consider myself a soft play veteran.

Happy Castle seems to be the type of place left to run itself down through lack of competition.

The whole place had a filthy feel about it, not helped by the darkness of the building.

The price was actually quite good compared to some places and the equipment does seem really good, if only it felt like the owners/managers cared about the place.

Still, the kids didn't care about the hygiene and I gratefully used their free WiFi to write this review.

1  Thank davidclark78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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11 - 15 of 23 reviews

Reviewed 11 February 2014

Late doing the review but couldn't find it when I was their last!
Where do I start....
Hard to find if not got clear directions and/or satnav. The road leading up to it is covered in huge potholes! The outside isn't very welcoming and can be hard to park at peak times.

Walking in the entrance and I wanted to walk back out. Should really have reception at front door... Paint off doors/walls, old signs.... Poor lighting when you enter soft play.

Price was reasonable and off my 4 year old went. After finding a seat there was food/crumbs and god knows what else all over the floor and table hadn't been cleaned. Moved myself to the rear of the softplay and went to grab a coffee..
Stood there for what seemed like a lifetime while the employee stood in the doorway on her phone!!!!! After eventually shouting I got her attention! Coffee wasn't great and food I ordered for my son was greasy!

Have not and won't be back unless this place has a serious re vamp. It has so much potential as the only soft play in midlothian

2  Thank iaka12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 February 2014

we were in the happy castle today for first time with my 4 year old and 5 month old as soon as i walked in i wanted out but my daughter wanted to stay (being a typical 4 year old) we were there for around half an hour paid for the two hours £5. they didn't take our names number in group ect just the money.

the place was very dark all seating down stair was full so we were told to got to party room upstairs small dirty room where you cant see the soft play area. in the half hour we were there i heard of kids being punched in the face and kicked in head i know these things happen with kids but it is more worrying knowing all this going on when you cant see your child. there were bigger kids (over 12) running all round upper level and on stairs not bothering who they bumped in to.

my daughter needed toilet and my baby needed her nappy changed so i took them to the toilets and that's when i thought we have to leave so very dirty (see picture)

also didn't feel kids were safe as only the one door for them to get through and if parents are upstairs and staff have no idea group name and numbers anyone could leave with your child.


overall a dirty smelly rundown place no rules or security.

2  Thank ecoyle22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2014

We visited the happy castle for a birthday party. There was 13 of us and because the place was so busy the owners happily gave us one of the party rooms free of charge! The soft play is large and quite clean. The party rooms were great with a castle mural on the wall. The only thing was the prices of good or drink. £1 for a can of juice is a bit steep! But apart from that it was good! The kids enjoyed theirselves and that's what matters!

1  Thank SevenEightFive_
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 January 2014

We visited The Happy Castle for the first time as the usual soft play centre we take the kids to was closed.

First impressions when we got there weren't great. It is sited in an old industrial-type unit, which is fine except they have made no effort to make the venue look inviting from the outside. It looks drab and grey and even the signs declaring "Happy Castle" look pretty miserable.

It is expensive to get in. £4.25 for 1 to 3 year olds and I think it was £5 for 4 and over. Our kids are 1 and 3 so it was £8.50 just to get in. They limit you to 2 hours but I think that's ok.

There are plenty of tables and chairs to find somewhere to base yourself while you are there. I liked the fact that these were placed close to the soft play area so you didn't feel you were too far away from your kids.

The single best thing about the soft play is its size. I noticed a few other reviewers mention this and it's true. Your kids won't be bored because there are so many nooks and crannies, passages and slides for them to explore. There is a handy balcony that runs right around the top that makes it easy to leave the soft play at various places or for parents to keep a close eye on their kids when they're in the upper sections. However, the soft play has clearly experienced some wear and tear. There are places where the padding in the soft play is splitting or has been shoddily patched up. They've boarded up one dangerous spot.

And, I have to mention this - it was really, really dark! There are lights dotted around the walls of the place, but once you're in the soft play area it is so dark and gloomy. I noticed this particularly in the toddler section and I think this put my 1 year old off because he just wanted to get out of there!

I ordered the full breakfast to eat. It was £4 with a coffee included and I have to say it was a perfectly good breakfast, although the coffee was rather small. We didn't try any other food, but from the menu they have a wide selection of rolls, jacket potatoes, etc.

Overall, I was a bit disappointed, but there's no denying the kids (particularly my three year old) enjoyed it. I wouldn't come here regularly but I think we'll be back on the odd occasion.

Thank Craig H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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