UK Theme Parks - The 11 Best Theme Parks
The UK has a wide selection of theme parks for those looking to spend a day out roller coasting at terrific speeds to get their adrenaline fix. They are also ideal if you have kids and are looking to spend quality time as a family. That said, the following are ten of the best theme parks in the country.
- Alton Towers
- Drayton Manor
- Thorpe Park
- Chessington World of Adventures
- Flamingo Land
- Blackpool Pleasure Beach
- West Midland Safari and Leisure Park
- Pleasurewood Hills
- Lightwater Valley
- Paultons Park
- Oakwood Theme Park
In the list of top theme parks is Alton Towers Resort, commonly also known as Alton Towers. It is a theme park situated in a 15th century complex in Staffordshire that was converted into a theme-park in 1980. It currently boasts two hotels, and a water park, not to mention a wide variety of roller coasters, a cable-car, ‘4D’ cinema and monorail. Its highlights include the Nemesis, a new breed of roller coasters that take you through flips, rolls, and corkscrews at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour, and The Smiler, which starts with a downhill ride followed by more than ten loops, a vertical lift and onwards through a psycho theme at 53 miles per hour.
Tickets cost £ 29.25 per child and £34.65 for adults.
Website and info about theme park tickets: altontowers.com
Drayton Manor, just like Alton Towers is located in Staffordshire. It stands at the site of a mammoth 18th century manor and features roller coasters, water rides, a zoo and a hotel. Some of its most fascinating thrills include the Shock Wave, a stand-up roller coaster that takes visitors through a loop followed by a double screw, and finally a roll at zero-G. The G Force is also impressive and takes visitors 25 metres up, then on to an upside-down drop and finally through three loops at speeds of 43mph.
Charges range from £20 for adults and £15 for kids.
Website and info about theme park tickets: draytonmanor.co.uk
With a wide variety of rides totalling 30, Thorpe Park is a definite inclusion in the top ten list of theme parks. It is a unique UK resort that promises a day of endless fun. Located on the M3 and M25 intersection, it is a thrill-seeker’s nirvana and features seven high speed roller coasters, numerous thrill rides and a wide variety of aqua adventures to indulge in. Highlights include Angry Birds Land, which is the world’s first ‘4D’ Angry Birds experience, and The Swarm, one of the continent’s tallest and fastest roller coasters. The Stealth is also unique in that although it doesn’t offer a very long experience, it boasts as one of the fastest in the country with its speeds, which go up to 80 miles per hour. It also has a height of over 62 metres.
Tickets start at £21.58 for kids and £24.99 adult for adults.
Website and info about theme park tickets: thorpepark.com
Chessington World of Adventures is another great British theme park. Situated in Surrey, it hosts two hotels, and is surrounded by numerous wonderful zones designed to offer visitors a memorable experience. They include a zoo, Sea Life area and safari adventures. The park was officially opened in 1987 and currently features roller coasters offering rides that will take you through exciting twists and turns of varying intensities and frightening thrills. Some of the best features to check out while there include the Dragon's Fury, a roller coaster that takes visitors through a track surrounding the Land of Dragons. Though offering no inversions, the 48 miles per hour ride and high G-force guarantees a thrilling experience. The Vampire rollercoaster is also a must ride, with its awesome lateral G Force sensation.
Charges start at £20.88 per child and £25.92 for adults.
Website and info about theme park tickets: chessington.com
It is impossible to talk about theme parks in the UK and leave out Flamingo Land. It is a park in North Yorkshire that got its name after the descent of flamingos on the property - formerly The Yorkshire Zoological Gardens, made it their home. Today, it has a wide variety of attractions including thrill rides, making it one of the most impressive theme parks in the north-eastern region of the country. Other features include a golf course and holiday accommodation. While there you can start with an exhilarating ride on the Hero roller coaster. It winds you up a helix tower before dropping you down through a series of heart-stopping inversions, with sweeping turns going till 20 metres up in the air. Velocity also offers very frightening rides that reach speeds of up to 54 miles per hour in just 2.8 seconds. After spinning and tumbling your day away, a visit to the zoo offers a welcome respite. It hosts a wide variety of animals, including hippos, giraffes, tigers, reptiles, amphibians and birds.
Theme park tickets: Rates for children and adults start at £27.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach is a theme park founded in 1986 and hosts nearly forty rides, which include steel and wooden roller coasters, and water rides. Highlights include The Big One, which is deemed to be the fastest roller coaster in the United Kingdom standing at a dizzying 72 metres high and boasting ferocious speeds of up to 87 miles per hour. With a track spanning over one mile, it provides a long, satisfying experience. The Infusion experience is equally awesome and features five loops and 4.5G forces at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. The kids will especially love Nickelodeon Land, a park themed around the kids’ TV channel. It offers a variety of rides with themes based on popular television characters such as Spongebob and Dora The Explorer.
Theme park tickets: Rates start at £26.99 for kids and £29.99 for adults.
The West Midland Safari and Leisure Park is a theme park situated in Worcestershire, England that was opened in 1973. It hosts over six hundred wild animals and features an enthralling drive-through safari, insect and reptile houses, and an amusement park. The Safari experience enables you to drive through a hundred acres featuring all sorts of wild animals. Which include white tigers, African elephants and cheetahs. The Adventure Park on the other hand has an enthralling selection of amusement parks and roller coaster rides.
Theme park tickets: Rates start at £11.99 for adults and £10.99 for kids.
Pleasurewood Hills is a theme park situated next to Great Yarmouth, and is home to one of the most frightening rides in the country, hence making it to the top ten list of theme parks. It is rated 12A by the British Board of Film Classification, but has a ‘Kiddies Zone’ that features kids’ characters and showcases world class shows including Parrot Shows and Sea Lion. One of the park’s main highlights is the HoBs PiT, which is said to be the scariest rides in the country. It carries an age restriction and takes riders through an abandoned mine with live-action actors coupled with blockbuster visuals to provide a surreal, frightening experience.
Theme park tickets: Rates for adults start at £16.50 and £14 for kids.
Lightwater Valley is another theme park in the top ten list of theme parks. It is located in North Yorkshire and was opened in 1998. It’s widely known for being the home of The Ultimate, the country’s longest roller coaster. The park was created by Robert Staveley and initially started as a small attraction, but grew to feature approximately forty rides. Some of the main highlights include The Ultimate, which was christened the world’s longest roller coaster in 1991 spanning over 1.4 miles. However, it is currently second to Japan’s Steel Dragon 2000. The Eagle’s Claw is also fantastic and swings riders at 15rpm at a height of 22 metres.
Theme park tickets: Rates for adults start at £16.50 and £14 for kids.
Paultons Park cannot miss in the list of theme parks. Boasting more than sixty attractions, it is located in Hampshire, and is based on the famous children’s television character Peppa Pig. It got its name from Paultons Estate, which was originally situated where the park stands today. It covers an impressive 140 acres and features a collection of approximately eighty bird and animal species. It is a great choice for a family day out and while there, some of the best features to enjoy include the Cat-o-pillar roller coaster, which offers riders the opportunity to discover huge colourful plants. They are situated in a themed world complete with creatures called Critter Creek. The strange animals are called Curious Critters. While there, the kids can also say hi to Horned Swamp Donkey. Critter Creek is also home to Professor Blast’s Discovery Express Train, which offers a delightful trip that is bound to excite the little ones. Visitors can also check out Beastie Burrow, a bug emporium filled with fascinating insects, lizards and fish. Paultons Park also has seven rides that include Peppa’s Big Balloon Ride, George’s Dinosaur Adventure and Grandpa’s Little Train. Its ability to captivate the kids without terrifying them makes it a great inclusion in the list of theme parks.
Theme park tickets: Rates start at £22.50 for adults.
Oakwood Theme Park is situated in Pembrokeshire, Wales and attracts more than 400,000 visitors every year. Founded in the 1980s, it is parked with BMXs, has a 3D cinema, water chute ride and go-karts. In all, Oakwood Theme Park has more than 30 attractions, and for thrill seekers there is the Bounce, Speed, Vertigo, Hydro and Megafobia. For those seeking a quieter day in Oakwood Theme Park, crazy golf and Treetops, a wooden roller coaster in the woodland area is a great choice.
Theme park tickets:
Rates start at £23.00 for kids and £16.00 for adults.