PARK ‘EM HERE The best theme parks in the UK, according to visitors – if the kids are already driving you mad
PEPPA Pig has a lot of pulling power.
Paultons park, home to every preschooler’s favourite cartoon swine, is the UK’s most popular theme park, according to TripAvisor – beating the likes of Drayton Manor and Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
From high-octane thrills to more toddler-friendly days out, the travel reviews websitehas exclusively revealed to Sun Online its top ten amusement parks, based on ratings provided by the public.
Parks were ranked based on the quantity and quality of reviews, as well as the ratings for theme parks across the country over a year long period.
While popular destinations like Alton Towers and Blackpool Pleasure Beach rate highly, there are some noticeable absences, like Legoland, Thorpe Park and Chessington World of Adventures.
Much of the top ten was made up of smaller amusement parks, like The Milky Way Adventure Park in Devon and Sundown Adventureland in Nottinghamshire, with praising the value for money they offered.
Read on for your guide to the UK’s favourite theme parks….
1. Paultons Park, Hampshire
Perfect for pre-schoolers and under-tens, Paultons – the home of Peppa Pig World – features more than 70 rides and attractions.
They include the roller coasters, Flight of the Pterosaur, Velociraptor, EDGE, Cobra and Magma as well as brand new Jurassic-themed ride, Lost Kingdom.
TripAdvisor’s Paultons Park listing shows that 93 per cent of guests who have visited the park reviewed their trip as either “excellent” or “very good”.
2. Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Lancashire
Gracing the shores of Blackpool since the 1890s, Blackpool Pleasure beach has more rollercoasters than any other park in the United Kingdom – including the tallest at 65m, aptly named The Big One.
It also boasts the world’s only Wallace and Gromit ride, the Thrill-O-Matic.
Spring 2018 will see the opening of a £16.25 million double-launched roller coaster, named Icon. A one- night hotel stay including tickets to Pleasure Beach and Nickelodeon Land starts from just £50 per person this summer.
3. Alton Towers, Staffordshire
Housed in and around a neo-gothic mansion, the UK’s largest theme park, Alton Towers, boasts four hotels and a water park, as well as six roller coasters.
This summer saw the opening of the Cbeebies Land Hotel, complete with Octonauts and In the Night Garden-themed rooms, broadening the park’s appeal to even younger clientele.
Despite disappointment surrounding the ongoing closure of Galactica, the park’s newest ride, Alton Towers continues to be a popular day out. You can save £20 per person off the standard ticket price by booking in advance online, under 3’s go for FREE!
4. Brighton Palace Pier, East Sussex
Like all good roller coasters, Brighton Palace Pier has had its up and downs.
Opening in 1899, the Grade 2* listed building has been hit by rough seas, fires and even a bomb scare.
It now blends traditional fairground rides with the latest gaming and modern attractions and continues to be a hit with tourists more than a hundred years later.
5. Drayton Manor Park, Staffordshire
Divided into seven areas: Thomas Land, Action Park, Aerial Park, Fisherman’s Wharf, Pirate Cove, The Zoo and Dinotrail, Farmer McColl’s Farm, rides at the Drayton Manorinclude Europe’s only stand up coaster, Shockwave.
The Tamarin Trail allows visitors to come face-to-face with a troop of mischievous monkeys, and the firm toddler favourite, Thomas Land, recently underwent a £2.5m expansion. Beat the crowds by arriving early and team a day at the park with a night in a nearby hotel. A one night stay including theme park tickets starts from £53.50 per person.
6. Adventure Island, Southend-on-Sea, Essex
The addition of this Southend favourite to TripAdvisor’s top ten proves that you don’t have to shell out extortionate amounts to have fun.
Visitors to this free admission park can choose from 32 rides, including the signature roller coaster, Rage, which hurtles to a top speed of 43 mph.
7. The Milky Way Adventure Park, Clovelly, Devon
Visitors come in droves to The Milky Way Adventure Park, where adventure rides, indoor dodgems, a mini train and birds of prey displays cater for all ages.
An indoor soft-play centre, Little Stars, has special areas set aside for children and babies aged 0 – 3, as well as a sensory room and baby classes.
8. Sundown Adventureland, Nottinghamshire
Pirates, fairies and even Angry Birds all feature at this theme park, which is aimed at the under-tens (though anyone can use the rides).
Sundown Adventureland bases its rides on fairy tales and well-loved children’s characters.
Consistently good reviews on TripAdvisor cite value for money and friendly staff.
9. Landmark Forest Adventure Park, Scottish Highlands
Landmark Forest Adventure Park is a large nature-based adventure park in the village of Carrbridge, in the Scottish Highlands.
As well as numerous rides, the park is also of importance to wildlife in the area, including areas that are home to the endangered red squirrel.
10. Clifton Park, South Yorkshire
With roller coasters, water rides, bumper cars and arcade games, the Fun Park at Clifton Park just sneaks into the top ten.
This no frills play area has enough to entertain toddlers to teens, without the enormous price tag.