TripAdvisor Names Best UK Theme Parks For 2019
Theme parks are a summer highlight for families and thrill seekers alike. Whether you're an adrenaline junky or just want to keep your kids occupied for a few hours, these entertainment factories are designed purely to whisk you away from your weekly grind and send you free-falling into childlike joy. School holiday season normally means a spike in visits to the nation's theme parks, so you need to do your research and make sure you know where you're going and what you're going to get.
What rides are there? How much does it cost? Am I tall enough? Will I be stood in queues most of the day?
Fortunately TripAdvisor - normally the home of indignant restaurant visitors - has named the best theme parks in the UK as voted for by travellers and it's controversial to say the least. Here's the results of the Travellers' Choice Amusement and Water Parks 2019 list, in reverse order.
10. Alton Towers, Staffordshire
Home of Wicker Man, Nemesis and Oblivion, Alton Towers is the UK's biggest theme park and a thrill seekers dream. It offers a total of ten roller coasters and a range of accommodation and lodging options including themed rooms. They've even got a waterpark. It may be last on the list, but it's definitely number one for plenty of coaster enthusiasts. Tickets start from £34 if you book online.
9. Harbour Park, Littlehampton
With rides like the Ocean Coster, Orca Whale Ride and The Dolphin Leap, it becomes clear that the park is all ocean-themed. It's situated on a beach, adjacent to a working harbour and marina. It's a great seaside option for kids. You can buy a wristband online for £18.
8. Brighton Palace Pier, Brighton
According to their website, Brighton Palace Pie has 'rides and attractions for the whole family, from traditional fairground favourites to all the latest gaming mayhem.' So, if you're a fan of gaming mayhem, which just appears to be an arcade then this is the place for you. There's also trampolines and a coaster. Tickets are priced by height. If you're 1.2m and over, you will have to pay £22.50 if you book ahead or £10 if you're below that.
7. Crealy Family Theme Park, Exeter
This theme park boasts over 60 rides and attractions with live entertainment and animals galore. With all that going on it's a good thing they offer hot tub lodges and glamping areas so you can stay for a short break. Tickets for the park are based on height and start from £13.56 for those between 92cm and 100cm and £17.56 for those over 100cm if you book online.
6. Adventure Island, Southend-on-Sea
This free-admission amusement park only charges you when you decide to go on a ride. You can get them online for £15. Arguably the main attraction is Rage, a steel coaster which is tied for the third steepest roller coaster in the UK.
5.Sundown Adventureland, Retford
Unless you have kids, I'd give this one a miss. It's billed as a theme park for under 10s and features people dressed in animal suits and an Angry Bird ride. If you do have children, then adults and kids over 90cm will have to pay £16.75 while those below can get in free.
4. Clifton Park, Rotherham
With parks, gardens and sport, rides and games and even an amazing museum, Clifton Park has everything you could need for the perfect day out according to their website. Their Fun Park is great for toddlers to 12-year-olds thanks to roller coasters, water rides and more. Here, you have to pay for individual rides.
3. Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Blackpool
Blackpool is a weird place. The long drive down the seafront can look downright depressing, littered with hundreds of derelicts B&Bs and stag dos. Fortunately, there's a giant red roller coaster smack bang in the middle which takes your gaze away from all the vomit. The Pleasure Beach is known for The Big One which used to hold the title for the tallest roller coaster in the world. They've just invested £16.25m into the park in the form of launched roller coaster, Icon, which is great for thrill seekers. If you have kids then it's also home to the UK's only Nickelodeon Land too. If you book in advance, you can get tickets for £28 for adults and £26 for children 11 and under.
2. The Milky Way Adventure Park, Clovelly
Great for a rainy day, this park features over 110,000 sq ft of both indoor and outdoor attractions. It has roller coasters, adventure rides, a mini-train, birds of prey displays and much more. You can pick up tickets from £15.45 for adults and children between 3 and 17, £7 for kids aged 1 to 2, and free for those under one-year-old.
1. Paultons Park, Romsey
If you like Peppa Pig then you need to sort your life out, but if your kids are a fan then they'll love Paultons Park. Voted in at number one by TripAdvisor users, it has more than 70 rides and attractions to enjoy. It's home to the world's first Peppa Pig World. It also has a Jurassic land which includes a ride called Flight of the Pterosaur and a Velociraptor coaster too with lifelike moving dinosaurs. Tickets are £30.50 if you're over 1 metre tall, children smaller get in for free.
Personally, I'd rather ride the Nemesis than meet Peppa Pig, but each to their own...
Featured Image Credit: Alton Towers