If you’re planning a staycation in Britain, then you shouldn’t miss some of the nation’s best theme parks. They’re the very foundation of UK family holidays because if there’s one thing Britain does better than seaside holidays, it’s these. In fact, there are probably more family friendly parks and attractions to help while away the summer holidays than you might think.
Here are a few of our favourites:
1) Alton Towers
Alton Towers is Britain’s biggest and best, with everything you might expect from an adventure park… roller coasters, boat rides, arcades, ghost trains and its own water park. Book a short break in one of its own hotels in Alton, or find a budget Premier Inn or the likes nearby to save some cash.
Legoland in Windsor won the 2011 Silver British Travel Award for Best UK Theme Park and with good reason. It spans 150 acres of parkland and has more than 55 interactive rides, live shows and workshops to keep the kids amused – all via the wonder of Lego. What’s more, families can now stay on-site after the Legoland Windsor Resort Hotel officially opened its doors in March this year. And, if you’re travelling in July you can witness the potential breaking of a new world record for the tallest Lego tower.
3) Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Blackpool Pleasure Beach in Lancashire is another great park. Try the new Nickelodeon Spongebob ride, test your mettle on the Pepsi Max or famous Big Dipper, or visit one of the Hot Ice shows. And while you’re in Blackpool, which is one of Britain’s best traditional seaside resorts, be sure to visit the Tower, see the zoo and pace the promenade for lots of cheap and tacky souvenir gifts.
4) Paultons Family Theme Park
Paultons Family Theme Park in New Forest is the only one to feature the loveable TV character, Peppa Pig, with her own version of kiddie friendly rides and attractions. But, don’t worry, there’s plenty for the older kids too. Try The Cobra, Raging River Ride or, if you’re intrepid enough, The Jumping Bean.
5) Loudoun Castle
Loudoun Castle is Scotland’s premier family theme park which has lots of thrill seeker rides like the Twist N Shout and the Pirates-of-the-Caribbean-themed Black Pearl. It’s not too far from the seaside town of Ayr, which has a fantastic coastline and plenty of shops.
6) Flamingo Land
Yorkshire’s Flamingo Land is just non-stop fun, with lots of white knuckle rides and even its own zoo. The animals themselves are well worth a visit and range from the Brazilian Tapir to Lemurs and Lions. In fact, there are more than 120 different species to behold at Flamingo Land, which is only open for the season until November 4 – so hurry or you’ll miss the fun!
7) Chessington World of Adventures
You’ll find no less than nine different themed parts of Chessington, which is within easy driving distance of London and is celebrating its 25th anniversary year. The resort has its own zoo and Sea Life Centre, which features Blacktip Reef Sharks, Jellyfish, Rays and more. Perhaps the best news of all, though, is that tickets start from as little as £20 per person when booked at least seven days in advance.
M&Ds in Strathclyde, Scotland, is a thrill-seeker’s dream. It’s full of daredevil rides and attractions for kids and adults brave enough to test their mettle. Other attractions include bingo, bowling and Amazonia, M&Ds’ very own indoor rainforest. Find it near Hamilton, just a short drive from Glasgow.
According to the Scottish Thistle Awards, Landmark near Inverness is the ‘perfect family day out’ and we’d certainly have to agree. Tucked away in the Scottish Highlands, you’ll find this super theme park which is great for families who love the outdoors. It has its own Wild Water Coaster, a Runaway Timber Train and plenty of climbing activities to tackle – like in Ant City, for example.
10) Storybook Glen
Enter the magical world of make-believe at Storybook Glen for a chance to get up close and personal with your favourite nursery rhyme and fairytale characters for there are more than 100 of them on display. Explore 28 acres of gorgeous scenery, complete with secret waterfalls and exotic animals. Although this theme park caters for all ages, it’s particularly special for small children.