10 of the Best Theme Parks to Visit in the UK
Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie looking for the fastest rides around or you prefer quieter, child-friendly attractions, UK theme parks have a great mix to keep everyone happy. Here’s a list of our top picks, along with recommendations of where you can stay nearby.
1. Alton Towers Theme Park, Staffordshire
Perhaps one of the most well-known amusement parks in the UK, Alton Towers Theme Park is kitted out for a whole day of adventure with plenty of restaurants and shops to keep you full and happy. Nemesis, The Smiler, Wicker Man and Oblivion are just a few of the rides at Alton Towers for adrenalin junkies. If turning upside down or dropping from great heights at high speed isn’t for you, don’t worry because there are some fantastic rides at a much slower pace. Kids can hop onboard the Peter Rabbit Hippity Hop ride, join the Octonauts on a rollercoaster adventure or journey through the Haunted House. The Congo River Rapids, Runaway Mine Train and The Blade are great at getting your heart rate up for those that don’t like traditional rollercoasters.
Where to stay: Alton, The Star Club Site is just 1 mile away from the theme park in Stoke-on-Trent.
2. Chessington World of Adventures Resort, Greater London
Chessington World of Adventures might just be the wildest theme park in the UK. With its Zoo and animal-themed rides, a day at Chessington will be one for the memory books. Thrill-seekers can soar through the skies on Vampire, go for a spin on Kobra and twist and turn in all directions on Dragons Fury. Little ones can visit Dragons Playhouse, ride the waves on Griffin’s Galleon or jump onto the Gruffalos’ River Ride Adventure. The Zoo is home to over 1,000 animals including tigers which you can see from many of the rides, penguins and even gorillas.
Where to stay: Walton on Thames Club Site is around a 25-minute drive away from Chessington.
3. West Midlands Safari Park, Kidderminster
West Midlands Safari Park is well known for its safari drive-through where you can see some of the big five enjoying life in their enclosures. Did you know that once you’ve navigated your way through the African Plains and Wild Asia, you can enjoy all of the rides in the Adventure Theme Park? For young children, the Flying Lion Kings, Desert Convoy and Congo Carousel are some of the most popular rides. Older kids and daredevils might like the Black Fly, Kong, the Pirate Ship and Venom Tower Drop. There are plenty of opportunities to grab a snack, refreshment or sit down for a meal during your visit too.
Where to stay: Wolverley Club Site is just over a 10-minute drive away from the West Midlands Safari Park.
4. Thorpe Park Resort, Surrey
Just 20 miles from London, Thorpe Park has some of the biggest rollercoasters in Europe. While there are some rides for younger children, this amusement park is centred around the scare factor, which makes it ideal for adrenaline seekers. Some of the most popular rides here include Saw, Nemesis Inferno, Derren Brown’s Ghost Train and Colossus, the world’s first ten-loop roller coaster. For those not interested in rides the Jungle Escape, Amity Beach and the Angry Birds 4D Experience provide heaps of fun. Thorpe Park also has a great selection of restaurants and snack huts, so there’s plenty of variety to keep the whole family happy.
Where to stay: Chertsey Club Site is a 7-minute drive away.
5. Drayton Manor Theme Park, Tamworth
Drayton Manor has a wide variety of things to do, making it great for a family day out. This theme park is home to Thomas Land, a themed area with 17 rides and attractions for young children. The Zoo, home to over 100 animals, including primates, big cats and birds, is another popular attraction among families. For those looking for white knuckle rides, Drayton Manor doesn’t disappoint. Choose whether you want to sit or stand as you take on Apocalypse, experience freedom as you swing through the air on Maelstrom and feel the g-force on Pandemonium.
Where to stay: Drayton Manor Club Site is within the grounds of the theme park, so it’s just a short walk to get there.
6. Flamingo Land, North Yorkshire
There’s a great mix of family-friendly and thriller rides at Flamingo Land. For the adventurous Hero provides the sensation of free flight, Velocity goes from 1-60mph in 2.8 seconds, and Cliff Hanger is only recommended for those with nerves of steel. If you’re after a slower pace, much closer to the ground the Balloon Race, Muddy Duck Tractor Ride and the gentle Lost River Ride might be more your thing. Once you’ve enjoyed the rides, head to the Zoo to see animals including donkeys, warthogs and kangaroos.
Where to stay: Slingsby Club Site is under a 20 minute drive away from Flamingo Land.
7. Gulliver’s Land Theme Park Resort, Milton Keynes
Gulliver’s Land is recommended for young families with 25 rides available in 6 themed areas. The Giant Boots, Runaway Train and The Buccaneer, are just a few of the themed rides you can enjoy during your visit. Away from the rides, try not to get lost in the Adventure Land Maze, let little ones burn off extra energy in Gully Mouse’s Magical Castle and listen out for the talking trees in The Enchanted Forest.
Where to stay: St Neots Club Site is a 40-minute drive away from Gulliver’s Land Theme Park.
8. Legoland Winsor Resort, Berkshire
For toddlers and kids under the age of 12, Legoland Windsor is a complete haven. From the moment you arrive, you’re immersed in a land entirely centred around Lego. There are countless rides and activities for kids to enjoy, including Merlin’s Challenge, the Deep-Sea Adventure and Laser Raiders. Aside from the rides, the highlight of your visit is sure to be the interactive shows put on by costumed characters. There are plenty of opportunities for adults to grab a coffee rest throughout what’s sure to be a very exciting day.
Where to stay: Horsley Club Site is a 40-minute drive away. You could also stay on our Chertsey and Walton on Thames Club Sites too.
9. Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Lancashire
Home to the iconic ride, The Big One, Blackpool Pleasure Beach is one of the most visited theme parks in England. With plenty of big rollercoasters, coupled with Nickelodeon Land, this amusement park is a great day out whether you’re a big or little kid. The Big Dipper, Valhalla, Revolution and Infusion are just a few of the rides on offer for thrill-seekers. Meanwhile, in Nickelodeon Land, you’ll find costumed characters and plenty of child-friendly rides. Wallace and Gromit’s Thrill-O-Matic, the Eddie Stobart Convoy Ride and the River Caves are a few of the other family-friendly rides available.
Where to stay: Clitheroe Club Site is a 50-minute drive away from Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
10. Paultons Park, Hampshire
Home to Peppa Pig World, Paultons Park is continuously voted as the UK’s best theme park. Sitting on the edge of the New Forest, Paultons Park is best for young families but does have a few thrill rides for a little scare factor. In Peppa Pig World there are nine themed rides including Grampy Rabbit’s Sailing Club, George’s Dinosaur Adventure and Grandpa Pig’s Little Train. There’s also a 4D cinema, lots of play areas and animals to meet including giant tortoises.
Where to stay: Salisbury Club Site is a 30-minute drive away from Paultons Park.
There you have it, 10 of the best theme parks in the UK and plenty of places to camp nearby. If you’re looking for more inspiration and things to do view our holiday ideas.