Our Top 10 Theme Parks in the UK

  • By: The DIG for Kids
  • Time to read: 10 min.

You just got front row seats to the best rides in UK. Like most mother’s I can attest to the fact that theme parks were not all made equally.  Wether it be full of Rollercoasters, Ghost Trains, Carousels, or Dark Rides.

All these attractions and more are waiting for you! But if you’re torn about where to see them, here’s a guide! Welcome to The Dig For Kids! Today, I have compiled a carefully selected list of the top 10 theme parks for kids in the UK that will delight your entire family.

Drayton Manor Park in Staffordshire, England

Drayton Manor Park, the fourth biggest amusement park in the UK, is a former manor house converted to a great family attraction, especially for younger children.

They have so much to offer, ranging from 100 attractions and theme park rides and numerous adrenaline-inducing rollercoaster rides like the Apocalypse ride, which features a tower that drops rapidly for 54 meters, and a mini-golf play area.

The Park also caters to animal lovers with a conservation-focused Zoo spread over 15 lushes’ acres of land with animals from across the globe ranging from magnificent Sumatran Tigers to enchanting Meerkats.

Little ones will enjoy Thomas Land, which features 25 rides and other attractions like 

James and the Red Balloon, or Flynn’s Fire Rescue. They will also be thrilled to meet their favorite Thomas the Tank Engine friends.

Whatever you decide to do, this award-winning theme park will certainly provide a wonderful day out for your entire family.

Buy tickets here: Drayton Manor

Flambards – Cornwall

Flambards has built a sterling reputation through the years as a family-orientated theme park that caters to all the members of your family.

It features numerous exciting rides like the Hornet Rollercoaster, the SkyRaker, and the Thunderbolt, including the Colorado River log flume, a fun water splashing ride in the hot summer months. And the truly adventurous will have fun on the Sky-Force, which is one of the longest rides in that region.

They have incredible rides for thrill-seekers! So, take a spin on the Hornet Rollercoaster and check out the view from the top of SkyRaker, the twisting drop ride. 

Brave the Thunderbolt, journey through the dark on Space Race, and prepare to get wet on the Colorado River log flume.

Thrill-seekers will enjoy the Sky-Force ride, whizzing high above the Park. This ride is the biggest thrill ride in the Southwest.

The little one will enjoy Ferdi’s Funland, which features classic Teacup rides, a Pirate Ship, and Space Shuttles. 

If that is not enough, they will love meeting dinosaurs in a Jurassic Journey, discover hidden Dino Dig fossils, and experience the thrill of seeing baby dinosaurs hatching at the Dino-Nursery.

Flambards also caters to families during colder months with numerous award-winning indoor attractions like their Britain in the Blitz, Victorian Village, and Chemist Shop Time Capsule displays.

Buy tickets here:  Flambards

Alton Towers in Alton, England

Alton Towers has been providing world-class family entertainment for over 40 years as they cater for all aged children ranging from toddlers to thrill-seeking teenagers.

The UK’s biggest theme park features ten themed areas, with 40 rides and attractions, including a stately old castle that once belonged to the landed gentry. 

While the Park was based on a Disneyland and is a truly modern theme park, it includes many cherished British Heritage elements. 

Alton Park offers some of the world’s most intimidating, record-breaking roller coasters like the Corkscrew, England’s first double looped rollercoaster ride. Including the famous Gangsta Granny and a one-of-a-kind virtual reality-based roller coaster.

The little ones will enjoy dancing and singing with their favourite TV characters at CBeebies Land, including their 14 rides, live shows, and exploring the pirate-themed Sharkbait Reef aquarium. 

Alton Towers offers everything you need from a top UK theme park for a great day out with your family.

Buy tickets here:  Alton Towers

Check out the Rollercoaster Restaurant too as it’s such a cool experience.

Legoland in Windsor, (Near) London

If your child loves spending countless hours playing with Lego blocks – it’s time to discover the enchanting Legoland.

This children’s wonderland features incredible Lego model recreations, interactive live shows, and 55 exciting rides like the famous Dragon Coaster that will thrill your entire family.

It is also the only theme park that I know of where a three-year-old can get a driver’s license at the Lego City driving school (thank goodness it’s not real)! 

Children will also love rehearsing their favorite ninja skills on the four-dimensional Lego Ninjago ride or enjoy immersing themselves in the fantastic Star Wars Miniland Model Display.

Legoland also offers all-year-round entertainment – during the winter months, children will enjoy the theme park’s indoor water submarine rides.

Your children will have countless hours of fun on the thrilling Pirate Shores, or the Drench Towers rides in the UK’s leading water play park in the summertime. 

Buy tickets here:  Legoland

Blackpool Pleasure Beach, England

Blackpool Pleasure Beach is a mecca for thrill-seeking families as it features the UK’s highest rollercoaster, otherwise known as The Big One. 

Several other renowned rollercoasters like the Infusion, the UK’s first looping roller coaster suspended over water, is also a unique experience.

Children can meet their favorite entertainment channel characters at Team Nick shows in Nickelodeon Land or enjoy a whole host of fun rides like the Wallace & Gromit’s Thrill-O-Matic or the Flying Machines.

If you need a more sedentary family activity, practice your hole-in-one skill with a round of adventure golf, perfectly suited to beginners and professional golfers.

Alternatively, immerse yourselves in Ripley’s Believe It or Not digital displays of bizarre collections. It features highly unusual items like a calf with two heads, including images of the world’s smallest car, tallest man, and shortest woman.

Buy tickets here: Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Paultons Park in Romsey, England

Paultons Park was voted as one of the best theme parks in the UK for a good reason as it has so much to offer.

The Park features the renowned Peppa Pig World. The dinosaur-themed Lost Kingdom is built on 140 acres of magnificent parkland in the New Forest National Park with rich birdlife, a lake, pristine gardens, including a beautiful old watermill. 

It includes several adventure-filled playparks, an enclosed play area, and more than 70 rides and attractions like the Water Kingdom and Adventure Golf.

They also cater to smaller children (under 1 meter) by offering rides on trains, boats, balloons, tractors, Ferris wheels, and other age-appropriate fun activities.

Should you need to catch your breath after all those rides, head to Paultons Park Zoo, Little Africa, behind Peppa Pig World. It features numerous animals from the African continent like crested porcupines, charming meerkats, lizards, millipedes, and pygmy mice. 

In addition, they have an incredible walk-through aviary that houses several African bird species like the black-crowned night herons, including a dark indoor area where families can view nocturnal animals.

Paultons Park is also committed to nature conservation and offers visitors the chance to learn more about Humboldt Penguins and Meerkats. Moreover, they have conserved several threatened animal species in the Park with successful breeding programs. 

Therefore, Paultons Park offers families so much more than just a fun family day out.

Buy tickets here: Paultons Park

Lightwater Valley – Ripon in Yorkshire 

Lightwater Valley features several fun rides, interactive live shows, and numerous family attractions tailor-made for children under 12 with incredible views. 

It features numerous age-appropriate attractions that children love, like their Go Safari play area, where children can explore the African jungle with their Savanna Express. 

Followed by fun on the Kangaroo Jump, Monkey Drop, and Elephant Flight rides before flying in the African sky in a Hot Air Balloon ride.

In addition, children have great fun exploring the Park’s Treetop Trails which is now included in the admission fee.

Most importantly, they have discontinued bigger thrill rides like the Raptor Attack, The Ultimate, the Black Pearl, and Wild River Rapids due to the Park’s new focus on predominantly catering to younger children,

Lightwater offers concessionary rates for NHS, Military, and Emergency Services personnel to enjoy precious time with their families. 

Buy tickets here: Lightwater Valley (Tickets may only be purchased online)

Landmark Forest Adventure Park in Carrbridge, Scotland

Landmark Forest Adventure Park, set in the magnificent Cairngorms National Park, is a great choice for adventurous families!

It caters to the whole family, young and old, with activities ranging from observing butterflies in a lush jungle to careening through the water at breakneck speed on their water slides.

While there is so much to choose from, let’s start with the Dinosaur Kingdom, which will captivate your little one’s imagination. 

The Dinosaur Kingdom features 22 hyper-realistic life-sized, roaring dinosaurs ranging from little Oviraptor dinosaurs and their tiny hatching babies to the mighty Diplodocus, which at 90 feet tall makes a double-decker bus look tiny!

Then let’s head off to the Wild Water Coaster (with your raincoats), which consists of the Falcon, Otter, and Wildcat rides that will be thrilling fun for children over the age of 2

The Falcon ride is aptly named as it deceivingly starts at a slow, gentle pace, then evolves to a heart-stopping 50-foot vertical descent, culminating with a dramatic splash. A word of caution – it has been voted as the scariest raft ride in the Park!

The Otter is a thrilling raft ride in utter darkness; it’s a disorientating, twisting ride where you will have to hold on for dear life. It’s a long ride accompanied by a deluge of water, which like the Falcon, ends with a massive descending splash. 

If you hear cries of “more” from your little ones, try the Wildcat water ride, another heart-racing ride. This ride has two bumps that make you feel weightless for a brief movement in parts, and it culminates with a super-fast ride past the Astroturf.

It might now be time to head over to the mesmerizing Butterfly World, which features a bio-dome with numerous magnificent butterflies and tropical flowers and accompanied by the peaceful sounds of cascading water.

Children will love meeting a full cast of enchanting wildlife in this lush jungle ranging from the little scuttling Asian Quail family to the singing parakeets that soar through the air.

Now head of to Wonderwood, which features three bizarre Cabins that defy physics. It features a Growing-Shrinking and Topsy Turvy room, with a Vortex Tunnel added for good measure. The rooms all have incredible woodland carvings, which adds to the surreal nature of their appeal.

If that is not enough fun for the day – enjoy the Park’s SkyDIve area, which is situated 35 feet in the air amongst the pine trees, with two climbing platforms that can accommodate one visitor at a time.

SkyDive is a perfect activity for those who thrive on adrenalin. It requires visitors to harness themselves and climb up a mast, followed by a rapid descent, in true Hollywood stuntman style with a high-tech Powerfan rig.

It’s certainly not meant for the faint-hearted, and they do have the following visitor requirements: maximum weight of 17 stone and a minimum height requirement of 1.4m. 

Therefore, a visit to the Landmark Forest Adventure Park will certainly be an exciting day!

Buy tickets here: Landmark Forest Adventure Park 

Brighton Palace Pier – Brighton, England

Brighton Palace Pier is an iconic landmark that has been entertaining several generations of families in the UK. It offers a wide variety of attractions which ranges from classic fairground favorites to modern gaming fun. 

Little ones (under 1.2m) will thoroughly enjoy driving around in Fantasia, exploring the Mega slides, and bouncing around on their Bouncy Castles. Other firm favorites include their traditional carousel and spinning around in the Cup and Saucers rides.

The more adventurous types in your family will love the hair-raising, heart-stopping Turbo Coaster and the Booster rides. However, the virtual reality-based Twister is the epitome of an exhilarating ride.

The other great advantage of Brighton Palace Pier is that your family can still enjoy their Palace of Fun on a rainy day as most of their rides are undercover.

Buy tickets here: Brighton Pier

Sundown Adventureland in Retford, England

Sundown Adventureland is a great choice for families with children under ten years old; they will have tons of fun!

The little ones will start their magical adventure at the Sundown Market, which features a charming array of animals and little shops. Then it’s time to head off to the Singing Pet Shop to hear their favorite pets break out into song.

Suppose you can drag your little ones away. In that case, they will love exploring Sundown’s Rodeo Corral Indoor Play Park, including the Fort Apache outdoor play park, which resembles an old American Wild West Cavalry Post. 

Then it’s time to avoid bandits on the adventurous Rocky Mountain Railroad ride, which meanders through rivers and rocky mountain passes in the American wilderness.

Following the ride, spoil your little ones with a visit to the Lollipoppet Castle, which is a sweet tooth’s idea of heaven! 

It features a giant castle that has been built with a licorice theme and plastered with sweet treats with an ice cream Sunday center. Children will have to be cautious, though, as a sleepy Dragon protects the castle from greedy little children.

Once they have had their fill of all those mouthwatering delights, it’s time to enjoy exploring the picturesque countryside on a Tractor Ride, followed by animal conversations at the Animated Farm.

Then it’s time to “Shiver Me Timbers” on the Jolly Pirate Ride, with a few unexpected, wicked surprises or having fun at Captain Sandy’s Play Cove.

Toddlers will be entranced by the Storybook Village, where they can hear their much-loved bedtime stories and play piano in the Three Little Pig’s house or try sitting in the Seven Dwarf’s House chairs.

Then it’s time to discover Santa’s magical winter wonderland with an enchanting Sleigh Ride where they might find a lazy reindeer sleeping in his little bed—followed by a Robin Hood Ride adventure in the Sherwood Forest.

After all those adventures, Mom and Dad can enjoy a well-deserved break in the Crash Landings cafeteria while the little ones slide around the four-story play park.

If you are still not assured a good night’s sleep after all that fun, let your little ones enjoy the Angry Birds Activity Park or careening around on their numerous fun rides and sing along with cheeky little Monkeys. 

Buy tickets here: Sundown Adventureland 

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