Top 10 theme parks in the UK
We've rounded up 10 of the best theme parks in the UK - as reviewed by Mumsnetters
Thorpe Park, Surrey
Great for adrenaline junkies. If you're planning a visit with small children, just double check the website to see what will be available for those who are less than 1.4m.
"The park was clean and the staff were welcoming: they asked what rides we had been on and recommended their favourites. The rides were exciting and fun, the park felt safe and we will certainly be back. We took an eight-year-old and an 11-year-old, and they - and the rest of us - loved it!"
Alton Towers, Staffordshire
Alton Towers is the UK's leading theme park, offering some 36 different rides across 800 acres. New for 2014 is the opening of CBeebies Land, so you can keep the younger members of the family entertained too. Consistently scoring high with Mumsnetters, it's a popular spot so expect a full-on day out, with queues for rides, and to be utterly exhausted at the end of it.
"As you can imagine the queues are long so organisation is the key. Try to get Fast Track tickets if possible. Arrive early for parking and entry. Bring your own food and drinks in a trolley with wheels, and plenty of sun cream if it's a hot day. Apart from that, if you love to be scared witless, enjoy your day."
Paultons Park, Hampshire
Paultons Park itself has 60 rides, a water park and gardens, and is also home to Peppa Pig World, which is Peppa's very own theme park with seven fun rides and attractions. Peppa Pig World is the closest thing to Potato City - the theme park Peppa visits in the show - your pre-schooler will experience, and judging by reviews is extremely popular with this age group.
"I've been going to Paultons for three years now, since my eldest was three and my youngest was just a baby. Peppa Pig World is a huge hit, with rides suitable for all ages, and the rest of the park has bits suitable for kids too. It's expensive to get in, but one of the few places which is definitely a full day - we always leave exhausted and with something we didn't find time to do!"
Drayton Manor, Staffordshire
Theme park, zoo and home to Thomas Land, Drayton Manor gets good reviews from families with younger children. There's also a good collection of thrill rides, including the white-knuckle-inducing Apocalypse, for the truly daring.
"Personally always my first choice of theme park to go to as it has everything you need for all ages, including the zoo, Thomas Land and the rollercoasters for bigger kids! I also like the fact that you never get long queuing times as you do at Alton Towers - which is a big bonus."
Crealy Park, Devon
There's 60 rides across 100 acres to enjoy, including a vast indoor play area (ideal for the British summer). Crealy Park gets the thumbs up for those with younger children. If you've got dinosaur fans in the family, the newly-opened Dino Jeeps ride is sure to be a hit.
"We had a great time at Crealy Park today - our boys (six and nearly five) loved it. Should mention that DH and I generally try to avoid adventure parks, as we hate the crowds and the queues, so we were surprised to find ourselves actually enjoying it as much as the children."
Gulivers Land, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire
Gullivers Land has loads to enjoy - a theme park, water zone, nerf zone, farm and even a campsite - not as slick as Alton Towers, but a solid option for all the family.
"There was very little queuing for rides which made the day much more enjoyable. My son was able to go on lots of rides. We ate inside the castle and thought the food was reasonably priced. The gift shop was nice and not too expensive as well, so we were able to get my son a 'souvenir'. We will definitely go back.... he keeps asking!"
Adventure Island, Essex
Located right on the beach at Southend-on-Sea, a visit to Adventure Island is great to combine with a day at the seaside, or as a break during a longer holiday.
"A fantastic day out with great value for money. There's so much for the children to do that you should aim to spend a whole day there. I find the best time to go is when it first opens and off-peak, meaning you don't have to queue and the park is quiet. The staff are friendly and always helpful."
Folly Farm, Pembrokeshire Wales
More of an adventure park than theme park - you won't be hurtling around on rollercoasters - Folly Farm is highly rated by Mumsnetters visiting Wales. There's a zoo with giraffes, zebras and more, plus a gorgeous vintage funfair with an enormous ferris wheel, and even a giant construction-themed sandpit playground.
"We had a fantastic day. There's a surprising amount of things to do considering the reasonable entry cost (and you can use your Tesco vouchers too)."
Twin Lakes, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire
A popular choice in east England, the Twin Lakes offers more than just rides. On top of rides and amusements, there's a big water park spread across half an acre, complete with a vertical drop waterslide and plenty of waterflumes, and a typhoon tunnel. Red Rooster Zoo farm is home to donkeys, llamas, and Highland cattle, plus there's also a falconry centre.
"My two children are three and five, and they absolutely love Twin Lakes. It's not 'grand' like other much more expensive theme parks, but the rides are perfect for younger children. And there's loads to do inside if it's raining."
Diggerland, various locations
With four locations around the UK (Devon, Durham, Kent and Yorkshire), Diggerland is essentially a piece of land with diggers, dump-trucks, road rollers and other real full size machinery. Admission to Diggerland includes all day access and charges apply for anyone 90cm and taller. Height restrictions apply, with little options for those under 90cm, even if accompanied by an adult.
"We had a brilliant time out at Diggerland - the kids didn't want to leave! There was loads to do, the staff were nice and friendly and the whole family loved the Spin Dizzy. I've recommended it to all my friends with young kids, and will definitely be visiting again!"
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Last updated: about 4 years ago