Top Theme Parks in the UK: Magical Rides For The Whole Family

theme parks in the UK amusement parks in England

Updated On: April 25, 2024 by   Ciaran ConnollyCiaran Connolly

There are many different theme parks in the UK to visit. Each has unique attractions, including bright playgrounds and live festivals. A successful theme park should have various attractions and things to do for the whole family, from teacup rides for little kids to drop tower rides for adults and teenagers. 

To enjoy a fantastic day out, let’s check which theme parks feature the best rides, rollercoasters, and facilities for the whole family. Here is a list of our top recommended theme parks in the UK!

1. Thorpe Park, Surrey

Location: Staines Rd, Chertsey. KT16 8PN

First on our list is Thorpe Park, with some of Europe’s tallest, fastest, and scariest rollercoasters. The famous theme park is situated in Surrey and features 26 attractions and seven thrill coasters. It is the ideal destination for thrill seekers, especially on Halloween, where you can find the fastest rollercoaster in the UK, Stealth. It takes 1.9 seconds for Stealth to go from 0 to 130kph.

It is excellent to experience SAW – The Ride, the first horror movie-themed rollercoaster in the world. It has a vertical drop of 100 degrees. Colossus, Derren Brown’s Ghost Train, and Nemesis Inferno are among the popular rides in the park. Beware, though; they are all equally horrifying!

2. Alton Towers, Staffordshire

Front seat of Oblivion at Alton Towers Resort

Location: Farley Ln, Alton, Stoke-on-Trent. ST10 4DB

Without Alton Towers, a list of the top UK theme parks would not be complete. Thrill seekers love Alton Towers, especially during the off-season, as it is quiet and there is no crowd.

If you are brave enough, you can ride the 3.5 G-force Nemesis, the first vertical free-drop rollercoaster in the world. Oblivion and Galactica are among the iconic rides in the park. The Wicker Man is one of the famous rides in Alton Towers, along with TH13TEEN, The Smiler, and Gangsta Granny. It also features the only CBeebies Land in the UK.

3. Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Blackpool

theme parks in the UK
Merry go round at Blackpool Pleasure Beach resort amusement park

Location: 525 Ocean Blvd, Blackpool. FY4 1EZ

Blackpool Pleasure Beach is the first location that comes to mind when you think of pleasure by the sea. You can create fun memories in such a fantastic place. It’s undoubtedly one of England’s best and most well-known amusement parks. Children can enjoy a variety of great theme rides, including the famous Ghost Train and Wallace and Gromit’s Thrill-O-Matic. You can also visit Nickelodeon Land, where your kids can play with their favourite characters. 

Blackpool features the tallest rollercoaster in the UK, the Big One. For that competitive edge, you can also try the famous and Europe’s only twin-track racing rollercoaster, the Grand National. If you want to experience the most stunning dark water ride in the world with brilliant special effects, head to Valhalla. There is also a myriad of other family rides to have a good time with your little ones.

4. Chessington World of Adventure, Chessington

Location: Leatherhead Rd, Chessington. KT9 2NE

Chessington World of Adventure is one of the excellent family theme parks in the UK. It was initially established as a zoo in 1931. Today, it includes two on-site hotels, a camping site, high-rope courses, a zoo with more than 1000 animals, and a themed area with rides and performances.

The park features 40 rides for thrill seekers and families as well. Will you have the guts to jump off the Croc Drop into the 25-metre-long crocodile’s mouth? The Blue Barnacle, Tiger Rock, and Tomb Blaster are famous rides you have to try in the park.

Pay a visit to the SEA LIFE centre, one of England’s best aquariums, to explore the underwater paradise and observe turtles, sharks, rays, and seahorses. One of the must-visit attractions is Room on the Broom – A Magical Journey, where your kids can watch the characters from Julia Donaldson’s book.

5. Drayton Manor, Staffordshire

Adventure Cove | Drayton Manor

Location: Drayton Manor Dr, Fazeley, Mile Oak, Tamworth. B78 3TW

As the winner of the gold medal for Best Value, Drayton Manor is the most popular theme park in the UK. Drayton Manor offers something for everyone thanks to its Thomas Land, zoo, and several themed lands, rides, and attractions. Here, you can discover entertainment for the whole family or thrill-seekers.

Shockwave, previously named the best stand-up rollercoaster in the world, might be the ride of your life you’ve been looking for. Remember to board Maelstrom and Stormforce 10 for an exciting day of twists, turns, and drops.

You can also try JORMUNGANDER. It is a miniature rollercoaster perfect for a child’s first small thrill. Guests will experience a thrilling Viking journey on this ride, which offers breathtaking views of the park and lake. The whole brand-new Viking region, with Thor and Loki rides, should not be missed.

Young children can also explore the magical Island of Sodor if they are Thomas fans. Thomas the Tank Engine is the subject of many family-friendly rides and attractions! Stop by Mrs Kyndley’s Tea Rooms for lunch, then complete the day at the Thomas Land store.

6. Legoland Windsor Resort, Windsor

Legoland at Legoland Windsor, UK – Legoland Waterpark

Location: Winkfield Rd, Windsor. SL4 4AY

Build great family memories when you visit Legoland Windsor Resort. Legoland comes to mind immediately when considering family-friendly theme parks. If you love Legos, you will want to explore all the themed lands with their enormous Lego structures and enjoy the ultimate Lego adventure. You can have the best time visiting the attractions in the lands, including Miniland, Pirate Shores, Lego Ninjago World, the Kingdom of the Pharaohs, and the Land of the Vikings.

Legoland features more than 55 brick-themed rides, attractions, and live shows. Explore the magical forest at Lego Mythica to meet the fantastic LEGO creatures. Before visiting Legoland, you must acquire the skills necessary to construct your own incredible Lego masterpieces. Visit The Brick, which debuted in 2022, to realise your desire to become a skilled Lego builder. In Lego Reef, you can even create digital Lego fish!

7. Flamingo Land Resort, Yorkshire

Cliff Hanger [4K] Off & On Ride POV – Flamingo Land Resort

Location: Kirby Misperton, Malton. YO17 6UX

Flamingo Land in North Yorkshire is the destination if you want to experience thrilling rides and a world-class zoo. It covers 365 acres and is a vacation resort with all amenities. It features fifty-two attractions, two pools, a golf course, a gym, a sauna, and nine thrill coasters. All of this should explain why this is one of the prominent theme parks in the UK.

In 2022, Flamingo Land introduced a brand new rollercoaster, Sik. Experience five different inversions, such as a massive 25-metre loop, a corkscrew, and five dizzying heart-line rolls! Many people enjoy riding Navigator, the first Megadisk-O ride in the world, and Cliff Hanger, the only S&S combo tower vertical drop rollercoaster in the UK and one of the tallest in all of Europe.

More than just a theme park can be found at Flamingo Land. As the driver, you can enjoy the thrills of a self-steer racing vehicle in Flamingo Land. Why not take the family on vacation and stay in a cosy lodge or cottage? Remember to go to the zoo to see the wallabies, tigers, and warthogs.

8. Paulton’s Park, Hampshire

Cyclonator at Paultons Park POV ‼️ Perfect for thrill seekers ‼️

Location: Ower, Romsey. SO51 6AL

The best theme park for family pleasure is Paulton’s Park. It is known for being home to Peppa Pig World, Peppa Pig’s very own theme park! Located in Hampshire, this property is surrounded by lovely parkland on the outskirts of the New Forest. It features thrilling rollercoasters, fun rides for the whole family, indoor and outdoor play zones, and water splash parks. Experience Edge to feel a floating sensation from the ‘camelback,’ or take a 395-metre suspended rollercoaster ride through the dinosaur era on Flight of the Pterosaur!

You can enter the four-acre Jurassic-themed Lost Kingdom for an immersive experience. Many people enjoy exploring Little Africa to see a variety of native animals. There are animals of every size and shape to delight and entertain you and your family, including meerkats, porcupines, lizards, and mongooses.

9. Fantasy Island, Skegness

Location: Sea Ln, Ingoldmells, Skegness. PE25 1RH

You should head to Fantasy Island if you are spending a coastal vacation in Skegness. It is a must-see destination that features Europe’s largest seven-day market. Adventurers can discover their inner courage and fight against evil through the thrilling quest known as The Guardian.

Try the Wild River Rapids and enjoy the ultimate excitement before diving into the rough seas. Visit Ingoldmells Market if you are looking for something other than excitement, like shopping! Grab the newest toys, games, and handcrafted gifts. After all the strolling, you will definitely need something to replenish your energy. Head to Fantasy Foods for a quick snack or a hearty meal, or Chocolate Experience if you’re craving a sweet treat.

10. Adventure Island, Essex

Adventure Island’s family fun rides!

Location: Western Esplanade, Southend-on-Sea. SS1 1EE

Adventure Island has been ranked as the world’s fourth friendliest theme park. It is free to enter the park, where you can buy wristbands for unlimited rides or tickets for specific attractions. At Adventure Island, there truly is something for everyone, including thrilling rides, arcades, and mini golf. For thrill-seekers, it is Axis, a pendulum attraction that rotates and sways. Don’t miss their newest ride, The Screature, but we warn you, it’s not for the faint-hearted.

The traditional carnival attractions like the carousel and dodgem are top-rated. For the little ones, there is a soft play area, a miniature ride, and an arcade. Even Hook-a-Duck is available!

That gets us to the end of the great list of the top theme parks in the UK. If you want to discover more things to do in the UK with your kids, check out our list of the best things to do in London with kids!

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