Planning a day of thrills and excitement? Looking for an adventure with your friends or family? Look no further than the top 12 best UK theme parks! From iconic attractions to award-winning zoos, we’ve got you covered. So buckle up and get ready to explore the most thrilling, family-friendly, and scariest theme parks the UK has to offer.
Let’s take a look at the UK’s most popular theme parks:
- Top 12 Best UK Theme Parks
Top 12 Best UK Theme Parks
1. Alton Towers
Alton Towers is not only the largest theme park in the UK but also one of the most diverse, set in over 500 acres of picturesque Staffordshire countryside. With ten themed areas, including the enchanting CBeebies Land for younger guests and the terrifying Scariest Theme Park area for adrenaline junkies, Alton Towers hosts over six million visitors annually. This thrilling theme park is famous for its record-breaking roller coasters, making it a top pick for thrill seekers. The park also boasts a themed hotel and a forest national park nearby, catering to guests who wish to extend their stay. This is one of the best theme parks in the UK.
- Wicker Man – a wooden roller coaster that combines fire and wood elements for a unique experience
- The Smiler – the world’s first 14-loop roller coaster, featuring a mix of psychological and physical thrills
- Galactica – a flying roller coaster that takes you on a virtual reality space adventure, offering a truly immersive experience
- Congo River Rapids – a water ride through jungle-like scenery that’s perfect for all the family
2. Thorpe Park
Located just outside of London, Thorpe Park offers a wide range of exciting rides and attractions, making it a favorite amongst thrill seekers. The park has themed areas such as The Walking Dead: The Ride and Derren Brown’s Ghost Train, providing uniquely immersive experiences for guests. In addition to its iconic coasters, Thorpe Park also features live events and seasonal attractions, such as Fright Nights during Halloween, ensuring there’s always something new to explore.
- Stealth – one of the UK’s fastest roller coasters, reaching speeds of up to 80 mph in just 1.9 seconds
- SAW – The Ride – a horror-themed roller coaster inspired by the SAW movie franchise, featuring a 100ft vertical drop
- Tidal Wave – a water ride that will leave you soaked and exhilarated, perfect for a hot summer day
- Swarm – a winged roller coaster with near-miss elements, providing a thrilling experience for riders
3. Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Blackpool Pleasure Beach is one of the best beachfront theme and amusement parks in the UK, offering a mix of classic attractions and modern thrill rides. This amusement park has something for everyone, from Nickelodeon Land for younger guests to the adrenaline-pumping roller coasters for thrill-seekers. The park’s iconic skyline, featuring the Big One roller coaster and the Hot Air Balloon ride, is instantly recognizable and contributes to the nostalgic seaside atmosphere.
- The Big One – the UK’s tallest roller coaster, standing at 235ft and reaching speeds of up to 74 mph
- Valhalla – an award-winning dark water ride that takes you through fire, ice, and water elements
- ICON – a multi-launch roller coaster that twists and turns through the park, interacting with other rides
- Avalanche – a bobsleigh-themed roller coaster, offering a unique and thrilling experience for riders
4. Chessington World of Adventures
Experience the perfect blend of thrills and family fun at Chessington World of Adventures. This combined theme park and the zoo features the Gruffalo River Ride Adventure, the Tiger Rock log flume, and over 1,000 animals at the award-winning Chessington Zoo. The park is divided into ten themed lands, such as the Land of the Dragons and Wild Asia, each offering unique rides and attractions. Chessington also hosts seasonal events and live shows, catering to guests of all ages.
- Vampire – a family-friendly suspended roller coaster that swoops and dives through a haunted forest
- Zufari: Ride into Africa! – a safari-style adventure where guests embark on a journey to see exotic animals up close
- Dragon’s Fury – a spinning roller coaster with unpredictable twists and turns
- Room on the Broom – A Magical Journey – a walkthrough attraction based on the popular children’s book
5. Drayton Manor Park
Home to Thomas Land and the award-winning zoo, Drayton Manor Park is perfect for families with younger children offering many different rides, making it one of the most family friendly theme parks in the UK. With over 100 rides and attractions, including two family rollercoaster rides, there’s plenty to keep everyone entertained. The park also features a 15-acre conservation area, home to various animal species and the impressive Tamarin Trail. Drayton Manor’s live events and seasonal attractions, such as the Magical Christmas experience, make it a popular choice year-round.
- Shockwave – Europe’s only stand-up roller coaster, offering a unique and thrilling ride experience
- Stormforce 10 – a water ride that takes you on a thrilling rescue mission, featuring three drops and plenty of splashes
- Maelstrom – a giant pendulum ride that swings and spins guests through the air
- Thomas Land – an area dedicated to the beloved tank engine, featuring 25 themed rides and attractions
6. Paultons Park
Paultons Park is the ultimate family-friendly destination, home to Peppa Pig World and over 70 attractions. With a variety of rides designed for younger children, Paultons Park is perfect for all the family. In addition to the popular Peppa Pig World, the park also features a prehistoric-themed area called Lost Kingdom, where guests can enjoy dinosaur-themed rides and attractions.
- Lost Kingdom – a dinosaur-themed area with exciting rides like the Velociraptor roller coaster and the Dino Chase
- The Queen’s Flying Coach Ride – a monorail-style ride that takes you on a tour of Peppa Pig World, offering stunning views of the park
- Velociraptor – a family-friendly roller coaster in the Lost Kingdom that takes guests on a high-speed adventure
- Wave Runner – a spinning water ride that guarantees a splashing good time
7. Legoland Windsor Resort
Build lasting memories at Legoland Windsor Resort, a popular theme park that celebrates the world of LEGO. With over 55 rides and attractions, including the Vikings River Splash and the Ninjago The Ride, Legoland is perfect for families with children aged 2-12. The park also features a Pirate Falls water ride and an on-site SEA LIFE Centre, offering even more fun and entertainment for the whole family. Additionally, the park offers themed accommodations, making it easy to extend your stay and explore everything Legoland has to offer.
- The Dragon – a family-friendly roller coaster that takes you on a journey through a LEGO castle
- Miniland – a model village made from millions of LEGO bricks, depicting famous landmarks from around the world
- LEGO City Driving School – where kids can learn to drive their own LEGO car and earn their LEGO driving license
- Legoland Express – a train ride that takes guests on a scenic tour of the park
8. Flamingo Land Resort
Located in North Yorkshire, Flamingo Land Resort is a combined theme park, zoo, and holiday resort. With its mix of family-friendly rides and thrill rides, it caters to visitors of all ages. The park is also home to an award-winning zoo, where guests can enjoy close encounters with animals from around the world. The on-site holiday village offers a range of accommodations, including luxury lodges and holiday homes, making it easy to extend your stay.
- Hero – a unique flying roller coaster that gives riders the sensation of flying like a superhero
- Kumali – a suspenseful inverted roller coaster featuring loops, twists, and a cobra roll
- Mumbo Jumbo – once the world’s steepest roller coaster, offering a thrilling experience with a 112-degree drop
- Zookeeper for a Day – an immersive experience where guests can shadow a zookeeper and learn about animal care
9. Oakwood Theme Park
Experience the excitement of Wales’ biggest theme park at Oakwood Theme Park. This park offers a mix of thrilling roller coasters and family-friendly attractions, making it a great choice for a fun day out. The park features various themed areas, such as Neverland and Spooky Street, offering a diverse range of attractions for guests to enjoy. Oakwood also hosts seasonal events, like the popular After Dark event, which features extended opening hours and a fireworks display.
- Megafobia – a classic wooden roller coaster, consistently ranked among the world’s best
- Speed – a thrilling roller coaster with a 97-degree drop and multiple inversions
- Drenched – a water ride with a heart-stopping plunge that leaves riders soaked
- Treetops Coaster – a family-friendly roller coaster that takes guests on a journey through the treetops
10. Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach
Situated on the coast of Norfolk, Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach offers a range of exciting rides and attractions, from classic fairground rides to modern roller coasters. The park also offers a nostalgic seaside experience, with its amusement arcades and sea life centre. Its beachfront location makes it the perfect destination for a family day out by the sea.
- Roller Coaster – a classic wooden roller coaster that has been thrilling visitors since 1932
- Sky Drop – a freefall tower ride that offers stunning views of the coastline before plunging riders to the ground
- Log Flume – a water ride with a thrilling final drop, perfect for cooling off on a hot day
- Family Star – a spinning coaster that offers fun for the whole family
11. Adventure Island
Located on Southend’s seafront, Adventure Island is a free-to-enter theme park with a diverse range of attractions, making it perfect for all the family. The park features over 40 rides, from thrilling roller coasters to classic fairground rides, ensuring an enjoyable experience for visitors of all ages. Its seaside location and the nearby Southend Pier add to the nostalgic charm of the park.
- Rage – a thrilling roller coaster featuring a vertical lift hill, a vertical drop, and a loop
- Axis – a rotating pendulum ride that takes guests high into the air, offering stunning views of the coastline
- Time Machine – an exciting and disorientating flat ride that spins guests in various directions
- Dragon’s Claw – a family-friendly spinning ride that offers twists and turns for a fun experience
12. Gulliver’s World Valley
Part of the Gulliver’s family of theme parks, Gulliver’s Valley is specially designed for families with young children aged 2-13. Located in South Yorkshire, this park offers a variety of themed areas, including Smugglers Wharf, Western World, and the Lost World of the Living Dinosaurs. Gulliver’s Valley also features an indoor water play area, ensuring fun for the whole family regardless of the weather.
- Apache Falls – a water ride that takes guests on a thrilling journey through a western-themed landscape
- Cyclosaur – a spinning ride that lets guests control the height of their seat as they soar through the air
- Jungle River Ride – a family-friendly boat ride through a jungle-themed area, featuring animatronic animals
- T-Rex Tower – a vertical drop ride that offers a thrilling experience in the heart of the Lost World
These theme parks, along with the ones mentioned previously, offer a variety of rides and attractions to cater to different age groups and preferences. From thrilling roller coasters to family-friendly areas, these parks are perfect for a fun day out or a memorable holiday experience. Be sure to check out the best theme park websites for seasonal events and special offers.