Thrilling theme parks can be the best way to create amazing memories, yet it can be hard to keep track of which ones are best to take the family to. To ensure you find a hidden treasure of a park, this short guide will give you options to keep the whole family smiling, with locations across the UK. Most of the theme parks found below are situated near a Parkdean Resorts Holiday Park and many are operational all year round. So wherever you're staying and whatever the season - all your family need do is head to a park, then hold tight and enjoy the ride!
Flambards is pretty well known to regular visitors to the Cornwall area but often overlooked when some visitors are planning day trips. One of the most exceptional things about Flambards is it can be enjoyed in all kinds of weather. On clear, sunny days you can enjoy the Cornish countryside in a different way as the Skyraker will spin you high up, by being buzzed around by the Hornet rollercoaster or even taking a splash on the Log Flume. Rainy days aren’t a problem as the Victorian village, aviation experience and many other historical attractions are indoors. A lot of the bigger rides are height restricted but smaller children can be accompanied to enjoy the experience too.
Don’t Miss: Skyraker
The BIG Sheep
Despite the unusual name, this is one of Devon’s largest all-weather attractions. This means most of the rides are accessible at any time of the year. In case you are wondering, the name comes from their famous racing sheep, which is also a spectacle in itself. Likewise there are rides including a traditional twister, tractor driving, piggy pull-alongs, and the famous ‘BIG One’ rollercoaster. Formerly of 'Metro Land' in Gateshead, The BIG one is Devon’s biggest ride reaching 13 metres in height, with a track that stretches 400 metres long. If rides aren’t for your family: there is an indoor animal barn, an indoor playground, live shows, and archery. For the big kids there’s a climbing wall, mountain boarding and ‘jumping pillows’. The BIG Sheep is just a 45 minute drive from Ruda Holiday Park and only a 13 minute drive from Bideford Bay Holiday Park. With so much fun and excitement for all the family you'll definitely want to visit again and again.
Don’t Miss: The BIG One
Courtesy of The Big Sheep
Down the road from Great Yarmouth is the ‘hidden treasure’ that is Pleasurewood Hills. 50 acres of coastal land filled with fun. Thrill-seeking visitors might want to give ‘Wipeout’ a go, which is a 50mph rollercoaster with a lot of twists and turns, and does the whole thing again – backwards. For those who aren’t ready for high-speed white-knuckle rides - you might want to try the family friendly rollercoaster ‘Marble Madness’ (pictured) or more traditional teacups, pirate ship and kite flyer. Pleasurewood Hills caters for the very young members of the family too, not only do visitors under one metre get in free, but there are smaller rides like the ‘Mini Twister’ and ‘Funky Flyers’ which are just as exciting as the bigger rides. All under 12s must be accompanied by an adult and height restrictions may apply, so smaller children may need someone with them too on certain rides. The fun doesn’t stop there as there are also great sea lion and parrot shows as well as the brand-new ‘Pirate High Dive’ display.
Don’t miss: Marble Madness
Ever dream of driving a digger as a child? The Diggerland parks around the country have brought this dream to life for all ages, with many rides and attractions based on construction machinery. This includes rides like ‘Spindizzy’ and the ‘Sky Shuttle’ which are made from converted diggers, and the opportunity to actually operate JCB vehicles. Diggerland Durham is on a former construction site, lending a more authentic feel to the digger experience. If this isn’t enough, there’s also a chance to drive Police SUVs, JCB ‘robots’, and purpose built ‘dumper trucks’. There are a few different Diggerland parks around the UK (and soon to be USA) but the Durham theme park is the best to visit on a holiday in the Northumberland and County Durham. There is plenty for all the family to do as most rides are designed for younger visitors as well. For over 17’s there are also individual experience days including JCB racing and ‘monster digging’. The parks are only open weekends, holidays and selected weeks in the year – so best to check their website first.
Don’t miss: Spindizzy
Courtesy of Diggerland, Durham
Oakwood Theme Park
Nearest park: Pendine Sands (17.8 miles)
Recently celebrating its 20th anniversary is Oakwood - a theme park designed with the younger generation in mind. However, there are plenty of thrill rides in the park such as the 95 kph ‘Speed’ rollercoaster, the log flume known as ‘Drenched’ and of course, ‘Megafobia’ (check out the video below), which has been voted as one of the world’s top wooden roller coasters since it launched in 1996. A haunted house, the indoor play area, and the magical ‘Journey To Neverland’ make this a perfect day to create amazing memories as a family. Oakwood is open until 10pm on certain nights of the year, which is sometimes followed by a fireworks and laser display. The late openings also include stunt shows and illuminated ‘after dark’ versions of the rides. Safety is very important to Oakwood so some rides may be closed due to maintenance. Check their website before visiting to avoid disappointment. As there aren’t many ‘big’ rides this is one for families with younger children.
Don’t Miss: Megafobia
Nearest park: St. Margaret’s Bay (21.2 miles)
Possibly the UK’s most trendy theme park, recently re-imagined by Hemingway Design, Dreamland incorporates old with new – giving families the retro theme park experience. Originally opened in 1920, Dreamland has undergone a multi-million pound makeover in 2015. Recommended for families with older children or teenagers who can appreciate how ‘cool’ this park really is. That being said, Dreamland does cover all ages as the park uses traditional ‘fun fair’ rides with very few restrictions. Check online before your visit as the vintage structures need some care to operate safely. The park is free to enter but tokens are required for all rides. Alternatively wristband packages are available to order online. Big kids and teens will also enjoy the roller disco, late night events, and ‘Twilight Sessions’ (check online for listings) which offers live music and DJ sets from the biggest names in music. For under 8’s there is the ‘Octopus’s Garden’ which recreates the Margate seaside experience with a soft play and indoor sand pit. This is a great way to create amazing memories as a family while visiting the Kent area.
Don’t Miss: Kiss Me Quick
Green Wood Forest Park
Nearest park: Ty Mawr (31.6 miles)
Voted as North Wales’ ‘best family attraction’ for many years – Green Wood Forest Park combines all the excitement of a theme park with a stunning woodland setting. This includes the Green Dragon – the world’s only people powered roller coaster. Children can whizz around the park in the pedal-powered ‘moon karts’, slide down the 70 metre sledge run, and jump on the giant air pillow. There’s also a chance for the young ones discover the natural environment in unique ways such as the boardwalk maze, the ‘jungle boats’, or climbing web. As a family it is a great way to create amazing memories together by taking part in den building and even admiring the views of Snowdon. This a great alternative to traditional theme parks, especially for those who love the great outdoors and exploring forest lands. Ideal for families with young children.
Don’t Miss: The Green Dragon.