Theme Park Organisations

  • BALPPA. The British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions is the trade organisation representing the UK amusement park industry.
  • Roller Coaster Club of Great Britain. A club for thrill seekers. Membership includes, amongst other things, discounts to amusement parks, discounts on club trips and a quarterly magazine called Airtime.
  • European Coaster Club. Another UK-based club for white knuckle addicts. Offers a very similar package to the above club but the magazine, First Drop, offers more in-depth coverage with articles and news. 

 

The UK Parks: A to Z of Official Web sites

  • Adventure Wonderland. Formerly the Alice in Wonderland Family park, Adventure Wonderland features seven acres of themed parkland near Bournemouth Airport, with children's rides, activities and a huge maze.
  • Alton Towers. The UK's most famous theme park includes well-known attractions such as Nemesis, Oblivion and Air, with a whole host of rides for all the family. One of the first modern theme parks, and still the best. 
  • Blackgang Chine. This long-established Isle of Wight theme park has now installed rides - including a roller coaster - but its fantasy walk-throughs are the highlight. This enchanting theme park is located on a landslip, and this is part of its charm. It has slowly retreated up the hillside over the years as the old parts of the park disappear into the sea. 
  • Chessington World of Adventures. Formerly a zoo, this was developed into "London's theme park" by the Tussauds Group in the late 1980s. It is now packed full of well-themed areas, although the park's development has been somewhat constrained by its location in the Green Belt. Aimed fairly and squarely at the family market.
  • Crealy. Website for the original Crealy theme park near Exeter, Devon, and the new Crealy Great Adventure Park near Newquay, Cornwall. 
  • Drayton Manor Park. One of the few theme parks in Britain to dare to take on the might of Alton Towers, and it is doing a great job. This independent, family-owned, Tamworth-based park has benefited from a continuous programme of investment over the past few years, which has seen rides like Shockwave (stand-up roller coaster) and Apocalypse (tower ride) added. Also features a zoo. 
  • Diggerland. An adventure park where children and adults can drive real diggers and so much more. Features Diggerland versions of famous theme park rides. Now at four locations: Devon (Cullompton), Durham (Langley Park), Kent (Medway Valley), Yorkshire (Castleford).
  • Flambards Experience. Established nearly 30 years ago as the Cornwall Aircraft Park the Flambards Experience is one of the most popular days out in Cornwall. Not only does the Theme Park host a range of thrill rides, there is also the Flambards Victorian Village and Britain in the Blitz indoor attractions.
  • Flamingo Land. Located at Malton in North Yorkshire, this popular park developed from a zoo. The park has a huge collection of rides, and has recently invested in new themed attractions, including the Lost River Ride and Velocity. The website includes information about staying at the adjoining Holiday Village.
  • Gullivers Theme Parks. This chain of theme parks aimed at younger children now comprises three theme parks in Matlock Bath, Warrington and Milton Keynes. Also at Milton Keynes is Eco Park and at Warrington is the indoor Splash Zone.
  • Jungleland. Indoor play centre at Telford with children's rides and climbing equipment. Operated by Wonderland Theme Park.
  • Legoland. On the site of the former Windsor Safari Park, Legoland is a great day out for children. The Web site has all the basic information that is required, and links to other Legoland parks.
  • Lightwater Valley. Home of the Ultimate, formerly the world's longest roller coaster (and a very unique ride). This rural park, in the heart of the North Yorkshire countryside near Ripon, combines a beautiful location with a great selection of family rides.
  • Loudoun Castle. Scottish theme park in fantastic location, set around the ruins of an imposing castle. The park sadly closed in 2010.
  • M&D's. M&D's is billed as "Scotland's Theme Park" and has a huge selection of rides, most of which are travelling rides.
  • Oakwood. Although somewhat distant from the UK's main population centres (it is in South West Wales), this park is well worth a visit. It is home to Megafobia, the first major wooden roller coaster to be built in Britain for decades, and it is a highly-rated ride. The park has also invested in other attractions since then, including the spectacular Hydro water ride. 
  • Paulton's Park. The South's Family Theme Park includes roller coasters, log flume and a range of family and children's rides. The park has expanded rapidly over recent years, most recently with the launch of Peppa Pig World.
  • Pleasure Island. Located at the seaside resort of Cleethorpes on the site of an old zoo, Pleasure Island is a first-rate theme park, and was previously owned by Flamingo Land. This little-known park, which has no 'claim to fame', does have a huge range of theme park attractions that should keep the family happy.
  • Pleasurewood Hills. Opened in 1983, this 71-acre 'American' theme park has over 50 rides and attractions, aimed mainly at the family market.
  • Robin Hill. This Isle of Wight theme park has been established since the late 1960s. Under the same ownership as Blackgang Chine, it is a mixture of rides, attractions and beautiful countryside.
  • Sundown Adventureland. Children's theme park near Rampton, aimed fairly and squarely at the under-10s. The best rides are the Boozy Barrel Boat Ride and the new Tractor Ride.
  • Thorpe Park. One of the UK's first purpose-built theme parks, on the site of an old quarry just inside the M25, Thorpe Park is now part of the Merlin Entertainments Group. Major rides include Tidal Wave, a huge water ride, and four spectacular roller coasters: Collossus (the world's first 10-inversion roller coaster), Nemesis Inferno, Stealth and Saw.
  • Twinlakes Park. Now owned by Woodlands Leisure Park, this small children's park at Melton Mowbray features numerous attractions including Shark Bite drop tower and bumper boats.
  • Watermouth Castle and Family Theme Park. Located near Ilfracombe, this historic Castle features a fantasy theme park, with rides and walk-through attractions.
  • Wonderland. Enchanting fantasy theme park based in Telford, with fairytale characters, dinosaurs, rides and a maze, amongst the many attractions.
  • Wheelgate Adventure Park. 30-acre fun park in Nottinghamshire features children's roller coaster, miniature railway, maze and other attractions.

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