A day at the amusement park is an exciting notion for all, whether it be the young or old. From leg-wobbling heights to heart-dropping free falls, the UK is home to some of the best theme parks in the world.

With such a wide array of tempting choices, how do you select the best theme park to go to? – One that caters to both children and older individuals? Well, for all of our adrenaline junkies, we’ve got exciting news.

After some thorough research, we’ve compiled the best five theme parks in the UK to visit with your family, friends, and loved ones. Whether you’re looking to satisfy your need for an adrenaline rush or spend a day with the kids getting soaked on some rapids, UK theme parks have it all.

Keep reading for Belvilla’s selection of the best theme parks in the UK, in no specific order. Which one will be your next destination, and if you will be staying away, which Belvilla holiday home will you choose?

1. Alton Towers, Staffordshire

The Smiler rollercoaster at Alton Towers
The Smiler rollercoaster at Alton Towers

If you’re a regular theme park goer, you are probably familiar with Alton Towers, the largest theme park in England. Spreading over a whopping 910 acres, Alton Towers is also considered one of the best theme parks in the UK. The attraction boasts ten themed areas, 40+ rides, and entertainment galore – 20 family-friendly offerings (for those with young ones) and, best of all — 10 record-breaking rollercoasters.

All the adrenaline junkies adore Alton Towers for its lightning-fast rides, but that’s not the only best feature. Many admire the innovative and eye-capturing design and how the rollercoasters blend into the landscape. You can also find the first wooden rollercoaster built in the UK – The Wicker Man.

The theme park also hosts two of the most famous rollercoasters — Nemesis and Oblivion, They are icons amongst their kind.

You can hit speeds close to 100km/h on the Rita or take a trip on the new thriller recently installed – Gangsta Granny – The Ride. This new feature, which is born of David Walliams’ famous children’s book, features state-of-the-art special effects and cutting-edge animation inspired by Tony Ross’ artwork.

Another option is to shake it up a bit with rides like the Galactica – a virtual reality ride that takes you through outer space.

2. Thorpe Park, Surrey

Rollercoaster in Thorpe Park
Rollercoaster in Thorpe Park

Home to white knuckle rides and roller coasters based on horror films and TV shows, Thorpe Park is the perfect choice for anyone in search of that additional thrilling edge.

The theme park contains some of the tallest, fastest and scariest rides in all of Europe. Stealth takes you from 0 to 130km/h in an eye-watering 1.9 seconds. Other rises like SAW will have you screaming until your throat is sore with drops of 100 degrees, while you’ll need an extra, dry pair of clothes if you want to ride the Tidal Wave!

But Thorpe Park isn’t just a theme park reserved for thrill-seekers only. You can take a more leisurely trip on its massive water park and enjoy live shows to calm down after your death-defying adventures.

3. Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Lancashire

People enjoying the Pepsi Max Big One rollercoaster
People enjoying the Pepsi Max Big One rollercoaster

First opened to the public in 1986, Blackpool Pleasure Beach (BPB) is home to 10 magnificent rollercoasters, including the famous Valhalla — which won in the ‘Best Water Ride’ category in the UK Theme Park Awards 2020 — The Big one, Revolution, Ice Blast, and the Big Dipper. Last year, BPB celebrated 125 years of providing entertainment for the public, and it’s easy to see why.

But the star of the show for kids is BPB’s Nickelodeon Land, the only one in the UK. Kids can play and interact with their favourite characters from Nickelodeon TV shows such as PAW Patrol, Spongebob Squarepants, Jimmy Neutron, and many more.

With entertainment available for the whole family, Blackpool Pleasure Beach is the perfect theme park. Other than going on stomach-churning rides, visitors can watch world-class performances, discover Ripley’s Believe it or Not, or even play Adventure Golf. It boasts over six million visitors annually, with something for every age group.

4. Drayton Manor, Staffordshire

People on a loop-de-loop rollercoaster ride
People on a loop-de-loop rollercoaster ride

Although slightly smaller than the first three theme parks, Drayton Manner does not lack thrilling experiences, such as the five-sided 54-metre free fall drop tower – Apocalypse. This family-owned theme park is also proud to host Europe’s only stand-up coaster, The Shockwave. If you’re ready to take your thrill-seeking to another level, you should definitely visit Drayton Manor!

Other than rides and rollercoasters, this theme park also has fun-loving attractions for the younger ones, such as Thomas Land — filled with Thomas the Tank Engine activities, and a full-fledged 15-acre zoo. The zoo is home to Sumatran tigers. Located on the grounds of the former Drayton Manor in Staffordshire, UK, the theme park covers approximately 180 acres and has around 1.5 million visitors annually.

Drayton Manor also recently opened a new nautical-themed area called Adventure Cove in July 2021. So if you’re looking for a place to cool down this summer, head down to Drayton Manor and experience their new attraction, brimming with barrels, boats, and seafaring-style Rapid Rivers rides.

5. Legoland Windsor Resort, Berkshire

People looking at a miniature lego park made of 40 million Lego bricks
People looking at a miniature lego park made of 40 million Lego bricks

Even mentioning Legoland in front of the kids will elicit an excited response, and it has all the building blocks for a truly memorable family day out.

The Legoland Windsor Resort is a real treat for children and offers more than 55 rides. Legoland Windsor also opened the £20m Lego Mythica: World of Mythical Creatures – an immersive land with rides, attractions, and fantastic experiences, including the UK’s first flying theatre ride —Flight of the Sky Lion in May 2021.

Experience the 150-acre adventure park, indulge in the Lego City Driving school, or hunt for ancient treasures in the Kingdom of the Pharaohs. Legoland has everything you have ever dreamed of doing as a kid and more.

Theme parks are great holiday fun for all the family, especially the kids. Whichever park you choose, you’re sure to find a Belvilla holiday home within easy reach.

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