The 10 Best theme parks

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Do you have a head for heights, a need for speed and just love hanging upside down? We've got just the thing...

1. Legoland, Berkshire

New attractions include Duplo Valley Splash & Play and the Legends of Chima 4D Movie. Also look out for the brand new Hero Factory, allowing children to build their own LEGO characters.

From £29.25 child and £24.20 adult, legoland.co.uk

2. Alton Towers, Staffordshire

The Smiler is the new ride to watch out for this year, although there are 50 others to choose from, along with two on-site hotels. The £18m ride is the world's first 14-loop rollercoaster, with added psychological effects including optical illusions and blinding lights.

From £29.25 child and £34.65 adult, altontowers.com

3. Thorpe Park, Surrey

The Swarm is Thorpe Park's newest ride – a rollercoaster where riders are dragged into a blind 127ft drop and which is definitely not for the fainthearted. Too far to travel? Stay at the all-new Crash Pad, with a sleepover, from £64 per person.

From £21.58 child and £24.99 adult, thorpepark.com

4. Flambards Experience, Cornwall

From the high clutches of The Shuttle space craft to the dizzying spin on The Thunderbolt Ride, thrill-seekers won't be disappointed at this lesser known theme park.

From £12.50 child and £17.95 adult, flambards.co.uk

5. Flamingo Land, Yorkshire

Includes Hero, the newly launched rollercoaster that puts riders in a flying position before swooping them around. There's also a zoo and holiday resort.

From £27 child and adult, flamingoland.co.uk

6. Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Lancashire

New for this year is Wallace & Gromit's Thrill-O-Matic, a £5.25m four-minute ride and the Hot Ice Show, as well as Poppy Cat at Nickelodeon Land. The Big Dipper has its 90th birthday this month.

From £26.99 child and £29.99 adult, blackpoolpleasurebeach.com

7. Chessington World of Adventures AND Zoo, Surrey

Zufari: Ride into Africa is new for this year, involving a journey on an off-road truck which features encounters with flamingos, giraffes, antelope and rhino.

From £20.88 child and adult £25.92, chessington.com

8. Oakwood Theme Park, Pembrokeshire

Oakwood is the only theme park in Wales and is home to Megafobia, voted the best ride in the UK and third best ride in the world by the Roller Coaster Club of Great Britain. New for this year is Neverland, a £4m family-themed area with 10 attractions.

From £13 child and £19 adults, oakwoodthemepark.co.uk

9. Paultons Park, Hampshire

More than 60 rides and attractions, as well as being home to Peppa Pig World. New for 2013 is a state-of-the-art 4D cinema with specially-designed moving chairs that coincide with the action on the big screen, complete with water sprays, leg ticklers and bubbles.

£22.50 for adults, paultonspark.co.uk

10. Drayton Manor, Staffordshire

Winston's Whistle-Stop Tour launched last month, with Winston taking passengers on a guided monorail tour around a themed track. There are plenty of rides too, including Apocalypse, which has been voted UK's scariest ride.

From £15 child and £20 adults, draytonmanor.co.uk

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
people
Life and Style
President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
science
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
tv
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
News
Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders were pictured embracing in 2012
people
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    C++ Software Engineer - Hounslow, West London - C++ - to £60K +

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Visitor Experience volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...

    Telesales Manager. Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Day In a Page

    A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

    A new Russian revolution

    Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
    Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
    Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

    Standing my ground

    If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

    Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

    The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
    The man who dared to go on holiday

    The man who dared to go on holiday

    New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

    The Guest List 2014

    Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
    Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

    Edinburgh Fringe 2014

    The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried