The 10 Best theme parks

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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

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