What's the best theme park in Britain?

February 27, 2023, 4:02 PM

Penciling in a trip to Great Britain this summer, and I - of course - want to include theme parks and attractions on my trip. They won't be the main purpose for this getaway, but I never want to pass the opportunity to visit a park when I am in the neighborhood.

So where should I go?

For those who live there, or who have visited recently, what attractions would you recommend for theme park fans visiting Britain? Thanks.

Replies (7)

February 27, 2023, 4:23 PM

I really enjoyed my visit to Thorpe Park. Some really enjoyable roller coasters and a nice setting; it's also pretty conveniently located if you're primarily visiting London and aren't renting a car. That's the primary reason I've yet to venture out to Alton Towers: Location.

Well, that and I always seem to be in London at the wrong time of year for both theme park visits and attending soccer matches.

Edited: February 28, 2023, 7:52 AM

We're going to be in England in just over a month, and already have reservations for Alton Towers and Thorpe Park. We were considering popping in to Chessington for the new Jumanji land, but they just announced today that it won't open until after our trip, so that's being replaced in our itinerary by Legoland Windsor.

We ended up purchasing Merlin Annual Passes for our trip, because in addition to the theme parks, the passes are good at tons of other attractions like the London Eye, Dungeons, Madame Tussauds, Warwick Castle, and many more.

A lot of the information and reviews I've seen about the 2 main theme parks (Thorpe and Alton Towers), the former is more like a Six Flags while the later sounds more like Busch Gardens. Both parks are opening new attractions this year that are rethemes of older rides with new coasters likely coming in 2024.

Since we are planning to have a car, we also looked at other parks around the country, but many are either small (Chessington and Drayton Manor), or are out of our range for this trip (Blackpool and Flamingo Land) as we'll be basing in Birmingham for the first half of the trip where we will have a car (going car-less while in London).

February 28, 2023, 1:01 PM

"In England in just over a month" .... that puts you there during Easter, I assume?

Well, good luck with that. All schools have 2 weeks off, and it's insanity ×10.

Weather will likely be crap too.

Just a few of the many delights of visiting my homeland.

I wish you well Russell.

February 28, 2023, 3:34 PM

Yeah, we're aware of Spring Break, but our timing is an unfortunate result of traveling with a teenager who wants to see a Spurs match.

FWIW, we're finding reservations for various attractions pretty easy to come by, and are planning on buying FastTrack at Alton Towers to make sure we can ride everything we want.

March 1, 2023, 7:31 AM

It's the long and winding country roads that lead to AT, which may prove to be more of a headache.

Without Nemesis, Smiler is the next best ride. Although my friends say Wicker Man is good as well.

If you're planning on visiting Warwick castle, take a couple hours on route to look around Kenilworth castle. It's a ruined castle, thanks to Cromwell, but lots of history associated with Elizabeth I, and it's usually not as manic as Warwick & Stratford.

I'm a little biased, as Kenilworth is my home town ... :), but I'll always visit when I go back. The views across the countryside are what England is all about.

Edited: March 1, 2023, 9:14 AM

Unquestionably Alton Towers for me, its one of my favorite parks even though they have only one world class coaster (Nemesis) and the rest are fairly mediocre.

Obviously being American, from Orlando where i'm surrounded by parks, and having been to all of our parks around the country way more than i'd like to admit...I feel that Alton Towers has a certain uniqueness to it. With the [actual] castle in the middle, the big lush gardens, everything being spread out, and no big coasters, it doesn't feel like the stereotypical park experience you get elsewhere. Like even then monorail ride from the parking lot to the park gates I found more enjoyable than MK's because of the forest and all the trees it just felt less of a manufactured experience and more of an adventure.

That being said I also have weird taste so take what I say with a grain of salt lol. The UK doesn't have any great parks other than AT, Thrope is OK I guess but if you compare it to major American parks it's nothing special, and Blackpool has some neat old coasters but I wouldn't say its a world class park.

Edited: March 1, 2023, 12:31 PM

Actually it's a stately home, but for a none Brit I suppose it's close enough ... ;)

The gardens at AT are beautiful, and well worth a leisurely stroll around. Especially in the early springtime.

For me, The Swarm is worth visiting TP just to ride that. Better than Gatekeeper by a country mile. Other than that, I agree ... TP is pretty blah.

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