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16 Best Theme Parks in the UK: The Top Adventure Attraction Resorts

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Looking for the best theme parks the UK has to offer?

When it comes to rollercoaster parks and fairground rides, the UK offers a diverse mix of exciting options for all ages, at numerous parks and attractions all around the country.

From the Highlands to the coasts of England, thrilling rides and sweet treats await. This list details some of the most popular and time-tested theme parks across Britain.

With options for adventure-seekers, families, and everyone in between, these parks promise a day filled with memories. A mix of old-school classics and new, high-tech favorites, the following parks offer a plethora of rides, games, shows, and more.

You can take it from me – having grown up in the UK, I’ve been to most of the theme parks on this list myself – and – being an avid thrill-seeker, what you see below are the best this country has to offer.

Planning your trip? Use my favorite resources!

🏨 Accommodation: I recommend Booking.com
✈️ Flights: for the cheapest flights, I use Skyscanner
🚗 Rental Car: I recommend Discover Cars
🛡️ Travel Insurance: for the best deals I rely on SafetyWing

You’ll find the iconic big three (or four) on this list as well as other well-known and much-loved parks and attractions, plus you’ll discover some theme parks you’ll likely never heard of.

So if you’re a thrill fanatic, read on and be sure to add these recommendations to your bucket list.

16 Best Theme Parks in the UK Ranked (2024 Edition)

A complete guide to the top theme parks near me, based on highest rated theme parks in the UK by reviews, including some of the best theme parks in Europe and the world.

🎢 Quick Guide: Top 5 Best Theme Parks in the UK

👉 Short on time? Here’s a quick guide to help you decide which theme park to visit based on your preferences and thrill-level:

🥇 #1: Alton Towers (Staffordshire) – most thrilling rollercoasters at UK theme parks

🥈 #2: Thorpe Park (Surrey) – newest theme park rides and attractions in the UK

🥉 #3: Chessington World of Adventures (Surrey) – best theme park for families

👶 #4: Legoland Windsor (Berkshire) – tops list of best theme parks in the UK for toddlers and young children

🏅 #5: Drayton Manor (Staffordshire) – tops list of best theme parks near Birmingham for families

Best theme parks in the UK for adults

Starting off with the best all-round theme parks in England for families and adults, with a focus on the most intense and thrilling rides that are more suitable for adults:

#1: Alton Towers, Staffordshire:

Alton Towers, located in Staffordshire, England, is not just any old theme park – it was awarded the best theme park in England and best day out in England by travel trends surveys, simply put: it’s the penultimate of them all!


Alton Towers has been attracting visitors since it was a former country estate, and now it’s the biggest and best theme park in the United Kingdom. This place is so good it’ll blow your socks off!

But let’s cut to the chase – what makes Alton Towers the cream of the crop of theme parks in the UK? For starters, there is something to cater to everyone’s taste. Thrill-seekers can enjoy world-renowned rides like Nemesis, Oblivion, Galactica, TH13TEEN, Rita, and The Smiler.

I mean, check out this Alton Towers Nemesis ride review:

“The ride keeps you on your toes with numerous foot choppers where you feel like you’re certain to hit the rock, tunnels, station, and even the monster. It is a remarkable ride that keeps the excitement coming until the end.” 

Meanwhile, those who prefer to keep their feet on the ground can explore the beautiful gardens and unique attractions. No wonder it’s been named the best of all the UK theme parks – it’s a proper belter!

🎢 Hottest Alton Towers rides: Nemesis, Rita, TH13TEEN, Oblivion, The Smiler, Galactica, Wicker Man, and Gangsta Granny: The Ride.Alton Towers is also home to the only Cbeebies Land in the UK.

£68 at the door, but £34 on above link!
To save time in line, buy in advance (and help you budget for the day).

#2: Thorpe Park, Surrey:

Thorpe Park, one of the UK’s most popular theme parks, and the best of all theme parks down south, is definitely the place to be for a screaming good time!


With over 30 thrilling rides and attractions, Thorpe Park is one of the UK’s top theme parks, and arguably the best of all the theme parks with water rides and slides in the UK.

Rollercoasters at Thorpe Park for adrenaline junkies include Stealth, which is England’s fastest roller coaster, reaching speeds of 130 kph in just 1.9 seconds, and The Swarm, a winged coaster that reaches a height of 128ft and a speed of 55mph.

Aside from the rides, Thorpe Park also has some amazing events throughout the year, like their Fright Nights during Halloween season.

With all being said, Thorpe Park is an absolute must-visit park for anyone looking for a “rollercoaster of emotions” and a truly memorable day.

🎢 Hottest Thorpe Park rides: Colossus, SAW: The Ride, Nemesis Inferno, Stealth, The Swarm, The Walking Dead: The Ride, and Derren Brown’s Ghost Train.
Download your Thorpe park Map PDF here.
Tickets for Thorpe Park: £55 at the gate, £37 on the link below.

Book in advance and save 33% on the gate price!

#3: Chessington World of Adventures, Surrey:

Fancy a trip to the best theme park AND zoo UK? Chessington World of Adventures features an absolutely cracking range of rides and attractions, and a zoo with over 1,000 animals.


Chessington World of Adventures Resort is an extraordinary place to be! This theme park in Surrey has over 40 rides and attractions, a zoo with over 1,000 animals, and a SEA LIFE Centre.

It’s a bloomin’ good time for the whole family. You can spin on KOBRA in Wild Asia, soar on Vampire in the Wild Woods, and see giraffes, rhinos, and flamingos on ZUFARI: Ride into Africa! But be careful not to get soaked on Scorpion Express or Rameses Revenge!

If you’re looking for something a little more chill, you can visit the Trail of the Kings and meet some lions and gorillas. Or take a relaxing ride on the boats in the Land of the Dragons.

🎢 Hottest Chessington World rides: Vampire, Tomb Blaster, Kobra, Dragon’s Fury, Tiger Rock, Zufari, and The Gruffalo River Ride Adventure.

Chessington World of Adventures tickets and prices: £36+ (save 31% by booking on the link above)

#4: Drayton Manor, Staffordshire:

Located in Drayton Bassett, Staffordshire, Drayton Manor is a great choice of theme park for families that’s home to a range of thrilling rides and fun-filled adventures as well as a zoo on-site.


With over 100 rides and attractions, it’s one of the best family-friendly theme parks in England and hosts around 1.1 million people each year.

Drayton Manor spans over an impressive 180 acres of land and is best known for being home to the multi-million dollar Thomas Land: Europe’s only Thomas and Friends themed attraction, and is massively popular with visitors.

But it wasn’t always like this. The park’s grand mansion, Drayton Manor, was built in 1831 for Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet, and was the family seat of the Peel lineage up until the 1920s.

🎢 Hottest Drayton Manor Park rides: Stormforce 10, Shockwave, Apocalypse, Air Race, and Accelerator. Also home to Europe’s first Thomas Land with 17 Thomas the Tank Engine-themed rides for kids.
🎟️ Drayton Manor ticket prices: £24.50+

Best theme parks for kids and families

Next up, the following are the overall best UK theme parks for toddlers and children:

#5: Legoland Windsor Resort, Berkshire:

Legoland Windsor Resort is a place where kids can let their imaginations run wild and their creativity shine like a star in the sky.


Located in Windsor, Berkshire, Legoland is entirely themed around the Lego brand and offers over 55 interactive rides, live shows, building workshops, and driving schools.

With its mixture of Lego-themed models and rides, Legoland Windsor Resort is a brick-tacular place that is sure to bring out the inner child in anyone.

From building workshops to rollercoasters, there’s something for everyone at this theme park dedicated to children. And if you want the ultimate Legoland experience, you can stay over at the new Legoland Windsor Resort Hotel right in the middle of the park.

Legoland Windsor rides for toddlers include DUPLO Dino Coaster, DUPLO Train, Fairy Tale Brook, L-Drivers, Coastguard HQ, and Balloon School to name a few.

Considered the best theme park for kids near London, Legoland Windsor Resort is not merely a place for kids to have fun, it’s also a place for them to learn and develop their skills.

🎢 Hottest rides at Legoland Windsor: The Dragon, DUPLO Dino Coaster, Driving School, Laser Raiders, Vikings’ River Splash, LEGO NINJAGO The Ride, Pirate Falls, and LEGO City Deep Sea Adventure.

Tickets for Legoland Windsor: £43 (save 26% on above link)

#6: Cbeebies Land (at Alton Towers)

Let’s talk about Cbeebies Land, located exclusively at Alton Towers! This place is especially amazing for families with little ones. It’s actually part of Alton Towers theme park, but since Cbeebies Land is so big and popular, it deserves its own place as one of the best family theme parks UK.

cbeebies land

Cbeebies Land has got all sorts of shows and interactive experiences that your kiddos will go crazy for. From Big Fun Show Time to meeting your favorite In The Night Garden characters like Iggle Piggle and Upsy Daisy, there’s never a dull moment. And let’s not forget about the Teletubbies Big Band Live show – it’s a real banger!

If you’re on a budget, opt for the Parent and Toddler Pass, available on selected dates for just £25 for one adult and toddler under 5. And the best part? Under 3s get in free every day – cha-ching!

🎢 Hottest rides at Cbeebies Land: Octonaughts Rollercoaster Adventure, Go Jetters Vroomster Zoom Ride, Peter Rabbit Hippity Hop, Andy’s Adventures Dinosaur Dig, and Hey Duggees Big Adventure Badge.
Tickets for Cbeebies Land: Free within Alton Towers
🎟️ (Buy Alton Towers tickets here:)

➤ For East Midlands days out, here’s my 20 Family-Friendly Things to Do in Derby, and 17 Best Things to Do in Nottingham

#7: Flamingo Land, North Yorkshire:

Looking for the best theme parks Yorkshire has to offer? With 52 attractions and 9 thrill rides, Flamingo Land is easily one of the best UK theme parks. In 2022, it unveiled a new rollercoaster called Sik, featuring 5 different types of inversion, including a 25-meter loop.

flamingo land

Established in 1959 by cinema entrepreneur Edwin Pentland Hick, it started off as The Yorkshire Zoological Gardens and is now one of the country’s leading theme parks, and definitely one of the best theme parks with animal attractions in the UK.

Another reason to visit: Flamingo Land is also an award-winning zoo, meaning you can get up close and personal with flamingos and other fascinating animals.

🎢 Hottest rides at Flamingo Land: Mumbo Jumbo, Velocity, Pterodactyl, Kumali, Hero, spinning Twistosaurus, and The Wet and Wild Splash Battle.
🎟️ Flamingo Land ticket prices: £33+

#8: Paultons Park (and Peppa Pig World), Hampshire:

Let me tell you all about Paultons Park, where you’ll discover the iconic Peppa Pig World! A family-friendly theme park located in the gorgeous New Forest National Park in Hampshire, it’s packed with over 70 rides and attractions, it’s the ultimate playground for both kids and adults alike.

16 Best Theme Parks in the UK: The Top Adventure Attraction Resorts 1

The real star of the show though is Peppa Pig World, a UK exclusive with 9 rides and attractions based on the beloved children’s show. Peppa Pig World rides and attractions include Peppa’s Big Balloon Ride, Cat-O-Pillar Coaster and more – your kiddo will certainly feel like they’re part of the piggy family!

And if the weather isn’t on your side, no worries – there’s a large indoor soft play zone to keep the little ones entertained, making it one of the best children’s indoor theme parks in the UK for rainy days.

🎢 Hottest rides at Paulton’s Park: Peppa Pig’s Big Balloon Ride, Cat-O-Pillar Coaster, Digger Ride, Storm Chaser, and George’s Dinosaur Adventure.
Ticket prices for Paultons Park: £74+. Children under 1m tall go free.

#9: Crealy Theme Park & Resort, Devon:

Voted the best Family Attraction of the year in Southwest England, Crealy Adventure park & resort is home to more than 60 rides and attractions, interactive and interesting live shows and a zoo.


If you’re looking for a park with a more laid-back atmosphere, look no further than Crealy Theme Park & Resort in Southwest England. You can bring the whole fam, from the little tackers to the grandparents, and they’ll all have a blast.

Voted as the best Family Attraction of the year, this park is home to over 60 rides and attractions, interactive live shows, and even a zoo.

Crealy Theme Park has won numerous other awards too – including the Best Day Out in Devon, for eight years running.

🎢 Hottest rides at Crealy Theme Park: The Twister, Vortex, Maximus Rollercoaster, and Tidal Wave Log Flume.
🎟️ Ticket prices for Crealy Theme Park: £12+. Children under 92cm tall go free.

#10: Lightwater Valley, North Yorkshire:

With over 35 rides and attractions, Lightwater Valley in North Yorkshire is a popular family theme park with a fantastic range of thrill rides and attractions that will make your heart skip a beat.

lightwater valley

Founded by Robert Staveley back in ’69, this place has been entertaining thrill-seekers for decades. But, not all is well in the land of Lightwater Valley. The park’s claim to fame, The Ultimate roller coaster, closed down in 2019, which is a shame cause it was one of the longest rollercoasters in Europe.

But don’t let that dampen your spirits! There’s still plenty to enjoy at Lightwater Valley, from exciting wild water rides like Splash Falls to thrilling roller coasters like Raptor Attack.

🎢 Hottest rides at Lightwater Valley: Raptor Attack, The Ultimate, Eagle’s Claw, and Wild River Rapids.
Download your Lightwater Valley PDF Map here.
🎟️ Ticket prices for Lightwater Valley: £26.50+. Children under 90cm tall go free.

#11: Gulliver’s World / Gulliver’s Land

Gulliver’s Theme Park Resorts are the perfect places to take your little ones on an adventure they won’t forget. There are 6 Gulliver’s theme parks nationwide, and the biggest and best of them all being Gulliver’s World in Warrington, Cheshire.


With rides that cater to kids aged 2-13, you’re guaranteed a day full of thrills and spills. From Western World’s wild rides to Smugglers Wharf’s heart-stopping attractions, Gullivers World is the perfect place to make some family memories.

There’s three themed areas to explore: Land, Gully Town, and Safari Kingdom. You’ll find rides and attractions designed to keep your little ones entertained all day long. For top-notch theme parks near Manchester, this is the perfect place for all the family.

🎢 Hottest rides at Gulliver’s World: Alpine Log Flume, Antelope Wooden Coaster, Flight of the Pteranodon, and Pirate Ship.
🎟️ Ticket prices for Gulliver’s World: £23+. Children under 90cm tall go free.

#12: Diggerland (Nationwide)

For a truly unique theme park experience, Diggerland’s locations in Kent, Durham, and Yorkshire let visitors of all ages play like never before.


With over 20 rides and activities featuring real construction equipment, Diggerland offers interactive fun from tiny tykes to adults.

Kids can take the controls of mini-diggers, spinning cement mixers, or sky-high aerial shuttle lifts. Adult “big kids” can live out their operator fantasies driving full-size excavators, dump trucks, and tractors. Everyone leaves with huge smiles, dirty boots, and memories to last a lifetime.

Whether you have a little builder or a wannabe constructor in the family, Diggerland opens the doors to hands-on, pedal-to-the-metal enjoyment. Grab your crew and head to Diggerland for a day of digging, driving, and discovery today!

🎢 Hottest rides at Diggerland: Skyshuttle, Groundshuttle, Spin Dizzy, Dig-a-round, and Mini Tractors.
🎟️ Ticket prices for Diggerland: £25.95+. Children under 1m tall go free.

Best beachfront theme parks

Now we move onto the best beachfront theme parks with roller coasters and thrill rides in the UK:

#13: Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Lancashire

Blackpool Pleasure Beach mate! For a smashing day out in North West England, look no further than this legendary amusement park.

blackpool pleasure beach

Founded wayy back in 1896, the place has been a staple of British seaside holidays for donkey years. And with six million plus visitors yearly, it’s clear that this beachside retro fun fair is still going strong.

Be sure to get the Pleasure Beach Pass for just £6, giving you entry to the park. But if you really want to get the most from your trip, you’d be better off splashing out on an all-day Unlimited Ride wristband, costing £39 for adults and £33 for kids. That way, you can hop on any ride as many times as you like. Talk about a rollercoaster of a deal!

And if you want to take your Blackpool experience to the next level, why not grab an £80 pass that includes three extra attractions? Blackpool Zoo, Sandcastle Waterpark, and Blackpool Model Village and Gardens are all included, so you can really make a day of it.

Looking for theme parks in Lancashire with water rides? Blackpool Pleasure Beach has an assortment of them. Plus, don’t miss out on the latest thrill ride, Red Arrows SkyForce, for an adrenaline rush like no other. Blackpool Pleasure Beach is definitely a top spot for a proper good time.

🎢 Hottest rides at Blackpool Pleasure Beach: Big One, Valhalla, ICON, Infusion, and Skyforce.
🎟️ Blackpool Pleasure Beach ticket prices: £28+

👉 Read more: The 20 Best Zoos in the UK

#14: Dreamland Margate, Kent

Dreamland amusement park and entertainment center in Margate,  Kent, has been delighting visitors since 1880, and it’s the Grade II* listed Scenic Railway wooden rollercoaster, opened in 1920, that really put Dreamland on the map.

16 Best Theme Parks in the UK: The Top Adventure Attraction Resorts 2

But Dreamland is more than just a park – it’s a part of Margate’s rich history and culture. The town has seen its fair share of fame, from being the inspiration for J.M.W. Turner’s paintings to T.S. Eliot penning parts of The Waste Land while recovering here. And with Dreamland still standing strong, it’s clear that Margate knows how to keep the good times rolling.

Even with all its history, Dreamland Margate is far from outdated. It’s a place where you can indulge in classic seaside fun and rides, but also try out the latest and greatest attractions like their heart-pumping Scenic Railway.

🎢 Hottest rides at Dreamland: Dreamland Drop, The Scenic Railway, and Betty’s Beehive Coaster.
🎟️ Dreamland ticket prices: Free (pay per ride)

#15: Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach, Norfolk

The ultimate spot for a bit of seaside fun and thrills, Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach was established way back in 1909 and has been entertaining visitors for over a century!

16 Best Theme Parks in the UK: The Top Adventure Attraction Resorts 2

This amusement park is home to the wooden Roller Coaster: the granddaddy of all coasters at the park. But it’s not all about the classic rides, as the park boasts around thirty other large attractions that are sure to get your heart racing.

Plus, there’s plenty of children’s entertainment to keep the little ones happy while you soak up some rays. And when you need a break from the rides, there are amusement arcades and catering facilities to grab a bite to eat.

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not take a stroll along the Angles Way National Trail, just inland from Great Yarmouth? You can even check out the majestic 3rd-century Roman flint walls at Burgh Castle and get panoramic views across the rivers Yare and Waveney.

🎢 Hottest rides at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach: Roller Coaster, Sky-Drop, Big Apple Coaster, and Disko.
Download this PDF map of the Pleasure Beach here.
🎟️ Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach ticket prices: £19.50+ (children under 1m tall go free)

#16: Blackgang Chine, Isle of Wight

Now then, Blackgang Chine, located at the southern tip of the Isle of Wight, is Britain’s oldest amusement park, and a quirky one at that. This amusement park opened its doors way back in 1843, which is long before your grandparents were even a twinkle in their parent’s eyes.


When Alexander Dabell first got his hands on Blackgang Chine, he knew he had something special on his hands, and boy was he right! In those days, the size of the land was determined by how far Dabell could throw a stone. Imagine that, talk about primitive methods.

But, like any amusement park with a rich history, Blackgang Chine has its share of woes. Erosion of the cliff top upon which the park rests has forced it to continuously move its operations inland.

Despite these challenges, Blackgang Chine remains a popular destination, entertaining families with its thrilling rides and fantastical attractions.

🎢 Hottest rides at Blackgang Chine: CliffHanger, Waterforce, Pirate Barrels , and Snakes & Ladders.
🎟️ Ticket prices for Blackgang Chine £20+

Top 10 Theme Parks UK:

Here’s a quicklist of the 10 best theme parks in England in ranking order:

  1. Alton Towers, Staffordshire
  2. Thorpe Park, Surrey
  3. Drayton Manor, Staffordshire
  4. Legoland Windsor, Berkshire
  5. Chessington World of Adventures, Greater London
  6. Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Lancashire
  7. Paulton’s Park (Peppa Pig World), Hampshire
  8. Flamingo Land, North Yorkshire
  9. Cbeebies Land (at Alton Towers)
  10. Gulliver’s World, Warrington

More theme parks near me

Here are some more theme parks and adventure resorts from around the UK:

Theme Parks Scotland:

UK Theme Parks Map

Click on the interactive map below to see all the top theme parks and their locations around the UK:

UK Best Theme Parks FAQs:

Below are the most commonly-asked questions about theme parks in Great Britain:

What is the number 1 theme park in the UK?

According to the UK Theme Park Awards and a recent travel trends survey, Alton Towers is considered the best theme park in England, and therefore, the number 1 theme park in the UK.

Which UK theme park has the best rides?

Alton Towers is widely regarded as having the best rides of any UK theme park. With over 10 rollercoasters, including Nemesis, Oblivion, and The Smiler, Alton Towers provides an unparalleled mix of extreme thrills for adrenaline junkies along with family friendly options like the Runaway Mine Train. Its continuous investments in new ride technology and attractions solidify its status as the top theme park for rides in the UK.

Which is better Alton Towers or Thorpe Park?

While both Alton Towers and Thorpe Park offer top-tier thrill rides, Alton Towers provides a slightly better overall theme park experience. With more rides tailored to younger visitors and broader dining and entertainment options, Alton Towers is ideal for families. Thorpe Park excels with intense rollercoasters like Stealth and Nemesis Inferno but does not match Alton Towers’ breadth of attractions. For well-rounded theme park enjoyment, Alton Towers takes the edge over Thorpe Park.

Is Alton Towers bigger than Thorpe Park?

Alton Towers is bigger than Thorpe Park, with Alton Towers featuring 10 roller coasters compared to Thorpe Park’s 7. Additionally, a post on Just Theme Parks suggests that Alton Towers feels more like a holiday destination with its two large hotels, waterpark, and mini golf, giving it a bigger and more beautiful atmosphere compared to Thorpe Park.

What is the scariest theme park in the UK?

With blood-curdling horror mazes and extreme rollercoasters, Thorpe Park is widely considered the scariest theme park in the UK. Attractions like the nightmarish Saw: The Ride place riders in the middle of disturbing horror film scenes. And coasters like Stealth, with its 205 ft tall vertical drop, deliver pure terror. For those seeking frights and adrenaline-pumping thrills, Thorpe Park is unmatched in delivering on scares.

Is Legoland better than Thorpe Park?

While Thorpe Park is known for its intense rollercoasters and frightful horror mazes, Legoland provides a more rounded and family-friendly theme park experience. With Lego-themed rides, shows, and building activities tailored to younger children, Legoland is a better choice for families with small kids. Thorpe Park targets an older demographic seeking thrills and frights. For family enjoyment, Legoland eclipses Thorpe Park, but thrill-seekers favor the scares of Thorpe Park. Each park excels with different audiences in mind.

Is one day enough for Chessington?

One day may not be enough to fully experience Chessington World of Adventures Resort. The theme park is described as large with a fantastic variety of rides and attractions, including a zoo and SEA LIFE Centre, suitable for all ages, and it is recommended to spend a full day there.
Therefore, visitors who want to experience everything that Chessington World of Adventures Resort has to offer may need to spend more than one day at the park.

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Conclusion: 16 Best Theme Parks in the UK

The theme parks of the UK offer thrills and fun for visitors of all ages. From record-breaking rollercoasters at Blackpool Pleasure Beach to family-friendly adventures at Legoland Windsor, there are options across Britain to suit any interest.

Top picks like Alton Towers and Thorpe Park draw crowds eager for adrenaline rushes alongside beloved parks like Chessington that create magical memories.

For heart-pumping action or family-friendly activities, the rides, shows, and attractions at Britain’s spectacular theme parks promise an amazing day out. If you’re looking for theme park fun, the UK delivers.

Further Reading: UK travel

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