Newest Review: ... like here is how the cost for adults and children is the same and I would expect at least a few pounds off the adult price for children... more
Camelot Theme Park (Lancashire)
Member Name: tinkabubble
Camelot Theme Park (Lancashire)
Advantages: Cheaper admission than many other parks, fantastic shows and rides for all ages!
Disadvantages: Wasps, could do with a little renovation...
Living up north, we tend to think that all the major theme parks are down south...and I guess we're right! But, although Camelot may not be as major as the likes of Thorpe Park, or even the closer Alton Towers, we found on our recent visit that it still has much to offer...
My previous memories of Camelot are mainly from school trips; the most lasting impression being made actually by the resident wasps, and yes, they are still pretty rife around the jousting arena where many people go to enjoy their picnics. That said, I've never actually been stung by a wasp there, so don't let that put you off too much!
No, to be honest, I'm not really a theme park person as I don't like big rides (really don't have the stomach for anything faster than a Nissan Micra!), but I do still love the atmosphere. My favourite theme park growing up was probably Alton Towers because there is plenty to do there for me and my kind with our sensitive stomachs and sense of self preservation; I loved the river rapids, the sky train, the haunted house, tea cups, etc, and the shows, such as Beatrix Potter on Ice. The fire works were also fantastic and when I was very young, I enjoyed cheap admission prices for me and my family as I was in the Henry Hound club! However, nowadays, Henry and Henrietta are long since retired, prices have rocketed (they even want a fiver to park now!) and the park is aimed far more at groups of adults rather than children, in fact last time I went, it seemed to be turning into a bit of a dive; entertainment was sorely lacking (not nearly as many shows as there used to be!) and the place seemed full of large groups of rowdy adults - a shadow of its former self.
So I wasn't expecting too much of the 'lesser' Camelot, where we went the other month with my young nephew. However, I was pleasantly surprised! The admission was cheaper than most others, but considering that they don't have as many big rides or as much land as many others, it was still a bit pricey at £22. However, they were currently offering 2 for 1 until September 30th I believe, so we got in for half price.
Inside, there was a Knight and a photographer offering to take photographs for people, however, I felt this was quite poorly done as it seemed a bit premature as soon as you walked through the gates and would seem much less pushy if they had done them after the jousting shows instead. In fact, there are plenty of photo opportunities after these shows; informal ones you take yourself with the cast of the show, and there seemed to be a knight who would be further back to have professional photos done too, which seemed a much better idea than the set up at the entrance, as the opportunity is obviously much more appealing when you've seen the heroic knights in action!
Speaking of which, this show really is what makes Camelot stand out. It's a great idea to have the park themed on the legend of Arthur and his kingdom, and the jousting show is even better now than I remember it as a child. My six year old nephew was in tucks all the way though thanks to the resident jesters Scoop and Jest, who really are simply fantastic and very humorous and entertaining: They commentate the show and tell us who to cheer and who to boo, and even get into a bit of trouble with the not so nice knights! The knights we saw included baddies the Black knight and Sir Gawain (who I don't think actually is a baddy according to legend, but oh well, we can't leave the Black knight on his tod!), and the heroes Sir Percival and of course the legendary Sir Lancelot.
Watched on by King Arthur himself, the knights joust against each other and compete in sword combat, as well as showing off their skills by targeting shields and collecting hoops of fire with their lances. It's all very skilled and impressive; apparently the lances are genuinely very heavy, etc. The knights are very good, but the horses are just beautiful! There is a sign on the arena saying not to stroke the horses as they may bite, but at the end of the show, you can go and meet the knights and their horses, and the horses are lovely and docile, and obviously used to the kids! They look spectacular in the jousting cloaks. This show is far better than anything I've seen at any other theme park here, and just as good as the entertainment at the likes of Disneyland Paris; well worth the tenner just to see this show!
The park is very much child orientated, with lots for the young ones to do; they have junior rollercoasters, fairground rides and even a driving school and go carting (although there are small additional charges for these). There is also a fantastic magic show; the new jesters are even better then Mad Edgar! However, there's also plenty for older children, such as the Dragon Flyer, the log flume and the ghost train, as well as the adults with the big pirate ship, the new rollercoaster 'Nightmare' and Excalibur 2! But I can't really comment on those!
Other things to do include the many amusements they have in the fair ground section of the theme park, where you can win enormously oversized stuffed toys...should you so wish!
As far as food is concerned, many people take a picnic, which is fantastic as you can get to the jousting arena early to secure a good seat and eat your picnic while you wait! However, this isn't to say that the food for sale on site is inadequate, in fact, they have take away and eat in food, covering all of the basics, such as fish and chips, and treats such as candyfloss and ice cream, although they are very much missing doughnuts!
All in all, we had a fantastic day out, full of laughs and thrills, which all of us in our various ages enjoyed. Yes, the park could be improved with a few renovations, a few new rides...and doughnuts, but it's actually a great little park, which is pretty much everything a theme park should be, and who knows what will happen with it in the future, as it really does still have a lot of potential.
Summary: A fantastic day out; well worth a visit
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