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Good day had by all
Lightwater Valley (North Yorkshire)
Member Name: juicy_lucy
Lightwater Valley (North Yorkshire)
Date: 15/08/09, updated on 15/08/09 (806 review reads)
Advantages: Fun day
Disadvantages: Can be expesive
It's become a bit of a "thing" that we try a theme park over the summer hols and although I don't go on any of the rides, I go along as chief bag carrier and usually have a good time! Last year we went to Flamingo Land and because of the road works on the motorway I wanted somewhere closer so it was decided that the venue would be Lightwater valley.
**Location and contact details...**
Lightwater Valley, North Stainley, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 3HT.
Tel: 0871 720 0011
Fax: 0871 721 0011
I had the sat nav set to get us there but it is actually clearly signposted from the motorway and we found it without getting lost once!
As with all of these places, admission isn't cheap but at least this theme park charges a cheaper rate for people under 1m 30cm, because some of the rides are not suitable for people under this height. Admission costs £17.95 and £15.95 for people under 1m 30cm, and for children under 1m, admission is free. There are deals to be had for families of various sizes and it seems you can get up to £4 off by booking online. I had vouchers for £6 off each ticket, so didn't book online, although when we got there the pre booked ticket people were able to fast track in whilst we had to wait in the long but fast moving queue.
Having found the place really easily we arrived without the usual stresses of getting lost. The park is accessed via a long well tended drive and there is plenty of space for parking although if you don't arrive early you are parking on the grass- there are attendants to show you where to park so no one should get boxed in.
At the entrance to the theme park is the visitor service area where you can get information about the park and there is also the Granary, a restaurant serving meals and snacks if you don't want to wander round the park with a hot dog. Also in this square and located around the park are a range of retail outlets selling gifts and souvenirs and we even spotted a garden centre so you could do quite a bit of shopping if you got bored in the queue!
The whole area is nicely set out with a small lake and a mini golf area although no one was playing which was just as well because it would have been unfortunate had you paid and the children were running all over it.
Once inside the park, it was pretty much as we expected-lots of noise and squealing and rides and shops from the moment we stepped inside the gates. The park has plenty of toilets dotted around and all clearly signposted but as ever by the end of the day they weren't the cleanest places to be! There are also lots of food and drink shops so you can spend your day eating and drinking if you wish.
There are over 40 different rides and attractions from big thrill rides, to mini adventures for younger children, and to make it easier to chose the most appropriate rides, they have divided them into three groups; jaw droppers, Whipper Snappers and Nippers.
The jaw dropping rides are as expected, the extreme rides and these come with height restrictions, either 1m 30 cm or 1m 50 cm. These include aptly names rides such as the sewer rat, The Ultimate (apparently one of the longest rollercoasters in Europe), eagles Claw, Black Widows Web and The Twister. These varied in terror value, and although Little Miss managed some of them she wouldn't even contemplate others, so it's important to check the fear factor! With the long queues you do get some opt out time!
The Whipper snapper rides are specially designed for children who are over one metre in height, and include the falls of terror, the grand prix go karts and the dodgems.
For children under one metre in height, there are dragon rides, a maze, Lightwater Express and others, so even young children won't be bored.
The gates open at 10am, with the rides starting at 10.30am. We arrived at 10.30, probably the busiest time, but still got into the park within half an hour. It closes any time from 4.30pm depending on the time of year, but when we left at 6.30pm, they were only just starting to close some of the rides.
**Other bits of information...**
* Some rides have cameras when your photo gets taken and keyrings or photos are sold for £5- watch out for spiralling day out costs
* There is a Birds of Prey Centre but the birds are also in the park for a hand over your money photo shoot
* There are lockers at the main entrance which can be hired for the day
* You can get out of the park and come back in if you have tour hand stamped
We went as a group of 7, me, himself, my son aged 19, Little Miss and another 8 year old and a 10 year old. I mention this because we hit alot of the heights and ages. The park was declared a hit by all, and in the time we were there we managed to get to all of the rides and even though there were queues they weren't so big that we were standing for ages. The jaw droppers were extreme enough for even the hardened thrill seekers and the roller coaster had to be visited twice! There were plenty of rides for the younger children and even a smaller roller coaster so that they didn't miss out.
The park is big enough to have enough for everyone and small enough to get round most things and not lose each other. We were there for 8 hours with a brief rest for our picnic lunch, and I do think we got good value for money although it seemed expensive when we paid.
Good day had by all- recommended!
Thanks for reading.
Summary: Theme park
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