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A good, family day out!
Lightwater Valley (North Yorkshire)
Member Name: lynnmc
Lightwater Valley (North Yorkshire)
Date: 08/09/12, updated on 08/09/12 (59 review reads)
Advantages: Height restriction prices, lovely setting, not as crowded as others
Disadvantages: Not as many rides as bigger parks
I have visited this theme park twice now, when it came to selecting a theme park this one was chosen due to the fact that it is easy to get to (only a half hour drive from where I live), I find the park a bit less crowded than others and the queues shorter and the final reason being that the ticket prices actually go on height for children, rather than age. Some places charge a lot for children's entry due to their age and regardless of the fact that they may not be able to go on half of the rides there! For this reason it is a good place to visit with small children.
Children under 1m are FREE to enter and there are enough amusements around to keep them happy. Disabled visitors are charged £11, it is also £11 for a carer if they wish to take one. Pensioners are £8, students £13 and everyone else £16. I think these prices are very reasonable in comparison with rival theme parks.
You can print off vouchers for food and drink online which is good, there is a pub and a choice of a few fast food places and also a sandwish stall and a shop which sells sandwiches and paninis. As with most of these places, you can expect to pay a little more than you would elsewhere but I thought the prices were reasonable and you can pick up something tasty for around £5. If you get a good day I would recommend taking a picnic as there are plenty of seating areas to enjoy the weather and catch your breath.
Lightwater Valley is easy to reach in Ripon, North Yorks. It is well signposted and just off junction 50 on the A1. One thing to take into account is if you want to visit by rail you will need to get a train to thirsk and then a bus. The buses don't operate on Sunday's! A Dales and District bus and a bus from Leeds or Harrogate can be got to the park but I find driving is the easiest way as we always want to take coats, food and drink, sun cream etc. and leave it in the car rather than hauling it around all day.
The park itself I found to be smaller than other theme parks but this wasn't a negative for me. With some theme parks and huge queues a day doesn't feel like enough as there was so much left to do or see. Lightwater Valley is perfect for a day, while there are still lots of things to see and do, if you get there early you can have an enjoyable day seeing everything at your own pace without having to try and squeeze everything in.
The rides are very good, there is something for everyone including the ride that made Lighwater Valley famous - The Ultimate!- this is the longest rollercoaster in Europe and lasts over 6 minutes. It's definitely one I'd recommend, it doesn't feel as scary as it looks!
The Skyrider is good fun, it looks a bit like a carousel and you all sit on swings and spin around in a circle and the swings get higher and higher and go further out, it feels like you're flying and is quite a fun and relaxing experience.
The Trauma Tower is a drop tower where you sit with your back to the tower and are sent up the to top and dropped back down to the bottom again when you least expect it giving you that awful feeling in your belly that is so much fun!
There are a good few scary rides for the thrill seekers along with a good choice for the less daring.
The park has all of the other rides that you would expect such as a log flume, pirate ship and corkscrew coaster. There are a selection of rides for families and smaller children too including a carousel, ferris wheel, pedal boats and more.
There is a bird of prey centre that you can enter which will cost an extra £2. I didn't go in, but thepeople who did said it was both informative and entertaining.
Pictures are available to buy on the bigger rides, they also have a shopping village which has much more to offer than the usual theme park souvenir shops which sell mainly tat!
There is a garden shop, clothes shop, sweet shop, souvenir shop and more. The shopping village is worth a look even if you don't want to make a purchase as it is a lovely country style building in the parkland and is very pretty.
There's a nice little restaurant which sells all sorts of food including sandwiches, baked potatoes, pies, fish and chips and a Sunday carvery. Unfortunately we didn't try this out but it looked lovely and browsing the menu seemed very reasonably priced.
I would definitely recommend Lightwater Valley, especially to families with small childrens due to the under 1m's free tickets. The setting is pretty and out in the countryside and the whole experience seems a lot more relaxing and enjoyable than that of bigger parks!
Summary: A great day trip
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