Newest Review: ... as we have found at previous attractions that the already extortionate prices are bumper up even further by a car park fee. ==Visiting ... more
Lightwater Valley (North Yorkshire)
Member Name: emmad5689
Lightwater Valley (North Yorkshire)
Advantages: Plenty of little childrens rides, easy to get to and park, fun
Disadvantages: Price, not as big as other theme parks
Through the summer months we generally exchange our Tesco Clubcard vouchers for days out to treat the children and keep them amused, in previous years we have used them for tickets to my favourite local theme park which is Flamingoland but as that venue had been taken off the list we decided we would give Lightwater Valley a try instead.
Lightwater Valley is situated just North of Ripon which is in North Yorkshire, we are lucky that it is only about a 45 minute drive from where we live in the North East.
The price to get into the park was vastly reduced for ourselves due to using the Clubcard voucher which made it a great value day out. If you are paying full price the prices are,
Over 1.3 metres - £28
Over 1.0 metres - £23
Under 1.0 metres - £5
OAP - £12
Concessions - £17
Disabled with 1 free carer - £17
Babes in arms / pushchairs - no rides - Free
There are many other price options which you can find on www.lightwatervalley.co.uk if you are interested but there are tickets for different sized families and also tickets to include food and queue jumper passes which would probably be worth it if you were going to ride the big rides. If you book your tickets online and specify which date you are going to go then you can save 30% the only issue I have with this is if you wake up and it's pouring down you cannot change the date.
Personally I think middle tier should be less, our eldest is 5 years old and obviously not going to want to go on the big rides and infact she wasn't tall enough for the really big rides yet we would have had to pay £23 for her and a full £28 for us to not even go on the rides. I really think theme parks should have a rethink and do some sort of offer where an adult coming in with a young child is not charged as much but is limited to how many big rides they can go on, we actually didn't ride any big rides so literally would have paid for the privilege of walking around the park really.
The attraction is cheaper than the nearby Flamingoland by £2 per person which is not a huge difference however Flamingoland doesn't charge for age 3 and under at all and also has the zoo which is where this theme park is lacking in my opinion.
Car Parking on the site is free which is great as we have found at previous attractions that the already extortionate prices are bumper up even further by a car park fee.
==Visiting the Park==
We found the park very easily, we were using a sat nav but once we got close it was sign posted anyway so we could have easily managed without the sat nav system. The car park has plenty of space and even though we visited in August it was a pretty cool day and we ended up right near the front.
The park is built in the countryside and it was a really nice setting and quite enclosed, you actually couldn't really spot the theme park from the roadside.
The park opens the gates at 9.45am, the fairground rides start at 10am and the big rides don't start until 10.30am although I can never understand why there is a range of starting times. The park closes anywhere between 4.30pm and 6pm depending on the time of year but we ended up that we had done everything we wanted to and the girls had had enough before the park actually shut.
There are a decent amount of rides however if you compare to the other theme parks in the area there does seem to be less rides here. I tend to think that rides are pretty standard in most theme parks and this one is no different, when we were there you had a Ben 10 themed rollercoaster and then there was a pirate themed area with rides. You have the big rides such as rollercoasters, a pretty monster sized log flume and a giant pirate galley ship which Sophie really didn't like and she was sat in the middle of it, I have never seen such a look of relief on her face when she got off the ride.
There are plenty of rides for the little ones and we found that we barely had to queue all day for any rides which was great, there is a small young childrens area hidden amongst the trees where there was a mini rollercoaster which was Sophie's favourite ride and a couple of merry go rounds.
There was some really lovely rides such as dragon boats which just simply went round in a circle on the water with one little bump and then there was little ladybugs which Emily really enjoyed and the usual little teacups which are at these sorts of places.
All the rides were in a great state of repair even the really old ones that I remember being there when I went to the park as a teenager, the whole place gave the impression of really being looked after.
There is a lake where you can go on pedal boats which are in the shapes of swans and real swans actually frequent the lake to which is nice but with a 1 year old in tow we didn't fancy a go on there. One of Sophie's favourites was the train which takes you from one side of the park to the other or just round in a complete circle if you prefer, the train has room for pushchairs however you have to sit separately from them so if your little one was sleeping you would have to disturb them which I didn't think was very good.
The main attraction at the park is the world's longest rollercoaster "The Ultimate" we didn't ride this whilst there last year but I rode it as a teenager and it is mega fast it is literally over in under a minute. The rollercoaster is loads of fun as it weaves in and out of the trees but I really didn't find it as scary as some rollercoasters I have ridden.
On the day we went there was a magician show on which Emily slept right through but Sophie really loved. The magician really interacted with the children, was very entertaining and made fun of himself. I was really impressed as his last trick was to produce a rabbit which was a really lovely little creature and he let the children all come and have a stroke at the end of the show but made sure he told them the importance of washing their hands afterwards.
We found that finding the toilets was really easy and the park has lampposts with signs all over the park so it is really easy to work out where you want to be. Like I said we went in the summer months but it was a pretty cold day and one thing I did find disappointing is that there was no heating on in the toilets, I found this pretty poor as I had to change Emily's nappy in the cold. The toilets were all nice and clean apart from the floors where people had walked mud in and this didn't seem to get better throughout the day so I would say that cleaners were probably coming in through the day and ensuring sinks and toilet were clean but not ensuring the whole facility was clean.
As with all these types of places there were plenty of places to eat, you could get hot and cold drinks from little stalls, full restaurants and even drinks machines through the park so you never needed to go thirsty. The prices were of course ridiculous and we had too a picnic with us to avoid having to spend too much but we didn't come across a picnic area as we wandered around the park so we ended up eating back at the car which wasn't parked far away so that wasn't a problem but it would have been nice to have seen a proper picnic area to make it obvious that you were welcome to take your own food in.
The park actually has a little shopping village in it, the shops apparently change with the season but when we had a look they there were gift shops, a craft shop and some clothes shop all of which were rather expensive. Aside from the shopping village there were a couple of little gift shops and a sweet cart which was the sort of sweets you used to buy by the quarter in little plastic boxes. Both the girls managed to buy something to bring home as a momento of their day out so that kept them happy. The gift shops are very cleverly situated on your route out of the park so that there isn't much avoiding them and with a 5 year old jumping up and down at every shop we ended up saying she could look in the last one and then that way she wouldn't want to buy something in every shop.
We did enjoy our day out in the main and our children loved the rides, there of course is plenty of opportunity to spend money you don't intend so you should be aware of that but then I think that is generally expected in these places. The staff were all very friendly and we found as it was quiet one member of staff was often working 2 rides but they would happily shut one ride off and start the other off to keep the children happy. There was a crocodile dressed up character appeared at the end of the day when the sun started to shine a little so I'm not sure if they would have been out all day if the weather had been better but they were really good fun and they were dancing around with Sophie in the middle of the park.
This park is fun and would have been nicer on a warmer day however compared to what is nearby it is too heavily charged and in comparison not worth the price.
Summary: Fun but there are better
- White Post Farm Centre (Farnsfield)
- The Cornish Bird of Prey Centre (Cornwall)
- Wetlands Animal Park (Nottinghamshire)
- Tayto Park (Kilbrew)
- Marine Aquarium (Lyme Regis)
- Crocodiles of the World (Oxfordshire)
- Doonies Farm (Aberdeen)
- Porfell Wildlife Park and Sanctuary (Cornwall)
- Cefn Mably Farm Park (Cardiff)
- Nickelodeon Land (Blackpool)