“ Strathclyde park. Tel: 01698 333999. „
M&Ds is known as Scotlands theme park it is in Motherwell in South Lanarkshire at Strathclyde Country Park.
I will add prices at the end of the review and put some details about the rides.
I go here every summer when my friend comes back to visit from Texas, and went lots when I was younger.
The park is just off of the M74 at Junction 5 off the A725. Car is the most easiest way to access the park.
There is also a bus that runs from Buchanan Bus Station that takes you straight to the park!
It also comes back round and can take you back into the bus station.
You can also get taxis there depending where your from will cost at least £8 and possibly more, I don't use this way to get there because of prices. I don't live very far but prices are still quite high.
Parking is free, and there is also a near by hotel called Alona Hotel which you can stay at if you live far away it is 4* so will cost quite a bit im sure.
The park is next to a big loch you can walk round if its hot and sunny, there is also sometimes boats there and swans.
There are big rides and little rides so theres something for everyone. If you are just taking your children there and you would prefer not to go on any rides there is not an entrance fee!
There are also family rides so you can go on them with a few people.
Tsunami - It is one of the busiest rides at the park so prepare to wait a while and annoying children jumping the fence but they usually get told to go to the back. 650m high and goes at 65kph, apparently this is Scotlands only inverted roller coaster with corkscrew twists. Your under the tracks so your feet dangle down which I was surprised to find I found better than other roller coasters. The bars come down over your shoulders and a buckle to keep it down for safety, because I'm quite thin and small I need to move my phone out of the way in my pocket so it can basically crush me otherwise I move about!
Bad points - one of the carts (only thing I can think to call it) will always break down at least once during the day, the wait can be a while and the kids can be annoying, also the fact that one time the staff knew people were scared so deliberately stopped the ride while we were on it.
Tornado - Another busy ride, the track is over 1000 meters and goes at 85kph and has 360 loops and is a white knuckle roller coaster. Its not one I favor because the tracks break quite a lot of the time I've been there so I worry about going on it, can hurt if wearing earrings and is not comfortable to sit in.
It used to go round twice but has been changed to just the once.
The Express - Another white knuckle roller coaster, 500 meter track and goes from - to 60 in 8 seconds, apparently this roller coaster traveled and people wanted it back! I wouldn't say it is a very good ride its more one I go on when the other rides are really busy.
Bad points - Uncomfortable, seems you need to sit in certain places of it when its almost empty for some reason which is worrying, has the parts of tracks that looks like your going to hit your head!
Magic Carpet - It is 15 meters high and moves at 14 revolutions per min, it swings round and stops at the top for a few seconds and then continues down, it does move quite fast actually so be sure to hold on!
There is a genie in the middle of the carpet. It holds 40 people and will go backwards no matter which side you sit at so if you don't like things like that I wouldn't recommend.
Bad points - The metal bar over your legs is for everyone in that row, even if its just me and a friend who's my size I need to hold on or I move a ridiculous amount and whack my stomach full force off the bar and can lift off the seat, so I think they should try even it out a bit for safety reasons!
Captains Curse -Most boring ride on earth, got pirates and skeletons around the ride, and then you go on a giant boat that lifts up at each side and rocks back and forth, lifts up sort of high but just boring!
Big Apple - 300 meter track with 3 drops and lifts - don't worry not too high! The big caterpillar goes through a giant red apple!
Bad points - Yes I have one about a kids ride as the caterpillars face creeps me out!
Flying Jumbos - Elephants! Mum elephant in the middle going around with the ride, and 14 baby elephants flying outside, I have been told there is controls so you can decide if you go high or low
There are also trampolines, kids dodgems and a racing thing for kids.
Wave Swinger - 32 swings or chairs that tilt, they go up kind of high and low at the other side so theres a mix of height. They go at a good speed and you get to see the whole park and over to the loch.
There is a metal pole you lift up to get into the seat and then clip a metal chain onto it so some children will need lifted into it because of the height.
White Water - 42 meter water ride with two drops up to 20 meters, go down the drop at 70kph so you get quite wet especially if its timed with people going down the second drop. You get a picture taken going down the second drop which you can buy. It fits about 3 people.
Bad points - is not secure so watch if you have kids with you as you need to hold onto the sides or you slide backwards/forwards and can stand up easily.
Big Wheel - 24 carriages that hold 5 people and can spin round, 35 meters high and has 20,000 multi-coloured lights they put on at night! I've never been on this because of the height.
There are also teacups!
Bungee - My reasons for not adding this in with the big rides is because you need to pay to go on it even if you have a wrist band. Goes 50 meters in 1.2 seconds and does 360 spins. Its like a big round cage your in and seems secure enough, again this is one I haven't been on.
Amazonia - An indoor rainforest with lots of exotic animals like tarantulas, snakes, fruit bats, lizards and marmoset monkeys plus more! You can hold some of them and feed them the gift shop is expensive as to be expected.
Bingo - £1 per game for two cards.
Cosmic Bowl - Glow in the dark and there is 16 lanes and air hockey, shoes are supplied and there is a bowl 'n' bite restaurant so you can buy food and drinks. You can have birthday parties here - teens are £10.50 per guest and for junior parties £8.95 per guest.
Game Zone - Air hockey, dance machines, usual arcade games and racing games, over 150 games are there.
Devils Island - 18 hole golf course that is pirate themed, there are winning holes so you can win prizes one can be a wristband for the park.
Krazy Congo - A big play area for kids! It is supervised and can have parties there and get food.
Pawfect Bear - Just like build a bear or teddy bear mountain ridiculously priced.
*Food and drink*
Wimpys which is as usual over priced or go to the chippy. There is a bit outside where you can get freshly made donuts.
In the main area where you first walk through the doors you can get things like nachos and ice cream.
An american themed bit to sit at and eat no matter where you buy your food, or sit outside at the benches.
The restaurant which I have not been in and the restaurant at the bowling alley.
There are toilets and changing rooms, the toilets are an okay standard and are better than the usual parks.
*Opening times and prices*
The Park is closed from November - February.
Most days are open 11am - 4pm. In September and October it is only open weekends, open October week.
*Note if bought online the card holder MUST be present
Unlimited wrist band (over 1.35m) - If bought on the day £16.50 and if online £15.50
Unlimited wrist band (under 1.35m) - If bought online £12.50 and if online £11.40
Family of four - £52 or online for £48
Tokens - 50p per token but I don't think they are worth the money.
Go on the website which I will put at the bottom for family deals.
Amazonia - Adult (16+) £5.95 or online for £5.45
Kids and OAP - £4.50 or online for £4.20
Family tickets - £17.35 or online for £15.45
Disabled/carers - £3.95 and cannot be bought online
The staff generally aren't the nicest you can meet but this may be because they get horrible wages, usually quite grumpy, some don't don't move trouble makers although there is security that I sometimes but not always see.
Since I don't drive I can only go if a friends parent does or if they do since the taxi prices are too expensive.
For the wrist band I think the prices are completely over priced since there are hardly any rides there it seems quite small to me.
There is music playing all the time and people having fun which is nice.
After the prices of the wrist band and the claw machines I get obsessed with plus the food its difficult to come back with any money.
I would recommend you take a set amount for just what you need!
Since I was wee the park I feel the park has gotten worse, isn't as fun as they took the good rides away and now are no spiny ones left at all, but it is still a fun day out in the summer!
Went to m@d,s, have four kids at 14,12 , 10,7. MY 7 year old was more in tears with the thought of being preasurized into going on baby items all for being about half a cm too small. Ironically he was able to go on the train roller coaster on his own but couldnt go on the jumbo elephants which is less risky than the roller coaster. If I had a very tall 5 year old there would be little problem in gettring to use most rides, Yet the average height 7 year old cant get on , There is health and saftey and there is age discriminating. My 7 year old says I am not a baby and I want to go some where else. Unusual for him and says a lot for the moral ot the theme park. Absolute disgusting
On a trip to Scotland a couple of years ago, we checked into the Express by Holiday Inn at Strathclyde Park and were surprised to discover there was a theme park just a few minutes walk from the hotel, which was also beside Strathclyde Loch.
We enjoyed staying there so much, we have returned a few times since and always have a walk along to M & D's Theme Park.
Now to call M & D's a theme park is a bit ambitious to say the least, as in no way can it compete with the likes of Alton Towers. It is much smaller than the other theme parks I have visited and therefore a more apt description would be to call it an amusement park in my opinion.
M & D's is easily reached from the M74 to Glasgow from Carlisle. Leave the motorway at junction 5, turn right at the roundabout and follow the road along past the hotel into Strathclyde Country Park. This will bring you alongside Strathclyde Loch and to the free car park for M & D's. It is also just 15 minutes drive from the centre of Glasgow.
It does seem a very popular place to visit, especially at weekends and although you may be disappointed if you are expecting a theme park on the scale of Alton Towers, there is enough here to keep the kids amused for a few hours with over 40 rides and attractions on offer.
The rides themselves consist of thrill seeking rides such as The Bungee which catapults you into the air, or The Bomber which is not something I could ever cope with due to my fear of heights as you are swung around at what seems to me to be quite a terrifying altitude! There are also a couple of rollercoasters, log flumes and a couple of other water rides involving boats and slides which are really fun.
Traditional favourites such as the big wheel which provides great views out over the park and Loch, chair swings and dodgems also feature here along with a pirate ship and flying carpet ride.
There are a few rides for younger children such as flying dumbo's, carousels and mini golf as well as a few side shows dotted about, including hook the duck.
Even if the weather isn't too good, M & D's has a large indoor amusement area with the usual slot machines and also includes a bowling alley with glow in the dark bowling and indoor carousel.
Amazonia is an indoor tropical rainforest with exotic animals. Another place to visit if it is raining! There is also one of those 'build-a-bear' places.
I have enjoyed a couple of meals in the 'The Family Restaurant' which has the look of a traditional pub and has recently been refurbished. On my last visit a few weeks ago, it was a cloudy day but quite mild for the time of year and we ate outside on the patio area overlooking Strathclyde Loch. A place I have spent a few hours on sunny afternoons on previous visits. There are also patio heaters out here, though it has always been warm enough on our visits.
The food has always been nice enough. We ordered BBQ melt baguettes which were reasonably priced at £7 with chips and side salad.
Sandwiches, traditional meals, burgers and steaks are all served here and the prices aren't bad at all when compared with what I paid on a trip to Lightwater Valley, where the prices were high and the food very bland.
Prices range from £3.00 for a sandwich to £8.95 for Rump steak. The service was good and the staff were friendly. Both the inside and outside of The Family Restaurant were spotless.
If grabbing a burger or something quick is more appealing, then there is also a Wimpy bar and a pancake palace. I have not tried these but can recommend Guiseppe's coffee shop.
If you prefer a carvery, then I can recommend the excellent Toby carvery located next to the Express by Holiday Inn hotel at the entrance to the country park. We paid £5 a head for a really nice carvery meal before 7pm.
After wearing yourself out on the rides, across the road is Strathclyde Loch and huge grassed area. A great place to relax with a picnic, play ball games or go for a walk along the pathway which runs alongside the Loch. It really is a very scenic location for a theme park.
M & D's hold quite a few family fun days featuring Peppa Pig, Bob The Builder and Barney as well as other popular children's characters. Full details of dates are available on the park's website : www.scotlandsthemepark.com
An events area has opened just this year to hold all the events planned for the season. New things seem to be added each year, as every time we visit there is something new.
Entry to M & D's is free, so it is possible just to go in and have a wander about, which is what I prefer to do these days! I don't seem to have the stomach for rides anymore.
Paying for rides is possible via the purchase of tokens or packages such as unlimited ride wristbands, white knuckle packages, adventure packages, ultimate packages or young adventure packages.
A token will cost 50p but if you buy £10 worth you will get £2.50 free. Each ride states how many tokens you require.
The unlimited ride package does seem the best option if you are likely to be wanting numerous rides at £11.75 for those under 1.35m in height, or £15.75 for those over.
A family package for any 4 people offering unlimited rides is £49.00.
At busy times there has been queues for rides, but they have never been very long and the turn around is very quick. The staff are very strict about the height restrictions so you must bear that in mind when purchasing package tickets. You won't be able to sneak on a ride if you are under the minimum height.
Overall, M & D's is a great day out, especially when the weather is nice and you can combine it with a stroll along the Loch, a picnic or just a laze around on the grass.
It is set in a very scenic location and as long as you don't go expecting a 'theme park' as its name suggests, then I am sure you won't be disappointed!
Totally updated review!
M&Ds is Scotland biggest them park. Situated in Motherwell, Lanarkshire (Scotland) in the Strathclyde Country Park. It offers various attractions including rides for children and adults, bowling, places to eat, an indoor rainforest, mini golf and amusements.
M&Ds is accesible by car/taxi by coming off the M74 at Junction 5 between Bellshill and Hamilton. There is also an entrance to the park before the express way between Motherwell and Hamilton. The park is well signposted. There used to be a local bus which no longer runs though an express bus runs between Glasgow Buchanan Bus Station and the Park during holidays.
Taxis will cost approx £8 each way from Motherwell, Hamilton or Bellshill.
Car parking is free and located next to the Alona Hotel.
The main attractions are the rides. I will details a few below. The rides are outside and are all quite close together.
Tornado - this is the largest rollercoaster spacing over 1000 metre of track. It is a white knuckle ride shooting at 80mph and has a loop! Until recently this had a corkscrew part which was removed as people were complaining that their necks were sore!
Since having my son, my fear factor seems to have disintegrated and I am terrified of big rides though this was always a favourite and thrilling. It gets very busy during peak times.
Tsunami - 650m of track at 65mph..you are underneath the tracks on this one going through rough turns and loops.
I hate being under the track and therefore have not been on this but if its your sort of thing then try it out.
Other large rides include The Express rollercoaster, the Captains Curse swinging boat and the Bungee which is 2 pylons with a huge ball throwing you up 50m in the air in 1.2seconds.
A particular favourite of mine is the White Water ride and one that I once went on 17times in a row! Best to leave this wet ride to the end as you do get soaking even if you are just standing near it!
For The Kids
Big Apple - this is a caterpillar ride for the kids which until recently had a big apple to ride through.
I have always enjoyed this though it just looks so boring with the apple. It is perfect for kids and adults though it does go a bit fast.
Wave swinger - 32 swings suspended from an impressive rotating carousel.
One of my personal favourites as you go up quite high and get some impressive views.
Kids can also have a shot on the Flying Elephants and Trampolines.
The most popular ride which is suitable for most is the famous Big Wheel. The wheel stands at 35m high and has 24 cabins allowing seating for 5 people.
This is certainly not one for windy weather. It is perfect for those clear sky days as you can see for miles. I feel this could personally be doing with being updated as it is becoming quite rusty!
There are a few more rides in the park though I have talked about the main ones. Other outdoor attractions include stalls which you can win prizes, Dodgems and various cabins selling snacks.
Amazonia is an indoor rainforest full of exotic animals including chameleons, tarantulas and monkeys to name a few. Here you can also take part in handling and feeding sessions and there is a gift shop which is quite expensive.
We went here once when I was pregnant and it was enjoyable and very exciting seeing all the different species though I was totally freaked out by the big spiders! Worth a visit.
Devil's Island Adventure Golf is a mini 18 hole golf course with a pirate theme. There are sunken bridges and caves and a big pirate ship. We went at night time just me and fiance and had a fun time. It was quiet and there was no queue though this is different during the day and holidays. Great laugh for the kids and adults alike.
Cosmic Bowl is a glow in the dark bowling alley with 16 lanes. Bowling shoes are supplied and food is available to buy.
I have been to the bowling several times and it is a good laugh if you go in a group as your scores come up on a board. It can get quite competitive but fun all the same. Food is ok priced though not the cheapest.
Krazy Kongo is a huge adventure kids play area. There are slides, ball pits, climbing areas and adults can sit next to it waiting for their exhausted kids to come out!
My son is too young for this area yet though I have been in with my niece and it is fantastic! It is well attended by staff but adults are ultimately responsive for their kids and cannot leave the area.
Bingo! My favourite part of the park to be honest. £1 per game for 2 cards and its a case of any win any prize!
This is superb as you can win perfume gift sets, toys, toiletries and household stuff. It does get busy at weekend and is only open certain hours though these are extended during holidays and weekends.
There are lots of indoor amusements and some which you can win tickets in exchange for prizes! You cannot get far without passing a teddy machine which ended up costing hubby a fortune til he won a teddy for our son!
There is a fantastic choice for everyone though where you eat depends on how much you will pay.
Outdoors there is a fish and chip shop which sells the usual delicasies as is great on a nice sunny day. There is also a cabin selling donuts and dips. These are delicious and I would highly recommend the raspberry dip! You can sit outside at one of the many picnic tables.
Inside the choice is great.
There is a stand at the main entrace which offers hot dogs, nachos, ice cream and juice etc. Everything is well prepared and cooked and prices are pretty average.
There is a food court area with an American theme and seating area. Here you can opt for the overpriced but tasty Wimpy option or something from the Baked Potato counter. Crepes and chocolate fountain treats can also be bought and are delicious.
The Family Restaurant is a huge upstairs and downstairs diner which offers different meal choices from pasta to steak and burgers to sandwiches. Starters, main courses, sides and desserts are a plenty and reasonable priced. You can also pick up a drink at the bar.
We ate here on our last visit to the park and I had a delicious steak pie, hubby had a burger and we ordered a kids meal. It came to a just under £20 and was delicious though really busy so waiting time was around 45mins. Well worth it though maybe not suitable for those with kids.
There is a Build a Bear shop offering the option to created and design your own bear. We looked into this though it was very expensive for what you were getting!
There is a huge sweet shop at the main entrance offering retro sweet and chocolate. The selling point for me was the fresh made fudge and there was lots of flavours. I bought 4 bars on buy 3 get one free and they were nicely boxed up. Delicious doesn't even begin to describe how it tasted and would highly recommend you try this!
There is the Strathclyde Loch a short walk from the park and you can take a leisurely stroll around it if you are feeling energetic! Next door is the Alona Hotel which is fairly new and very fancy but you pay a premium for this!
Further along the road, you will spot the Holiday Inn Hotel and Toby Carvery. I highly recommend the Sunday carvery there..its tasty and cheap!
Toilets and baby changing are available throughout the inside and outside of the park. Drinks machines are also widely available as are change machines and cabins.
*Prices and Opening Times*
The rides are closed November - February. The Amazonia, Golf and Indoor attractions are open 7days a week. The park is open 11am through to 8pm most days.
Unlimited wristband (over 1.35m) £14.35
Unlimited wristband (under 1.35m) £10.35
Family of 4 £43.00
Unlimited wristband plus 1 ride on Bungee £22.25
Unlimited wristband plus 1 attraction (under 1.35m) £13.45
As above (over 1.35m) £17.45
Unlimited wristband plus 2 attractions (under 1.35m) £16.45
As above (over 1.35m) £20.45
Tokens are also available at 50p (I think) but they are not worth the money.
Larger packages are available for families, please see website www.scotlandsthemepark.com.
The park is well kept by staff and there is always plenty of staff around the park. They are approachable though appear bored. Don't take it personally..the wages are rubbish! Security is high and anyone messing about is out and banned which I feel is a fair approach as families are regular visitors.
We like to go to M&Ds every few months though it is expensive! First of all we need to get a taxi as we do not drive, this alone sets us back £15 roughly. We usually only go for the indoor attractions as our son is too small for the rides so there is no point buying a wristband. However when there used to be a bus running, we went alot and I love the rides. They may not be the best and biggest but they are good for what you pay for them.
Our preference for food is usually the Family Restaurant for maybe 2 courses and then a treat of sweets or a crepe for afters. I love to play the bingo though rarely win but the prizes are impressive! I will admit though that I do spend a fortune at the amusements and bingo hence why I do not go here often. Hubby also spent £14 trying to win our toddler a Winnie the Pooh teddy the last time which he could have picked up in a shop for less than half the price.
I think it is the buzz that gets us all going, there is music, people running around and having fun and the noise of winning amusement machines encouraging you to part with your cash. You certainly couldn't go here with £30 and come back with any change!
As maybe a once a year visit it is worth it but I couldn't go here all the time as I would bankrupt myself.
Certainly if you are visiting Lanarkshire the pop in for a visit though have your debit card at the ready.
Thanks for reading!
M and D's, Scotlands Theme Park, Scotland must be really small.
Nestled just off the M74 in the lush green Strathclyde Park is M and D's, serviced with an excellent road and bus service with ample parking this park has a high opinion of itself.
Price wise its £14 for over 1.35 Metres, £10 for under 1.35 Metres and £42 for a Family of 4, you may enter free without a wristband but once inside there are a few rides with extra payment required ie. Bomber and Bungee, the best white knucklers in the place. It stays open quite late compared to say Loudoun Castle and you can stay from 11am till 7pm.
Roller coaster wise the tornado is a looping coaster, no scare factor here and is quite mild although fairly enjoyable, Tsunami, is a loop inversion coaster, anyone familiar with kumali or infusion will class this as a toy, much shorter and slower but for an unseasoned theme park visitor should provide a few thrills. The Express is listed as a coaster but is probably on a slightly larger scale than a childrens caterpillar ride.
The park is quite compact and well laid out with fairground rides aplenty including chairaplanes, a flying boat, very small log flume, water chute and quite a few kiddy roundabouts. The big wheel or medium wheel provides some nice views.
One problem I noted regarding height restrictions would be that my average heighted 8 year old had to be accompainied on most of the childrens rides and was nowhere near big enough for anything good, He is allowed on most of the biggies at Blackpool and Flamingoland and there he was not allowed on the flying jumbos by himself, these restrictions are fervently enforced. Anyone with 3 or more small children or a youth group would need a 1:1 ratio of adult to child to get on anything together. The height checkers also need to be checked as they seem to be erring on the side of caution.
M and D's have captured the spirit of a theme park with their music playing from many outlets, the candyfloss, popcorn stalls wafting sweet smells and the background noise from the arcade at the entrance, it is clean and the layout is of interest and the entry price for me quite reasonable but additional costs of some rides and for Amazonia an indoor rainforest which is quite attention holding seem excessive also the price they charge for food although this seems the norm everyhere.
We took a packed lunch which we left in the car till lunch time then we went out, found a nice picnic table across the road in Strathclyde Park and enjoyed our food quietly surrounded by trees, with the large lake as our backdrop.
Should you go ?
Not for Thrill Ride Fans, could be much bigger and it needs a marquee ride but if you have a young taller than average family you may just have a great day if you do.
Spring is in the air and Easter brought a request from my daughter for a trip to M&D's - a so-called "theme park" located in South Lanarkshire, not far from my sister's home in East Kilbride.
She went a couple of times last year and having learned that it was open again for the 2009 season she couldn't resist a return trip, so yesterday afternoon found us heading there for an afternoon out.
M&D's bills itself as "Scotland's Theme Park", but having been to Chessington World of Adventures and Alton Towers, this place is far smaller.
The park is located just off the M74 motorway at junction 5 and off the A725 main East Kilbride to Coatbridge road. Buses run to the park from Glasgow at weekends and school holidays (the FirstBus X7 from Buchanan Bus Station) but this is a place best reached by car. Parking is reasonably plentiful but you have to walk a little to reach the entrance.
The main attractions at this small park are the Tsunami and Tornado rollercoasters and the Bomber 2 - a device that looks like a huge crane with seating for thrill seekers at either end which spins round at breakneck speeds turning you upside down. Now I have to admit here and now that thrill seeking is not my bag anymore - I lost my appetite for rollercoasters and funfair rides around the time I turned 21 - but the queues of people waiting to go onboard these rides proves I am not the norm - not least my daughter!
There is also a huge big wheel which offers lovely views over the artificial loch in adjacent Strathclyde Park, a couple of water rides, a chair swinger, a huge pirate ship ride called Captain's Curse, trampolines, dodgems, a magic carpet ride, a mini rollercoaster and the usual sideshow stalls you expect to find at fairgrounds. All in all there are 40 rides to choose from - but the staff are very strict about height restrictions - many rides are only permissible for those over 1.35 metres in height for instance.
There's also a really good outdoor crazy golf course called Devil's Island, a soft play area for small children and an attraction called Amazonia which enables you to see animals from the rainforest indoors.
There are also two arcade areas with machines that eat cash and give out "prize tickets" which enable you to claim a poorly made pen once you have spent about £10 on throwing balls into holes or trying to score a goal playing mock football, and lots of machines with huge claws you move around in the unlikely hope of winning a soft toy for 30p. I call these machines for those who no know better - unsurprisingly my daughter loves them.
These arcades are mercifully undercover - which gives you some place to go should the typical Scottish weather (of rain) assert itself. There is also a carousel there along with a food court which has a Wimpy, a jacket potato stall and a pancake stall.
There's also the Bizarre Bar which sells food and both soft and alcoholic drinks. This is the place to be on Sunday afternoons after around 3.00 pm when the kids' karaoke starts, which is very popular and can also be very entertaining or painful to listen to depending upon the child taking part.
There's also a bowling alley, a pool bar (for adults only), a sports bar and a coffee shop where you can chill out and escape any bad weather.
Entrance to M&D's is free, something I really appreciate given I don't like funfair rides. Unlimited ride wristbands are available and cost £14 for those over 1.35 metres tall, and £10 for those under. However you can pay per ride using tokens which are easily available from the ticket desk or machines dotted around the park, which might be more cost effective if you are only planning a short visit to the park. Each token costs 50p and some rides require 3 tokens, others 5 tokens and up.
The wristbands do not include entrance to Amazonia or use of Devil's Island Mini Golf - Amazonia costs £4.75 for an adult and £3.50 for children and OAPs. Devils Island Mini Golf costs £3.95 for adults and £2.95 for children. Child rates are for under 16s. Family tickets are available for the park and for additional attractions - if you are a family of 4 these are worth checking out.
In addition you can get season tickets for M&D's which are valid for the entire season which usually runs from April to October. These cost £50 for one person or £144 for a family of four and are worth considering if you live nearby.
The park is open at differing times throughout the season. Core opening times are from 12.00 pm to 4.00 pm but when schools are out its open from 11.00 am to 8.00 pm. The website gives clear opening hours and is worth checking out before you visit. The indoor attractions are open all year round and there are adult entertainment evenings held here too.
So would I recommend it? Yes, I would - but don't be expecting the thrills you get at a major theme park. However I like how I can just turn up and either get my daughter a wristband or pay per ride for her and don't have to get annoyed at paying an entrance fee for rides I won't be going on.
Queues tend to be fairly reasonable - my suggestion would be to turn up early to avoid the really big crowds however. My daughter had to wait no longer than 10 minutes to get on the rides she was interested in which was fine. Obviously, the more popular the ride, the longer the queue.
The food here is pretty awful however - both the Bizarre Bar and the food court offer very average food at pretty expensive prices - a meal deal at the Wimpy will set you back £5 per person for very average food for example.
I would actually advise if you are visiting during the week or on a Saturday to dine at the nearby Toby Carvery which offers a fantastic value carvery dinner at £5 per head before 6.00 pm.
The staff are very vigilant about adhering to height rules so if you have very small children it might be worth waiting until they are a little bigger before bringing them here - there are a few rides aimed at very young children but I have seen a lot of tears from little daredevils who just aren't tall enough for something a little more thrilling. The staff are also very good at checking everyone is strapped in correctly which I find reassuring.
My biggest gripe with this place however is the fact not all rides clearly show how many tokens you need to ride on them. This necessitates either a wait in line hoping you have enough or having to get the attention of the ride operator to ask. Some of the attractions clearly display this information so someone clearly thought it was something that needed doing, if not finishing.
Ride times seem quite short too - my daughter went on a ride that lasted less than a minute for example - and while I appreciate a lot of customers have unlimited ride wristbands if you have waited in line for 5 or 10 minutes and the thrill is over in 90 seconds, it's a little bit galling.
The place is also designed to completely extract as much cash as possible from those who flock here - particularly children - and I do find it quite cynical how they do this. This is the main reason why I like to keep this as an occasional treat for my daughter rather than somewhere to go to regularly as I just cannot justify the cost and hate having arguments with her over what she can and cannot have money for.
I also think it's a bit cheeky to call this place a theme park when its really too small to warrant the name - its more of a small amusement park as far as I am concerned. However it's a fun place to visit with your kids occasionally and if you tire of the crowds you are just a short stroll to the peaceful loch in Strathclyde Park and you can also make use of the free playground there if you are out of cash with a child still seeking thrills and spills!
I could not recommend this theme park to anyone with children. We took up the deal with the hotel and theme park included. The hotel was first class with very friendly staff I would have no problem staying there again if it was not for the theme park attached to it. We entered the theme park only to find that on nearly all the rides both my children could not join in together my first child is 8 and the second 6 with very little height difference in them. The park was not very busy with most rides empty or only with a few people on them but a very strict height restriction was in place not only for being big enough due to health and safety requirements which i can understand but also being too big, in most cases my eldest was no more than 5 to 10 millimetres to big for most of the rides my youngest went on the trampolines this was one attraction no one else using at the time there are six or eight trampoline's but my the oldest was refused entry because he was 5mm over the height line with his shoes still on.The children dodgems was similar, leaving my youngest to go around on his own and I mean his own leaving his very slightly taller brother to stand there and watch him chasing his own shadow. The fun house was another attraction he was just that half inch too tall for. As for the attendants on these rides I found them to have a very bad attitude with very few speaking English or wanting to and just pointing to the height signs and wagging their finger to say you were not allowed on with a grunt this left you feeling very insulted. What ever happened to employing local people to give the feel you are in Scotland and not some eastern European country this is not to say that every foreign migrant worker does not speak part english or is not very helpful.
VERY POOR THEME PARK
The kids had been talking about Blackpool non stop since we took them there last year so we decided to treat them to a day out at M and D's theme park which is much closer to home. I loved to go to the shows as a kid but the cost of taking three kids out for a day quickly adds up so going to a theme park with unlimited rides for a set price seemed a good option for us. There were five of us in our party, two adults and three kids aged eleven, seven and six. The six year old was under the 1.30m height for riding unsupervised on almost all rides, the seven year old reached the 1.30m limit when his hair was spiked up high so managed both the kiddie and bigger rides and the eleven year old was tall enough for everything.
This is a small and compact park. You can see from one end of the theme park to the other and walk the length of it in a few minutes. We visited on a cold day at the end of March so it was pretty quiet with very almost no queues. There were no rides with a wow factor but there was enough variety to keep everybody happy. The small size meant that we were happy to let the older kids keep riding the express train while we took the little one onto the big wheel with us without panicking about being separated and losing sight of them.
The Thrill Rides
There are several rides advertised as thrill rides. Disappointingly, the tsunami (could they come up with a name in worse taste?) was closed with no explanation why. It did look pretty impressive with large section going upside down. The express was a firm favourite with the eleven and seven year old. It was so quiet that they often came out the exit and were able to rejoin for the next ride. They must have been on that train around ten times each that day. The whitewater express was also a favourite. After a long climb up some stairs, you are hurtled down a one of three large slides in a rubber dinghy. It was definitely a low tech ride but fun all the same.
The boys aged six and seven also loved the mine train. I did go on this ride and it was pretty fast but hardly the scariest rollercoaster I've ever been on. It was another that they rode over and over again.
I wanted to go on the bungee ride. It looked terrifying but it cost an additional £7.50 for two people to ride and everyone else I was with was too chicken to go on it with me! I found out my niece wanted to go on it when she went so I might take her with me next time we go and we can get hurtled around in a metal ball at great speeds together.
The rides were ok but hardly the most thrilling of thrill rides. I want to be hurtled around so quickly that I fear for my life and lose my lunch but there was no chance of that there.
There was plenty to keep the younger ones amused. There were a few rides such as the roundabout and funhouse that only the kids under 1.3m could go on. We all loved the water rides and bought photos of us all looking drenched as a momento of the day. My favourite was the big wheel with spectacular views over the park and surrounding countryside from the top. The kids all loved the big apple where they rode on a caterpillar shaped train and it was another of the rides that they kept running round and rejoining it.
I took my daughter into the under 18 part of the amusement arcade for a while and it had plenty of the type of machine where you play games for tickets and swap them for tat from the shop. I've got to admit that I played crazy frog bop too and my cool mum rating went up loads by winning more tickets than the kid. There was also a small over 18 only area where adults can go and waste their money if they want. I've never seen the allure of gambling myself and feel literally sick at the thought of feeding coin after coin into a fruit machine so can't say how good that area is.
Amazonia, an indoor rainforest and Devils Island crazy golf are both inside the complex but you need to pay extra to use them or both can be added on to the cost of a wrist band for a couple of extra pounds. I loved Amazonia but we never visited Devils Island but it looked impressive from the big wheel so if we return we will probably buy tickets for it.
Food And Drink
There was a Wimpy, an onsite chippie and a couple of diners. I only bought drinks from Wimpy and it was the same price as the high street. There were also the usual stalls selling sweeties and candy floss. Not a great selection, but didn't seem ridiculously overpriced either.
We had a great day out and considering how much funfair rides cost we got good value for money by buying a family wristband. I don't know if I would have felt as positive about it if we had visited mid summer and spent hours on end queuing for rides which were simply average. If you are a serious thrill junkie then you are better travelling south to one of the bigger theme parks with the big rides but there's enough at M and D's to keep the kids happy for a day and we will probably visit again in future.
M and D's is situated near Motherwell and is easy to get to from junction 5 of the M74. Directions available on the website.
Unlimited ride wristbands cost £14.50 if you are over 1.35m tall and £10 for shorties and a family band is £42.
We bought a package for £49 which also gave us entry to Amazonia indoor rainforest for 4 people.
If you don't buy a wristband, you can pay for each ride with tokens. Each token costs 50p and most rides need four tokens.
More information available at http://www.scotlandsthemepark.com/
I live quite near Strathclyde park and was thrilled when they first decided to build M and D's here, advertising it as Scotland's first theme park. However, once built I realised it was a far cry from Alton Towers or Thorpe Park, although it is an alright day out if you live nearby.
Strathclyde park itself is easy enough to find, being located between Motherwell and Hamilton, both of which are not far from Glasgow. The park itself is built round a loch, round which you can walk or cycle (bikes are available for hire) or you can even hire boats or pay for a motorboat ride on the lake itself.
You can't miss M and D's from anywhere within the park as the rides tower over the trees. Parking is available beside M and D's and also at the front entrance to M and D's (although this area is nearly always busy and finding a space is difficult due to the amoung of traffic here and the limited number of spaces). The main car park, however, is spacious. M and D's opens at 11 each day and closing times vary due to the month (sometimes closing at 5pm, 6pm or 8pm). During the winter months the rides are off, but the other attractions are available.
Don't expect to be amazed by the rides on offer. They are fairly basic and are little more than what you would expect to find at a fair sized travelling fairground. There are a few rollercoasters, the most impressive being the Tornado which goes at 80km/h and loops the loop. The Tsunami travels at 65km/h and inverts and loops the loop. The seats for it are similar in style to the seats on Nemesis at Alton Towers and passengers legs dangle unrestrained. There is also the Express, and a runaway mine train type of rollercoaster.
Other white-knuckle rides include a water flume ride featuring two drops and a bungee ride where passengers are strapped into a metal ball and then are shot into the air. On their website they also include a Flying Carpet ride among their white-knuckle rides, although this would hardly be the kind of ride true thrill-seekers would be queuing up for.
For younger kids there is a caterpillar roller coaster called the Big Apple, a swing ride, an indoor carousel, flying elephants and a big wheel.
I've often been passing by M and D's and noticed that a lot of the rides seem to be off, especially the rollercoasters, though, so I'm not sure you could be assured that you'd be able to go on everything.
M and D's may not have impressive rides, but it does redeem itself slightly with its other attractions. Most impressively it has Amazonia which features rainforest animals and free flying butterflies. Staff are knowledgeable and helpful and there is even the opportunity to hold certain animals such as frogs and tarantulas!
Also, there is the newly opened novelty golf course Devil's Island, which has a pirate theme. Its fairly small, but has a fun layout!
There is also ten pin bowling indoors, as well as a large arcade, a children's soft play area for little ones and a pool hall called Diamond Lil's, but this is for over 21s only.
As you would expect with this kind of place, there is plenty of drinks machines and so on sprinkled around the park. You can also buy freshly made Dinky Donuts from a kiosk in the park or stock up on candy floss and toffee apples from the entrance into the park, but if you want something to eat, you'll really only have the choice of the Bizarre Bar or Downtown USA. The Bizarre Bar is quite imaginately decorated..I especially like the Waltzer seats, but it is over-priced and the food isn't great. Your other option is to buy from Wimpy's and eat the food in the American diner style Downtown USA foodcourt.
If you just fancy a coffee break, you can visit Guisseppe's where you can also buy ice cream.
You need to pay separately for Amazonia and Devil's Island.
Amazonia costs £4.45 for daults and £3.45 for kids and OAPs. If I remember correctly Devil's Island costs about £3 per player.
An unlimited ride wristband costs £13.50 for those over 1m and 35cm and £9.50 for those under.
However, entry is free into the park if you fancy just wandering around. Similarly, you can stroll round the arcade, bowling alley or bars for free (of course, you have to pay for a game of bowling).
There is, of course, the mandatory gift shop, but it is small and has limited stock, but isn't too overpriced when compared with other theme parks.
The staff, with the exception of the staff at Amazonia, I've found don't tend to be particularly friendly or helpful, but there do tend to be plenty around.
Places to stay:
There is a hotel next door called Alona, although I doubt you'd want or need to stay for the night.
In conclusion, M and D's is an alright day out for those who don't need to travel much to get there, but otherwise, it'll only be a disappointment. You could easily fill a day there if you took advantage of all the rides and attractions, but costs could quickly mount if you want to ride the rides, visit Amazonia, play a round at Devil's Island, have a game of pool, bowling, and a shot in the arcades and grab a bite to eat.