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Pleasant Pleasurewood Hills.
New Pleasurewood Hills (Suffolk)
Member Name: trayrope
New Pleasurewood Hills (Suffolk)
Advantages: Good value family theme park.
Disadvantages: Not many big rides, expensive food outlets.
Despite the atrocious summer weather my family and I decided we would risk a bit of camping in Hemsby, Yarmouth. As part of our camping holiday we managed a couple of days out, one of the places we chose to go to was Pleasurewood Hills in Lowestoft, Suffolk. We have been to Pleasurewood Hills a couple of times on past camping trips so finding the place was really easy and took us about 25mins from Hemsby using the postcode NR32 4TZ. The estimated driving times given on the Pleasurewood hills website are 40 mins from Norwich, 60 mins from Ipswich and 90 mins from Colchester and KingsLynn. The drive is pleasant enough as the traffic flows quite well; I was driving midweek during term time though.
The parking at Pleasurewood hills is free and plentiful and located very close to the park entrance, unlike Alton Towers where you need shuttling to and from the park.
The entrance fee is adults (12+) £18, children (3-11) £16, seniors/disabled/carers £13 and children under a meter tall are free. There are discounts for groups, and it is worth looking for special offers and discounts. We used 3 for 2 vouchers which made the price £12 each. Upon entry you are given a wristband to attach to your self and your kids, this enables you to leave and re-enter the park as and when you fancy.
Now on to the rides, I am in all honesty a big wimp when it comes to rides so I will only be able to describe a few from personal experience, the others will be from the reactions of my husband and kids.
Description - 0-60 mph in 0.8 seconds. Plummet 60ft per second with a 5.5G force.
This looked a bit like a fairground ride, I was too wimpy to try this but my husband and eldest son and daughter gave it a go, there is a large central tower and on each side there are 3 seats, the seats have the usual safety clips and harnesses and are secured by a member of staff. Once secured the seats steadily raise to the top of the tower, apparently the view is excellent, the seats then stay at the top of the tower for a small amount of time, the first time they went on the seats stayed at the top for 38 seconds and for 12 seconds the second time so the timing does vary which gives an extra element of surprise. The seats drop at an alarming rate, and the looks of surprise on my family's faces were excellent, they came off and were quite shaky, my eldest daughter cried, and my husband said it was surprisingly fast, and he has been on quite a few tower drop rides.
Description - Twist and turn at 50mph through the wipeout wave as you are pulled along by the current. Description aside this ride has nothing to do with water, it is very reminiscent of a ride that was at The American Adventure, I personally think it could be the same one as The American adventure closed down quite a few years ago. Once again I was too wimpy to have a go on this as the upside down turns really put me off, but the rest of my family had a go, you are secured in with an over shoulder contraption, which is checked by a member of staff before the ride commences. The ride ratchets up to the top of a very steep high rail with quite an alarming clanking noise, the carriages are then released and they wiz around the track at high speed when the carriages reach the other end they are then ratcheted up another steep rail, the carriages are then released to go around the track again, but backwards, the ride then ends in the same place as it began. General opinion was that it was very good and much better than it looks. My advice is to do this ride before dinner as it looks nauseating and the staff were cleaning up mess from the last lot of riders before my husband and kids got on. There is the opportunity to purchase a photo of yourself on this ride when you go through the exit.
60ft high on 600 meters of twisted steel.
The ride is nestled in a dug out area with high banks on each side, as you go down towards the ride entrance while queuing you get to watch the carriage wiz around the track, luckily for me there are no upside down bits so I was more than happy to have a go on this ride. The track does tilt quite alarmingly and a couple of the drops are quite steep but for me the speed of the ride is the attraction, the carriages wiz along at what feels like quite a high speed. You are held into the ride with a lap bar, which is checked by a member of staff before the ride starts, and there are bars in front of you to cling onto. The ride does stop quite sharply and it is recommended that people with neck or back problems do not ride.
Swing through 120 degrees up to 20 meters high. This is another ride that looks very much like a fairground ride, there are six arms on the ride with four facing inwards seats on each arm, the rider is secured with an over shoulder contraption that is checked by a member of staff before the ride commences. The floor of the ride lowers and then the ride steadily starts to swing while the arms rotate, giving each rider turn at the highest point, this one was not for me although it did not look to scary, I just don't like feeling a though I am out of control of a situation. The rest of the family gave it a go a declared it to be quite good, but not really scary.
***The Tide Traveller***
360 degrees of mayhem. Where will the tide traveller leave you? This is another ride with a watery description and no water in sight. None of the family went on this one as it did not appeal to the thrill seekers amongst us; it is a large ride with 3 arms each with seven two rider carriages on. The whole ride tilts up in the air and then rotates the arms; the carriages also rotate around at the end of each arm. IT seemed just a bit too much spinning for us.
36ftdrop + 10ft waves = 100% soaked. This is Pleasurewood Hills' log flume, in all honesty it is quite a tame ride compared to the one at Drayton Manor, and nobody came of really wet. The ride is quite compact and feels quite childish.
***Snake in The Grass***
This is described as a family ride as it is a small rollercoaster. I feel it is suitable for the whole family but little riders will need to sit with an adult. Each two seat compartment on the carriage is secured with a lap bar; the compartments are a bit cramped for two adults. The ride whizzes around quite fast and the ride attendant usually allows the ride to go around a couple of turns, sometimes more if there is no queue and the riders are enthusiastic.
***Shiver M Timbers***
This is Pleasurewood hills' pirate ship; again the family and I chose not to go on this as the general consensus was that all pirate ships are the same. This is quite a small pirate ship and is therefore classed as a family ride, not a thrill ride.
This is a two rider ride. You need to climb quite a high set of stairs to the top of the ride, you then climb into what looks like a rubber boat, the boat is then launched down a slide with water flowing down its surface, the rubber boat picks up a fair amount of speed and the whole family agreed that this is a fun ride. There is the opportunity to purchase pictures of yourself on this ride but as with all theme parks the pictures are around £5.00 each.
This is a race track with petrol powered go karts, there is an additional cost of £2 for each kart and for safety reasons there is a height restriction of 1.4m for single karts and 1.6m for double karts. My husband went on these a couple of years ago but not on this visit, he declared them to be great fun, although he accidentally drove with his foot on the accelerator and the brake at the same time.
This is exactly as the name describes it, a traditional carousel ride, perfect for the whole family.
These are a great way to relax; they seat two at a time and take a steady ride across the park, giving excellent views above the small lake and tree tops. You are secured into the seat with a lap bar that is put in place by a member of staff; we went on these twice, mainly to save our feet.
These are as the name implies dodgems. Great fun for the whole family, children are allowed to ride as long as they are accompanied by an adult. There doesn't seem to be strict directional rules and you are allowed to bump into each other.
There are quite a few other rides, but as we didn't go on them I can't comment on them. There is a small area for children with scaled down rides that look as though they would be great fun for smaller children.
The grounds of the theme park are really nice and it feels more like a walk through a park. There is plenty of space between the rides and there is a nice family atmosphere. All the members of staff we spoke to were helpful and polite.
There are not really that many places to eat, but I think that was as we were going out of peak season, we stopped in a small fast food restaurant the kids had burger chips and a drink that cost £5.55 each and my husband had a mini fish and chips that cost about £7.00. It would probably be cheaper to pick up sandwich stuff from the nearby Tesco or to leave the park and eat at the nearby Harvester. In various places around the Park there are Coca Cola vending machines, these sell 550ml bottles of Coke, Sprite, Fanta etc for the highly overpriced cost of £1.90 each, so I recommend taking your own drinks. There are also small food outlets selling hotdogs and burgers, and small cafes that do tea, coffee and sandwiches etc. All food outlets are highly over priced for what you get.
While in the theme park we took the opportunity to see the Sea Lion Show, this lasts about 20 minutes and comprises of three Sea Lions doing tricks on demand of the trainer, the Sea Lions seemed quite happy and had a strong bond with there trainer, these were the same Sea Lions and trainer that we saw when we last came to the park in 2006, so it is nice to know that there is consistency for the Sea Lions. At the end of the show there is the opportunity to purchase posters and books of the Sea Lions.
I think this is a nice little family theme park, it is not going to wow you with massive thrilling rides, but there are plenty of rides you can go on with your kids and just enough big rides to keep the teenagers entertained. There is a nice family atmosphere and a few shows to see, there is the Sea Lion show, the Parrot show and a magician show, we did not go to the last two but I am led to believe they are worth seeing. There are a few attractions that require extra payment of a few pounds each like the Go karts and the Laser Quest. There are also quite a few fairground style booths where you can pay to hook a duck or get balls through targets and win a small cuddly toy.
Overall for the small cost of £12 (using special offers) each you get a full day of entertainment for the whole family.
Thank you for reading.
Summary: Nice enough theme park, worth a visit if you are in the area.
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