Things have had a bit of a change around at Lightwater Valley. They no longer have their larger rides and are instead now aiming at younger families. Was this the right decision? Personally, I feel it was. Their bigger rides could never compete with Flamingoland and there has always more to do for the younger guests. Now there is even more to do we would certainly return whereas we might not have done had it stayed the same.
It is, however, a major shame that the big wooden roller coaster is no longer open as I was determined to get my son on it one day. I’m pretty sure it’s actually still there you just wouldn’t know it. My son was sad to learn that Raptor Attack is no longer there as he was obsessed with that ride. They do still have a few ‘older’ rides but not many.
Lightwater Valley Theme Park Things To Do Review
Lightwater Valley is located near Ripon in North Yorkshire. The site is reasonably large so we made use of the on-site train which is great for saving little legs from getting tired. It is a lovely ride and it runs in a loop between two stations. There are no set times to wait, you just have to turn up and hope you’ve timed it right.
The first train station is next to a large lake. You can ride on swan pedalos on the lake which looked fun, although we ran out of time for them.
When we visited before Treetop trails was a separate attraction that had an additional entry fee. Lightwater Valley now owns it and you can now enjoy the treetop nets as part of your visit. The nets cover over 2,000 square metres and it is the biggest of its kind in the UK.
Children 3-7 years have a smaller net and children over 5 can go on the main net. The springy nets are suspended up to 12 metres from the ground. Prebooking is not required and you queue on the day similar to the other rides and attractions.
They also still have their Jurassic Adventure golf that we loved last time we visited. The course has some large dinosaurs and some excellent crazy golf holes. There is an additional charge for the mini-golf at £2.50 per person per round, under 3s are free. It would be nice if they could include this with your entrance ticket.
The rides near the entrance are still there including the Carousel and toddler rides such as Ladybug, space pirates and Human cannonball. These are all pretty tame rides. They even still have the Skyrider which is a chair swing ride that goes quite high, you must be 1.3 metres to ride.
They also still have Trauma Tower which is a ‘drop’ ride for people 1 metre and over. Plus Eagle Creek Farm which is a slow ride around a ‘farmyard’ in a tractor on a rail.
To the right of the park, you will find an excellent Angry Birds themed playground and an indoor play area.
The small farmyard building is still on the map although there is no mention of it currently being open. They have added 5 new rides to this area including a Safari train, Monkey drop for smaller children, an Animal carnival ride, Elephant flight and Jumping Kangaroos plus jumping pillows. There are some height restrictions on some of these rides. There is no ‘transport’ to this part of the park although it isn’t too far to walk.
At the top of the park, you will find a hot air balloon ride plus a caterpillar rollercoaster ride. If you’re brave enough there is Splash falls that has three giant water slides and you sit in a raft. We are yet to brave it!
The Thunderdome Waltserz are still at the park which older kids will enjoy. Near here there is a Ladybird rollercoaster for families plus some smaller rides that only young children can go on.
Also near here, there is a Vintage car rally ride and a pirate-themed area with a Flying Cutlass (large pirate ship ride), Pirate swinger, Wave rider (smaller pirate ship), Powder Kegs (rotating ride) and Skull rock (boat type ride without the water).
Finally, in this area, you will find a small adventure playground plus some mini diggers in the sand.
I would certainly recommend Lightwater Valley to families with children under the age of 10. You will get far more value for money with kids of that age than Flamingo Land.
Lightwater Valley Theme Park FAQ & Further Information
Address: Water Ln, North Stainley, Ripon HG4 3HT, North Yorkshire
Category – Theme Park – Mostly Outdoors – Suitable for children age 10 and under
What are the ticket prices?
An adult ticket costs £16.50, children are the same price. Children under 3 are free. Other pricing options are available.
What are the main facilities and things to do?
Theme park with a number of rides for younger children, dinosaur crazy golf, swan boats, railway, indoor and outdoor play areas. There are toilets and places to purchase food and drinks.
When are they open?
They are mostly only open at weekends or during most school holidays. For up-to-date information please visit their website.
Is there food available?
There are various food outlets and kiosk serving hot and cold food and drinks. You are welcome to bring a picnic.
Is there parking?
There is free parking.
Are they dog friendly?
Only assistance dogs are permitted.