A day out at the theme park is often what dreams are made of, and whether you're going with family, friends, or on your own, you are bound to have fun. From rollercoasters at great heights to those reaching race car speeds, theme parks are an adrenaline junkies' playground.


Even if you don't like rides or are scared of heights, there are theme parks suited to you where you don't have to battle your fears. You could ride diggers, explore safari parks and enjoy more gentle rides, maybe the tea cups?

Whatever you enjoy, there's likely to be a UK theme park to suit you. To help inspire your next trip UK theme park trip we've rounded up our nine favourites to suit all ages and experiences.

And we've got some great news: many of these theme parks are included in the Merlin Annual Pass, which you can now snag with a hefty discount thanks to the Wizards Wanted sale! With discounts on all types of memberships, from the annual pass to the silver monthly membership, you can choose the package that best suits your needs and save up to £60 per person.

You can also scoop up some savings for theme parks thanks to Virgin Experience Days— more on that to come.

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Buckle up and put your hands in the air (or on the mouse) – here are our top nine UK theme parks.

For more inspiration for your day trips and events check out our Going Out page, where you can find guides on how to get Premier League Darts tickets, the best West End shows and how to get Mean Girls musical tickets.

Best theme parks at a glance:

Top nine theme parks in the UK

Here are our favourite theme parks for you to visit in the UK.

Thorpe Park

Thorpe Park
Thorpe Park. Thorpe Park

Thorpe Park is a theme park for thrill seekers and is one of the most famous in the UK. It offers guests over 30 rides to enjoy, which range from terrifying rollercoasters based on gory horror movies, to those with rapid descents and others which soak you in water. One of its many rides is the fastest roller coaster in the UK, Stealth, which reaches 0-80mph in just 1.9 seconds.

Other Thorpe Park highlights are its ten-loop coaster Colossus and the iconic Nemesis Inferno. Located in Chertsey, Surrey, around a 30-minute drive from London, Thorpe Park is surrounded by water which gives it an island feel. Thorpe Park is always looking to add to its collection of rides and this year, Hyperia will open, which will be the UK's tallest and fastest roller coaster.

You can currently get some big discounts on an array of Thorpe Park tickets at Virgin Experience Days.

Get a Thorpe Park ticket for £66 £34 when you book in advance with Thorpe Park

Save on Thorpe Park tickets at Virgin Experience Days

Alton Towers

Alton Towers
Alton Towers. Getty

Alton Towers is a theme park made for people of all ages and ride preferences. It has a mixture of rides for adrenaline junkies, children, and those who prefer a more slow approach to a day out at a theme park. It is the UK's largest theme park and with 40 rides it will most definitely take you a whole day to get around.

Based in Staffordshire, West Midlands, highlights of the park include the Smiler roller coaster, the world's first 14-loop roller coaster, and the famous Oblivion (pictured above). Alton Towers has an accompanying indoor waterpark that you can buy separate tickets for and also a hotel, so it is perfect if you want to take a short weekend break.

Head on over to Virgin Experience Days to get some limited time deals on entry to Alton Towers, including 26 per cent off an Alton Towers visit for four.

Buy an Alton Towers ticket for £68 £35 when you book in advance with Alton Towers

Save on Alton Towers tickets at Virgin Experience Days

CBeebies Land

Cbeebies Land (2)

While CBeebies Land is part of Alton Towers, it has enough attractions and rides that we felt it was justified to include it as a separate theme park. It is one of twelve theme park areas in the Alton Towers Park and aptly describes itself as the theme park for toddlers.

You can enjoy interactive rides for the little ones, meet your favourite CBeebies characters and explore play areas. They also have a CBeebies Land Hotel on site, which is complete with CBeebies beds, chill-out areas, pillows and play areas.

Buy a parent and toddler pass for £68 £29 when you book in advance through Alton Towers

Chessington World of Adventures

Chessington World of Adventures Pawel Libera/ Getty

Chessington World of Adventures describes itself as 'Britain's wildest family adventure' and we think this sums the theme park up very nicely. It is a great attraction for children and those in their early teens, with a ticket giving you access to over 40 rides plus Chessington's zoo and Sea Life aquarium. The zoo is home to over 1,000 animals, including lions, tigers, gorillas, monkeys, penguins and underwater creatures.

The theme park offers a variety of less extreme rides than the likes of Thorpe Park and Alton Towers (hence suitable for younger teens and children). Recently opened is the new World of Jumanji, which has three new rides based on the adventure films. If you want to attend Chessington World of Adventures it is located in, you guessed it, Chessington, Greater London.

You can also save up to 24 per cent on entry for groups of two, three or four thanks to Virgin Experience Days.

Get a Chessington World of Adventures ticket for £66 £34 when you book in advance with Chessington World of Adventures

Save on Chessington World of Adventures tickets at Virgin Experience Days


Legoland resort

If you're looking for a theme park for the kids then LEGOLAND Windsor is the place to go. There are 44 LEGO-themed rides and attractions to explore, from The Dragon to LEGO City Driving School, the famous Miniland to Fairy Tale Brook. Live actors roam the park and there are several shows to enjoy throughout the day.

A day of creating and making is guaranteed with a breadth of places to build and shop for LEGO. As well as rides and building opportunities, you can also stay in the LEGO hotel if you want an overnight break or take on four different adventure LEGO mini-golf courses for an added fee.

And we've got even more good news: Virgin Experience Days are now offering up to 36 per cent off entry to LEGOLAND, as well as a range of other deals.

Buy your LEGOLAND ticket for £68 £35 when you book in advance with LEGOLAND

Save on LEGOLAND tickets at Virgin Experience Days


Diggerland Diggerland

For children and parents who aren't fussed about adrenaline-boosting rides, Diggerland is a great family day out. As the name suggests the park is based around fun with diggers and there are plenty of rides, activities and challenges for the kids to enjoy.

From rides on JCBs to digging for treasure, and mini land rovers to a soft play area, Diggerland provides fun for kids of all ages. A lot of their rides are challenge-orientated so provide good learning opportunities as well as fun. With four parks placed around the UK in Kent, Devon, Durham and Yorkshire, wherever in the country you're based you can find one close to you.

Buy a Diggerland ticket for £32 each when you book in advance through Virgin Experience Days

Blackpool Pleasure Beach

blackpool pleasure beach
Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Getty

Blackpool Pleasure Beach has a great variety to suit thrill seekers as well as young families. They currently have the UK's tallest rollercoaster, aptly named The Big One, and are home to the UK’s first suspended looping coaster completely over water. As well as heart racing coasters they have a selection of family rides and a special Nickelodeon Land, full of rides for the little ones.

Located on the sea in Blackpool, the amusement park also hosts shows and live events including pantomimes and figure skating performances.

Great for a variety, Blackpool Pleasure Beach is not an amusement park you want to miss, but if you don't fancy rides check out Blackpool Dungeon, featured in our Best UK family days out guide.

Buy tickets for Blackpool Pleasure Beach for £50 £35 when you book in advance through Days Out

Drayton Manor

drayton manor best family days out uk
Drayton Manor. daysout.com

Another one for the children and early teens, Drayton Manor Theme Park has a variety of roller coasters, attractions, a zoo and Thomas Land. There are over 50 theme park rides with fan favourites including Thor, Loki, Maelstrom and the Accelerator rollercoaster, as well as Crazy Golf and the River Rapids.

Drayton Manor Theme Park is based in Tamworth, Staffordshire, which is about a thirty-minute drive outside of Birmingham. Like several of the theme parks on this list, it also has an on-site hotel which you can stay in for an added cost.

Buy a Drayton Manor Theme Park ticket for £45 £40 when you buy in advance from Days Out

Paultons Park

Paultons Park
Paultons Park Flickr

Another great theme park on our list is Paultons Park, home to Peppa Pig World and over seventy rides and attractions (nine of these being Peppa Pig themed). It is great for younger kids and early teens with a mix of roller coasters, thrill rides, family rides, indoor and outdoor play areas, water splash parks and a collection of animals at their amusement park.

Located in the New Forest National Park, Hampshire, Paultons Park is a good theme park for those living in the South of England who don't fancy trekking too far up North. With cheaper tickets than the rest of the theme parks on our list, it also provides a more budgeted theme park experience (although it will still cost you over £25 for an adult).

Buy Paultons Park tickets for £43.50 in advance when you book through Paultons Park


For some more of the best days out, take a look at our list of the best F1 experience days and the best animal experiences in the UK.