Lightwater Valley theme park is located near Ripon in North Yorkshire. We are a big fan of theme parks and I’m lucky that my then 5 year old loves rides as much as I do. We visited in early summer and spent a full day out enjoying their 35 rides and attractions. Some of the rides were too epic for my son and some were too ‘babyish’ for him. But that’s a great mix because I love to visit a place that has something for everyone.
Disclaimer: We were provided with complimentary tickets for the purpose of this review. All opinions and photos are my own and must not be duplicated.
Please read on to find out about our day at Lightwater Valley theme park.
Lightwater Valley Theme Park review
The site at Lightwater valley is reasonably large. It can take a few minutes to walk from one side to the other. But certainly won’t tire little legs out too much. Make sure you pick up a leaflet as it will help you not to miss anything out and you can plan your route through the park.
We started our day with a ride on the carousel. To ride on the carousel kids have to be 1m+. 1m and under can ride in designated carriages accompanied by an adult. Next to the carousel, there is a big swing ride called Skyrider. You have to be 1.2m to ride which my son is but he refused to go on the ride.
Also in this area, there were a couple of cute toddler rides – Noah’s ark and Lady bug.
On a path off to the right you will find one of the parks biggest rides the Eagle’s claw. You have to be 1.3m to ride this ride which my son isn’t – not that he’d have gone on it. He loved the Eagle’s creek farm ride next to it as he enjoyed watching everyone on the Eagle’s claw.
Children can ride on Eagle’s creek farm alone if they are over 1m. 1m and under must ride accompanied. You sit in a tractor which moves around a track. It could do with a few more things to look at. I’m pretty convinced my son thought he was really driving the tractor. The staff were all very friendly around the park.
We decided to wait for the train to take us over to the other side of the park. It’s a lovely ride and I must admit we went on it a couple more times later in the day. Lightwater express runs in a loop between two stations. There are no set times to wait, you just have to turn up and wait.
You don’t get to see much of the rides on the train but you do get to see this very lovely lake. They have Swan boats on the lake which are essentially pedalos. This is open from May until the weather turns later in the year. Under 16’s must be accompanied by an adult.
Raptor attack was my son’s favourite ride. We went on it twice and if he’d had his way we’d have gone on it even more times. It’s a fast rollercoaster ride in the dark and you need to be 1.2m and over to ride. Watch out when you walk off the ride – you may get wet on the way out!
Afterwards, we headed into the pirate-themed area. This has two pirate ships both of which my son was apparently never going on….ever! The Flying cutlass is for those over 1.1m. Children over 1.3m can ride unaccompanied. The other pirate ship is the Black pearl which goes upside down! Children must be 1.3m to ride and 1.4m to ride unaccompanied. There are plenty of pirate-themed rides here for smaller people.
There is a mini pirate ship called the Wave rider for toddlers and younger children. Also in this area, you will find the Skull rock ride. Children under 1.1m must be accompanied by an adult. The boats go round and round and up and down simulating waves at sea. Another fun pirate-themed rides is Powder Kegs. This is a lot faster than it looks and throws you all about the place, it was one of my favourites. Children must be 1.2m to ride and 1.3m to ride unaccompanied.
My son also went on the Pirate swinger. Only passengers between 0.9m and 1.4m may ride on this.
Next, we decided to explore the rest of the left side of the park. We stood and watched people on Splash falls for a while. You will get wet on this ride so there was no persuading my son to go on. You must ride two to a raft. Two of the slides you have to be 1.1m and over and the over 1m and over. There is another water ride at Lightwater valley which is Wild river rapids. You can ride on this at 1m and over and 1.3m and over can ride unaccompanied. It is white water rafting type ride and again you will get wet.
Also near the pirate-themed rides, you will find the Ladybird. This is a mini rollercoaster great for younger children. It’s not too fast, nor too scary. Children must be 1m to ride and 1.2m to ride unaccompanied. Next to the Ladybird, they have 4 more toddler rides also suitable for younger children. Adults are not allowed on these rides.
There is a mini Ferris wheel, Clownaround ride, Dragon boats and spinning teacups. There is another ride perfect for younger children in this area which is the Vintage car rally. It’s very similar to the Eagle’s creek farm tractor ride but instead of ‘driving’ a tractor around the track the kids get to ‘drive’ a vintage car.
Now we’d been on all the rides we wanted to go on we headed over to the petting farm and play areas. Make sure you have a bounce on Jumpin’ jacks bouncy pillow on the way. My son loved Jester’s Jungle fun pictured below. It’s covered with a sheet so great if the weather isn’t too good. It’s suitable for children aged 6 and over and there’s plenty to climb on and slide down.
He also loved the large Angry birds themed adventure playground. It was huge and children could climb really high without being at any risk so it’s great for kids of most ages. It was also incredibly quiet when we visited so my son had a great time exploring without a care in the world.
Before we left this area we did pop over to Rigmoor petting farm. This is a small farm with some really cute animals waiting to be stroked.
Finally, we finished our day off with a round of Jurassic adventure golf. I wasn’t going to let him as it was an extra £2.50 each but he hadn’t stopped asking all day so I caved in. We have played a lot of crazy golf and I have to say that this course is one of the best we’ve ever played. The holes are challenging without being too hard and it all looks new and well cared for.
Other big rides that my son wasn’t tall enough or brave enough for were:
Apollo – This is a high up swing ride. Children have to be 1.1m or over and to ride unaccompanied they must be 1.5m.
The Ultimate – Children must be 1.3m to ride this ride. I would probably have dragged him on this ride had he been tall enough. It’s a large wooden roller coaster with a few drops. You can’t really see it when you are walking around the park but I’ve watched a video for it on Youtube and it looks great fun.
Trauma Tower – This is a high tower where you are dropped up and down at height. Children have to be 1m or taller to ride and over 1m they can ride unaccompanied by an adult.
Thunderdome – We nearly went on this but ran out of time. It’s a fast-spinning Waltzer ride. Children must be 1.2m or over to ride and 1.4m to ride unaccompanied.
Lightwater Valley is not open all year round. For most of the year, the theme park is only open at weekends and during school holidays. Please check their website before you leave home. It is cheaper to purchase your tickets online in advance. Online a ticket for those over 1.3m is £22.50 and £15.00 for children 1.0m-1.3m in height. Under 1.0m are £8.00 and under 3 are free. There are other pricing options such as seniors, disabled, armed forces and more.
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