Thorpe Park: referred to as the Nation’s Thrill Capital. It’s not difficult to see why.
It’s home to some of the world’s most terrifying rollercoasters, including Stealth ‘for thrill seekers who live life in the fast lane’ and Nemesis Inferno – a ‘mad inverted hell ride into the fiery pit of a volcano’.
Then there’s Saw, Swarm, Detonator, Samurai, Slammer and Colossus allowing you, if you so choose, to travel upside down at speeds of up to 80mph, plummet to earth from a height of 100ft, and brave a rollercoaster backwards. And that’s just for starters.
The names say it all, as do the size of the structures. They are massive, and from where I was standing, totally gut-wrenchingly terrifying. I refrained from trying any of them out. Admittedly that wasn’t a difficult decision to make.
So clearly Thorpe Park is perfect if you’re a teenage thrill-seeker, but what would it have to offer three young children aged 2, 5 and 9 and all too small for the bigger rides? We set off to find out and spent a day in the park.
Without question, Thorpe Park is designed for teenagers and not for younger children, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t have a really great day. It just means that we were restricted to enjoying the same four rides all day – not that it bothered the children.
We spent the day on Flying Fish, Mr Banana’s Monkey Ride and The Rocky Express.
Then there was my absolute favourite Loggers Leap, which we able to go on three times in half an hour thanks to a complementary fast pass.
There’s also a merry-go-round for very small children, but we decided it was a little too sedate.
My bother also joined us for the day. Neither of us liked to admit to feeling slightly sick after two goes on the My Monkey’s Banana Ride. Note the head with the cream hat, bowed slightly at the end of the second ride.
The lack of rides for younger children was made up for by the arcade games, which IJ in particular could have spent a whole afternoon on, but of course they do cost money, which you would pay on top of the price of your tickets. There are various games dotted around the park too where you play to win a prize.
There’s also a Neptune Beach with its large paddling pool. We had no idea it was there so didn’t arrive with towels or swimsuits, but it’s something to note if you’re visiting in summer.
Overall I was impressed with the park and we all had a really great day. It was clean, well maintained with good facilities and the staff friendly and approachable.
And despite the fact that many of the rides looked totally terrifying, I was confident that they were safe. When IJ, as a teenager, announces that she’s off to Thorpe Park for the day with her friends, I’d be happy to let her go.
Which, really, is the best endorsement any parent can give it.
We received complementary tickets to Thorpe Park. All opinions are my own. Tickets for a family group of four guests (max 2 adults) purchased on the day cost £165.60. Savings can be made if you book in advance online. Children under 1m go free. Visit the Thorpe Park website for more details. Visit Mums Do Travel for more family days out ideas.