Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places, Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger, Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Lightwater Valley, Alton Towers and Flamingoland - all in 1 week!

I know I haven't blogged but we've been away and I wasn't about to pay £12 a day for internet access, I kept up with the world via my smartphone but anything other than a 3 word email reply was left until we came home!!

So in this week of weeks we went to Lightwater Valley, had 2 days at Alton Towers and came home via a day at Flamingo Land and oh what fun we had. I sort of thought about taking my camera but then I decided that on balance Theme Parks and expensive cameras just don't mix, especially when your children have a penchant for the watery rides.

Lightwater Valley we go to every year and it's a constant, 1 new ride a year which replaces 1 that they retire, it's family fun, costs less than £50 for a family of 4 if you have a voucher and it's a fun day out.

We'd never been to Alton Towers before and I wasn't sure if Abigail and Looby were still too small for it at 5 and 6 respectively but Alton Towers is brilliant fun for all ages, Abigail is a thrill seeker and went on all the rides she was tall enough for along with Mr Thrilling himself, My husband is an adrenalin junkie and went on The Nemesis, Oblivion, Air and Rita Queen of Speed. He loved them all though he did admit that he was on the edge with Oblivion because of his fear of heights.

I stayed away from all of the scary rides, I'm not an adrenalin junkie and I was perfectly happy on the twirling toadstools and the Nutty Squirrel ride!

One thing, if you can when you go buy the tickets online and in advance, we paid £106 for our family of 4 for 2 day tickets and with that you get to go into the park an hour early which means less queueing and more riding. Also beware that you have to pay for parking, the first day we paid a fiver and got the monorail but it was a nightmare as the park was emptying. The second day we opted for express parking at £10 and wow, we were next to the entrance and got in and out without any trouble at all!

Next time I think we'll stay in one of the Alton Towers hotels and there's no doubt that we will go back but only after we've managed to do Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures and Legoland later this year.

Flamingo Land was our least favourite themepark though we made it work and had fun, the customer service is crap, the food is a pile of horrible pants and the terraforming was last updated in the 70's and there is something slightly retro about Flamingo Land, like it doesn't know whether it's a zoo or a themepark and at £82 for a family of 4 not that great value for money. we've decided that we won't be going back to Flamingo land for a long time to come.

All in all we had a blast last week and it's always sad to come home but I literally bounced straight back into a wedding and had the time of my life, stay tuned for images from that wedding later in the week
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