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“Worst theme park i've been to in a long time!” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Lightwater Valley Theme Park

Lightwater Valley Theme Park
North Stainley, Ripon HG4 3NB, England
+44 1765 635321
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Owner description: Escape to Lightwater Valley and discover the excitement of a day bursting with thrills, chills and adventure for the whole family, whatever the weather! Mini adventures are for our youngest guests. Rides and activities include the UK's largest Angry Birds Activity Park, the Lightwater Express train ride, Eagle's Creek Farm complete with tractor rides and animals, and the Lightwater Falconry Centre with daily flying shows. (1-5 Years) Mega adventures are suitable for our junior thrill seekers. Rides include the splashtastic Falls of Terror, Wild River Rapids, and swashbuckling pirate fun in Skeleton Cove aboard speedy Skull Rock and the tummy tickling Flying Cutlass. (5-9Years /over 1m in height) Ultimate adventures are for anyone with the nerves to face up to the challenge! Feel the power of Whirlwind and the grip of our Eagle's Claw, before climbing aboard Europe's longest roller coaster - The Ultimate and venturing into the world of Raptor Attack's abandoned mineshaft. (9 - Adults and over 1.2M in height) Lightwater Valley Theme Park, Ripon, North Yorkshire is open 28 March - 01 November 2015. Please check website for exact opening dates and times.
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Worst theme park i've been to in a long time!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2012

Went to Lightwater Valley today with my husband & 3 year old daughter. I have to say i was less than impressed with this place.

We paid £16 each entry using 30% off discount offered. My daughter although only 3 is quite tall (over 1m) so we pre-booked her ticket too, if she had been under 1m she would have had free entry.

My first impressions of the park were not good & sadly didn't improve throughout the day. You arrive into what i can only describe as what looks like a travelling fairground. The rides looked old, tired, rusty & not appealing at all. My little girl was measured to go on some of the rides by the staff & their 'measuring sticks' & surprisingly measured under 1m however on entrance measured 1.2m??!!! Had she been under 1m she had been free, so she was tall enough to pay entry but not tall enough for some of the rides?! Lightwater Valley you need to be consistant with your measuring system!

The grounds the park are in are beautiful and really were the only plus side to this park. The lake is lovely and the parkland appears very well kept. The staff we also in the main friendly & helpful.

Now, lunch time. This was quite truely awful. I have even uploaded a photo of the hotdog they had the cheek not only to serve, but to ask £3.10 for. We had intended to eat in the 'pub in the woods' but this was closed so we had a choice to eat in the other two main food halls. My daughter wanted a hotdog & my husband a burger but neither hall served both, we had to buy a hotdog in one then trek to the other for a burger. Food was well below par & appauling value for money.

Generally, I really think this park tries to live off the one decent ride they have, 'The Ultimate'. Most of the other rides you would find at a travelling fair & I think that shabby is an understatement when describing this place. Needless to say we will not be returning & will not be recommending it to friends & family. Lightwater Valley sort it out.

Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Manager at Lightwater Valley Theme Park, responded to this review, July 6, 2012
Hi There,

Thank you for posting your review. I do believe it is unfair to relate our rides to a travelling fair as we have a number of coasters and rides that are set in well themed areas such as Raptor Attack and Skeleton Cove etc.

We are really heartened that you thought our staff were friendly though. I'll pass your comments onto them at the next team meeting.

We are very strict on our height measurements for safety reasons. It is essential that only guests who are tall enough are allowed on certain rides. We stick to the health and safety rules laid down by the manufacturers of the rides themselves. That way we can ensure our guests have an excellent and safe adventure.

For those just over a meter there are a number of attractions available to them, from magical train journeys around the park to swashbuckling adventures on The Pirate Swinger as well as a number of fairground rides.

Please could you get in touch with me with regards to your catering suggestions. We take all customer feedback seriously, so drop me an email if could.

Kind Regards,

Simon@lightwatervalley.co.uk
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English first
Newcastle, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Basically a travelling fair”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2012

I'm not really a 'big ride' person but I went with my school last year for our Leavers' trip and then on a separate during the Summer holidays with a friend.
First, the school trip.
First impressions was 'travelling fair' because on arrival, you come to a fair like area, with games to rip you off. From there, I could see the Eagles' Claw swinging and I just thought to myself 'death trap!'
Lots of kids from my class went on it and one of them came off crying and shivering, although the staff monitoring the ride didn't even attempt to calm her or assure her. Our teacher had to do that.
We then left the Eagle's claw and came to a signposted ride for something falls (can't remember what it's called now) but all I could see was a load of wooden stairs. Some kids who'd been to the park previously decided that they'd go on it. I had absolutely no idea what it was so I didn't go on it.
Fast forwarding a bit, we got to the Ultimate. Our teachers thought it wouldn't take long to get all the people in our class who wanted to go on it to have a go. God no! All the poor people (including me) who didn't go on waited for about half an hour before one of the teachers came out and told us to go on something else.
We went on the water rapids ride. This was the best I'd been on all day, although it didn't hold a candle to all the others I'd been on at different theme parks in and out the UK. I decided to get a keyring with a picture of me and my mates. There was a deal of something like buy one for £2.99 (rip off!) and get one for 99p. So I did.
After everyone else had come off the Ultimate, we had lunch. We all had packed lunches. There didn't appear to be an area for packed lunches, despite the fact they have so many school parties visiting them. So we sat on grass where we were attacked by wasps and flies. I left most of my lunch untouched because there had been flies and wasps all over it.
We went to the gift shop where they were selling cheap rubbish at ridiculous prices (which my classmates actually fell for!)
Finally, we visited the toilets on the way out. I went in the end cubical and was horrified to discover that there was a WINDOW! It was a sort of blurred window but someone in my class put their face against the glass! It was so embarrassing!

Second visit was more-or-less the same. This time we visited the food hall. Horrid! Slippery floor, cheap food and no atmosphere.

I had the opportunity to go again this year or to go to Forbidden Corner. I think you know which I chose!

Visited July 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Manager at Lightwater Valley Theme Park, responded to this review, June 26, 2012
Hi There,

Thank you for taking the time out of school work to write your review. We're glad you picked up on the fairground atmosphere we create in the fairground it certainly has a great assortment of rides. I do think that on balance your review is quite unfair.

The Eagles Claw is not a death trap and is classed as one of our Ultimate Adventures. As such only riders who enjoy adrenalin, negative g forces and excitement should ride. I would recommend any guests who visit Lightwater Valley check our website for full details of what each ride does, as well as watch the accompanying ride video.

Shame you weren't up for the Falls of Terror, they're great fun and are unique to Lightwater Valley being the only white knuckle slides in a UK Theme Park.

Its also a shame your teachers insisted you leave The Ultimate as it is one of the best roller coasters in the world. Normally queues would average twenty minutes. Each train carries thirty eight passengers and so quickly eats up the queue!

I am surprised you were unable to find anywhere to have a picnic as we are renowned as a theme park for letting guests bring their own pack lunches and providing over fifty picnic tables. Additionally we have a number of undercover restaurants ranging from fast food establishments to waiter service.

Without any doubt, Lightwater Valley offers a brilliant day out as many reviews on Trip Adviser and elsewhere will testify to. It is our hope you will come back to Lightwater Valley soon.


Kind Regards,

Simon@lightwatervalley.co.uk
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Leeds, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“The Ultimate outshines the rest”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2012

We went to the Talon Falconry Owl experience initially and whilst there decide to go to Lightwater Valley as well. There are some decent enough rides with The Ultimate being by far the best and ranks up there as one of the best rollercoasters but the rest of the rides were very average.

Visited June 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Manager at Lightwater Valley Theme Park, responded to this review, June 26, 2012
Howdy!

Thank you for your review. Talon Falconry is great right!

The Ultimate is most certainly iconic. Yet we do have loads of rides and attractions here which are well up there! Including Raptor Attack, the subterranean roller coaster adventure, Whirlwind which has been described as the most intense ride of its kind in the country and many many more.

We're looking forward to having you back soon!


Kind Regards,

Simon@lightwatervalley.co.uk
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Kingston upon Hull, England, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Excellent Day Out”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2012

We booked online to get a great price, the directions are clearly marked and the parking was good. We were greeted by the super friendly and helpful staff at the entrance and then ventured into the park. The park was spotlessly clean and the grounds were well kept. I would advise bringing a packed lunch in a thermos bag and leaving it in your car, you can obtain a pass out to grab your food, the staff will just stamp your hand with a UV stamp and you can return to the park to eat your lunch. The Birds Of Prey attraction was excellent, although this did cost a little extra, it was well worth it. The staff were extremely knowledgeable and it's not everyday an owl flies inches above your head, I won't forget that in a hurry !! The rides were fantastic and The Ultimate was incredible, this roller coaster is worth the entrance fee alone. The other rides were fun and I've never gripped onto a safety bar so much as when i was riding The Eagle's Claw, that ride was brutal (in a good way !) A fantastic day was had by all and we shall definitely return.

Visited June 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Simon E, Manager at Lightwater Valley Theme Park, responded to this review, June 15, 2012
Hi There,

Thank you for your great review! I think I remember chatting with you at the entrance. I've shown your review to a few colleagues and we are all thrilled you all had a great adventure.

We do put 100% effort into everything we do and its great when someone writes that they notice the enthusiasm shown by the team.

Looking forward to having you back soon!


Kind Regards,

Simon@lightwatervalley.co.uk
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Durham
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Great day out !”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2012

My daughter decided to visit this theme park for her 11th birthday. We did our research and saved
£6 per head by booking on line as opposed to paying at the door. She had already decided which rides to go on and set off armed with the map provided on arrival. We were surprised to find that there wasn't much of a crowd at any of the rides and as a result she went on every ride several times. The only one which had any delay was ' The ultimate' this may be due to the fact that the ride is about seven minutes long, and was using only one train.
We took a picnic to eat within the park and only used the shops for drinks, so I cannot comment on the food. I liked the place as it was very 'green' with large area of grass and wooded areas, not the concrete jungle of most other parks. It isn't a Disney or a Universal park, but it doesn't claim to be, it is a small British park that provided over 6 hours of entertainment for £16 a head, which in my view is great value, my daughter already asking to go back soon.

Visited June 2012
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Simon E, Manager at Lightwater Valley Theme Park, responded to this review, June 15, 2012
Hi There,

Thank you for your great review! We're glad you are already being nagged to come back!

Don't forget we have a great events programme for this year, so you might want to check out Swashbuckling September, Frightwater and Nightwater (fireworks)

We're looking forward to having you guys back. Thank you once again for your review.


Kind Regards,

Simon
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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