It’s the summer holidays, and a chance for children and teens across the country to relax a little and have fun. There’s so many exciting attractions to enjoy this summer, so not a moment should be wasted. Some of the best days out are those owned by the Merlin chain. This company is responsible for some of the best theme parks in the country as well as several museums and other attractions. So let’s take a look at some of the things they have to offer this summer.
The Merlin group offer probably the most well-known selection of theme parks across the country. To begin, we’ll discuss Chessington, World of Adventure. Based in the town of Chessington itself, this is probably the most family friendly of the company’s theme parks. Even the biggest of this park’s rides can be enjoyed by young teens, meaning that there is plenty here for the whole family to enjoy together. The park is partly a zoo, alongside the regular theme park features, and there is also a sea-life centre within, so the park offers a perfect mix of thrilling experiences and more mellow exhibits. While none of the rides at this park can compare in excitement to the other parks in the Merlin selection, its smaller thrills and mixture of animals and rides make this the best park for young children and families. The highlights of the park for me are the Vampire rollercoater, Bubbleworks, a boat trip through a world of pretty water fountains and light displays, the sea lion pool and AMAZU treetop adventure, which takes you up through the monkey enclosures.
Secondly, Thorpe Park, found in Chertsey, nearby to London, is perhaps the best park for seriously adventurous visitors. It has the scariest rides across the chain and is home to Fright Nights, nights around Halloween when the park stays open late and scary characters walk through the park. There is also plenty for younger children still though, including the well-known banana boat ride (a personal favourite of mine when I was a child), and Angry Birds Land, based on the well-known game. Currently, the park is once again staying open late for its Island Beats nights, where live music will be played by popular artists within the park. My highlights for this park are the Swarm rollercoaster, Tidal Wave, the most incredible flume you’ll ever ride, and Rush, like a much more terrifying version of the banana boat ride mentioned earlier.
Alton Towers Resort in Alton is like the perfect mix of the two, it features some of the best rides for both adults and young children, and being further North than the other two, it is more accessible for those living in this part of the country. It is also the biggest of these three parks, having a resort attached too, so that visitors can spend several days there and get everything done. Some of the highlights are Oblivion, Nemesis and Air, all rollercoasters for only the most daring. Being built on the grounds of an old mansion, it also has some beautiful gardens to enjoy once you’re feeling ill from all the fast rides, and there’s also a water-park just next-door, for a slightly different sort of day. This park will take slightly more time to experience fully, but that’s only because it has so much fun to offer.
While these big theme parks are all very exciting, fun and at times scary, attractions across the UK are not all so busy and packed with emotion. If you’d prefer a more relaxed and smaller-scale day out, then there are still Merlin attractions for you, and these will be the topic of the second article.
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