Once the home of Sir Robert Peel, Drayton Manor is now an action-packed theme park split into six thrilling zones; together with Thomas Land, perfect for those with younger children. We visited on a sunny (busy!) day in the summer holidays.
We plunged straight in at the deep end, heading for the extreme rides of Aerial Park. After queuing for over an hour (ouch!) for the Ben 10 ride I began to regret our decision, particularly when my six-year-old buckled at the last minute, refusing to get on! After this tricky start things picked up, and we were able to hop straight onto The Drunken Barrels, The Big Wheel and Apocalypse; a terrifying vertical drop ride where you feel you’ve left your stomach back at the top!
If you want something slightly tamer, that’s guaranteed to result in howls of laughter, then Splash Canyon in Action Park is a must! Seating six people in a raft, it spins as it rides through a torrent of water. And whilst you’re getting soaked, head for Stormforce 10, a log flume that even goes backwards for a while – just don’t forget your cagoule!
Varying height restrictions apply throughout the park, they’re indicated on the handy map that you’re given as you go in. Be aware of these to avoid kids’ disappointment after they’ve waited excitedly in a queue.
For lunch we managed to get a picnic table by the lake at the heart of the park. Alternatively The Grill Inn has an à la carte menu from 12pm onwards, or you could stop off in one of several cafés which offer a variety of hot dogs, pasta, chicken and pizzas.
Every good theme park has a haunted house, and Drayton doesn’t disappoint. The Haunting comes complete with a simulator, making a room spin at high speed, and a finale of vampire bats rising from a grave. There was also the ubiquitous rocking pirate ship, rollercoasters of varying magnitude and speed, dodgems, a carousel, boats, a zoo, Dino trail, and much more.
My six-year-old finished off his day feeling so proud for braving the Buffalo-coaster, an easy-going rollercoaster with a few sharp bends; and my nine-year-old took his first steps onto an upside down ride, Pandemonium. It looked terrifying, but left him with a flushed face and a big smile.
Whatever the age of your children, we’re sure you’ll find something at Drayton Manor to delight everyone. You will go home wanting more!
29 Mar-2 Nov Daily 9.30am-5pm.
Adult £36, Child £27, 2-3 year olds £5, under 2s free. Car Park £3. Check website for online discounts. Buggy Hire available £6 per day, nappies for sale in the toy shop.
Drayton Manor Theme Park, Tamworth, Staffordshire B78 3TW
Tel: 0844 472 1960 draytonmanor.co.uk