Hotels near Lightwater Valley, Harrogate

Lightwater Valley

Set in 175 acres of beautiful North Yorkshire countryside, the Lightwater Valley theme park is best known for being the home of Europe’s longest rollercoaster, The Ultimate. It welcomes around 500,000 visitors a year.

There are more than two dozen rides, divided into three groups: Ultimate Adventures suitable for the over-nines, Mega Adventures aimed at five-to-nine year olds – or anyone who doesn’t fancy the more intense rides – and Mini Adventures for the under-fives.

The park is also home to a number of other attractions including the Angry Birds Activity Park, the Lightwater Valley Falconry and Eagles Creek Farm. Why not book one of our hotels near Lightwater Valley and explore everything it has to offer to the full?

History

Bizarrely, the park started life in 1969 as a pick-your-own fruit farm. The first ride, the Rat Ride which became Raptor Attack, was built in 1987. The Ultimate, which is still its flagship rollercoaster, was opened in 1991 by Frank Bruno.

Rides

Ultimate Adventures include the Black Pearl pirate ship, which will flip you upside down while the Raptor Attack takes you through underground tunnels. There you’ll also find the unpredictable drops of the Trauma Tower and a tumble through the treetops on The Twister. The six-minute, 1.5-mile Ultimate itself reaches a speed of 50mph and a height of 107 feet.

Gentler Mega Adventures include the Wild River Rapids, the Falls of Terror giant water slides, the Skate Kart track, the Wild West-themed Buffalo Express miniature railway, the carousel and the Lightwater Wheel, which offers panoramic views of the park and the countryside.

Gentler still, the Mini Adventures include the Dragon Boats, the Wave Rider pirate ship, the Swan Lake Pedal Boats, the Lightwater Express miniature railway, the Mini Ferris Wheel and Noah’s Ark, where kids can ride on their favourite animal.

Angry Birds Activity Park

This 30,000 ft2 play park features characters from the game and includes dance zones, an indoor activity centre and, of course, screens on which you can play the game.

Eagles Creek Farm

Jump aboard a tractor and make the acquaintance of the kunekune pigs, Shetland ponies, pygmy goats and donkeys.

Lightwater Valley Falconry

You’ll find more than 50 birds of prey at the falconry centre, including owls, falcons, eagles and hawks, as well as rheas, snakes and ferrets for good measure. Learn all about the birds and how they live, see how they are handled and trained, have your photo taken holding one of them and watch one of the daily flying shows where the birds might even land on your arm.

You can also book an Owl Experience, where you’ll get to spend an hour meeting and handling the owls, or a Hawk Walk – a stroll through the countryside with a beautiful bird of prey flying alongside you.

Lightwater Country Shopping Village

This 30,000ft2 mall sells everything from clothes to plants and has a restaurant, The Granary.

Getting there

If you’re coming by car, take the A6108 out of Ripon, which is off junction 50 of the A1(M), towards the village of North Stainley. The satnav postcode is HG4 3HT. Parking is free.

If you’re coming by public transport, the nearest train station is Thirsk – it’s a good 13 miles away, but you can get bus 70 from there to Ripon bus station, and bus 159 from Ripon marketplace to the park.

Gates open at 09:45, with rides open from 10:00. Closing time is between 16:30 and 18:00, depending on how many visitors there are – you can phone the day before to get an estimate of the likely closing time.

As well as the restaurant in the shopping village, there are two cafés in the park, a coffee shop, a pub and several snack outlets.

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