Theme parks are a safe but pricey bet for Sheffield families in the summer holidays - here's how to save on tickets

Theme parks are a safe bet for a family day out in the long summer holidays - but do you know your Gulliver’s Kingdom from your Flamingo Land?

With more attractions than ever battling it out for business the standards are high, but so are prices.

Spontaneity is great, but booking online well advance is the best way to save money - and some places demand it - so check first.

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So what’s on offer?

The closest is Gulliver's Valley Theme park Resort which opened near Rother Valley Country Park two years ago. It has rides, attractions and entertainment for kids aged two to 13.

Tickets are £20 if booked at least two days in advance, while tots under 90cm are free.

Alton Towers in Staffordshire may have been around forever but it still offers stunning rides including Olbivion, Smiler and the UK’s claimed 5th fastest rollercoaster, Rita.

Drayton Manor is home to Thomas the Tank Engine and Thomas Land.

It also has a CBeebies Land with 15 rides and attractions. says prices are adults (12+) £55.00. child (3+) £47.80 and child (under 3) free.

Staying in Staffordshire, Drayton Manor has family rides, 100 species in a zoo, a 4D cinema and the new Vikings Land.

Gulliver's Valley, Apache Falls. Picture: Chris Etchells

The theme park is in Tamworth and costs £39.00 for 12 and up, child (4-11): £29.00, child (2-3): £8.00 and child (under 2) free.

The other Gulliver’s near Sheffield is the original, in Matlock Bath. says Gulliver’s Kingdom is a large, family-friendly theme park within walking distance of Matlock Bath on the edge of the Peak District.

Gulliver's Valley Theme Park near Sheffield

‘It’s perfect for families with children aged between the years of two and 13, offering a wide range of rides and attractions – from the Western World and Pirates Play Area, to the Log Flume and Drop Tower’.

Tickets for adults and kids are £18 if booked at least two days in advance.

The third Gulliver’s is in Warrington and aimed at younger thrill-seekers and has more than 25 rides in six themed areas. says prices are adults: £21.00 and child (over 90cm): £21.00

Flamingo Land Resort is in Malton North Yorkshire and features 52 rides and ‘one of the UK’s best zoos’. Prices are £40 adult and child and under 3s free.

Gullivers Kingdom at Matlock Bath.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach claims to be the most ‘ride-intensive’ in the country and have the only Nickelodeon Land too. It’s an old favourite and boasts a real beach nearby too.

Prices are: child £35.00, adults from £40.00

Finally, there’s Lightwater Valley Family Adventure Park in North Stainley, North Yorkshire which claims to be home to Europe's longest roller coaster, The Ultimate.

It has more than 40 rides and attractions, ranging from thrill rides such as Eagles Claw and Splash Falls, to small rides designed for children, such as Dragon Boats. Tickets are start at £20.50 and children three and under are free.

Smaller and less corporate, but no less imaginative, Sundown Adventureland in Rampton, Nottinghamshire is for the the under 10s. It originally opened as a farmyard in 1968. As of 2020, it has more than 20 rides and attractions. Prices start at £17.50 adult or child over 90cm.

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Thrillseekers on the Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.