The Unofficial Guide to Britain's Best Days Out, Theme Parks and Attractions

The Unofficial Guide to Britain's Best Days Out, Theme Parks and Attractions

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"The Unofficial Guide to Days Out & Attractions in Britain" gives you the perfect guidebook to experience the best theme parks, attractions and days out in Britain. Researched and written to provide the most fun, exciting and diverse range of outings and excursions available to those looking for a great day out, this book provides an eclectic choice of big-hitting theme parks to more local experiences and unusual days out. This guide will help you plan your visit and bring the experience alive for you in a personal way written by a team of experts. For smaller attractions you'll get the lowdown on what's best to explore and hidden gems you'd never known about, while on the big theme parks you'll get smart time and money saving advice designed to maximise your fun and eliminate any stress. With honest reviews, detailed information, invaluable maps and indispensible tips, this guide will give you a book brimming with inspiration to savour for your next day out. Take a look inside. "The Unofficial Guide to Days Out & Attractions in Britain" includes: Fun A diverse book of exciting days out, theme parks and attractions, celebrating Britain's character, from big, roller-coaster theme parks to local adventure experiences and unusual trips to savour and plot your next trip away. Eclectic A different and eclectic set of day trip choices from hanging upside down at Thorpe Park or Alton Towers to dinosaur parks, famous film locations, steam trains, falconry, motor museums and wildlife sanctuaries. Time & Money Saving tips from a team of experienced experts. Expert advice to provide the most fun and enjoyable days out Honest reviews from a team with extensive training and research experience, plus evaluations based on reader surveys Up-to-date, invaluable and need-to-know information Touring plans based on patented algorithms and sophisticated research designs. Indispensible Maps and plans to show you exactly how to plan your day on the ground. About Unofficial GuidesThe "Unofficial Guides" have sold more than four million copies worldwide. This series is the only one that offers evaluations based on reader surveys and critiques, compiled by a team of unbiased inspectors. The "Unofficial Guides" are unique in their employment of sophisticated research designs and cutting edge science - focused around touring plans based on patented algorithms - to provide readers with extremely valuable information available in no other travel series, saving families time and money. An entire organization collects and compiles information for the "Unofficial Guide" series, guided by individuals with extensive training and experience in operations research as well as data collection and analysis. The result is a portfolio of guides that give visitors everything they need to know for a stress-free, efficient, fun and enjoyable day out.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 504 pages
  • 127 x 195.58 x 30.48mm | 476.27g
  • Frommermedia
  • John Wiley & Sons Ltd
  • Chichester, United Kingdom
  • English
  • maps
  • 0470683139
  • 9780470683132
  • 1,398,029

Back cover copy

Six Great Features and Benefits offered ONLY by "The Unofficial Guide" (R) All the big days out: Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures, Legoland Windsor, Eden Project and Harry Potter attractions.Practical information for your trip and tips from real families about how best to enjoy Britain's best days out, theme parks and attractions.Exclusively patented, field-tested touring plans that save as much as four hours of standing in line in a single day.Attractions rated and ranked for each age group; extensive, objective reviews with tips on what to miss and what not to miss in England, Scotland and Wales.The best of Britain's attractions from thrill rides, museums, farms, aquariums and wildlife parks to castles, train rides, outdoor centres and adventure parks.Honest advice on eating options, accommodation, timing, seasonality, the best deals, websites and how to make the most of your days out.
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Review quote

'...full of great ideas and inside tips.' (Sunday Mirror, July 2011).

'...useful guide gives you honest and practical information on every kind of paid day out.' (Allthatwomen, July 2011).

'The perfect solution for banishing school holiday boredom.' (Mail on Sunday, July 2011).

'Info for a range of interests, completely independent, best for families' (The Travel, August 2011)

'If you're reaching the zenith of a summer holiday with bored grandkids to entertain, this could prove a blessing' (Woman's Weekly, August 2011)
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Table of contents

List of Maps x

About the Authors xi

Acknowledgements xii

Introduction 1

Why 'Unofficial'? 1

Best Days Out 1

How This Guide Was Researched and Written 2

What's in a Name? 2

The Sum of All Fears 3

The British Aristocracy and Tourist Attractions 3

What Makes British Theme Parks Special 4

Deciding Which Attractions and Theme Parks to Include 5

Theme Parks (Leisure Parks) 6

Zoological Attractions 8

Aquariums and Marine-Life Attractions 10

Museums 12

Industry 13

Farm Experiences 13

Letters and Comments from Readers 15

PART ONE The World of Theme-Park Rides 17

Wheels within Wheels: The Evolution of Non-Coaster Thrill Rides 17

Other Non-Coaster Thrill Rides 21

Roller Coasters 24

Types of Roller Coasters 25

Coaster Problems: Whiplash and Nausea 29

Losing Stuff 29

How British Coasters Stack Up 30

Understanding Theme Park Rides 31

Cutting Your Queuing Time by Understanding the Rides 32

Shows 35

Cutting Your Queuing Time by Understanding the Shows 36

PART TWO Organising Your Holiday before Leaving Home 37

Gathering Information 37

Our Favourite Websites 38

Timing Your Holiday or Outing 39

Allocating Energy 41

Building Rest and Relaxation in to Your Holiday 41

Destination versus Local Attractions and Parks 42

Admission Types 42

Admissions: Where the Deals Are 43

Getting There 45

Practical Stuff 47

Accommodation 49

National Quality Assessment Scheme 50

Researching and Booking on the Web 52

Making the Most of Your Time 53

The Cardinal Rules for Successful Touring 53

Touring Plans: What They Are and How They Work 55

PART THREE British Theme Parks and Attractions with Kids 63

The Ecstasy and the Agony 63

It's about Having Fun 64

About the Unofficial Guide Touring Plans 71

Stuff to Think About 71

Pushchairs 72

Lost Children 72

How Kids Get Lost 73

Kids and Scary Stuff 74

The Fright Factor 75

A Bit of Preparation 76

A Word about Height Requirements 76

Queue Strategies for Parents with Young Children 76

PART FOUR Greater London 79

Theme Parks and Attractions 82

Chessington World of Adventures 82

The London Dungeon 104

Sea Life London Aquarium 107

ZSL London Zoo 109

PART FIVE South East England 113

Theme Parks and Attractions 113

Blue Reef Aquarium-Hastings 113

Howletts Wild Animal Park 116

Port Lympne Wild Animal Park 120

Sea Life Brighton 123

Thorpe Park 124

Farm Experiences 144

PART SIX The South of England 147

Theme Parks and Attractions 147

Blue Reef Aquarium-Southsea/Portsmouth 147

Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens 150

Legoland Windsor 152

Paultons Park 180

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard 183

Farm Experiences 187

PART SEVEN South West England 189

Theme Parks and Attractions 192

Blue Reef Aquarium-Bristol 192

Blue Reef Aquarium-Newquay 193

Brunel's SS Great Britain 194

Cornwall's Crealy Great Adventure Park 196

Devon's Crealy Great Adventure Park 198

Eden Project 200

Longleat House and Safari Park 204

National Marine Aquarium 207

Oceanarium 209

Paignton Zoo Environmental Park 210

Sea Life Weymouth 213

The Tank Museum 213

Weston-Super-Mare SeaQuarium 216

Farm Experiences 217

PART EIGHT The East of England 219

Theme Parks and Attractions 219

Adventure Island Sunken Gardens 219

Africa Alive 224

Banham Zoo 226

Dinosaur Adventure 229

Fantasy Island 231

Gulliver's Dinosaur and Farm Park 235

Gulliver's Land 236

Imperial War Museum Duxford 239

Pleasure Island Theme Park 242

Pleasurewood Hills 245

Sea Life Great Yarmouth 248

Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens 249

Woburn Safari Park 252

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo 255

Farm Experiences 258

PART NINE East and West Midlands 261

Theme Parks and Attractions 261

Alton Towers 261

Bourton-on-the-Water 299

Drayton Manor 303

Gulliver's Kingdom 307

Morgan Motor Company Factory Tour 310

National Sea Life Centre Birmingham 312

National Space Centre 313

Twycross Zoo 317

Warwick Castle 320

West Midland Safari & Leisure Park 323

Wicksteed Park 328

Farm Experiences 331

PART TEN Yorkshire 333

Theme Parks and Attractions 333

The Deep 333

Flamingo Land 338

Jorvik Viking Centre 342

Lightwater Valley 344

National Coal Mining Museum 348

National Railway Museum 350

Sea Life Scarborough 353

The York Dungeon 354

Farm Experiences 356

PART ELEVEN North West England 357

Theme Parks and Attractions 357

The Beatles Story 357

Blackpool Zoo 362

Blue Planet Aquarium 365

British Lawnmower Museum 367

Camelot Theme Park 369

Chester Zoo 371

Gulliver's World 377

Knowsley Safari Park 380

Pleasure Beach Blackpool 384

Sea Life Blackpool 408

Farm Experiences 408

PART TWELVE North East England 411

Attraction 411

Blue Reef Aquarium-Tynemouth 411

Farm Experiences 413

PART THIRTEEN Cumbria and the Lake District 415

Attractions 417

Lakes Aquarium 417

South Lakes Wild Animal Park 418

Farm Experiences 421

PART FOURTEEN Scotland 423

Theme Parks and Attractions 423

Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park 423

Deep Sea World 428

The Edinburgh Dungeon 430

M's, Scotland's Theme Park 432

Sea Life Loch Lomond 434

St Andrews Aquarium 436

Farm Experiences 437


Theme Parks and Attractions 439

Big Pit: National Coal Museum 439

Oakwood Theme Park 444

Rhyl SeaQuarium 447

Twr-y-Felin Outdoor Centre 448

Welsh Mountain Zoo 450

Farm Experiences 453

PART SIXTEEN In the Footsteps of Harry Potter 455

Attractions 455

Alnwick Castle 455

Durham Cathedral 457

Gloucester Cathedral 459

Lacock Alley 460

University of Oxford 461

West Coast Railway Jacobite Steam Train 462

ZSL London Zoo 464

Appendixes 465

Index 465

Unofficial Guide Reader Survey 475
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