Amusement Parks: Lightwater Valley - a Potted History

18 January 2009

Lightwater Valley is an amusement park located in Ripon in North Yorkshire. It was probably most famous for being the amusement park with Europe’s longest rollercoaster, the Ultimate – a record it held between 1991 and 2001. This flagship ride lasts for an incredible six minutes.


The amusement park initially evolved from being a small pig and strawberry farm in its humble beginnings and was the brainchild of Robert Stavely. Today, the amusement park that resulted contains over 40 rides and is also the home of a number of retail outlets and restaurants.

Lightwater Valley Attractions Ltd. operates the amusement park. This company is a division of Heritage Great Britain PLC, the amusement park’s holding company.

Other thrill rides at the amusement park include The Eagle’s Claw, the Falls of Terror, the Black Widow’s Web, the Twister and the Hornet’s Nest. For those who like to explore all aspects of what the amusement park has to offer, you can hitch a ride on the Lightwater Express which takes you on a journey around the entire amusement park at a more leisurely pace.

For those who enjoy some of the more traditional rides associated with amusement parks, there’s also the giant Ferris wheel – the Lightwater Wheel -where you can enjoy a panoramic view from the top of not only the amusement park itself but also the beautiful surrounding environment of the North Yorkshire countryside.

Younger children are also well catered for at the amusement park. There’s the Amazing Maze to get lost in as well as dodgems, flying camels and Grand Prix go karts to enjoy. Tiny tots will also love the Dragon Boats and Noah’s Ark.

Every good amusement park has its own mascot and Lightwater Valley is no exception. Its three green alligators – affectionately known as ‘the Valleygators’ act as the amusement park’s mascots and are always out and about entertaining the younger visitors.

The amusement park also has a Birds of Prey centre to raise awareness of many species of birds, including golden eagles and owls as well as guests being able to watch these birds being handled and trained in the daily flying shows at the amusement park. Wildlife enthusiasts will also be fascinated by the amusement park’s Creepy Crawly Cave, featuring various species of frogs, snakes, spiders, toads, rats and the infamous Australian Bearded Dragons.

The Riviera and the Conservatory cater for all of your food and drink needs at the amusement park and there’s also the Pub In The Wood!

See also:
Amusement Parks: Camelot Theme Park - a Potted History

Amusement Parks : Diggerland - a Potted History
Amusement Parks : Fantasy Island - a Potted History
Amusement parks: Gulliver's World - a Potted History
Amusement Parks : Legoland Windsor - a Potted History

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