Days OutNorth East England

Lightwater Valley, Ripon – A Toddlers Paradise

We went on a mini staycation to see the MIL. MIL lives in the North East so we decided to have a day out at Lightwater Valley with our three toddlers as it was only 40 minutes away. As there are three of our Mini Travellers and we are only two (a common complaint) we hadn’t been to a theme park before. Many rides need our little people to be accompanied and we couldn’t run the risk of going somewhere and not being able to go on a ride because here wasn’t enough adults.

So we set off to Lightwater Valley with a picnic packed and a slight worry about whether there would be enough rides for our three to go on. We had booked online for a 30% reduction, so only £19 for me and hubby and £5 for the kids. In a stroke of genius the MIL as an OAP (!) was free.

The journey down to the park was fine, the roads weren’t too busy as it isn’t the school holidays (for most) just yet. However as we arrived we followed four very full coaches into a pretty full car park.  Off the coach ran what felt like hundreds of teenage boys and our hearts sank. Until that is we realised that toddlers and teenage boys do not want to go on any of the same rides.

We started with the train around the park so we could get our bearings. The station is just as you get in and goes every 15 minutes or so.  It’s cute and perfectly big enough to keep toddlers entertained.


We were the only people on it, and that was the theme for the day. Whilst the park was busy, the rides our MT’s could go on weren’t. We would walk up to an empty ride and they would open it up for my three. If they wanted to go on again, they just stayed on. Absolutely perfect for three stroppy toddlers who hate waiting for anything.

As well as the ten rides they say are designed for Mini Adventures a number of the Mega Adventures can be ridden by the little ones provided they are accompanied by an adult.  My MIL wasn’t keen on the little dipper but loved the Carousel.

We ended the day five and a half hours later (which is a long day for my 3, 2 of whom still often sleep at lunchtime) with a long play on the angry birds playground which is probably the best adveture playground I have ever seen.

These are just some of the rides they went on:

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Mini Travellers

Mini Travellers

Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!

Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.


  1. Paul Brown
    September 5, 2014 at 8:19 pm — Reply

    Loved your blog. Lightwater Valley is great and I’m glad that you had a good time!

    My 2.5yr old son loves it, so much for him to do! 🙂

  2. September 6, 2014 at 8:51 am — Reply

    Having enjoyed Frightwater valley last year we would love to visit Nightwater valley in October and see what that’s like.

  3. Jennifer Toal
    September 6, 2014 at 11:53 am — Reply

    Lightwater valley great fun!!

  4. September 9, 2014 at 8:56 pm — Reply

    I am so joining this! We want to go there to experience that fun that your fam experienced. #letkidsbekids

    • Mini Travellers
      September 9, 2014 at 9:09 pm — Reply

      It was fab, fingers crossed. thanks for commenting.

  5. September 10, 2014 at 8:07 pm — Reply

    I remember going to Lightwater Valley as a child and being too scared to ‘ride the rat!’ I’d love to go back with my kids.

  6. September 11, 2014 at 1:26 pm — Reply

    It does look like you all had a fun day out and how fantastic you didn’t have to wait for anything!
    Thanks for linking #LetKidsBeKids

  7. Danielle Graves
    September 16, 2014 at 7:51 am — Reply

    Do you know something even though we used to live in Ripon (now we live in Leeds) apart from a quick shopping session and to use the loo’s I’ve never actually been to Lightwater Valley to use any of the rides etc.

    My son is an October born baby and was dressed as a mummy at just a few days old. We love Halloween and I’d love for him to get to go on some rides as like you I always worry there won’t be much for him to go on but your pictures show otherwise. Plus it could be a late birthday treat.

    Fingers crossed and thanks for the opportunity.

    • Mini Travellers
      September 16, 2014 at 8:00 am — Reply

      It was a really good day I would definitely recommend it. Fingers crossed for you.

  8. September 17, 2014 at 7:53 pm — Reply

    I have never been before, I would love to visit x

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