17 Jun 2012
The Unofficial Guide to Britain’s Best Days Out: Theme Parks & Attractions
Theme parks – these haven’t featured too highly on my travel wish list for a few decades, although growing up a short drive from Alton Towers did mean that other attractions often paled by comparison even then. But, I suspect, it won’t be long before I’m being pestered to start including them on trips.
So a book which promises to give an in-depth look at the best days out, from historic sites to animal and theme parks, sounds like a good start for families. But while there’s a huge range of options crammed into The Unofficial Guide to Britain’s Best Days Out: Theme Parks & Attractions, the guide book I was given to review, you’re in danger of drowning in detail without getting much real insider content.
Covering England, Scotland and Wales, there’s reviews of everything from Longleat Safari Park to Legoland as well as the Imperial War Museum in Duxford and Alton Towers, although the writers have deliberately avoided some of the bigger London attractions.
The upsides are that no stone has been left unturned, so you’ll get a write-up of individual rides with star ratings, details of everything within a safari park, and even maps and one-day touring plans for families with children of various ages for larger sites.
Unfortunately, the useful tips tend to get lost amongst the avalanche of information, with the kind of detail that only rollercoaster nerds are likely to want – I’d like to know if long queues are common but I doubt many people care if it’s a continuous loader or not.
More grating are the Americanisms, and frequent assumption that readers are totally unfamiliar with British culture – let’s face it, after this summer, who needs to be told to be prepared for rain at any time?
If you’re planning to pack every weekend with a different UK theme park, it’s probably worth adding this to your library. Otherwise, I’d say save your money for the entrance fees…