A visit to Lightwater Valley

Hubby and I had visited Lightwater Valley pre little man but we couldn’t really remember too much about it. Last week we decided on an impromptu visit and a day out in the sunshine. Located just outside Ripon, Lightwater Valley is around an hour and 20 minutes from our home in Durham. It’s a theme park suitable for families and offers a range of rides suitable for any adrenaline level!

The park is well sign posted once you’re in the general area and there’s plenty of parking available with car park marshalls on hand to direct your vehicle. The park wasn’t as busy as I’d expect, despite the fact we were visiting right in the middle of the school holidays.

A standard ticket for guests measuring over 1 metre and allows entry onto all rides costs £19.60 if you book online in advance. Under 1 metre tickets cost £5 and under 2’s are free which was a very pleasant surprise when we were queueing at the entrance desks. Lightwater Valley also offer a range of discounts for senior citizens, carers and emergency services staff, had I remembered to take my ID badge!

Lightwater Valley dinosaur crazy golf

The entrance to the park is home to a Jurassic themed crazy golf. You can access the crazy golf without paying to enter the park and if you’re visiting the park you get a discounted rate if you decide to visit. The little man was too young to play but he looked shouting and pointing at the interactive dinosaurs.

Lightwater Valley rides

There’s a good range of rides in the park, ranging from relaxing family friendly swan pedal boats on the lake to the adrenaline inducing ‘Ultimate’.

We didn’t go on any of the larger rides during out visit, we opted to go on the more family friendly ones or one of us taking the little man on age appropriate rides whilst the other took photo’s.

Lightwater Valley Eagle Creek farm tractors

Eagle Creek farm at Lightwater Valley

The little man almost couldn’t handle the excitement when he realised he’d be riding in a tractor at Eagle Creek farm, so much so, we rode if 3 times during out visit. 

Lightwater Valley Eagle Creek Farm

Lightwater Valley

Lightwater Valley boating lake and swan pedal boats

Lightwater Valley express train

We loved the Lightwater Express train which runs round the majority of the park, stopping at certain stations to allow you to disembark or join the train. It’s perfect for tired legs and you can even transport push chairs in a special carriage.

Lightwater Valley with child riding the teacups

ride silhouette at Lightwater Valley

father and son on the rides at Lightwater Valley

metal spider sculpture at Lightwater Valley

Near the entrance to the park there’s a great falconry area. It’s home to a good range of birds of prey, snakes, lizards and even some rabbits. We all enjoyed wandering through it and found it a very calm and relaxing location compared to the hustle and bustle of the park itself. 

lizards at Lightwater Valley

I would return to the park, but maybe in a year or two when the little man is a little older so he has the option of going on some of the bigger rides. I would also recommend taking a picnic with you as although the prices weren’t too inflated we struggled to find healthy choices for the little man.  

What we liked
The good range of rides for children the little man’s age
Lack of queues
Plenty of clean toilets with baby change facilities dotted around the park
The Lightwater Valley falconary centre
There’s plenty of grass and seating if you’ve taken a picnic
The reasonable prices

What we didn’t like
The food options were limited. I would have liked to see some healthier options available
A minimum spend of £5 is required on all card machines/shops and food outlets around the park
We found quite a lot of the staff we spoke to quite unhelpful and not particularly polite

The little mans favourite rides –
Eagles Creek farm tractors
Lightwater Express train



The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway in West Yorkshire

On our recent trip into Bronte country we paid a visit to Keighley and Worth Valley railway, a 5 mile long railway that runs both stream and diesel trains. The line was originally used used to run between the villages and transport goods from the mills. 

We paid £15 each for a rover ticket which allows unlimited travel on the train and open top bus for a whole day. The rover ticket also allows free entry into two museums at one of the stations. Children under the age of five travel for free. 

The line was bought from British Rail by a preservation society after it was closed in 1968.
The railway runs between Oxenhope and Keighley and is completely run by volunteers. 
The steam train we travelled on stops are 6 train stations (though one of them is by request only). 
We boarded the train at Haworth having missed the first train of the day from Oxenhope where we were staying. 
You can park in the car park adjoined to Haworth station for a reasonable £3 for the full day. 
The railway station is that of a traditional 1950’s station with quaint little ticket office and a gift shop. We had a wander round Haworth on our return journey and found a 

Haworth Central Park, a pretty green park with a relaxing atmosphere. We spent an hour or so sat on the grass enjoying the sun. 

Our first stop of the day was at Keighley. To be honest I was a little disappointed. We struggled to find much to do and the shops around the train station were all a little tired and strange … think of a big row of Cash Converters! 
We ended up finding salvation in a fantastic 1940’s tea room called Forteas and spent time in there until the train out was due. 
Our second stop off the train was at Ingrow (West) where you can access two small museums with your rover ticket from the train. One of the museums is the Vintage Carriages 
Trust Museum of Rail Travel which was small but really interesting. You can look round the old train carriages which are set out as they would have been at the time they were used. The volunteers are extremely knowledgeable about the railway and the trains and keen to give you more information.  

The train can also stop at a station called Damems if you requested it to staff on the train. We didn’t stop there but it’s the smallest standard-gauge railway station in Britain and also has a waiting room, booking office, signal box and level crossing.

Another of the stops is Oakworth which is famous for being used in the 1970’s version of the Railway Children – I love that film! The station was still decorated with Tour De France things after it passed through the area just before our visit. 
With your rover train tickets you also get unlimited day access to the open top tour bus which travels over the moors with a guide giving commentary. The views were great although the bus was extremely bumpy. 

We were on and off the train most of the day and had a great time. The only negative aspect is the timetable. It’s a bit of a nightmare because it isn’t possible to make a stop at each location and still catch the last train back, though I do believe it changes during different times of the year.