Unleash the Thrill: Explore Cornwall’s Must-Visit Theme Parks

Written by: Eliot Prince

Oh boy, if there’s one thing I love it’s a good theme park!

And I’m always very happy that there’s a few to choose from in Cornwall.

Although, I would just temper your expectations a little bit because they’re not quite as big as the most famous in the UK – such as Alton Towers or Thorpe Park.

But like everything in Cornwall, we do theme parks in our own way.

Anyone with teens or younger will know the struggle of bored kids when you’re stuck on a family holiday together. 

That’s why I’ve put together a list of Cornwall theme parks to keep the whole family entertained – perfect for those moments when the kids are screaming that they can’t take yet another beach. (Tough life…)

In this guide we’ll cover: 

  • Which are the best theme parks in Cornwall
  • Similar Family Fun Attractions & Waterparks
  • Where they’re located and opening dates
  • Attractions, meal options, and more!

Let’s Ride!

Flambards Theme Park

  • Location: Helston

The very popular and nostalgic Flambards — a half hour drive from Truro — has been periodically closed over the last few years. 

First, this was due to Covid. Then refurbishments put the park out of commision. However, they’ll finally be reopening on the 25th March 2023!

Known for their dedication to improving the park over time, Flambards added the Western Mine Train in 2021 and then the Ferdi’s Mini Carousel in 2022.

However, that’s not all they’re known for. 

Their friendly staff and shorter-than-usual queues (for a theme park) make Flambards a popular destination for both birthday parties and casual day trips for the entire family.

While you’ll need to be at least 90 cm tall to ride the famous Hornet Roller Coaster, if you’re between 90 cm–1.2 m you will need to be accompanied by someone responsible — and taller!

There are various other height restrictions on rides, so best to check the Park Map for full details before you visit.

Several rides — especially in Ferdi’s Funland — as well as the Cool Zone indoor play area are specifically for younger kids. There’s also an area in the Cool Zone (the Tots Zone) for those under 95 cm only.

In addition, if you head along in August and October you’ll be able to catch the award-winning “Fireworks Spectacular” night show on certain days. The park will be open later, so no need to worry about having to rush out!

During the summer holidays (July–September) Flambards also hosts their “Summer of Fun” program, specifically to keep the kids occupied. 

If you book in a group of 20+ you can also get a discount, so why not round up a few of your friends and their kids and head on a trip to the south-west together?

While the rides are obviously the big pull here, don’t be fooled into thinking that’s all Flambards is. 

Inside, they have an “Aviation Experience”, “Britain in the Blitz”, “Victorian Village”, and “Chemist Shop Time Capsule” models and experiences, designed to educate and entertain.

Suck the kids in with the rides, then make them do some “fun learning” — what a great idea!

Prices vary depending on whether you book for both the rides and indoor attractions, and there are various concessions available, too. 

Bear in mind that if you book online admission is somewhat cheaper, so you’ll be able to take advantage of this if you plan ahead!

Some attractions require you to pay a little extra, due to their capacity limits and availability. This includes:

  • Prize games
  • Coin-operated machines.

Season tickets are also available for £60 per person, which includes the fireworks dates and Ferdi’s Indoor Play admission. If you’re planning on going multiple times (or live nearby), then this could be a good option for you.

Camel Creek Theme Park

  • Location: Wadebridge

Just 30 minutes north of Truro you’ll find Camel Creek Family Theme Park. With four different areas – all containing a plethora of activities for all ages – this one makes for one awesome big day out! 

Over in Kiddie’s Kingdom, children of all ages can play in the sand pit and indoor playhouse. However, there are some height restrictions on other attractions.

The Kiddies’ Carousel, Pony Express, and Wave Rider are all suitable for those 92 cm or over, though you’ll need to be accompanied by an adult if you’re between 92 cm–105 cm.

Meanwhile, you’ll find the largest coaster in the park in Thunder Canyon — the Air-Bender! You can only ride this guy if you’re over 130 cm, and only with an adult  if between 130 cm–150 cm.

You’ll also find Mission Simpossible in Thunder Canyon –  the only 5D simulator theatre in Cornwall. 

Unfortunately, you can only have the full 5D experience if you’re over 120 cm tall (and over 130 cm to ride without accompaniment). However, those under 120 cm can still watch in 3D from the 3D viewing gallery.

And, as if all that wasn’t enough, you can get up close and personal with meerkats, crocodiles, snakes, emus, deer, and Shire horses and poniesover in Creature Creek. What a treat!

When you get peckish, head over to one of the five available kiosks, cafés, and restaurants. 

From there you can fuel up on more hearty meal options, snacks and drinks, ice cream and slushies, and — for those who need a little caffeine boost — a much-needed cup of coffee!

If you’re vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free, you’ll find a number of options at Creeky’s Playhouse.

Prices vary depending on the season, and annual passes are also available here. These come with a whole heap of benefits and discounts, so if you’re planning on coming multiple times it could be well worth it.

The Milky Way Adventure Park

  • Location: Bideford, North Devon

No, it’s not quite Cornwall, but it’s very close – and Bideford is a lovely wee town! Home to one of the greatest beaches in North Devon, hundreds flock here annually for their relay races.

Even more famous is The Milky Way Adventure Park. A favourite for birthdays, school groups, and more, The Milky Way can accommodate preschoolers to primary aged kids ( and upwards)!

You’ll find both indoor and outdoor rides and attractions here, though neither roller coaster — or the various other rides — are particularly hair-raising. There are, however, a few height restrictions applicable, so be sure to check the website ahead of time.

Between April–October, the famous Merlin (as seen on Britain’s Got Talent!) hosts Merlin’s Family Show – a twice-a-day magical act in the Indoor Theatre. In the show, Merlin teaches the crowd about planets, juggles, and performs magic tricks.

Other notable events throughout the year include the “Unique Easter Grotto” (on over the Easter holidays), an Easter-themed experience, and “Birds Of Prey”, a live display of birds of prey, run by David Rampling (on during the summer holidays).

Ticket prices vary but include free shows, with the option to add extra activities like ceramic pottery painting and the Ninja Stars Arena. You can also purchase group tickets for birthday parties (only available during term time) and annual passes.

There are even mobility scooters for those who need them, as well as concession tickets. This includes a complimentary ticket for carers of disabled guests, seniors 65+, Blue Light holders, Emergency Services, MOD, and NHS personnel.

South West’s Inflatable Theme Park

south west inflatable theme park
  • Location: All over Cornwall
  • Main attraction: Noah’s Ark Bouncy Castle

Boasting the largest inflatable park in the south-west, South West’s Inflatable Theme Park is a travelling attraction that tours through towns in Cornwall. 

Of the park’s 10 bouncy castles and slides, Noah’s Ark Bouncy Castle is the most spectacular. It reaches over 30 metres long, and can support over 60 children at once! 

With a choice between session and full-day tickets, your kids can burn their energy for a stop in your journey, or stay for the entire day. 

All adult-ticket fees are donated to Cornwall Air Ambulance, so you can have fun while making a positive influence! 

Once the kids have worn themselves out on the many bouncy castles, settle them in for a free face-painting session, and then get some grub from one of the nearby vendors.

Be sure to keep an eye out for the 243 cm-tall animatronic dinosaur that roams around the park! 

Open rain or shine and bookings-free, check out their various Facebook pages to keep abreast of locations and opening times. 

Prices vary from spot to spot, but will generally cost you no more than £10 per child (adult tickets are the bargain price of £1 per person).

Hidden Valley Discovery Park

a wide shot of the hidden valley discovery park
  • Location: Launceston

Tucked away in the historic town of Launceston, Hidden Valley is an exploratory park filled with puzzles for the whole family.

With three different puzzle areas, an outside play area, miniature railway, gardens, and gift shop and café, Hidden Valley will keep everyone entertained for hours.

Younger visitors will have a blast navigating The Muddlers Mystery Trail, an outdoor-puzzle adventure, while visitors of all ages will delight in exploring Tremuddlewick Village and all its quirks.

Feel like getting lost? Check out the Hedge Maze in the garden. You could even “accidentally” lose the kids here for a bit while you enjoy a coffee and a snack from The Watering Hole!

Lastly, The Forbidden Mansion will take you through shrinking corridors, inverted rooms, and paintings that follow your every move while you try to beat the clock in a series of fun family-friendly challenges.

Once you’ve exhausted your puzzling, grab a seat at the gazebo near the Forbidden Mansion and grab some well-deserved grub from the café.

There’s free parking on site, and kiddos three and under go free.

All tickets can be booked every half hour between 10am–2pm, and though the last entry is 2pm, the park doesn’t close until 5pm.

Be sure to book ahead online, as you’ll get a slight discount and guaranteed entry (guest numbers are limited). There are a few concession tickets available, and dogs are welcome (though not allowed to ride on the miniature train).

Oasis Fun Pools

oasis indoor funpools flume selection

Just off the Cornish coast, Newquay is a popular holiday spot with their sandy beaches and seaside resorts. 

When it comes to Cornwall water parks, The Oasis Fun Pools could be the perfect spot!

Reopening in late March 2023, the facility features 2 swimming pools, a river rapid ride, 3 water flumes (including an 80-metre super flume!), water cannon and geyser, giant tap, fountains, and waterfalls. 

Pools are both indoor (heated) and outdoor, so you can make the most of a day out here rain or shine. 

You can expect clean changing rooms with large cubicles, decently-sized pools, and friendly lifeguards. There are three eateries, as well as a soft play and outdoor play areas.

oasis fun pools logo on a rubber ring

Great news, too: the pools are extremely accessible, with wheelchair access throughout. The Terrace Bar & Restaurant is also on the ground floor, with easily adjustable seating. 

Be aware that there are some height, weight, and age limits, and you won’t be able to use the slides or rapids if you’re pregnant. Pay attention to the full terms and conditions on the website, as there are a few to be aware of.

Though the pools are open from 11am to 6pm, they’re also part of the award-winning, five-star Hendra Holiday Park. You can camp, glamp, or check-in to a holiday home on site (self-catering only), then visit the pools as often as you’d like. The choice is yours!

Prices vary depending on whether you visit during the peak or off-peak season, but kids under three get free entry. If you’re staying at the holiday park, you’ll also receive special concessionary rates.

Pre-booking is recommended, and your booking will earn you a free coffee if you have an Oasis Locals Loyalty Card!

Newquay Leisure World

newquay leisure entrance
  • Location: Newquay

Also in Newquay, you’ll find Newquay Leisure World.

Open year-round, Newquay Leisure World consists of a water park, trampoline and play park, gym, and fitness studio. 

In the pool you’ll find 6 different 25-metre lanes, as well as various features and flumes specifically for the little ones. 

For the kids, the big water attraction is 100% the swimming pools and water slides which are all themed. There’s flume rides and features such as the bubbly volcano, happy hippo, extreme orange, tippety toppety bucket, and sammy the spitting snake!

If your kids need to up their confidence in the water, why not enrol them in the “Better Swim School” programme? Lessons take place Monday–Friday and prices start at £3 per class.

There are also swimming lessons available for children aged 3 months–4 years old, adult and women-only swim lessons, disability swim lessons, and private swim lessons. 

If your goal is to be a better, more confident swimmer, Newquay Leisure World has got you covered!

Outside of the water and a quick hop and skip away is the Trampoline and play park. Along with the bouncy trampolines there’s a fidget ladder, slackline, foam pits, and more!

The centre and gym are open from 6.30pm–9pm on weekdays, then 7am–5.30pm on Saturdays, and 8am–5pm on Sundays. 

The leisure pool, trampoline park, and soft play areas also have variations in dates and times of service. 

Pricing varies depending on what you do and whether or not you’re a Better Health member, but regardless you should book through their app Better UK. 

This will ensure that you’re able to view all sessions available as the website does not necessarily show this information.

Retallack Aqua Park

retellack aquapark from above on a drone
  • Location: Saint Columb Major

Less than 30 minutes drive away from Truro and close to Newquay, Retallack Aqua Park is another great water-based destination for your family to spend the day! And it has free parking — woohoo!

Replicating a ‘Total Wipeout’-style environment, you’ll find floating obstacles, steps, and trampolines scattered throughout Aqua Park. No matter your fitness or energy levels, there’s bound to be something to suit you.

And the inflatable aqua park is budget friendly and safe, with plenty of lifeguards and instructors around.

In addition to Aqua Park, you’ll also find Cornwall’s only surf simulator, FlowRider, as well as Wake Park, a wakeboarding station.

When you’re tired of extreme adventure sports, there’s an indoor pool and adventure playground, which the younger kids will love. 

Parents, meanwhile, may enjoy a visit to the ESYA Spa, or a workout at the Health Club (though of the two, we know which one we’d choose!).

And, after burning off all those calories, you can sit down at either The Lookout Bar and Eatery, or the Beach Cafe for a snack or full meal. 

Foodies can also enjoy something from the local menu, specially created by chefs around the county, featuring local ingredients.

If you’re looking for accommodation, the on site Retallack Resort & Spa is a pretty great option — and they’re dog-friendly, too! Additionally, if you stay at the resort, you can pre-book your activities.

Though if you choose to stay elsewhere, travelling to the water park for a day trip is still a good option. You’ll need to enquire for ticket prices, though they generally start from around £20 per person in Aqua Park.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to theme parks in Cornwall you’re spoilt for choice, frankly! Just look at all these great spots all over the county.

No matter what you’re looking for or what age bracket your family members fall under, you’re bound to find something in Cornwall to keep everyone busy and entertained.

Have fun exploring the more extreme side of Cornwall!