These are some of the top theme parks around England that are close to Manchester, whether you’re looking for a fun way to spend a weekend afternoon or for a short break further afield.
You’ll find theme parks for everyone, from small children to teenagers, with everything from kid-friendly characters and attractions to thrill rides and roller coasters for adrenaline junkies.
1. Inflata Nation Manchester
🚗 Distance From Manchester: 4.6 Miles
Inflata Nation Manchester is one of the closest theme parks to Manchester which is one of the best places to go on school holidays or other special occasions. As the name implies, this theme park is all about the inflatables.
This Manchester theme park boasts a double-decker arena filled with all sorts of inflatable fun, including inflatable slides, an inflatable obstacle course, an inflatable ball pool, and more. There’s also a designated inflatable play area for younger children under four years old.
In addition to being a great family-friendly theme park, Inflata Nation Manchester is also one of the top places for children’s birthday parties in the Manchester area.
2. Legoland Discovery Centre
🚗 Distance From Manchester: 5.9 Miles
Legoland Discovery Centre is another family-friendly theme park in the greater Manchester area. Just a short drive away from Manchester, Legoland Discovery Centre is a great place to spend a weekend afternoon or a school holiday.
Specially designed for children aged three to ten, Legoland Discovery Centre is the ultimate indoor Lego playground for Lego enthusiasts.
Kid-friendly rides including Kingdom Quest and Merlin’s Apprentice await visitors at Legoland Discovery Centre, along with play areas for different age groups. Other attractions at Legoland Discovery Centre include a 4D cinema and various activity centres where you can play, build, and experiment with Lego bricks.
3. Gulliver’s World
🚗 Distance From Manchester: 21.9 Miles
Gulliver’s World is another one of the best theme parks near Manchester with many different attractions for the whole family. There are a number of Gulliver’s theme parks around the United Kingdom, but Gulliver’s World is the closest to Manchester.
This theme park is designed for families with children aged two to thirteen, and there are more than 25 rides and attractions across six different themed lands with options for kids of all ages.
Older kids will enjoy the roller coasters and log flume rides at Gulliver’s World, while younger children will have a blast on the kiddie rides and at the many themed play areas.
Gulliver’s World also has three restaurants, a coffee shop, and an on-site hotel that offers themed short break packages if you want to extend the fun for several days.
4. Alton Towers
🚗 Distance From Manchester: 44.3 Miles
Alton Towers is one of the best England theme parks that’s located less than 1.5 hours from Manchester. Alton Towers is the largest theme park in the country, with more than 40 rides and attractions including thrill rides and roller coasters.
For adrenaline junkies, rides like Wicker Man and The Smiler can’t be missed. But Alton Towers has plenty of tamer rides and attractions to enjoy too. There’s also a water park where you can cool off on hot summer days.
For young children, CBeebies Land will be one of the highlights of Alton Towers. This themed land allows little ones to meet their favourite characters from popular CBeebies programs and experience kid-friendly rides and attractions.
If you want to spend the weekend at Alton Towers, there are multiple on-site hotels and unique accommodations, including the CBeebies Land Hotel, Stargazing Pods, and Luxury Treehouses.
5. Southport Pleasureland
🚗 Distance From Manchester: 51.5 Miles
Southport Pleasureland is one of the best seaside amusement parks near Manchester. Located in Southport Beach, this amusement park has been in operation since 1913.
It features rides and attractions that are fun for the whole family, including roller coasters, a log flume, a Ferris wheel, high-flying swings, and more.
In addition to rides, you can enjoy classic arcades and boardwalk games at Southport Pleasureland where you can test your luck and see if you’ll come away a winner. Other activities like face painting and caricatures are available on the boardwalk.
6. Blackpool Pleasure Beach
🚗 Distance From Manchester: 53.4 Miles
Blackpool Pleasure Beach is another amusement park offering the perfect day of family fun not far from Manchester. If you’re looking for a seaside getaway, Blackpool is just over an hour from Manchester and has a lot to offer, including Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
This theme park is situated on the South Shore of Blackpool and opened in 1896. Families still enjoy outings to Blackpool Pleasure Beach to this day. The theme park boasts multiple roller coasters for thrill-seekers, as well as more family-friendly rides.
Young children will especially enjoy Nickelodeon Land, where they can meet SpongeBob SquarePants and other popular Nickelodeon characters.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach also offers hotel packages so you can make a weekend getaway out of it. In the evenings, there are spectacular shows and special events like fireworks.
7. Drayton Manor Theme Park
🚗 Distance From Manchester: 87.3 Miles
Drayton Manor is a theme park that offers fun for the entire family. This theme park has unique attractions including Thomas Land, an entire themed land dedicated to Thomas the Tank Engine.
With more than 25 Thomas-themed rides and attractions, this is the ultimate place for young Thomas fans. You can take a trip on the railroad and even meet Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends.
Aside from Thomas Land, Drayton Manor has dozens of other rides for all ages, including water rides and thrill rides. There’s also a zoo and special events like the Vikings Festival at Drayton Manor Theme Park.
8. Lightwater Valley
🚗 Distance From Manchester: 89.4 Miles
Lightwater Valley Family Adventure Park is one of the best adventure parks in England that the whole family can enjoy. It’s specially tailored to kids under twelve with more than 40 rides and attractions to explore.
One of the highlights at Lightwater Valley is Treetop Trails, a soaring pathway of nets over more than 2,000 acres of forest.
You’ll also find dozens of kid-friendly rides and attractions including bumper cars, go-karts, train rides, play areas, and more.
9. Flamingo Land
🚗 Distance From Manchester: 98.8 Miles
Flamingo Break is a fantastic destination for a short break for families looking for fun and adventure. This theme park boasts plenty of attractions for all ages.
From thrill rides to kid-friendly attractions, you’ll find plenty of options to entertain the whole family at Flamingo Land. There’s also a zoo with animal encounters and a Junior Rangers program that allows kids to learn more about wildlife.
For those looking to extend their visit to a short break, Flamingo Land offers several types of accommodations including lodges, holiday homes, and cottages.
10. Legoland Windsor
🚗 Distance From Manchester: 194 Miles
Although it’s further away from Manchester at around a 3.5-hour drive, Legoland Windsor is a great place for short breaks. Located in the greater London area, this theme park is the ultimate experience for Lego lovers.
Unlike the Legoland Discovery Centre in Manchester, Legoland Windsor is a full-fledged theme park with over 55 rides and attractions across 12 themed lands.
Legoland Windsor is also home to two Lego-themed hotels where you can keep the fun going in a unique and immersive environment.
11. Thorpe Park
🚗 Distance From Manchester: 204 Miles
Thorpe Park is the second-largest theme park in England and offers guests over 200 hectares of rides and attractions. Located southwest of Central London, this theme park is known for its thrill rides, making it ideal for older children and teenagers.
Adrenaline junkies will love the half-a-dozen extreme roller coasters at Thorpe Park, along with countless other thrill rides.
In addition to rides and attractions, Thorpe Park also hosts special seasonal events like its popular Fright Nights at Halloween.
12. Chessington World of Adventures
🚗 Distance From Manchester: 217 Miles
Chessington World of Adventures is a wildlife-themed park with dozens of exciting rides and attractions, a zoo, and an aquarium.
Rides like Mandrill Mayhem and Mamba Strike will satisfy thrill-seekers, while there are also plenty of family-friendly rides for younger children to enjoy too.
One of the most unique aspects of Chessington World of Adventures is the hotel, which offers animal-themed rooms and safari views. You can wake up and see wildlife including giraffes and zebras roaming outside your room before heading off to the theme park for a day of fun and thrills.