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Archive for the Ronny’s Travels Category

ACE UK! 2015 – Epilogue ii: Tour of The Scottish Borders

Tour of The Scottish Borders On Friday, July 31 we crossed the border from England, with its rolling hills, into Scotland, with its more mountainous terrain. We drove through Jedburgh, viewing Jedburgh Abbey from the road. We would be doing about half of a Tour of the Scottish Borders recommended by my Eyewitness Travel Guidebook on Great Britain. Our first stop was Dryburgh Abbey located along the Tweed River. Considered Scotland’s most evocative monastic ruin, Sir Walter Scott is buried here. We spent a while walking among the ruins, imagining monastic life centuries ago and pondering the fate of this […]

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ACE UK! 2015 – Epilogue i: Lightwater Valley and Hadrian’s Wall

Lightwater Valley When trying to decide what to do on the additional 3 days at the end of the trip, a number of options came to mind. While we were mainly looking at sightseeing options, there was one park that was not a part of the ACE trip that I particularly wanted to get to, more so than several that we visited. Time limitations prevented a visit to Lightwater Valley on the official trip, but we decided it was worth the near 4 hour drive to get there. So Wednesday night we rented a car and Thursday morning, July 30, […]

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ACE UK! 2015 Add On – Part 10: Thorpe Park

Thorpe Park On Wednesday, July 29 we left the Radisson Blu Edwardian Heathrow for the final stop of our trip, Thorpe Park in Chertsey, Surrey, England. Operating since 1979, this unique park is surrounded by lakes, making it a series of islands. Merlin has made this its thrill park, adding lots of big coasters over the last few years. While divided into themed sections, the theming is not always clearly defined. Even so, theming of individual rides is quite elaborate. I will review the park by themed section. We were given 5 Queue Busters, although the park was not that […]

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ACE UK! 2015 Add On – Part 9: Dreamland & Adventure Island

Dreamland On Tuesday, July 28 we left the Radisson Blu Edwardian Heathrow for our much anticipated trip to Dreamland in Margate, Kent, England. Having operated from 1863 to 2006, the park sat closed since then until its exciting reopening on June 19 this year. While known as Hall by the Sea from 1863 to 1919 and Bembom Brothers Theme Park from 1981 to 1989, it has spent most of its years as Dreamland. The oldest coaster in the U.K. and one of only 9 scenic railways in the world was the stimulus to get this park reopened. After a 2008 […]

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ACE UK! 2015 Add On – Part 8: LEGOLAND Windsor & Chessington World of Adventures

LEGOLAND Windsor On Monday, July 27 we drove the short distance from the Radisson Blu Edwardian Heathrow to LEGOLAND Windsor in Windsor, Berkshire, England. Operating since 1996, this park is only a short distance from Windsor Castle, which you can see clearly from the park. While we had several issues with coasters during the main trip, in the end they all opened before we left the park. But that was to be different on this add-on trip. We had already experienced one closed coaster at Drayton the previous day, but what we would encounter today would be the single highest […]

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ACE UK! 2015 Add On – Part 7: Drayton Manor

Drayton Manor On Sunday, July 26 we headed from Radisson Blu Edwardian Heathrow to Drayton Manor in Drayton Bassett, Staffordshire, England. Operating since 1949, this is a midsized theme park. It is divided into themed areas, but the theming is somewhat limited except in a few sections. I will review the park by themed section. While we had rain most every day as you would expect in England, this was the only day that it rained pretty much the whole day. PEEL PLAZA This is outside the park near the Drayton Manor Hotel and has Crazy Golf, miniature golf, for […]

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ACE UK! 2015 – Part 6: Joyland, Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach & Pleasurewood Hills

Joyland Amusement Park On Saturday, July 25 we expected to have our most challenging day of the trip as we had 3 parks and 10 coasters to get in over 6 hours. We drove from Park Inn By Radisson Petersborough to Joyland Amusement Park in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England. We arrived at about 9:45, but the park let us come on in and begin riding. This is a very small children’s park, but it is amazing how much they fit into such a small space. Tyrolean Tub Twist: (Horace Cole, Wood Powered Junior Virginia Reel, 1950) The debate will rage […]

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ACE UK! 2015 – Part 5: Flamingo Land

Flamingo Land On Friday, July 24 we left the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Leeds City Centre in Leeds and arrived at Flamingo Land in Malton, Yorkshire, England around 9:30. Operating since 1959, this park has a zoo and lots of rides. Of 9 coasters, 5 are family coasters. Although theming is not overly elaborate, I will review it by themed sections. METROPOLIS Home to 3 of the park’s coasters, this section, despite its name, does not display Superman theming. Velocity: (Vekoma, Motorbike Coaster (Custom), 2005) This was expected to be the main attraction for our stop, but unfortunately when we […]

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ACE UK! 2015 – Part 4: Pleasure Beach Blackpool

Pleasure Beach, Blackpool On Wednesday, July 22 we arrived at Pleasure Beach Blackpool in Blackpool, Lancashire, England. Operating since 1896, this is the park I have most anticipated visiting. No other park in the world has 5 wood coasters. It has so many historic attractions – the first ghost train, the only remaining vintage circle swing, the world’s first haunted swing, one of only 3 Derby Racers, one of only 5 operating wooden wild mouse rides, one of only 3 Mobius wood coasters, and the list goes on. We arrived at the park’s Big Blue Hotel around 3:00 and were […]

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ACE UK! 2015 – Part 3: Alton Towers

Alton Towers For some the most anticipated stop of the trip was Alton Towers in Alton, Staffordshire, England. Hands down the U.K.’s best theme park, it first opened in 1980 and has grown steadily through the years, building quite a collection of coasters and other rides. It is operated by Merlin Entertainments that owns several other theme parks in the U.K. that we would visit later in the trip. Here, the emphasis is on elaborate theming of both the sections and the rides. What really sets this park apart, however is the castle – Alton Towers – that sits in […]

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