Lokomotives, a tiger and Yogi Bear, oh my! Drayton Manor has almost too many thrills

Stormforce 10 at Drayton Manor.  Photo by Tony Charnock'www.tonycharnock.co.uk'www.tonycharnock.com'(01527) 544614'07770 48 48 88
Stormforce 10 at Drayton Manor. Photo by Tony Charnock'www.tonycharnock.co.uk'www.tonycharnock.com'(01527) 544614'07770 48 48 88

Drayton Manor almost has too much on offer.

The Tamworth theme park, that incoporates Thomas Land and a zoo, is an intense experience that necessitates a return visit.

The very first thing you encounter on walking through the gates is Thomas Land.

Popular with the younger visitors, its theme is self explanatory, celebrating the family favourite Thomas the Tank Engine, brought to life by Rev. W. Awdry in the 1940s.

It’s a gentle introduction into the world of theme parks for youngsters, with enough of a thrill factor that they come off the rides wide-eyed, but not teary-eyed.

As great as roller coaster type rides are, it’s the train that takes you from ‘Sodor’ to the other side of Drayton Manor that provides the highlight.

Everyone loves a train ride, especially on one of the country’s most beloved engines.

At the other end of the line is a surprisingly large zoo.

From cheeky little monkeys, to a shy tiger that didn’t fancy making an appearance during our visit, there’s the promise of some spectacular wildlife.

And some enormous scaly beasts lurk behind the glass in a reptile house.

In the land between Thomas and the animals, are attractions that can be enjoyed by the young and old together.

The Ben 10 ride has a quick enough descent to raise a scream, but it’s a brief rattle up and down a track, and not too overwhelming.

Perhaps the park’s best offering is the 4D cinema, showing a short Yogi Bear film.

Audiences, whether they like it or not, get a real feel for the action, with some surprise special effects.

For adrenaline junkies there is Apocalypse, Maelstrom and Stormforce 10 - a ride best encountered while wearing waterproofs.

Wild West Shootout is an addictive interactive attraction, great for competitive families who like to get one-up on siblings or parents.

And for the little’uns, there are carousels and mini-coasters.

Getting round it all in a day is nigh on impossible, especially if you want to cater for the needs and wishes of children of varied ages.

But with an on-site hotel, there’s the chance to extend your visit into a second day.

As with all theme parks, you can spend a fortune if you’re so inclined, but there are plenty of picnic tables dotted around Drayton Manor to facilitate a home-made lunch.

And if the weather threatens to dampen spirits, themed indoor play areas are present.