There has to be a reason why a small independent theme park such as Lightwater Valley has survived in the face of a larger neighbour.
In actually fact, the park is not as close to Flamingo Land as what is generally perceived – although it is in the same county.
The overwhelming reason for most people’s visits, and by far the most popular ride, is undoubtedly The Ultimate rollercoaster.
This truly unique ride, which is undoubtedly a maintenance headache for those that are responsible for keeping it operational – is the absolute star of the show.
The lateral g-forces, brutality of movement, questionable track profiling and, apparent deer-slaying abilities make this ride a true legend.
The enclosed rollercoaster in a still-believable faux-underground setting – Raptor Attack – is another unique selling point.
And while the DIY skip-cum-log flume has long since left, the outdoor non-swimming pool water slides and bizarre skate karts have not.
A large number of the parks guests seem to be made of people from Teesside and Tyne & Weir, for whom Lightwater Valley is a relatively short trip down the A1.
Although the gem that is the Whirlwind flat ride is now up for sale, let’s hope that those the north east and beyond continue to visit this quaint and quirky park in sufficient numbers to keep it in business for many years to come.