Alton Towers, StaffordshireThe UK's answer to Disneyland (complete with costumed characters and two hotels) has eleven separate 'lands'.
Ride guide Rollercoasters include Nemesis, where your legs hang down, and AIR, where you lie horizontally beneath the track, as if you are flying. If you don't mind getting wet, ride The Flume and the Congo River Rapids.
There's a large spa and some beautiful 18th-century gardens for the oldies to stroll in. You can relax at Cariba Creek water park in fine weather, though its Master Blaster water rollercoaster is ready and waiting if you crave more thrills.
Legoland Windsor, BerkshireYou'll find few white-knuckle rides at this gentle park, designed mainly for pre-teens. There are some amazing Lego models, though.
Ride guide Jungle Coaster is the fastest ride in the park, hitting 60kmph in parts. Pirate Falls is for the splash-happy, with animated pirates warning you of your impending doom, and the Dragon is a twisty ride, taking you inside past Lego models and outside through the trees.
In Miniland, 35 million bricks have been used to create scenes from European cities. There are Lego-building workshops, 3D movies in the Imagination Theatre, and slightly surreal-looking Lego characters to meet.
Chessington World of Adventures, SurreyOne of the southeast's top amusement parks, its ten lands include a zoo, Beanoland (based on the comic) and Pirates Cove.
Ride guide Rameses' Revenge, in the Egyptian-themed Forbidden Kingdom, turns you upside down, spins you round ¢ and gets you very wet. There are lots of gentle rides, such as Sea Dragons, that are suitable for the littl'uns.
New this year is the Sea Life Centre, its highlight a glass tunnel full of sharks, rays and other fish. There are new tiger cubs at the zoo, too.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach, LancashireThe old favourite opened in 1896, and is still family-owned. It has everything from traditional wooden rides to some of the world's best high-tech rollercoasters.
Ride guide Newest coaster is the terrifying Infusion, which opened last year. This 'dangler' loops the loop ¢ and races through cascading water. When it opened in 1994, The Big One was the tallest, steepest, fastest roller coaster in the world, and it still isn't to be sniffed at. The indoor Space Invader 2 zooms through darkness.
Family fun includes the Alice Ride, which takes you through Wonderland. Hot Ice is an ice-dance spectacular.
Lightwater Valley, North YorkshireAs well as the 40 or so rides and attractions, this 175-acre park in Ripon has a peaceful lake and a centre for birds of prey.
Ride guide Every park needs a claim to fame, and Lightwater has Europe's longest rollercoaster, The Ultimate. New last year was Hornets' Nest, which spins you manically in every direction. For great views, ride the new Lightwater Wheel.
If thrill rides aren't your thing, have a walk around the lake. There are daily flights at the Bird of Prey Centre, and there's retail therapy at the shopping village.
Barry's Amusements, Northern IrelandThere's a pleasingly old-fashioned air to this small, much-loved park on the coast in Portrush. Apparently, the actor James Nesbitt worked here as a youth.
Ride guide There are great views of the Causeway coast from the Looping Star rollercoaster â if you can concentrate on them. You hang upside down on The Experience, there are good old dodgems, and mini-dodgems for the tots. There's a lovely, old-fashioned carousel ride, too.
Barry's has up-to-date stuff as well as the classics â if the weather fails, there's always the Sega video games arcade.
Paultons, HampshireCelebrating its 25th anniversary this year, this new Forest resort is advertising '1983 prices' for kids - bargain! It's mainly a place for younger children.
Ride guide The Cobra is the biggest of the park's three coasters, and has plenty of drops and spirals. The new Sky Swinger is exhilarating, and on the Raging River Ride you splash down the drops at up to 60kmph.
Paultons was originally a country park, and still has lots of animals, including crowd-pleasing meerkats. There are mini-go karts, lots of gentle rides, and 10 acres of gardens for strolling.
Drayton Manor Theme Park, StaffordshireWhat with this place and Alton Towers, Staffordshire is the UK's theme park capital. There's all kinds of stuff within Drayton Manor's 280 acres.
Ride guide Expect big queues at super-popular Stormforce 10, which recreates a lifeboat rescue. Scream your lungs off in Apocalypse, a freefall tower ride, and hang from your hips on the speed-freak favourite, G Force.
Younger children can meet their favourite tank engine at Thomas Land, which opened this year. Drayton also has a 15-acre zoo, housing more than 100 species, and there are plans for a hotel and water park.
Oakwood Theme Park, Pembrokeshire, WalesOakwood lies in a pretty valley, and has developed since the Eighties from a small family park to a major attraction.
Ride guide There are five big thrill rides - Speed is the newest, with the steepest drop of any UK coaster. Megafobia, a rattly wooden rollercoaster, is highly rated among enthusiasts. You'll get a good soaking at Snake River Falls.
Lost Kingdom is an adventure playground for younger kids, who can also pan for gold at the New Orleans Mint Panning Company. There's a twist on the ghost train - you wear 3D glasses for an in-your-face experience.
M&D's, Strathclyde, ScotlandSet within Strathclyde Country Park, southeast of Glasgow, 'Scotland's theme park', as it is branded, is a bit wee, but it packs in some good rides.
Ride guide Tsunami is Scotland's only inverted rollercoaster, and Tornado is the biggest and fastest ride, reaching 80kmph. Bungee sends you flying into the air, covering 50 metres in 1.2 seconds, and new for 2008 is The Captain's Curse, a white-knuckle pirate ship ride.
There's crazy golf, glow-in-the-dark bowling, and an indoor rainforest environment, Amazonia. The Pailis Theatre opened this year, and features Rocky Rooster strutting his stuff with songs and dancing.