Top 10 Biggest & Best Roller Coasters in the UK

Unfortunately we’re all stuck indoors, but when we’re over the hump with Covid-19 I know I’ll be tackling all the major UK theme parks with the kiddos to let them blow off some steam on some of the best roller coasters in the UK!

In the meantime why not have a look at our best slides for kids – sure they’re not as exhilarating as roller coasters that go from 0-80mph in 2 seconds but anything to keep the kids from yelling DAD for 5 minutes is a win for me.

The Big One: Blackpool Pleasure Beach

The Big One - Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Mari Buckley / The Big One, Blackpool pleasure beach

When it comes to massive and thrilling roller coasters, the Big One, located at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, lives up to its name!

The ride first opened in 1994 and was, at the time, the highest roller coaster in the world. Although it has lost its record since then, it is currently Europe’s sixth-biggest coaster. It also continues to be the UK’s tallest roller coaster.

Passengers on the ride experience a dramatic, adrenaline-inducing 65-metre climb, which allows them to take in the beautiful scenery of the theme park before plummeting towards the ground at speeds exceeding 70 miles per hour!

The theme park ride then takes passengers on a thrilling 1-mile circuit that includes a second drop and sharp, high-speed turns and manoeuvres!

If you want to take a ride on the United Kingdom’s tallest roller coaster, then The Big One is an attraction that you absolutely have to visit and experience!

  • Top Speed: 74 mph
  • Height: 213 feet
  • Length: 1675m
  • Ride Duration (mins): 3:00

Stealth: Thorpe Park

Stealth: Thorpe Park
Thorpe Park, Merlin Entertainments

Located at Thorpe Park, the Stealth roller coaster holds the record for being the fastest roller coaster in the United Kingdom. The ride is also the second tallest roller coaster in the UK with a ride height of 208 feet; its altitude is surpassed only by The Big One theme park ride.

Inspired by the grid launch at the start of F1 races, the stunning ride allows passengers to experience the thrill of being launched from a complete standstill to over 80 miles per hour in under two seconds!

Pressed into the backs of their seats, the riders are then propelled into a wild vertical climb before encountering an equally thrilling 60-metre drop where they experience over 4 Gs of acceleration.

I used to live in West London and frequented Thorpe Park on a regular basis and this and Nemesis Inferno were by far my favourite rides. Now I have younger kids the best I can hope for is The Dragon Coaster at Legoland!

While the attraction has an extremely short ride time of only around 30 seconds, the attraction has become one of the most famous roller coasters in the UK. If you’re a thrill-seeker with a need for speed and that enjoys high accelerations, the Stealth is the roller coaster for you!

  • Top Speed: 80mph
  • Height: 62m
  • Length: 400m
  • Ride Duration (mins): 0:26

The Jubilee Odyssey: Fantasy Island

The Jubilee Odyssey: Fantasy Island
Calzz / Jubilee Odyssey at Fantasy Island UK

Located at Fantasy Island in Skegness, England. The Jubilee Odyssey is an insane roller coaster that has become famous for its twists, sharp turns, inversions, and other thrilling acrobatics.

From looking at this theme park ride, it seems like a ride concept that was taken from the journal of a mad scientist! The 51-meter tall ride features a 43-meter drop and five thrilling inversion sections, as well as many other exciting turns and manoeuvres.

The coaster itself is an inverted coaster, meaning that riders pass merely feet from the ground as they are suspended from the ride’s tracks. The ride’s high speed – that is in excess of 60 miles per hour – adds to the thrills and exhilaration of the ride!

The roller coaster was named and opened in 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s golden jubilee. Since then, it has become the favourite of many roller coaster enthusiasts and is worth checking out if you’re ever in Skegness (skeg-vegas anyone?) – maybe you’re up this way for a trip to Butlins or to let the kids go crazy on the trampolines by the beach?

Either way, if you’re a coaster fan that enjoys inversions, high speeds, and complex manoeuvres then the Jubilee Odyssey will be right up your street.

  • Top Speed: 63mph
  • Height: 51m
  • Length: 891m
  • Ride Duration (mins): 2:52

Millennium Roller Coaster: Fantasy Island

Millennium Roller Coaster: Fantasy Island
Calzz / Millennium Roller Coaster at Fantasy Island UK

Also located at Fantasy Island, this theme park ride was opened in 1999 to celebrate the coming of the new millennium.

The Millennium Roller Coaster was the world’s first giga-coaster and shattered six world records upon opening; including the records for the longest drop on a complete-circuit roller coaster and the steepest non-inversion banked turn on a roller coaster.

Although, since its opening, it has lost most of its records, the Millennium Roller Coaster is still considered one of the world’s most thrilling rides.

While it doesn’t have any inversions, the theme park ride includes a 300-foot main drop and reaches an astonishing top speed of 93mph. If you’re a roller coaster fan that loves big drops and high speeds, the Millennium Roller Coaster is the perfect ride for you.

  • Top Speed: 63mph
  • Height: 46m
  • Length: 834m
  • Ride Duration (mins): 1:40

The Swarm: Thorpe Park Resort

Pleasure Beach Experience – The Swarm On-Ride POV 4K (Left Side)

The Swarm roller coaster has earned a reputation as one of the UK’s best and most thrilling theme park rides. The ride features a one-of-a-kind inverted drop where riders are suspended upside down before plummeting towards the ground and hitting speeds of almost 60mph.

The ride also features a unique wing design where passengers are seated beside the roller coaster’s tracks and have nothing above or below them.

The Swarm theme park ride has an unsettling, apocalyptic theme that is based around a major disaster. Passengers on The Swarm ride through the disaster epicentre and see props such as crashed aircraft and upturned cars, leaving them wondering what could have caused destruction of such epic proportions.

At one point you could ride the coaster backwards, but this was changed in 2016 with all riders facing the front again – users were complaining that due to the relatively short ride time, by the time you’d got your bearings the ride was over!

If you want to experience a thrilling roller coaster while encountering a stunning and creative theme, the Swarm will give you precisely the excitement you’re looking for!

  • Top Speed: 57mph
  • Height: 38.6m
  • Length: 775m
  • Ride Duration (mins): 1:15

Wipeout: Pleasurewood Hills

Wipeout: Pleasurewood Hills
Spencer Wright / Wipeout, Pleasurewood Hills (Modified CC 2.0)

Wipeout, formerly known as Missle (and “the Coca Cola Roller” in 1988) before undergoing a change in its theme, is a boomerang coaster in the Pleasurewood Hills Theme Park in Lowestoft, England.

The passengers on the ride are raised backwards up a steep hill before being launched towards the rest of the track where riders experience a number of inversions and thrilling manoeuvres.

After reaching the end of the track, the roller coaster reverses, and riders are taken back along the same route, except backwards. The theme park ride features three inversions that are experienced twice by passengers during the ride for a total of six (three forwards and three back)!

If you’re looking for an exciting and thrilling twist to roller coasters, the Wipeout theme park ride will give you precisely what you’re looking for!

  • Top Speed: 50mph
  • Height: 37m
  • Length: 285m
  • Ride Duration (mins): 1:48

Shockwave: Drayton Manor Theme Park

Shockwave HD POV / Drayton Manor Theme Park

When it opened in 1994, the “7up” Shockwave theme park ride in Staffordshire, England, was one of only two stand-up roller coasters.

The ride sees passengers suspended while standing up, leading to a unique and exciting ride experience. After a brief climb, riders drop into a loop while hitting speeds of 53 miles per hour.

The roller coaster’s passengers experience forces of 4Gs as the ride flies through multiple corkscrews and a zero-gravity loop. Altogether the ride has four inversions.

Because of its unique design, the Shockwave has become a fan-favourite amongst many roller coaster enthusiasts!

  • Top Speed: 53mph
  • Height: 36.5m
  • Length: 500m
  • Ride Duration (mins): 2:00

Kumali: Flamingo Land

Kumali: Flamingo Land
Ben Sutherland / The Kumali Drop (Modified 2.0 CC)

The Kumali roller coaster, located at the Flamingo Land Resort, is a famous ride amongst theme park ride fans.

After a climb, the ride launches passengers straight into thrilling inversions and manoeuvres. The ride features four inversions, and its riders experience nearly 5Gs of force while on the ride.

The roller coaster also has on-board cameras that take photos and videos of passengers on the ride, which they can purchase after their ride. This theme park ride is perfect for thrill-seekers that enjoy feeling high Gs and experiencing rolls and inversions at high speeds.

  • Top Speed: 55mph
  • Height: 36m
  • Length: 671m
  • Ride Duration (mins): 1:32

Speed: No Limits: Oakwood Theme Park

Speed: No Limits: Oakwood Theme Park
SN0612 / Oakwood Theme Park::Speed – No Limits (Modified CC 2.0)

Speed: No Limits is a famous and unique roller coaster located at Oakwood Theme Park in Wales.

The ride opened in 2006 and instantly became a favourite of visitors at the theme park. Its uniqueness comes from its vertical climb and thrilling drop that has a vertical angle of 97 degrees.

Passengers on the ride experience four and a half Gs of force as they whip around the track and its multiple inversion and manoeuvre sections. The roller coaster also goes over an airtime hill where riders feel weightless as they briefly experience negative G forces.

If you enjoy theme park rides that have unique features and manoeuvres, then Speed: No Limits is a ride that you should definitely check out!

  • Top Speed: 59mph
  • Height: 35m
  • Length: 600m
  • Ride Duration (mins): 1:30

Infusion: Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Infusion: Blackpool Pleasure Beach
JohntheScone / Infusion (Pleasure Beach, Blackpool) (Modified CC 2.0)

Infusion is a roller coaster that is built entirely over water and gives riders the experience of soaring merely feet from the surface of the water.

The ride is decorated with fountains and water jets, and at night the ride is lit up with floodlights for an amazing spectacle during both night and day.

The Infusion used to be named the Traumatizer when it was at Pleasureland Southport, but when the location closed down in 2005, the roller coaster was relocated to Blackpool Pleasure Beach and was repainted to its current aqua-blue colour.

Passengers on the ride experience G-forces of over 4Gs as the roller coaster encounters five inversions and complex manoeuvres. The theme park ride does a 33-metre climb before engaging in turns, twists, and loops while getting increasingly closer to the water’s surface. If you’re a roller coaster enthusiast looking for a unique and thrilling ride experience, the Infusion theme park ride is the perfect attraction for you!

  • Top Speed: 50mph
  • Height: 33m
  • Length: 690m
  • Ride Duration (mins): 1:36

In Conclusion

That’s it from us today, have you been on any of these coasters? Feel free to share pictures or stories with us below in the comments section and we’ll be sure to post them!

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