Harbour Park

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Harbour Park
Harbour park.jpg
Harbour Park logo
Slogan "Where the FUN will never set!"
Location Littlehampton, West Sussex, England
Coordinates 50°48′12″N 0°32′29″W / 50.80346°N 0.541323°W / 50.80346; -0.541323Coordinates: 50°48′12″N 0°32′29″W / 50.80346°N 0.541323°W / 50.80346; -0.541323
Owner Gary Smart
Opened 1932
Previous names Butlin's Park (1932-1977)
Smart's Amusement Park (1977-1994)
Operating season March - October (outdoors) All year (indoor parts)
Area approx 9,600 square metres (0.0096 km2)
Rides
Total 14
Roller coasters 1
Water rides 1
Website www.harbourpark.com

Harbour Park is an amusement park in the coastal resort of Littlehampton, West Sussex, England. Opened in 1932, it is situated on the beach, adjacent to the working Harbour & Marina. The Park Features traditional rides plus other modern attractions.

History[edit]

Name Date
Harbour Park (1995 to Present)
Smarts Amusement Park (1977 to 1994)
Butlins Park (1932 to 1976)

The park was started in 1932 by Billy Butlin on the site of the old east bank fort and windmill[1] It was easily spotted from a distance by the presence of a large roller coaster on the roof known as "The Wild Mouse". Early pictures of this can be viewed in the West Sussex past pictures archive reference numbers PP/WSL/PC005524 & PP/WSL/TC001729. A picture of the old site prior to construction is also available reference number PP/WSL/PC005512.

During the war the park closed from 1941 to 1945, and the building was used for storage and the gathering of troops going overseas. The building suffered bomb damage during that time; but was repaired and reopened after the war as part of the Butlin's Empire, that were later purchased by the Rank Organisation.

In 1977, the park was bought from the Rank Organisation by the Billy Smart Circus family and was renamed Smart's Amusement Park. They set about re-equipping it into a family Amusement centre with a selection of indoor rides, including a hall of mirrors

In 1994 the current owner, Gary Smart oversaw a sizable redevelopment of the site.[2] The name changed from Smart’s Amusement Park to the contemporary Harbour Park, which reflected the theme running throughout the site and its unique location on the seafront and riverside. Over the next few years major works were undertaken and the final phase was completed in the year 2000. The roller coasters were removed during this time.[3]

Harbour Park entered the new millennium with a new look, whilst managing to retain the Smart family values of providing a friendly, fun and entertaining family venue. In fact, Billy Smart still watches over the park in the form of a magnificent bronze statue located in the main building.

2007 saw another major investment of £750,000 including the addition of a log flume. Supplier DPV Rides of Italy developed a water ride that would feature a 6.5 metre drop, inside a 34 x 14 metre footprint.[4]

In 2009 the indoor artificial skating rink was replaced by the soft play area.

Attractions[edit]

There have been a large variety of indoor and outdoor rides and attractions. Some of the rides are described at the Roller Coaster DataBase (RCDB).

Attraction Type Suitable for Height range Added Removed Notes
CaterPillar Coaster Wacky Worm Family Min 0.8m Accompanied Min 1.1m Lone Rider 23/3/2008 RCDB Data available[5]
Dodgems Family
Hiccup Family Min 1m Mini-drop tower
The Pony Gallopers Carousel Small Children Small Children Only, Not appropriate for infants
Logger's Revenge Log Flume Family Min 1m accompanied Min 1.2m Lone Rider 2007 Water Chute with a 7.5m waterfall drop
Waltzer Waltzer Family Type W43[6]
The Spinning Barrels Teacups Youngsters Small children only
The Flying Fantasy Animals Family Min 1m Accompanied Min 1.3m Lone Rider
The Crazy Bikes Teens+ Min 1.5m Pedal as fast as you can to take a 360 degree spin around
Formula 1 Circuit Youngsters Small children only. Not suitable for adults or older children Youngsters can beep the horn on the Barbie Car or ring the bell on the Fire Engine etc.
Fantasy Train Youngsters Small children only
The Bouncy Aquarium Children Up to age 11 max.
Trampolines Children Up to age 11 max.
The Giant's Slide Family Min height 90 cm. Min age 4 years.
House of Mystery Family PG advised Formerly Horror Hotel
Sharkesville Crazy Golf Family Shipwreck themed 9 holes
Miner's Gold Rush Family Collect the pieces of gold you find and trade them in for a prize at the weighing station
Indoor Soft Play Area Children Up to 1.58m max. includes an over 3's section and a separate 3 & under section. This allows older children to run round and enjoy multi-level platforms, cannon ball blasters, ball volcano, ramps and rope swings. Whilst, the toddlers, can be at ease in a mini ball pond, see-through observation tunnel, mini slide and soft toys.
Indoor Skating Rink Family 2009 Replaced with the soft play area
Amusement Arcade Family The main building arcade has video drivers, shooters, pushers, prize games and cranes. The fishing village building is home to skill prize ticket games.
Farmyard Friends Chicken Show Family sing-a-long with the chickens to scare the Fox off! This show is free every hour during school holidays

Refreshment Areas[edit]

  • A maritime themed Galley Restaurant & Tea Rooms (serving tea the old-fashioned way with real leaves)
  • The Harbour Coffee House, which offers a selection of hot and cold food, and frothy hot chocolate with marshmallows
  • The Riverside Parlours serving hot fresh doughnuts, ice creams & other light refreshments.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]