Pleasurewood Hills

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Pleasurewood Hills Family Theme Park
Pleasurewood Hills from the ski lift, 1990s - - 1461431.jpg
Pleasurewood Hills ski lift, in the 1990s
Location Lowestoft, Suffolk
Coordinates 52°30′25″N 1°44′40″E / 52.50707°N 1.74443°E / 52.50707; 1.74443Coordinates: 52°30′25″N 1°44′40″E / 52.50707°N 1.74443°E / 52.50707; 1.74443
Owner HIG Capital
Opened 1983
Previous names New Pleasurewood Hills

Pleasurewood Hills is a theme park on a 59-acre (240,000 m2) site between Corton and Gunton, near Lowestoft, Suffolk.


The park was created by entrepreneur Joe Larter in 1983 as a small American-themed family attraction, containing a miniature railway, Cine 180 and adventure playground. Yearly expansion brought the addition of new attractions and general improvements. Controlling interest in the park was sold to RKF, a property development company, in the late 1980s. RKF built attractions including two Sea Life centres (Great Yarmouth & Hunstanton), a Ripley's Believe It or Not (Great Yarmouth seafront) and the 9-mile (14 km) Bure Valley Railway (in Aylsham). It started building a second Pleasurewood Hills style park in Cleethorpes. RKF went bankrupt in early 1991 and its attractions were sold. Some Pleasurewood management staff took control of The Bygone Village at Fleggburgh.

Noel Edmonds converted the Haunted Theatre into Crinkley Bottom Castle in the mid-1990s. The park also featured appearances by Mr Blobby and Edmonds himself.

The park continued in this vein until 1996-7, when it was bought by Leisure Great Britain, a caravan park operator. It owned the park until 2000, when Peter and Peggy Hadden, who had been connected with the park for many years, bought it. The name changed to New Pleasurewood Hills. In 2000 the park bought Magic Mouse.

In 2004, Grévin & Cie, a French leisure group, purchased the site. The name reverted to its original form and in early 2005 the owners said they would spend £3 million on improvements.

Changes included repainting and renaming a number of rides, but the first major investment was in the park's first inverting coaster, Wipeout (roller coaster), from the closed American Adventure. The old cars were scrapped and new ones bought from Walibi World.

In 2009 the Mellow Yellow log flume was repainted and had a revamped entrance. It is now called Timber Falls. In 2010 the park put a StreetDance show in the Castle Theatre. In 2010 the park appointed a new manager.

On 30 January 2011, it was announced that the park had been sold to a new company. H.I.G Capital France, in partnership with industry expert Laurent Bruloy, purchased seven leisure parks, including Pleasurewood Hills, from across Europe. The seven parks will benefit from a joint investment of around £1.7million over 5 years. This included the addition of 5 new attractions for the 2012 season and another 4 a year later.

Roller Coasters[edit]

Ride Year opened Year Closed Description
Marble Madness 2014 Operating A non spinning wild mouse coaster formerly at Flamingo Land Resort but moved to Pleasurewood Hills. It is the park's 4th and newest coaster.
Wipeout 2007 Operating A Vekoma Boomerang model. Relocated from the closed American Adventure theme park, where it was known as 'Missile'. The region's biggest roller coaster. Height limit 1.3m. Riders are taken backwards 34m in the air, and then released to reach speeds of up to 50mph. After going through 3 inversions, the process repeats in reverse.
Cannonball Express 1995 Operating Previously known as 'Enigma' & 'Cannonball Express', this is the only example of a Jumbo V model by the defunct manufacturer Schwarzkopf. Height limit 1.25m. In 2017 the park returned to the original name of 'Cannonball Express' sure to popular demand.
Rattlesnake 1986 2016 Opened as the 'Ladybird Coaster'. Later re-themed to 'Rattlesnake' in 1990, and then 'Snake In The Grass' in 2007. Height limit 1m adult accompanied, 1.25m unaccompanied. Recently renamed back to "Rattlesnake" in 2014.

Closed down in 2016, due to track problems. Will not re-open this season.

Thrill Rides[edit]

Ride Year opened Description
Hyper Drive 2015 Bumper cars
The Jolly Roger 2012 A 131 ft (40 metre) freefall drop tower that accelerates to 60 mph in under a second; height limit 1.4m.
Fireball 2004 A KMG Afterburner 5G spinning pendulum ride; height limit 1.4m. Previously named Wizzy Dizzy.
The Tide Traveller 2005 A Huss Tri-star previously called Thunderstruck; height limit 1.25m.
HoBs PiT 2013 An indoor ride dubbed 'one of the UK's scariest attractions', with a 12A restriction. Closed in June 2017.

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Water rides[edit]

Ride Year Opened Description
Timber Falls 1992 This 235 long log flume ride opened in 1992 as 'White Water Falls'. Later painted and renamed 'Mellow Yellow', and then re-themed as 'Timber Falls' in 2009. Reverchon. Height limit 1.25m unless adult accompanied.
Wavebreaker 1996 A two-lane dinghy slide.

Other Rides[edit]

Ride Year Opened Description
Safari 1984 Vintage car ride travelling round a themed safari fixed track.
Shiver m' Timbers 1985 Swinging pirate ship themed ride; height limit 1m adult accompanied, 1.3m unaccompanied.
Chair Lift 1987 Chairlift taking guest from one end of the park to the other. Previously called Merry-Go-Straight.
Woody's Driving School 1995 Dodgems
Double Deck Carousel 2001 Duel Carousel replacing the previous single deck Carousel.
Kite Flyer 2004 Lay down central spin ride; height limit 1.05m.
Balloon Rays 2004 Hot air balloon themed central spin ride; height limit 0.9m.
Woody's Funky Flyers 2008 Central spin plane themed ride.
The Pleasurewood Pony Rail 2012 A Pony track based ride.
The Lighthouse 2012 A Child's Lift and drop tower.
Moby Dick 2013 A whale themed flat ride
Pleasurewood Paddlers 2013 Pedal boats operating in the lake
Woody's Tea Party 2013 A small tea cup flat ride
Waveswinger 2016 A Zierer Wave Swinger
Rootin Tootin Target Trail 2017 A UV themed laser shoot dark ride aimed at the family market

Pleasurewood Hills added 5 new attractions for the 2013 season. Rattlesnake closed in 2016, and Tales Of The Coast demolished.


External links[edit]