Our Final Trip To The Much Missed Camelot Theme Park

It was a hot Summers day and we were waiting for the bus to take us to Camelot Theme Park. This is a park I loved as a child and often visited around my birthday. Now, I make my final Birthday visit to a Theme Park loved by so many but closed forever.

What was Camelot Theme Park?

Camelot Theme Park first opened in 1983 and was located near Chorley, Lancashire. The slogan for the park was ‘The land of great knights, and amazing days’. The park was themed around Medieval England, King Arthur and the Knights of the Roundtable. In 1986 the park became part of the Granada Group who owned the now defunct American Adventure Theme Park. Despite being initially very popular in its earlier years, but by 2012 the park announced its closure. The reason for the closure of Camelot Theme Park was blamed on declining interest due to the 2012 Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee.

Our final visit

I was excited but a little bit apprehensive about what I would experience. Would the park still live up to my memories, was it a mistake to make this trip again when the park was so clearly near the end? The bus pulled up and we began our journey, soon we would be at the gates of Camelot.

I’m taken by surprise and forgot how impressive the entrance to Camelot was with bright white walls and towering spires. Walking closer, the paint was cracked and peeling but still, precious memories started to flood back.

Camelot Entrance

Light Crowds

It was a hot and sticky Easter Bank Holiday but the crowds were very light as opening time approached. We had been staying in Blackpool and Pleasure Beach had been exceptionally busy for days. This was worlds apart and yet only a short train ride away.

As a child I was always terrified of the talking Dragon, found as you enter the park. A little worse for wear but I was delighted he was still in place. The fear had of course subsided, replaced with a rush of nostalgia.

Camelot Dragon

I had forgotten the layout of the park and found the entrance to be a confusing hodge podge, passing by numerous well used arcade machines, a sign of an attempt to recoup mounting losses. The park was across two main levels and the lower level could uniquely be reached by slide. It was a lot smaller than I remembered but the atmosphere was starting to build and we headed to our first ride.

Their was no contest for the ride I had anticipated most and that was the diesel powered Dragon Flyer. The noise and the fumes were overwhelming but my excitement continues to build as I approach the station. A top tip was to grab a seat towards the back in order to avoid the fumes but I also enjoyed the site of the over stretched train weaving in front of me. We were early and the train was half empty and we took a few trips around the park on the speeding Dragon.

Knightmare

We rode a few of the smaller rides including the junior Dragon coaster and strolled around the park. It was clear the best years were long gone but this little park still had charm and the sun continued to grow stronger. Heading to the far end of the park, we saw Knightmare come into view. This was a highly rated ride and while not an impressive site in the far corner of the park, the beautiful Schwarzkopf track was unmistakable.

The park was mainly occupied by families and small children so no waiting was required to board the first train of the day. Chugging up the lift hill the entire park came into view, with the sky crystal blue and the sun beating down, my childhood memories were shrouded with comforting warmth. The first drop was unremarkable but the rain gathered speed, sharp winding turns and a final helix hitting almost 5g, I was pinned to my seat. Knightmare exceeded my expectations in every way but a handful of rides was enough with those kind of forces in play.

Camelot Knightmare Rollercoaster

Back to Blackpool

We planned to head to Blackpool Pleasure Beach for the last few hours but first we experienced the jousting show. The stadium had not aged well but the show was as fresh as it had ever been. Fantastically committed performers wit thrilling set pieces and spectacular skills on show. What a way to end a perfect visit!

Every warm Easter that passes by I fondly remember my visit to Camelot Theme Park. I wish I could be back within the golden glow of Camelot. The Theme Park is gone but the Camelot legend lives on.

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Until next time…