With so many theme parks and attractions, schools are spoilt for choice when it comes to finding a thrilling educational school trip. We’ve narrowed it down to just ten, ranging from UK highlights to European adventures. 

1. Oakwood Theme Park

Based in Pembrokeshire Wales, the team welcomes thrill-seeking school groups of all ages to enjoy the 24+ rides and attractions. Typically open between Easter and early November, Oakwood Theme Park is the place to visit whether you are looking to book an end-of-year trip as a treat for your pupils, or are simply looking for a trip with a difference. Children day passes allow students to explore every ride on offer, including Speed (pictured above) which involves rolls, twists and more at up to 59mph.

Teacher tip: you must fill out a school booking form and email it to schools@oakwoodthemepark.co.uk to pre-book the experience.

2. Wicksteed Park

With a wide area of greenery, there’s plenty of space for children to have fun and explore the surroundings of Wicksteed Park in Northamptonshire. The attraction is not only beautiful parkland, with lots of wild animals to spot on your walk, but has plenty of rides and attractions that make the trip an all-rounder. 

Wicksteed Park, Northamptonshire

Source: James Kenny Photography

Enjoy a variety of rides at Wickseed Park.

Wicky’s Farmyard has plenty of animals to meet including new tortoises, plus bunnies, ferrets, goats and pigs. There’s also a variety of rides for all interests including including Dinosaur Valley, Galaxy Invaders and Rocky River Falls. 

Teacher tip: this year might be the best time to visit to give your class a treat, with a new Garden Wheel ride opening, giving off panoramic views of the surrounding area.

3. Twinlakes Park

Described as having endless adventures for all ages, schools can book their tickets to Twinlakes Park and experience a range of fun-filled zones. Located in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, children can explore the Buccaneers Island Zone for pirate-themed fun, let loose in the Action USA Zone to celebrate everything we love across the pond, or brave The Excalibur in the Adventure Zone which spins riders high into the air. 

Teacher tip: discounted admission applies to school groups of 20 or more, along with free adult places per five paying students. A deposit of 50% is required to secure the booking. 

4. PortAventura World

Schools can book a visit to PortAventura World, roughly an hour from Barcelona in Spain, which combines a thrilling theme park, a Caribbean-style waterpark and Ferrari Land.

There’s a whole host of fun experiences to take part in, such as the King Khajuna, a 31-metre-high water slide with a sharp descent, or Red Force, one of Europe’s highest (112 metres) and fastest vertical accelerator rides, plus additional workshops that can be factored in. The EcoEduca educational programme introduces both primary and secondary students to the theme of sustainability for a better future. 

Teacher tip: specialised packages can be arranged for schools that want to experience just one of the three attractions on offer, or all of them together. 

PortAventura World, Spain

Source: PortAventura World

Give your class a trip they’ll never forget at PortAventura World in Spain.

5. Paultons Park

Paultons Park, in Hampshire’s New Forest National Park, has a wide variety of thrilling rides to enjoy, including rollercoasters, water-based fun, train journeys, drop towers, a driving school and much more. It’s not just home to the UK’s only Peppa Pig World, but also its theme world Tornado Springs. Pupils can step back in time to the 1950s and experience the heartland of America like never before, themed on Midwestern America. With eight incredible rides and experiences, including a spinning coaster, gyro swing ride, plus The Farmyard Flyer, there is something for every storm chaser, big or small. 

Teacher tip: the theme park is once again offering teachers the chance to experience Professor Blast’s Learning Lab, described as the UK’s most unique classroom, for free. You can register your interest via an online form. 

6. Chessington World of Adventures Resort

Escape the everyday this year and venture out to ‘Britain’s WIIILDEST Classroom’ at Chessington World of Adventures Resort near Surrey. Young explorers can test their thrill limits on more than 40 rides and attractions or come face to face with some incredible animals and creatures in the on-site zoo and SEA LIFE aquarium.

Chessington World of Adventures Resort

Source: Chessington World of Adventures Resort

Enjoy plenty of animal spotting on a trip to Chessington’s on-site zoo.

Exciting workshops are also on offer so students can learn more about the occupants of Wanyama Village, from Grevy’s zebra to a tower of giraffe, and clue-up their knowledge on conservation and how to support animals all over the globe.

Teacher tip: there are two free teacher planning tickets per trip, so you’ll get the chance to visit the resort to fully plan your day out ahead of arrival and prepare an itinerary to suit your school’s needs. 

7. Drayton Manor Resort 

At Drayton Manor Resort near Tamworth in Staffordshire, students can choose from more than 100 rides and attractions, including Europe’s only Thomas Land dedicated to Thomas the Tank Engine, plus a 15-acre zoo. A dedicated learning team provides schools with several on-site workshops to choose from Key Stage 1-5. Options include Dinosaur Discovery which explores the role of a palaeontologist or Theme Park Forces which uncovers how theme parks are designed using science. 

Teacher tip: school packages range from bronze to platinum, so teachers can opt for whatever fits the needs of the group. One session is included in the bronze package, raising to theme park and zoo entry, plus a dedicated session in the platinum offer.

Drayton Manor Resort

Source: Drayton Manor Resort

Adventure Cove at Drayton Manor Resort is a playground for adrenaline junkies.

8. Efteling

Located in Kaatsheuvel, the Netherlands, Efteling was opened in 1952 and has since grown into a land of excitement, featuring a series of thrilling rides to get the heart pumping. The De Vliegende Hollander takes students plunging into water while the Baron 1898 includes a hair raising free fall which drops riders down a 37.5 metre track. Those who prefer life in the slow lane can make time for the Fairytale Forest which is described as the largest living picture book.

Teacher tip: Efteling has several designated ‘meet up’ spaces for schools across the site, for example the picnic field which is next to the Python rollercoaster, and the square in front of the theatre. 

9. LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort

Whether you choose to self-lead using specialist resources or take part in one of the unique workshops, the Berkshire resort vows to offer a truly unique learning experience. Set in 150 acres of beautiful parkland with more than 55 interactive rides, live shows and attractions, the resort brings learning to life outside the classroom, suitable for KS1-5. 

Teacher tip: now could be a good time to book a trip, with the UK’s first LEGO Ferrari Build and Race attraction, featuring three interactive zones, due to open this summer.

LEGOLAND Windsor Resort's Ferrari Build and Race

Source: Steve Babuljak

LEGO Ferrari Build and Race, due to open at the resort this summer, will drive young race fans wild.

10. Tivoli Gardens

The Tivoli Gardens amusement park, which opened in 1843 making it the third-oldest operating park in the world, is set in Denmark’s capital of Copenhagen and home to an aquarium, vintage cars garden and several exhilarating rides. The amazing Aquila is a wild ride, where you enter a giant eagle and the centrifugal forces are unleashed, or The Star Tower is an eight- metre high structure that raises children into small aircraft.

Teacher tip: ticket passes include all rides with a special discount for 15 pupils and one teacher booking together. School lunch options can also be added to the booking for an extra fee.