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.

2. 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. New for 2024 is Minifigure Speedway, the world’s first dualling rollercoaster that races forward but also in reverse. 

LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort's Minifigure Speedway

The high-octane Minifigure Speedway sees riders reach speeds of up to 56kmh.

3. Alton Towers

Alton Towers has officially launched Nemesis Reborn, returning following an extensive transformation of the iconic ride known as just Nemesis for three decades. Part of the transformation has seen the entire 250-tonne, 716-metre-long track replaced as well as a complete overhaul of the beast which gives the ride its name. The beast’s eye, ringed by razor-sharp teeth, is brought vividly to life through state-of-the-art audio visual technology - demonstrating its evolution into a predator. Schools can benefit from a range of cross-curricular workshops, or even book a residential with team building activities thrown in.

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. 

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. 

Pupils on a ride at Paultons Park

Schools are welcome to enjoy plenty of themed rides and lands at Paultons Park.

6. Chessington World of Adventures Resort

Escape the everyday this year and venture out to 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.

Children riding The Rattlesnake at Chessington World of Adventures Resort

Enjoy thrilling rides at Chessington World of Adventures Resort.

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. Plus new for 2024, the team has launched a Careers & Aspirations workshop perfect for students looking to take their next steps after formal education.

7. Parc Astérix

Parc Astérix near Paris features a combination of 50 attractions and shows staged across six worlds (Gaul, the Roman Empire, Ancient Greece, the Vikings, Back in Time and Egypt). The park engages with ancient French history and there are educational resources available including worksheets ahead of your visit. 

Parc Astérix, France

Source: Sylvain Cambon Photographe

Choose Parc Astérix for exciting rides and themes that cover French culture and history.

After a day packed with adventures, the park also offers three hotels for schools to choose from: Les Quais de Lutèce, La Cité Suspendue and Les Trois Hiboux. The theme park is also located in the centre of a protected nature reserve. Schools can either book directly with Parc Astérix, or opt for an educational tour operator which can help plan out an itinerary. 

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. Autumn 2024 will see the opening of brand-new attraction, Danse Macabre. Named after the famous piece of music by Camille Saint-Saëns, a new immersive ride will open as part of an entirely new creepy area at the park. The attraction will be the first ride of its kind in the world with a unique mechanic, offering an immersive thrill-ride experience for visitors.

9. Thorpe Park

Home to thrilling rides, attractions, live events & a themed hotel, Thorpe Park is the ultimate destination for thrill seekers. This year the team are taking thrills to incredible new heights with Hyperia — the UK’s tallest and fastest rollercoaster. Reaching heights of 236ft and speeds of over 80mph. There is a new educational offering for 2024, which allows students to learn about the science behind designing rollercoasters, or about the business and marketing involved. 

Pupils riding Stealth at Thorpe Park

Source: Daniel Lewis

Students can experience high-speed thrills at Thorpe Park.

10. 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 not only has beautiful parkland, with lots of wild animals to spot on your walk, but there are plenty of rides and attractions that make the trip an all-rounder. Wicky’s Farmyard has plenty of animals to meet including new tortoises, plus bunnies, ferrets, goats and pigs. There are also a variety of rides for all interests including including Dinosaur Valley, Galaxy Invaders and Rocky River Falls.