The fun stopped here: England's derelict theme parks

image copyrightAlamy
image captionThe Camelot theme park, near Chorley in Lancashire, was based on Arthurian legend

Incredibly expensive to run, and under increasing pressure to keep up with the big boys like Alton Towers and Drayton Manor, many modest amusement parks have struggled with dwindling visitor numbers before coming to a complete standstill.

One of the most recent victims is Pleasure Island in Cleethorpes, which closed at the end of the 2016 season after 23 years of business.

Those keen to get their hands on a piece of its history, as well as bag a bargain, can buy some of the fixtures and fittings as the contents are sold at auction. Lots include "a large box of comedy glasses" expected to go for about £10, various pieces of catering equipment, and for the pleasure-seeker with £250,000 to burn, the 114-year-old carousel.

But after the last candy floss has been eaten and the gates closed for the final time, what happens at the parks where the top thrill was a twirl on the teacups, a spin on the dodgems or a pit-stop at the petting zoo?

Some sites are sold and developed, others remain in the custody of a security guard or two and left to rot, while a handful become spookily picturesque.

Take a look around some of England's abandoned theme parks.

image copyrightNoel Jenkins
image captionMr Blobby's house at largely forgotten theme park Blobby Land at Cricket St Thomas was called Dunblobbin. Which he now, thankfully, is
image copyrightTrue British Metal
image captionSemi-clad medieval figures lie on the ground at Camelot
image copyrightTrue British Metal
image captionRides included the Jousting Knights Dodgems and the Pendragon Plunge until its closure in 2012
image copyrightMatthew Cunnelly
image captionRollercoasters at Camelot included the Knightmare and the Dragon Flyer

You might also be interested in:

image copyrightDan Thompson
image captionDreamland in Margate, Kent, closed in 2005 but reopened a decade later when campaign groups raised enough funds
image copyrightMalcWicky
image captionFinancial difficulties initially meant the park went into administration but a Company Voluntary Arrangement helped it continue trading
image copyrightMalcWicky
image captionA re-vamped Dreamland now includes a live music venue. The Demon Dayz festival, headlined by Gorillaz, sold out in less than an hour
image copyrightLiam Samuel Brookes
image captionThe American Adventure in Derbyshire had a Wild West theme
image copyrightThirtyFootScrew
image captionRides included a rollercoaster called Buffalo Stampede and the Nightmare Niagara log flume
image copyrightThirtyFootScrew
image captionThe park did not reopen for its 2007 season and has since been demolished
image copyrightTerran Brown
image captionFrontierland in Morecambe, Lancashire closed in 1998, after 92 years. Rides were sold and transported all over the world. The Polo Tower remained as a mobile phone mast for many years
image copyrightChris Robertshaw
image captionOver the road from Frontierland, the Arena Funfair was well past its heyday before it was demolished in 2008
image copyrightSteve Oliver
image captionSadly, not even the lure of a bargain round of teas could keep the attraction open


More on this story