Inside the British theme park which is free to visit with terrifying roller coasters and the largest seven-day market in Europe


THIS Saturday was not ordinary.

I was on an Odyssey to the top of a volcano with my Guardian, whirling and twirling above the ground before descending at terrifying speed.


Fantasy Island in Ingoldmells is an award-winning theme park with over 30 rides1 credit
He punches some of his biggest rivals in a cocked hat


He punches some of his biggest rivals in a cocked hat

Believe it or not, this is not a story of bravery from Greek legend. No, it’s just a day on the Lincolnshire coast.

Specifically, it’s Fantasy Island at Ingoldmells – an award-winning theme park with over 30 rides.

And let me tell you this, he hits some of his biggest rivals in a cocked hat.

The draw for my eight-year-old Jack (and me, if I’m being honest) was Millennium, a 150-foot-tall roller coaster that rockets you along two vertical loops and a sidewinder at 56 mph.

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It provided some of the most traumatic and exhilarating moments of our stay. Traumatic because on Jack’s first attempt he got stage fright because he didn’t like the claustrophobic feeling of safety restraints.

But the elation came the next day when he put his fear aside and had the time of his life on it. So much so that it went around a total of 12 times during our weekend visit.

It was one of the greatest joys of the place. Even the longest queues were never really more than a half hour wait.

Ten to 15 minutes was about average and sometimes you can get off a ride and come right back in front for another try. Perfect for a young person looking for thrills.

Other highlights include Odyssey, a terrifying 167-foot, 62-mph loop that’s not for the faint-hearted. I liked it.

Or you can feel the full force of a volcanic eruption on Volcano as it rockets you 183 feet into the air at 50 mph.

The views up there are amazing – not that you have much time to enjoy them before coming back down to earth.

But if you want to spend some time savoring the scenery, try the StarFlyer. The oscillating carousel is nearly 230 feet tall and you can see for miles on a clear day.

The latest big addition to Fantasy Island is The Guardian, an immersive experience where you’re transported to a medieval time with castles and dragons and you’re on a quest to save the war-torn world from invading monsters.

These are just a selection of rides for big kids and thrill-seeking adults who refuse to grow up.

But there are also plenty of ordinary attractions on the docks, from log flumes and river rapids to small roller coasters and seat-o-planes.

And if you want a break from the rides, take a look inside the amusement pyramid in the middle of the park with an adventure golf course and ten-pin bowling – or you can just spend pocket money in the arcades.

You won’t need to venture off-site for decent grub, either. There are over 40 places to eat, selling hot dogs, burgers, fries, ice cream, strawberries dipped in liquid chocolate – the usual theme park fare.

Head inside as you stroll through Fantasy Island’s seven-day market – the largest of its kind in Europe with over 300 stalls selling everything from clothes and bags to seaside jewelry and tattoos .

I’ll be honest, a day at a theme park is a grueling old time. So what could be better than having to drag your tired bodies just 45 meters to your accommodation?

Our home for the weekend was a spacious six-berth Platinum lodge with Eastgate Rentals – literally in the shadow of StarFlyer, Odyssey and Millennium.

Jack truly had a room with a view and spent hours staring out the window at the roller coaster right in front of him.

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But what really sets it apart and makes the evening the most relaxing is the hot tub. There’s no better way to dampen that adrenaline than a long bath in the bubbles – crank up those jets and wash away the day’s tensions.

You will definitely need some downtime if you start again the next day!


Self-contained holiday homes, sleeping up to six or eight people, are available from £290 for three nights. Each stay includes four bracelets, with unlimited adventure golf and ten-pin bowling. Wristband-only theme park passes cost from £12.


Our home for the weekend was a spacious six-bed Platinum lodge with Eastgate Rentals


Our home for the weekend was a spacious six-bed Platinum lodge with Eastgate Rentals
Skegness is a long established British holiday resort


Skegness is a long established British holiday resortCredit: Alamy

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