Landmark Forest Park

4th September 2010

Landmark Forest Park is an adventure park for older children located near Inverness in the north of Scotland. Its roller coaster doesn't open until an hour after the park, and with time to spare we spent some time exploring the place. Most of what we found was aimed at younger people, but we did happen across what is apparently the tallest wooden observation platform in the United Kingdom. The substantial energy investment required to climb this is rewarded with a view of trees and not much else (see below), though those with a predisposition towards schadenfreude can at least enjoy the sound effects made by those who are not entirely comfortable with heights!

Landmark Forest Park

A reasonably tall water slide complex stands next to the Runaway Timber Train (#1562), a family coaster by IE Park that looks and feels like the Pinfari Mighty Mini Mega. Today it was being operated by an American with a fairly twisted sense of humo(u)r; please make sure your loose articles are secure; if they fall, they will break, you will cry, and I will laugh. He also asked us to please try not to fall out, as it makes me look bad. Falling out of this ride is unlikely to be possible, as the seating is extremely cramped, particularly in the front half of each car. The lap bar and seatbelt combination make it barely possible to move, let alone escape. Restrictive seating aside, however, this proved a surprisingly fun coaster which was well worth riding more than once.

Near the exit of the park is the Bamboozeleum, a collection of optical illusions and electrical lighting effects that is well worth a few minutes. There was also a collection of stereograms, which I tried and once again failed to see; I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong...

 

Loudoun Castle

4th September 2010

It was the middle of the afternoon before we arrived at Loudoun Castle, meaning that we were moving against the tide as we walked into the park. The fact that many of the guests were streaming out with still almost two hours before closing is testament to the fact that there really isn't enough in the park to occupy a full day, though to be fair to management they have added some new attractions over the last few years.

Gold Rush

The most interesting of these for the coaster enthusiast is Gold Rush, a Zierer-built ride that has operated in six locations over the last three decades, including Alton Towers in the 1980s. Unfortunately it wasn't operational for our visit, and if the pile of sand bags and fences were anything to go by it wasn't just closed for the day. With luck it'll be operational next time I'm in Scotland. Also new since my last visit is the Barnstormer, an airtime-laden Space Shot from S&S that is well up there with the very best rides of this type. The lower portion of the tower has been enclosed within the remnants of a barn, complete with broken wood planks in what remains of the ceiling.

The highlight of our visit was still the classic Schwarzkopf coaster. Twist and Shout could use a fresh coat of paint, but the ride quality is still as good as it ever was. Hopefully the park will find a way to keep this ride going for many years to come.

2010


Landmark Forest Park

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Loudoun Castle

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