Completing the UK - Update

It was recently another Bank Holiday weekend, and in my books that's an excuse to go ride some coasters! Now usually I would head away but for 2015 I have a different agenda: finally get around to riding every coaster in the UK. So in a slightly less exotic edition of Cupcakes and Coaster's travels, I headed to Hampshire and Dorset in search of creds and seaside faff!

Although we technically rode 3....things that could dubiously be classified as coasters, only one of these was actually on my list of legitimate coasters I needed to tick off of my list. Firstly we headed to a gorgeous little town called Alresford that we had been informed has something similar to Telepherique at Parc Saint Paul, a ride that appears time and time again in coaster enthusiasts 'cred-or-not?' discussions. So we thought we'd go and check it out.

It was fairly fab until the final corner where friction got the better of it and it never quite made it around the final corner to the ascent. If it had actually coasted up at the end I think more of a case could be made for it but essentially, it's a glorified zipwire. But a fun way to spend fifteen minutes!

We spent the rest of the day wandering around the very English town of Winchester. It was previously the capital city of England and as such is filled with lots of gorgeous architecture from churches and cathedrals to Tudor houses. Considering I lived in Southampton for three years I never actually visited this town which is so weird because it is so up my street.

Monday morning we headed down the road to Adventure Wonderland in Bournemouth. This is a typical smaller UK park aimed at families with children, fairly similar to Twinlakes and Wheelgate. And again, similarly to the aforementioned, they're a bit of a pain in the arse when it comes to enthusiasts riding their coaster. This irks me. These parks clearly know we exist, they know that it is some people's hobby to ride all the rollercoasters in the UK, sort of like stamp collecting, and yet they still make it very difficult/awkward for us. I understand that this park is not for me, but let me clear something up. I am not here for a day out at a theme park, if I want that I'll head to Thorpe or Alton, you know, parks actually aimed at my demographic? All I want is to come in, ride the coaster and leave, and guess what, I'm willing to pay you for this! So luckily for us we had a friend who knew the manager and the guy finally let us in to ride, but we really could have done without the initial awkwardness. Smaller parks - just accept that this is a thing people do and have a process in place to accommodate this. You'll make a bit of extra money from us, it totally makes sense!

Anyway, the coaster was unremarkable, a +1 but I stepped away feeling a little more accomplished knowing I was one coaster closer to my goal, yay!

So after a most unwelcome visit to Adventure Wonderland we hit the road west towards our final destination of Weymouth. We started off with a visit to the FAB SeaLife. It's the best SeaLife because it's more like an actual park as opposed to a warehouse filled with various fish. The areas are pleasant and dotted around are loads of little sheds each with a different sealife exhibit, interactive rock pools, children's play parks and water play areas, a small 'funfair' area and A LOG FLUME THAT GOES THROUGH A CROCODILE ENCLOSURE! This is just the best thing ever! And the boats are little crocodiles <3 And the flume is actually pretty good, you get a good soaking for sure. I don't know why SeaLife haven't tried to replicate this model in more locations because it is clearly the superior version.

We had a wander around the beach and harbour area and rode the Merlin Tower to get an aerial view of Weymouth. I'm glad I've got another Merlin attraction ticked off of the list but it's not something I would usually pay to do. The harbour area was gorgeous, the sea was a perfect turquoise colour and looked like something out of a theme park. I have these weird thing that happens to me fairly often where I spend so much time in themed environments that when I experience something that is actually just naturally that fitting to a certain theme that my brain can't quite comprehend it. This was one of those places, it all seemed too perfectly fitting to a 'seaside' theme.

Down on the beach is another 'undefined' coaster, the Weymouth Super Snails. Again this was not on my list of coasters to ride in the UK but as it is on the coaster database Coaster-Count that I use to record all my rides I thought I might as well get the box ticked. To me this rode more like a ghost train, yes it had sections where it coasted but ultimately I wouldn't legitimately call this a rollercoaster.
We ended the day, obviously, with some fish and chips overlooking the sandy beach and funfair before making one last stop to see the Cerne Abbas Giant. It's cool, I like seeing touristy stuff in the UK and my hobby allows me to go to places I wouldn't usually visit. Like, I wouldn't get in my car and drive a few hours to see this, but if it's alongside a coaster trip, why the hell not?

Luckily, as the weather had been threatening downpours all weekend, the first drop fell as we got back into our car at Cerne Abbas and the skies opened as we made our way home. So that was my May Bank Holiday weekend, I managed to tick another coaster off of my list and tick a few more boxes on Coaster-Count as well as having some good old-fashioned seaside touristy fun.

As always, thanks for reading! Annoyingly a few more new coasters are opening in the UK this summer, so I think I'm down to around 8 left to ride, but I do have plans to visit all of them so fingers crossed.