A rainy day at a theme park is a lot more fun than you'd expect.

You might get a wet bum but you can park it where you want without having to queue.

You'll certainly get your money's worth as you return to your favourite rides again and again.

Our spring trip to Lightwater Vallley started and finished with a downpour and was punctuated by drizzle.

But all bar one of the rides were open and there couldn't have been more than a couple of hundred people on the park.

You could almost walk straight on to white-knuckle rides like the Ultimate, Eagle's Claw, Sewer Rat and Black Widow's Web.

You could even get onto the go-karts with only a 15 minute wait.

So what did my eight and ten year olds choose when faced with this treasure chest of thrill rides?

They went on the dodgems dozens of times along with frequent trips to the water slides and carousel!

Proof that traditional rides hold as much attraction for kids as the new-fangled thrillers.

Although Lightwater has its fair share of adult attractions, it really scores as a family destination.

There are quite a few rides for tinies like the magic wheel, mini ferris wheel, teacups, Dragon Boats and Buffalo Express.

Even more sedate is the round-the-park train ride, the fence maze and the Swan Lake pedal boats.

The newest attraction is a covered big wheel that, while not as big as the London Eye, is still impressive.

There are five rollercoasters including the children's Caterpillar and Ladybird and the old-school Grizzly Bear.

The Twister looks like any other traditional rollercoaster but lets the car spin round, waltzer-style, on the track.

Then there's the Ultimate -- still the star attraction thanks to its height and its one-and-a-half mile length.

But though the two big drops are hair-raising and the final twists through the trees frightening, I found the ride jolted too much to really enjoy.

Some of the old-style attractions are more fun -- especially driving a go-kart on wet, slippy, slide-you-round tarmac.

The three water slides are brilliant, sending you round and round, or over a steep drop, in a rubber dinghy.

The Skyrider flying swing is about as old school as you can get -- but still one of the most exhilarating experiences you'll find.

As for thrill rides, one of the newest is the Eagle's Claw which feels like a scarier version of the old Viking longship.

You can whip round at breakneck speed on the Hornet's Nest and the Black Widow's Web.

The Sewer Rat is at heart a traditional rollercoaster -- except it's underground, in the dark, with red eyes twinkling -- great.

In short: old-fashioned fun with a few twists.

Duration: the entire day.

Age suitability: best for families with young children or pre-teens; young teens in groups will also enjoy.

Access: wheelchair access to most of site, gentle slopes; restrictions on some rides; only two toilet blocks.

Extras: sweet shops, pub, cafe; birds of prey centre alongside (separate admission); shopping village (free entry).

Open: 10am-4.30pm or later.

Prices: over 1.3m in height, £16.95; under 1.3m, £14.95; under 1.0m free; senior citizens/disabled/only two carers, £8.50; family ticket for three, £45; family ticket for four, £60; pre-booking prices from £7.95.

Getting there: a few miles outside Ripon on the A6108.

Parking: free parking.

Website: www.lightwatervalley.co.uk Phone: 0871 720 0011