Lightwater Valley unveils new safari area as it opens to the public for the first time in months

One of Yorkshire’s best-loved attractions is reopening for the first time in months following a mini make-over.

Anna Kenworthy gives a model rhino in the new Go Safari area a wash and brush up before the big day tomorrow

Lightwater Valley, near Ripon has made some changes during lockdown and a new safari area will bring the wonders of wildlife to thousands of children.

Go Safari will allow pleasure seekers to board the Savannah Express and come face to face with life-size creatures, including lions, gorillas and rhinos in model form.

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The new attraction comes after the theme park took the decision earlier this year to re-market itself towards younger children and their parents.

Anna Kenworthy checking on the lion sculpture

Manager Colin Bowes confirmed the pandemic had led the park’s owners to consider a change in direction away from thrill rides and rollercoasters.

Some of the park’s most adventurous rides have been retired, including the River Rapids and Eagle’s Claw.

The fate of its flagship rollercoaster, the Ultimate, which is the longest in Europe, has not been confirmed but it is not due to reopen at any point in the 2021 season.

Tickets for Lightwater Valley are available via pre-booking only on its website and face masks must be worn by adults on all rides, the park confirmed.