Get the defibrillators, I’m going into cardiac arrest
Alton Towers: Oblivion
More scary than catching your grandparents going hammer and tongs in the sack, this roller coaster tilts forward and gut-wrenchingly
plunges straight down into a black mist-cloaked hole.
Thorpe Park: Rush
Two giant arms swing back and forth, tilting forward from a dizzying height. All that stands between you and a 100-foot fall onto the hotdog stand below is a tiny bar across your waist.
Yeehaa! I haven’t had this much fun since that dirty weekend in Amsterdam
Alton towers: Rita, Queen of Speed
Fun factor: 3/5
Girls, don’t wear loose singlets, cos this roller coaster shoots you out from 0-100kph in a cheek-flapping 2.5 seconds, pulling 4.7 Gs.
Thorpe Park: Colossus
Fun factor: 5/5
Grab the spew bag because there’s no less than 10 loop-the-loops and 360° corkscrews in this ride that was surely designed by someone with a degree in killer roller coasters.
Quick, ring the chiropractor, then the personal injury lawyer
Alton Towers: Corkscrew
Nurofen tablets needed: 4
Bring your neck brace because the only scary thing about this ride – which surely hasn’t been updated since the ’60s – is the chiropractor’s bill at the end.
Thorpe Park: Samurai
Nurofen tablets needed: 1
It swings, twists and violently pivots all at once – the perfect trifecta for a good case of whiplash.
Great, I’m drenched. Knew I shouldn’t have worn a white T-shirt
Alton Towers: The Flume
Litres of water splashed all over you: 3
Enough splashes to make your cheese and tomato sandwiches soggy, but that’s about it.
Thorpe Park: Tidal Wave
Litres of water splashed all over you: 20
A steep drop straight into the drink, splashing enough water to power a small hydro-electric plant. Bring a towel.
Now that’s a cool idea for a ride
Alton Towers: Air
Einstein rating: 4/5
An upside down roller coaster makes you feel like you’re flying. Truly a sensory experience.
Thorpe Park: Stealth
Einstein rating: 3/5
Like a space shuttle launch gone bad, this roller coaster goes straight up and straight back down again. Totally wild, but over quicker than the first time you got laid as a horny 16-year-old.
So, what’s the verdict?
Alton Towers: 3/5
It’s big and loaded with metal monsters, particularly really cool roller coasters, but there’s too many kiddy rides and it’s a long way from London.
Thorpe Park: 4/5
Small but compact and close to London, it’s stacked with enough thrilling rides to keep the adrenaline flowing all day.
Best of the rest
• Fantasy Island
Indoor theme park – go if it’s snowing.
• Chessington World of Adventure
Ride a rollercoaster, then pat a tiger.
• Drayton Manor
Don’t be put off by the ’80s website – these thrill rides are cutting edge.
Yep, a land made of – you guessed it – Lego.
• Blackpool Pleasure Beach
With some rollercoasters more than 85 years old this theme park really does offer white knuckle rides.
• Alton Towers entry £36. Midland Mainlines has tickets plus rail for £36 (advance bookings).
• Thorpe Park entry £32. Book online and in advance for cheaper deals at both parks