It’s no secret that the UK’s leisure sector has had an extremely difficult time in recent years – but this week, The Milky Way Adventure Park in North Devon has received some amazing news, it has been named as the Number 1 Amusement Park in the UK, the 4th best in Europe and 5th best in the world as part of TripAdvisor’s Traveller’s Choice Best of the Best Awards.

Based on a full year of TripAdvisor reviews, the Traveller’s Choice Awards honour the best in travel, recognising the places that delivered the most exceptional experiences. This accolade is down to the fact that the vast majority who have reviewed the Milky Way on TripAdvisor in the past year as Very Good or Excellent – a statistic which puts the park head and shoulders above most other attractions locally, nationally and internationally. It is the 7th time the Milky Way has been placed in the Top 10 Amusement Parks in the UK and the 3rd time it has made the European list. It has also been awarded the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence in 2022 for the 11th time.

Speaking about the award, Milky Way Partner, Tara Stanbury, says that while she and her team are thrilled with the news, they are also a little taken aback. “We don’t ‘enter’ these awards, they’re judged solely on the quality and quantity of reviews received. We have no secret formula but we do care passionately about what we do and like everyone in this industry, we encourage guests to leave reviews – so we owe a massive thank you to all of our lovely customers for visiting and taking the time to leave their comments,” she said.

Following the challenges imposed by Covid 19 and in response to demand, The Milky Way has continued to offer reduced capacity, lower visitor numbers and a safe yet fun environment. As a result, The Milky Way’s feedback scores have soared even higher in the past year.

“The past two years have been a difficult time for my family as well as a challenging time for The Milky Way. During this period, the whole team have been beyond amazing, and so we’re absolutely thrilled and delighted that their hard work has been recognised.

“Our small family run and family friendly adventure park in rural North Devon obviously offers something very different to most of the other large, corporately owned attractions on the list. Being smaller allows us to make the experience more personal, which we suspect is key to our success. Along with the fact that you get a full day’s entertainment here, with something for the whole family to enjoy together…. and an awful lot less time spent queueing, which for many means better value to boot! I also think, during the pandemic, people particularly appreciated the fact that we genuinely care and went the extra mile to make sure everyone felt relaxed and safe. Whatever the reasons, we are just delighted that so many like what we do!”

Originally, The Milky Way was one of the country’s first working farm parks, but over the years, as the number of farm parks in the region increased, it developed into an all-weather adventure park. Since 2014 around £2 million has been invested in new attractions and upgrades. Some of the latest additions include the Ninja Stars Family Games Arena, the Bouncing Balloon Room, Gravity Rider - a two-lane donut slide that’s around 30ft tall and 200ft long, Ziggy’s Blast Quest - a totally unique indoor coaster where guests travel into space to destroy asteroids and save Planet Earth using their Blasteroid laser, a play area specifically for pre-schoolers and two brand new cafés / eating areas. The overriding aim has been to create a day out in North Devon that encourages adults and children to spend more time having fun together.

The Milky Way is also home to two of the UK’s largest bouncing pillows and an amazing display of Sci-Fi memorabilia - from Daleks to Darth Vader!  The ever-popular droid destroyer dodgems guarantee a bumping good time for everyone, and alongside this there’s golf, pottery painting for all the family and breath-taking live shows including displays from the North Devon Bird of Prey Centre.

When deciding on the awards, TripAdvisor takes into account the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings for amusement parks worldwide, gathered over a 12-month period. Kanika Soni, Chief Commercial Officer at TripAdvisor, said: “Congratulations to the 2022 Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best Winners. The Travellers’ Choice Awards recognize the best in tourism and hospitality, according to those who matter most: your guests. Ranking among the Best of the Best is always tough — but never more so than this year as we emerge from the pandemic. Whether it's using new technology, implementing safety measures, or hiring outstanding staff, I’m impressed by the steps you've taken to meet travellers' new demands. You've adapted brilliantly in the face of adversity."

See more from the Milky Way

Don’t miss out on Devon’s multi award winning, all-weather day out for the whole family – celebrating 40 years of fun in 2024! Winners of Devon’s Large Attraction of the Year in 2023/24 and the only attraction in Devon to be awarded Trip Advisor’s highest accolade…