To celebrate the launch of Toyota’s first BEV (battery electric vehicle), the bZ4X BEV, we’ve joined forces with the car manufacturer to put together a list of attractions that provide EV car chargers on-site, or nearby…
Whether you’re planning a weekend trip, or a school holiday adventure, many of the following theme parks, museums, beaches, and nature reserves offer EV charging for free, included in the car parking price, so you can enjoy a zero-emission journey to your chosen venue, then plug in and enjoy your day.
1. Diggerland, Langley Park, Durham
You might say you’re visiting Diggerland to treat the kids, but it’s hard to resist getting behind the wheel of a full-size construction digger, tractor or dumper, or taking a whirl on the huge digger bucket of the ‘Spindizzy’ ride. The EV charging station is free for visitors with BEV or plug-in hybrid cars. There are also Diggerlands in Kent, Devon and West Yorkshire, which all offer EV charging too.
2. Thorpe Park, Chertsey, Surrey
Home to the world’s first ten-loop rollercoaster and the new Stealth rollercoaster, which is the UK’s fastest ride, reaching 0–80mph in under two seconds, Thorpe Park is a must for adrenaline thrills. Access to four EV chargers is included in the car park price.
3. Sundown Adventureland, Rampton, Nottinghamshire
A theme park designed especially for under-10s, Sundown Adventureland has over 20 rides and attractions, including a sing-along show, candy castle and lots of play areas. To make a weekend of it, book a glamping cabin at the new Wild Acre Village. There are six EV chargers in the car park, which can be accessed via the CityEV Opencard app.
4. RHS Garden Bridgewater, Worsley, Manchester
Set on the former site of historic Worsley New Hall, which was visited by Queen Victoria and King Edward VII, the 154-acre RHS Bridgewater is one of Europe’s most ambitious garden restoration projects. It is divided into multiple zones, such as the tranquil Chinese Garden, wild Ellesmere Lake, and the colourful Paradise Garden. There are three EV charging stations, with space for six cars, provided by EV Charge Online.
5. Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Lancashire
From its white-knuckle rollercoasters and spooky ‘Pasaje del Terror’ interactive horror show, to the seaside slot machines, crazy golf and Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Blackpool Pleasure Beach has attractions to amuse all the family. There are also live entertainment nights too. There are two 7kW charging bays in the Balmoral Road car park, provided by pod POINT.
6. Brockhole, Lake Windermere, Lake District
Overlooking Lake Windermere, Brockhole outdoor activity centre offers an adventure playground, go-carts, archery and mini-golf. You can hire kayaks, paddleboards or a motorboat to explore the water, or can follow the whimsical Faerie Trail through the forest. Profits from the EV car chargers are used to conserve the Lake District National Park.
7. RSPB Minsmere, Saxmundham, Suffolk
On a peaceful stretch of the Suffolk coastline, RSPB Minsmere is a haven for migrating birds, and has seven ‘hides’ from which to see them. It’s ideal for a soul-soothing day out in nature, spotting birds such as marsh harriers, nightingales, avocets and nightingales. The reserve’s EV charger can be pre-booked by phone.
8. The Wave, Easter Compton, Bristol
The Wave has to be seen to be believed: it’s a huge 180-metre inland pool, that generates perfect surf waves, with crystal-clear water and plenty of space for everyone. Up to 1,000 waves can be generated per hour, ranging from 50cm in height for beginners, to two metres for experts. Tuition is available for all ages and abilities, with wetsuits and board hire included in the entry price. The two 7kW EV charging points in the car park are available for free, on a first come, first served basis.
Toyota’s first BEV (battery electric vehicle), the bZ4X BEV. Image: Toyota
9. V&A Dundee
The V&A Dundee is Scotland’s design museum and explores the country’s design heritage. It’s curved concrete walls create the impression of a Scottish cliff face and are a striking addition to Dundee’s waterfront., having been designed by celebrated Japanese architect, Kengo Kuma. Inside, the Scottish Galleries are filled with home-grown fashion, furniture, and jewellery, and there’s also an impressive schedule of exhibitions. The museum shop sells a selection of creative gifts, books, prints, stationery and jewellery, with proceeds helping to support the museum. There is an Urban Electric charging station at Earl Grey Place West, just a two-minute walk from the museum.
10. Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition, Drumnadrochit
Catch a glimpse of Scotland’s most mysterious monster at the Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition, which features photographs of Nessie ‘sightings’, underwater footage, and insights into the area’s remarkable geology. You can also take a loch cruise on a monster-spotting boat. There are rapid EV chargers in the Drumnadrochit tourist information car park, which is part of the ChargePlace Scotland EV charging network.
11. Logan Botanic Garden, Port Logan
From Australian eucalyptus and New Zealand ferns, to Chilean palm trees and South African lilies, Logan Botanic Garden is filled with plants from all over the world, which thrive thanks to the warm microclimate of south-western Scotland. There is a walled garden, woodlands and a huge Victorian-style conservatory to explore.
The car park offers four free EV chargers.
12. The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), Machynlleth
With its thriving organic gardens, cutting-edge sustainable buildings and woodlands full of birdsong, CAT is a vision of an eco-friendly future. Join a hands-on workshop, learn how to grow your own veggies, or simply enjoy a walk in the beautiful grounds. There is a 32 amp Type 2 charging station in the car park, which is free for visitors.
13. Penbryn Beach, Cardigan Bay
One of the loveliest golden, sandy beaches on Wales’s west coast, Penbryn is ideal for sunny picnics, sandcastles and family-friendly paddling. It’s also a great location for stargazing at night. You reach the beach by meandering through woods, with amazing views of Cardigan Bay. It is run by the National Trust, and offers wheelchair access, a café, and a 7kW EV charger in the car park.
14. Elan Valley Visitor Centre, Rhayader, Mid Wales
With its wildlife-rich woodlands, surrounding Cambrian mountains, dams and reservoirs, the Elan Valley is a haven for walking, cycling and fishing. Bikes are available to hire from the visitor centre, where there are two ZeroNet EV chargers, with cost of charging included in the £3 parking fee.