|Pleasurewood Hills is an American styled theme park. It is located on a 59-acre site in Corton, near Lowestoft in Suffolk, England. Its cuddly mascot is called Woody Bear.|
The park was created by local entrepreneur Joe Larter in 1982 as a small American-themed family attraction, containing a miniature railway, Cine 180 and adventure playground. A pattern of yearly expansion was established, with the addition of one or two major new attractions and general improvements taking place every winter.
During the late 1980s a controlling interest in the park was sold to RKF, a property development company. RKF then built a number of new leisure attractions including two Sea Life centres (Great Yarmouth & Hunstanton), a Ripley's Believe It or Not (on Great Yarmouth seafront) and the new 9-mile Bure Valley Railway (in Aylsham). They also started work on building a second Pleasurewood-Hills-style theme park in Cleethorpes. RKF went bankrupt in early 1991 and this forced all their leisure attractions into receivership, and these were all later sold to new owners. Some of the former Pleasurewood management staff subsequently took control of The Bygone Village at nearby Fleggburgh.
For a few years in the mid 1990s a deal was struck with Noel Edmonds to convert the old Haunted Theatre into Crinkley Bottom Castle. The park also featured live appearances by Mr Blobby and, on a more limited basis, Noel Edmonds himself.
The park continued in this vein until 1996/7, when it was purchased by Leisure Great Britain, a large caravan park operator. They owned the park until 2000, when Peter and Peggy Hadden, who had been connected with the park for many years, bought it with the intention of reviving its flagging fortunes. It was at this time that the name was changed to 'New Pleasurewood Hills'.
In 2004, another change of ownership took place when Grévin & Cie, a French leisure group, purchased the site. The park's name reverted to its original form and in early 2005 the owners announced their intention to spend £3 million on improvements to the park.