Camelot Rises review: Chorley's new drive-in zombie experience offers a fright to remember

Camelot theme park has reopened its doors for the first time since its closure in 2012, but not as you remember it.

By Sean Gleaves
Monday, 7th February 2022, 1:17 pm

Distant screams, flashing lights, smoke machines and military personnel - Camelot theme park is not the medieval playground it used to be.

As my friend and I pull up to the first checkpoint, we are greeted by a surly military man who informs us our car is being scanned for signs of infection.

He demands us to show our necks to check for bite marks before thoroughly inspecting the inside of the car for stowaways.

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    Once given the all-clear, we are quickly transported into scenes of chaos.

    Cars rest on their sides as smoke billows from their engines, ruined buildings are bathed in red light as sirens blare, and creatures soaked in blood swarm towards the car.

    This is Camelot Rises.

    What is Camelot Rises?

    I survived Camelot Rises, the new immersive drive-through experience in Charnock Richard, but was it good?

    The spook-fest, located in Charnock Richard, is an immersive one-mile drive-through experience crawling with zombies "hungry for human flesh".

    The nightmarish brainchild of Park N Party, guests drive through four zones - the River of the Dead, a Military Checkpoint, Camelot Castle and the Valley of the Dead - before reaching the 'Safe Zone' (aka the drive-in cinema).

    Scheduled to run from Saturday, February 5 until Sunday, March 13, entry to the park is £50 per car.

    How was the drive-through experience?

    There were a variety of food options in the Controlled Military Zone, from gourmet burgers and hotdogs, to pancakes and waffles

    It's fair to say I love rollercoasters and theme parks, but I was apprehensive when the prospect of visiting Camelot Rises arose.

    I had never been to a drive-through cinema before, let alone one where zombies roamed the grounds, so I had no idea what to expect.

    Was it going to give me nightmares for the rest of the week, or was it going to be cheap and tacky?

    Dragging my reluctant friend along for the ride, we felt totally unprepared when we passed the first military checkpoint.

    The nightmarish brainchild of Park N Party, guests drive through four zones before reaching the drive-in cinema (Photo by Kelvin Stuttard)

    But our unease quickly turned to laughter.

    Yes, the zombies were scary, and yes, it did feel like we had entered into a real apocalypse.

    Yet watching my friend zoom away from any zombie that appeared for fear of them opening the doors, getting lost in the darkness and having military personnel shouting at us was, in short, absolutely hilarious.

    We laughed, screamed and yelled, but the experience was never too scary, even for my friend who admittedly hates horror movies.

    The whole drive-through experience lasted around 15 minutes.

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    A zombie attacks a car at the former Camelot theme park (Photo by Kelvin Stuttard)

    The drive-in cinema

    Once we finally reached the Controlled Military Zone - which has three giant screens ready for the film - we headed towards the food and drink stalls.

    From gourmet burgers to chilli con carne, I decided to tuck into a delicious chicken and chorizo taco, with my friend selecting a pancake topped with a hefty dollop of whipped cream, Nutella and strawberries.

    We then tuned into 87.5FM, where a DJ played the latest hits prior to the apt screening of '28 Days Later'.

    Little did we know the thrills hadn't ended yet - but that's a surprise for you to experience if you are brave enough to visit.

    Was it worth it?


    Don't get me wrong, the car did steam up at times, and I could imagine it getting pretty cramped if your vehicle is small, but it was a great experience overall.

    It was night filled with fun and laughs, and it was great to watch an older film on the big screen again.

    If you're a horror lover or just want a good night out with friends, I would definitely recommend Camelot Rises.

    For more information and a full list of screenings, click HERE.

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    The experience is certainly not for the faint of heart (Photo by Kelvin Stuttard)
    Cinema-goers watch as other guests drive through the military checkpoints and nightmarish scenes (Photo by Kelvin Stuttard)