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Alton Towers

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Staffordshire : Alton Towers
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Alton Towers is the largest and most visited theme park in the United Kingdom and is near Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, England.

Understand

The Alton Towers Resort (operated by Merlin Entertainments, who can be contacted on 0870 520 40 60, a premium rate phone call from most mobiles and many non-BT landlines) consists of the Alton Towers Theme Park, Cariba Creek Waterpark, two themed on-site hotels and the Alton Towers Spa. The resort regularly attracts around 3 million visitors per year, and is highly regarded as one of the UK"s best tourist attractions/days out.

The main theme park is built around the historic 'Alton Towers' ruins, once inhabited by the Earl of Shrewsbury, but now plays host to a range of themed areas and attractions. Some of Alton Towers' most famous rides and attractions include Nemesis (once billed as the world's most intense ride experience), Air (the world's first flying roller coaster), Oblivion (the world's first true vertical drop roller coaster) and The Smiler - new in 2013, the world's first 14 looping roller coaster. The park also has its own SEA-LIFE Aquarium, Sharkbait Reef by SEA-LIFE, a 4D cinema and also the world's only CBeebies themed land (opening May 2014).

Get in

By car

Alton Towers is accessible from the North and Midlands via the M6, located near Uttoxeter and Derby. From the South-East and London, the M1 then M6. The resort is clearly signposted from most main transport routes. Car parking at the theme park costs £6.00, but is free at the Alton Towers Waterpark (Cariba Creek) and for guests at the two on-site hotels.

By bus

Local bus provider First operate several daily services to and from the resort and the local area, including from Uttoxetter, Stoke on Trent Railway Station and Hanley. Alton Towers Transport also operate seasonal services to the resort from Nottingham, Stoke on Trent and other local towns and villages.

Get around

The Alton Towers Resort covers a large area, and therefore several transport options are available within the resort.

  • Monorail - available from the Hotels and Main Car Parks to the Alton Towers Theme Park entrance. Free service operates during park hours.
  • Skyride - a cable car system linking the Towers Street/Mutiny Bay, Forbidden Valley and Cloud Cuckoo Land/Dark Forest areas within the theme park.

See and Do

For up to date ticket prices visit the Alton Towers website. Visitors can often find discount vouchers in national supermarkets and at train stations.

Regular visitors can buy an Annual Pass or Merlin Annual Pass that includes 12 month's unlimited entry.

Theme Park

The main theme park is built around the historic 'Alton Towers' ruins, once inhabited by the Earl of Shrewsbury, but now plays host to a range of themed areas and attractions. Some of Alton Towers' most famous rides and attractions include Nemesis (once billed as the world's most intense ride experience), Air (the world's first flying roller coaster), Oblivion (the world's first true vertical drop roller coaster) and The Smiler - new in 2013, the world's first 14 looping roller coaster. The park also has its own SEA-LIFE Aquarium, Sharkbait Reef by SEA-LIFE, a 4D cinema and also the world's only CBeebies themed land (opening May 2014).

Air, Nemesis, Oblivion, Rita - Queen of Speed, Enterprise, Ripsaw, The Blade, TH13TEEN (New 2010) and Submission

Other rides worth a go are Duel - The Haunted House Strikes Back, Runaway Mine Train, Hex, and if you don't mind getting soaked The Flume and the Congo River Rapids.

For younger visitors try the Squirrel Nutty Ride, The Beastie and Old McDonald's Farmyard.

There is also a fantastic water park, golf course and spa. Note if you wish to get pampered in the spa you must book in advance. See the website for details.

Buy

Various ride photos.

Eat and Drink

Alton Towers operates many restaurants, quick service food outlets and snack locations throughout the resort. Guests can also bring their own food & drink into the theme park (except alcohol and glass bottles). Picnic benches and facilities can be found in the Cloud Cuckoo Land, CBeebies Land, Mutiny Bay (in the Courtyard) and Forbidden Valley (near Air) themed areas of the theme park, and during the summer many guests picnic on the main lawns on Towers Street.

Bars and main restaurants

Theme Park

  • The Burger Kitchen, Cloud Cuckoo Land, Forbidden Valley, Mutiny Bay. 11am-close. ££.
  • Fried Chicken Co., X-Sector. 11am-close. ££.
  • Mexican Cantina, Mutiny Bay. 11am-close. ££.
  • Corner Coffee, Towers Street. 9am-close. ££.
  • Wobble World Cafe, Cloud Cuckoo Land. 10am-close. ££.
  • Woodcutters Bar & Grill, Dark Forest. 11am-close. £££.
  • Explorers Pizza Pasta, Katanga Canyon. 11am-close. £££.
  • Courtyard Tavern, Mutiny Bay. 11am-close. £££.
  • Towers Family Restaurant, Towers Street. Open seasonally. ££.

Hotels and Waterpark

  • The Original Sandwich Co., Alton. Open-close. ££.
  • The Dragon Bar, Alton Towers Hotel. Hours vary. ££.
  • Ma Garrita's Bar, Splash Landings Hotel. Hours vary. ££.
  • The Coffee Shack, Splash Landings Hotel. Hours vary. ££.
  • Paradise Cove Pizzeria, Splash Landings Hotel. Hours vary, open seasonally. ££.
  • Secret Garden Restaurant, Alton Towers Hotel, 01538 704600. Breakfast 7:30-10:30am | Dinner 5:30-10:30pm. £££.
  • Flambos' Exotic Feast, Splash Landings Hotel, 01538 704600. Breakfast 7:30-10:00am | Lunch 12:30-2:30pm | Dinner 5:00-9:30pm. £££.
  • The Emperor Grill, Alton Towers Hotel, 01538 704600. Dinner 5:30-10:30pm. £££+.

Facilities

  • Baby Change Facilities

There are 7 baby changing facilities located within the toilets around the theme park. Essentials such as nappies, bottles and dummies (pacifiers), these are stocked at the Towers Trading Store at the theme park entrance, and at the shops in both hotels.

  • Medical Centre

There is a First Aid Centre located between The Towers Family Restaurant and the Skyride Station on Towers Street.

  • Cash Machines

There are several cash points located around the park, with free cash machines at the park entrance on Towers Street.

Sleep

Alton towers has two on-site hotels for overnight stays.

  • The Alton Towers Hotel [1]
  • The Splash Landings Hotel [2], with water park and spa.</p>

There are many hotels and restaurants in the surrounding Derbyshire and Staffordshire area. Ashbourne, a historic marketplace town, is nearby and has hotels and Indian restaurants.

Stay safe

In the resorts 28 year history only one accident on roller coasters has occurred. That was on the Runaway Mine train. Anyway if the worst should happen all staff members are well trained in first aid. However in summer the place becomes overcrowded so beware of pickpockets.

No smoking

Alton Towers operates a strict no smoking policy, including the use of e-cigarettes. Guests that wish to smoke can use designated smoking areas within the theme park and around the resort. Alton Towers Hotel and Splash Landings Hotel are also non-smoking including guest rooms, indoor and outdoor public spaces. A designated outdoor smoking area is located at each hotel.

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