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Alton Towers

Alton, Staffordshire, United Kingdom

Many regard Alton Towers as the UK's Number 1 theme park, featuring world-class rides including Nemesis, Oblivion, and Hex - a ride set in the Towers ruins themselves retelling one of the many local legends.

Opened1860 (Towers and Gardens)
1980 (theme park)
SeasonMarch to early November
OwnerMerlin Entertainments
Attendance670,000 (TEA 2020)  
Websitewww.altontowers.com
NearbyGulliver's Kingdom (16 miles)
Drayton Manor (27 miles)
Gulliver's World (42 miles)
Xtreme Scream Park (45 miles)
West Midland Safari Park (45 miles)
Alton Towers ruins

The Towers ruins

Alton Towers was the Earl of Shrewsbury’s ancestral home from 1442, when Sir John Talbot who owned the Estate at the time was granted the title, up until it was sold to a group of businessmen in 1924 who opened the house and gardens to the public.

The Estate had been partially open for middle class ticket-bearing patrons from as early as 1837, but it was Henry Chetwynd-Talbot, the 18th Earl, who began regular opening of the house and gardens as a tourist attraction after he arrived at Alton Towers in 1860.

The Towers came under the ownership of John Broome, a millionaire who had made his fortune in property development, in 1973. Broome began the transformation of the site into a theme park when, in 1980, he installed Corkscrew, the first of Alton Towers’ major rollercoasters.

Since that time, Alton Towers has grown into one of the UK’s largest and most popular theme parks. It is currently owned by Merlin Entertainments and attracts almost two million visitors per year.

The theme park is split into themed lands, with Towers Street forming the park’s main entrance and acting as the other end of the monorail from the main car parks. Looking down Towers Street, visitors get a spectacular view of the Towers ruins themselves and the great lake and lawns in front of them.

CBeebies Land

The entrance to CBeebies Land

Other major areas include Forbidden Valley, home to Nemesis and Galactica (formerly Air) – both rollercoasters from B&M; X-Sector, home to Oblivion and The Smiler rollercoasters; and Dark Forest, home to Th13teen and Rita.

Katanga Canyon contains the Runaway Mine Train and Congo River Rapids, and Gloomy Wood houses Duel: The Haunted House Strikes Back. Also in Gloomy Wood is Wicker Man, Alton Towers' new wooden rollercoaster which features a towering Wicker Man statue, which bursts into flames as trains pass through.

CBeebies Land is a park-within-the-park, and aimed at young children. It features rides and other attractions based on characters and shows from the BBC’s CBeebies TV channel. It opened for the 2014 season and, due to its phenomenal success, has been expanded several times since then.

Special events include Scarefest, the parks's annual Halloween event which sees the addition of terrifying scare mazes and other haunted attractions in October; and Alton Towers' huge Fireworks Spectacular that brings the season to a close at the beginning of November.

Alongside the theme park, the resort boasts three on-site hotels, luxury lodges, a spa, a waterpark and a mini golf course. These have helped transform Alton Towers into a multi-day holiday destination.

Areas

Attractions

Sharkbait Reef by SeaLife

Sharkbait Reef by SeaLife

Themed aquarium

The Gardens

The Gardens

Begun by the 15th Earl of Shrewsbury, the gardens offer a sanctuary away from the rides and a chance to explore hidden gems including a Pagoda Fountain and the Swiss Cottage

Shopping and Games

Towers Trading Co

Towers Trading Co

Alton Towers' main gift shop stocking park merchandise and other essentials

Resort Box Office

Resort Box Office

Fastrack, event tickets, hotel bookings and annual passes

Mutiny Bay Shoppe

Mutiny Bay Shoppe

Souvenir shop selling snacks and Sea Life merchandise

Wicker Man Shop

Wicker Man Shop

Selling Wicker Man ride souvenirs

Buy the Smiler

Buy the Smiler

An extensive range of The Smiler themed merchandise for sale

Spooks R Us

Spooks R Us

Ghostly gifts, drinks and sweets

Katanga Cargo Company Shop

Katanga Cargo Company Shop

Shop offering African products and snacks

The Edge Interactive Games

The Edge Interactive Games

Games arcade at the top of Forbidden Valley

X-Cite Arcade

X-Cite Arcade

The latest arcade games available to play in X-Sector

The Games Bunker

The Games Bunker

Large arcade building beside the lake next to X-Sector

Pirates Quest arcade

Pirates Quest arcade

Arcade in Mutiny Bay

Katanga Cargo Company Games

Katanga Cargo Company Games

Games stalls in the heart of the Canyon

Food and Drink

Explorers Pizza and Pasta

Explorers Pizza and Pasta

All-you-can-eat pizza and pasta buffet

The Burger Kitchen (The Towers)

The Burger Kitchen (The Towers)

Sit down fast food restaurant

Eastern Express

Eastern Express

A mix of Asian cuisine to eat inside or take away

Just Chicken

Just Chicken

Fried chicken restaurant

Corner Coffee

Corner Coffee

Hot drinks, sandwiches and cakes with an indoor seating area

Coffee Lounge

Coffee Lounge

Coffee shop serving freshly brewed Costa

The Welcom Inn

The Welcom Inn

Pub serving a variety of alcoholic and soft drinks

Hot Dogs and Loaded Fries

Hot Dogs and Loaded Fries

Takeaway hot dogs, fries and drinks

The Burger Kitchen (Mutiny Bay)

The Burger Kitchen (Mutiny Bay)

Takeaway burgers and fries

Forest Feast

Forest Feast

Food outlet offering various options including bagettes, wraps and chips

Courtyard Hot Dogs, Waffles and Wraps

Courtyard Hot Dogs, Waffles and Wraps

Hot wraps, hot dogs and waffles

Towers Street Hot Dogs

Towers Street Hot Dogs

Hot dogs and chips

Coffee Shack

Coffee Shack

Coffee and ice cream next to Wicker Man

Hydration Station (Forbidden Valley)

Hydration Station (Forbidden Valley)

Cold drinks and refillable cups in Forbidden Valley

Hydration Station (The Towers)

Hydration Station (The Towers)

Snacks and drinks stand beside the Towers archway

Hydration Station (X-Sector)

Hydration Station (X-Sector)

Drinks and refills on the edge of X-Sector and the Front Lawns

Pirate Treats

Pirate Treats

Ice creams, sweets and drinks

Donut Factory

Donut Factory

Donuts and ice creams

Mutiny Bay Donuts

Mutiny Bay Donuts

Hot drinks and donuts

Towers Street Donuts

Towers Street Donuts

Donuts and slushies

Nemices Donuts

Nemices Donuts

Donuts and ice creams

Tormented Treats

Tormented Treats

Ice creams and drinks

Refresh and Refill (Dark Forest)

Refresh and Refill (Dark Forest)

Drink refill station in Dark Forest

Refresh and Refill (Mutiny Bay)

Refresh and Refill (Mutiny Bay)

Mutiny Bay Coca-Cola Freestyle refill location

Refresh and Refill (X-Sector)

Refresh and Refill (X-Sector)

Coca-Cola Freestyle refills in X-Sector

Refresh and Refill (Forbidden Valley)

Refresh and Refill (Forbidden Valley)

Self-service Coca-Cola Freestyle refills

Refresh and Refill (Katanga Canyon)

Refresh and Refill (Katanga Canyon)

Katanga Canyon location for Coca-Cola Freestyle refills

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