Alton Towers

2-3 September 2008


We took a short break at Alton Towers – one night in the Alton Towers Hotel and two days going round the park.  It was Roger’s first night away from home since his operation.  



ß Thanks to an early start (5.45 am) we arrive at 8.15 am, guided by the Satnav on the windscreen.  Just time to check in, leave our bags and collect our two-day park tickets before leaving for the park


We walk from the hotel car park to the monorail terminal, photographing Jay outside the hotel on the way à





ß We compare footwear while waiting for the gates to open at 9.0 am



Our monorail departs after the short journey à







The early morning view down Tower Street – no crowds yet à








ß Teresa pauses in front of the gardens and the temple



Roger and Jay joke on the grass – the old buildings in the background à






At the first attraction – Mutiny Bay, new to us and replacing the gentle swan boats.  The ride on the galleons is also gentle enough but water cannons are provided for you to soak all the other riders.  We decided once was enough





One of Teresa and Jay’s favourites – the Runaway Mine Train.  It was so quiet that they got to ride at the front on one of their many trips à





I should point out that hotel guests get an hour from 9 am to use selected rides before the park is open to all at 10 am.  Roger, of course, kept off the fiercer rides – he’d been inveigled on to the Mine Train once years ago and didn’t like it then.  Now the warning notices provide a cast iron excuse.


The warnings didn’t apply to the Congo Rapids ride, which we all used several times, as queuing was very quick – indeed once we went round twice in succession.  Once a major attraction, it appears the water rides are losing their appeal for the newer patrons



Approaching the waterfalls – another soaking





On the second day, Jay needed time to recover from Nemesis, so Roger and Teresa went round by themselves.  The water was quite rough, however, so they got wet for their pains.  Jay spotted them passing and took the photograph à





ß Much more gentle pleasures – Roger and Jay on the Carousel


We head for the children’s area – Storybook Land, where we revive old memories on Squirrel Nutty’s ride, the Riverside Eye Spy and Macdonald’s Tractors


Squirrel Nutty’s ride à



But all that was for the faint hearts.  Teresa and Jay put their courage to the test by going for the big ones … Air, Nemesis, the Corkscrew, Rita and the Flume.

(The Corkscrew is now in its last year, and the Black Hole has come and gone.)  But they did not tackle Oblivion or the Spinball Whizzer – maybe next time. 

Jay thinks she clocked up nearly 30 rides each day (including the monorail) and it would have been more except that the Skyride was not running.  This meant a bit of extra walking for us all and Teresa returned with the blisters to prove it.


Other rides enjoyed included the Ug Swinger and the Beastie (for Teresa and Jay), Duel (for Teresa and Roger) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (for all of us); the latter has replaced Toyland Tours, and includes some very clever effects in the glass lift




ß Teresa and Jay enjoying Air …


… and the Corkscrew à






ß Back in the hotel, Teresa seemed strangely diminished by the experience







In the evening, we walked round the grounds, before repairing to the bar, a quick drink and an early night - exhausted


Overlooking the carp pond à



We had similar lunches each day in the park at Rita’s Chicken and Ribs, and a magnificent and comprehensive ‘serve yourself’ breakfast in the hotel; otherwise we existed on snacks in the park



We were lucky with the weather, dry and sometimes sunny, if a little cool, until lunchtime on the second day, after which we had intermittent drizzle until just before we left, when the heavens opened.  It was an unpleasant drive back in heavy rain, but uneventful in the end.  We were guided safely back home by Satnav at about 8.30 pm.


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