In theory I’m a bit of a scaredy cat when it comes to roller coasters and rides. I’m the person who loves the idea of rides and having an other half who’s an out an out thrill seeker I’m always coaxed into agreeing to the likes of The Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Oblivion etc but then I spend the entire queue time talking myself out of it with sweaty palms. Fast forward some effing and blinding while the ride is in motion and screaming akin to the Janice I’m Falling video (I’m very vocal when on rides) I step back onto solid ground with an adrenalin rush and begging “can we go on again?!” I’m THAT person.
With the weather clearing up and the summer wardrobe dusted off (or if you’re me a brand new wardrobe purchased!) it’s that time of the year to embark on some day trips to soak up some summer sun and to make the most of the glorious weather! Hours spent in the beer garden (or the garden centre if you have a mum who’s trying to turn you into Charlie Dimock), day trips to the beach, those kinda-crap-but-you-love-them fun fairs at the local park and of course, theme parks.
As a Staffordshire based blogger (Stoke on Trent to be exact) Merlin attraction Alton Towers which first opened in 1980 is just up (or down!) the road from where I live and easily accessible by car or if you’re not a driver, via a handy bus service, the X32, every day of the week from Hanley bus station which picks up at multiple locations through the city including the train station. It even runs on the weekend from just £10 a return! If you’re not so local to Alton Towers, National Holidays offers Alton Towers Spectacular packages which includes coach travel from a number of departure areas such as Newcastle & Stockton, one evening dinner, bed and breakfast at a select hotel and admission to Alton Towers for BOTH days from just £89. When one day admission for Alton Towers itself starts at £40, it’s an absolute bargain.
I saved up my pocket money and collected cereal packet tokens for free tickets (remember that!) to spend many a day during the school holidays at Alton Towers and even appeared in a promotional video for the park when I was at college(!!) and was an ideal “third date” location as I grew up.
There’s most definitely a knack to enjoying Alton Towers at it’s best as with any theme park, weekends, bank holidays and school holidays are always going to mean long queuing times and swarms of children. Head there midweek to make your way around the park easily and beat the weekend rush to get optimum rides out of your day! You don’t want to spend your entire day queuing in the heat after all.
Boasting the theme park, water park, hotels and annual Halloween and Bonfire events which I’ve surprisingly never had the chance to get to, Alton Towers is packed to the brim with entertainment for all ages, from teeny weeny kiddies who will LOVE CBeebies Land to out and out thrill seekers who, like Dan want to make it on to every single ride at least twice AND eat his body weight in burgers and fried chicken.
If you’re not into the thrill seeking rides and are more Congo River Rapids than the sort of brand new ride Galactica (a redesign or upgrade if you like of the ride formerly known as Air) then there is plenty to do that does involve speeding round a track at god knows how many miles a minute. Alton Towers was built on an existing site which was famed for flower shows and tours of the gardens which was founded in 1860 and there’s plenty of those gardens left to have a wander around to escape the hustle and bustle as well as the Sky Ride which gives stunning views of the grounds.
* we were kindly sent two tickets by National Holidays to visit Alton Towers but all words and opinions are my own.