Alton Towers

Alton Towers Logo


The Towers

Alton towers is probably the most famous and popular of all of the amusement parks in England. Located in a rather unlikely rural location in Staffordshire just outside of Stoke-on-Trent the park amuses both young and old. Even finding the park is tricking with only nominal signage leading drivers to the park. You certainly can't even see the park from outside.

Surrounding Countryside

The Rides

There is a wide assortment of rides scattered throughout the resort. You might notice my selection below is slanted towards rollercoasters and other thrill rides – Alton Towers has more than enough to keep me entertained for a day.

The park is divided into a number of different-themed areas:


The home of Oblivion, Submission and Enterprise this area is located just beyond Adventure Land on your right when you enter the park (at the far end).



One of the first rides installed at Alton Towers in recent years that caused quite a stir – This ride is essentially a rollercoaster that has exactly one gimic – A sheer drop seconds after the ride starts with the car stopping the let the riders have a view down just before letting go. Very good ride but a bit short. Queues can be VERY large.


A variation on the classic pirate ship ride Submission flips the rider over and over again as the “ship” is swung around a number of times. The ride will often stop completely upside down for riders to have a look straight above themselves to the ground quite some way below. Queues are generally not that bad and the ride is moderately entertaining.

Forbidden Valley

Located to the far left as you enter the park beyond Katanga Canyon and Gloomy Wood this area of the park is home to Nemesis, Air and Ripsaw. It really is a valley, too, with fantastic rock formations and woods all around the area.



Riders on this new-style rollercoaster are strapped in a prone position parallel to the track (with their backs to the track) strapped into seats that rotate into position after boarding. The end effect is one of flying with the riders being unable, really, to see where they are going. The ride flips riders over and over again with many loops and turns.



Nemesis is a suspended rollercoaster where riders hang below the track. The ride is very fast and loops around quite frequently. The surroundings are fairly atmospheric with odd blood-red water coming down in streams on the surrounding rocks. Queues can be very long. Fantastic experience.

Ug Land

Located at the far end of the park, this is the home of Rita and Corkscrew.



Rita, evidentily, has been voted as the favourite ride of the park by visitors. There is no wonder. The ride begins by taking you from 0 to 100 miles an hour in just a few seconds then you are thrown around the many curves and loops of the short track. Truly breathtaking. My favourite by far.


This is an older-style nylon wheel roller coaster that seems a bit ponderous when compared with the other rides on offer in the park but still worth a visit, that is for sure.

Adventure Land

This area has a number of rides aimed at junior visitors but also Spinball Wizzer which is a pinball-inspired rollercoaster.

Spinball Whizzer

Spinball Whizzer

A pinball-inspired roller-coaster this ride consists of single cars seating four riders where the car itself is free to rotate in any direction throughout the experience. The track winds and arcs wildly throughout. Great fun.

Katanga Canyon

On the left as you enter the park, this area is home to the River Rapids (water raft ride) and Runaway Mine Train (rollercoaster).

River Rapids

Runaway Mine Train

Probably the tamest of all of the rollercoasters in the park this ride winds along a small track through a “mine”. Quick and fun.

Cred Street

Located between Ug Land and x-Sector behind The Towers this is the home of some child-friendly rides such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory though Hex is also a multi-media haunted house experience in the old Towers themselves.

Old MacDonald's Farmyard

Junior area of the park located on your immediate right on entering the park.

Merrie England

Located right in front of you when you enter the park this area is right on the lake in front of the Towers.

Gloomy Wood

A small area just beyond Katanga Canyon but before you get to Forbidden Valley this area has only one ride, Duel, which is a laser-tag haunted house ride.

The Facilities

Facilities are what you might expect in a resort of this kind with the expected chain restaurants: Pizza Hut, McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken and the like. There are the occasional exceptions to the chains but they serve up typical fast-food menus such as fish and chips though there are also a few bars as well.

There are two hotels attached to the park (Alton Towers Hotel and Landings Hotel – the later being the home of the waterpark). Both are connected to the theme park by monorail (which drops visitors at the front gate of the park).

The Grounds

The Inner Grounds of the Towers

In addition to the fantastic selection of rides there is, suprisingly, a fair amount to keep one entertained. With extensive gardens as well as the towers themselves which are an historic monument that you can visit (also with it's own gardens). Perhaps a bit expensive to pay the entrance fee to just visit the gardens though…

The Gardens

Between Ug Land and Forbidden Valley a small valley contains rather extensive gardens and paths throughout.

Garden Path


Entrance to the park is not cheap (about £30 on the day or discounted by about £10 if booked in advance). There is a small charge for parking. The entrance charge includes all the rides with only a few exceptions (notably the water boats and various games of chance throughout the park).

Tip: Every summer various train companies offer special train ticket, bus transfer and entrance ticket. Often this ticket costs only a small amount more than the cost of admission. Definitely worth it. Means you also do not have to worry about trying to find the park…

There are priority queuing tickets that can be purchased in advance that allow you to bypass the (often large) queues to go directly to the front. Essentially this is a ticket that is punched each time you use it up to a pre-purchased number of times.

Further Information

For further information, please see: