Major theme park and resort in central England

Alton Towers, the largest theme park in the United Kingdom, is in Staffordshire, England. It is generally considered by roller-coaster enthusiasts to hold its own with any such park in the world.

The Nemesis rollercoaster at Alton Towers

Understand Edit

Alton Towers is owned by Merlin Entertainments,

Nemesis and Oblivion (you get the picture) are white-knuckle rides to match anything in Europe and most rides in the USA. The park is very well themed and is built in a number of zones, namely Tower Street, Mutiny Bay, Katanga Canyon, Gloomy Wood, X-Sector, Forbidden Valley, Dark Forest, The World of David Walliams, Adventure Land and CBeebies Land. The ruins of this stately home are even used in a ride: Hex.

Alton Towers is well signposted from the major motorways and is easily accessible from the major cities in England. Those visitors who wish to overnight can stay at one of the park's five accommodation options - the Alton Towers Hotel, CBeebies Land Hotel, Enchanted Village Woodland Lodges and Treehouses, Stargazing Pods and the Splash Landings Hotel, which is also associated with a spectacular water park.

  • Fees, +44 8705 20 40 60. £68 (from £36 if purchased online); 2-day pass is £12 more. Admission to Extraordinary Golf 9 holes: £5 adult, £4 child (3-11); 18 holes: £7 child £6 (3-11). Admission to Alton Towers Dungeon: £11 (£9 if purchased online at least 1 day in advance). Admission to Alton Towers Waterpark: £24 (from £17.50 if purchased online).

History Edit

Get in Edit

By car Edit

Alton Towers is accessible both the M6 and M1 motorways. As it is a major tourist attraction it is very well signposted. Be prepared to drive the last few miles on narrow country lanes.

By train and bus Edit

The public transport links to Alton Towers are infrequent Alton Towers, but good options exist seasonally from Stoke on Trent, Uttoxeter and Derby.

You will need to be at either:

The Alton Towers shuttle bus

Derby train station or Nottingham bus station to catch the X52 bus to Alton Towers. There is only one bus per day April-August so make sure you don't miss it. As of 2019 the prices of the X52 are:

  • from Nottingham: (one-way/return) adult £10/15, child £6/9
  • from Derby: (one-way/return) adult £8/12, child £5/7

Stoke-on-Trent train station, then catch the 30 bus to the Towers. Uttoxetter train station, then catch the 32A bus to the Towers. This bus has an average frequency of about once every two hours and is a local service, servicing all the little villages around Alton Towers. These buses have gained a reputation with the locals as being a bad service and there is little need to use them as getting to Uttoxetter requires changing or passing through at either Derby or Stoke.

  Note: "Alton" is also the name of a market town in Hampshire. Be very careful not to travel to Alton in Hampshire as it is 185 miles from Alton Towers Resort. The journey time by train and bus from Alton station in Hampshire to Alton Towers Resort is approximately 4 hours and 46 minutes, so if you mistakenly travel to Hampshire, you will have to change or cancel your plans.

Get around Edit

You can get a free park map from staff at the entrances or at various information points scattered throughout the park. Alternatively a PDF copy can be found on the official website.

By foot Edit

The best way to get around the park is on foot. The park however is quite large and very hilly so be prepared to walk long distances between rides.

By monorail Edit

There is also a monorail between the hotels and car-park and the park entrance. This is quicker than the 10 minute walk between the two but can have large queues during peak times.

By cable car Edit

Also, you can use the cable car (Skyride) to get between the Park Entrance, Forbidden Valley which is an alien themed area and Fountain Square, for The Towers, The World of David Walliams (one of the two children's areas of the park) and the Dark Forest. It is advisable to use the Skyride when traversing the valley between Forbidden Valley and Fountain Square as it is a very long and steep route through the parks gardens.

See Edit

  • 1 The Gardens. Overlooked by many visitors, the gardens at Alton Towers were an attraction long before the modern resort. Providing a quieter, more serene attraction. Perfect for picnics.
  • 2 Stately home (The towers).

Do Edit

Thrill rides Edit

The Smiler

There are 12 main thrill (or 'white knuckle') rides which are designed to provide maximum excitement and fear to riders.

  • 1 Galactica, Forbidden Valley. A space-themed rollercoaster where it makes the riders feel like they are flying.    
  • 2 Nemesis, Forbidden Valley. A inverted rollercoaster which twists and turns. (Closed until 2024)    
  • 3 Oblivion, X-Sector. The world's first vertical drop dive coaster with a 55-m drop and the third fastest overall in the UK.    
  • 4 Rita, Dark Forest. This rollercoaster boasts a high acceleration of 0 to 100 km/h in 2½ seconds.    
  • 5 Twistatron, X-Sector. A temporary ride part of the 'Retro Squad'. It was manufactured in 2021 and is an outward facing seat Trabant, which spins around.
  • Funk'n'Fly, Forbidden Valley. A temporary ride part of the 'Retro Squad'. It is a paratrooper ride that spins riders near vertical up in the air.
  • 6 TH13TEEN (Thirteen), Dark Forest. The first freefall drop coaster (5 m), it's designed to induce psychological horror among its riders.    
  • 7 The Smiler, X-Sector. The world-record breaking coaster, The Smiler, inverts riders 14 times through the twists and turns of its compact layout.    
  • 8 Wicker Man, Mutiny Bay. A family/thrill wooden coaster inspired by the popular film, it is the United Kingdom's first in 22 years.    
  • Spinjam, X-Sector. A temporary ride part of the 'Retro Squad'. Located next to Twistatron, this ride is a Tivoli Extreme that spins riders around extremely fast!
  • 9 Spinball Whizzer, Adventure Land. Transform yourself into a pinball in this head-spinning, body-buffeting experience! Whizzing along at up to 60kph, you’re swivelling 360 degrees all at the same time.    
  • Nemesis: Sub-Terra, Forbidden Valley. Take a thrilling ride deep into the Earth’s core to discover the secretive research of The Phalanx. Through a guided tour of their latest research facility in Forbidden Valley. Civilians are invited to look, stay alert, but don’t touch, as you’re shown exciting glimpses of a Nemesis egg, their latest discovery.

Family rides Edit

Congo River Rapids

Other rides worth a go are the following:

  • 10 The Curse at Alton Manor, Gloomy Wood. A haunting dark ride, taking you on a hair-raising journey through the spectacular twists and turns within the cursed Manor.
  • 11 Runaway Mine Train, Katanga Canyon. A western-theme rollercoaster and the oldest rollercoaster the park has in current operation.    
  • 12 Hex – The Legend of the Towers, The Towers. Venture deep inside the legendary Towers and discover the mind-bending, heart-pounding multi-sensory experience that is Hex.    
  • 13 Congo River Rapids, Katanga Canyon. A river rapids ride for those that don't mind getting soaked.    
  • Gangsta Granny The Ride, The World of David Walliams. Climb into your royal carriage as Granny and Ben enlist your help to pull off the greatest jewel heist in history!
  • The Blade, Forbidden Valley. Jump aboard for a seriously hair-raising, stomach-floating, zero-gravity near-vertical experience that gets ever more intense until you’re hovering off your seat, high in the sky. It is the oldest ride at the park.
  • Battle Galleons, Mutiny Bay. Prepare to get drenched as you board your boat with water guns, and shoot at other people in boats and people off the ride, all while they shoot at you!
  • Flavios Fabulous Fandango, The World of David Walliams. Prepare to get squashed, as you spin around in this Twister ride, being pushed into the people next to you!
  • Marauder's Mayhem, Mutiny Bay. Step inside the gunpowder barrels on Marauder’s Mayhem and get ready to swirl and twirl as you spin your crew around at swashbuckling speeds!
  • Sharkbait Reef, Mutiny Bay. Alton Towers own aquarium by Sea Life.

CBeebies Land Edit

Section within the park aimed at younger visitors themed around the CBeebies franchise.

Other activities Edit

  • 14 Waterpark. A fantastic indoor water park.
  • 15 Extraordinary Golf. A crazy golf course.
  • 16 Spa, +44 871 702 7043. If you wish to get pampered by the spa then a booking in advance via either phone or the website.
  • +21 other rides and attractions.

Buy Edit

Various ride photos.

  • 1 Towers Trading, Towers Street. Home to one of the UK's biggest gift shops.
  • Buy The Smiler, X-Sector. A collection of Smiler related merchandise. Also has some around Oblivion and the previous rollercoaster The Black Hole.
  • Little Explorers Toy Box, CBeebies Land. You can find a wide range of souvenirs featuring your favourite CBeebies friends, the CBeebies bugs and exclusive CBeebies Land items.
  • Raj's Shop, The World of David Walliams. A shop with fun and quirky items along with merchandise themed to books by David Walliams.
  • Mutiny Bay Shopee, Mutiny Bay. A shop at the exit of Sharkbait Reef including sealife related merchandise.
  • Wicker Man Shop, Mutiny Bay. A shop located at the exit of The Wickerman containg merchandise themed around it.
  • Katanga Cargo, Katanga Kanyon. Venture inside this amazing emporium and marvel at the huge selection of products and gifts on offer.
  • Attic of Antiquities, Gloomy Wood. Enter the Attic of Antiquities during your visit to Gloomy Wood and be amazed by a collection of cursed treats of a time gone by. Pick out a ghoulish gift for your family, or a sinister souvenir for a friend.
  • Squadron Supplies, Forbidden Valley. A shop that you cannot walk inside. Gather the squadron and get kitted out at the Phalanx's supply store.

Eat Edit

There is a number of full service restaurants, fast food outlets and stands throughout the park including a pizza-pasta buffet, an American BBQ and a Mexican restaurant. There are various stands serving curry, chilli, filled jacket potatoes, etc., together with traditional English dishes such as fish and chips. If you wish to bring your own food into the park, there is a picnic area beside Mutiny Bay and there are lockers throughout the park.

Drink Edit

Cafes and vending machines distributing soft drinks, water and juices are plentiful throughout the park.

  • 1 The Rehydrator, X-Sector.
  • The Courtyard Tavern, Mutiny Bay.
  • 2 Woodcutters Bar & Grill, The Towers. Serves alcoholic drinks in the theme park.

Connect Edit

Sleep Edit

Alton Towers has five on-site accommodation for overnight stays.

  • 1 The Alton Towers Hotel, +44 871 222 1100. A four-star quirky English escape with direct access to Alton Towers Theme Park via the Woodland Walk, or just a few minutes walk to the Alton Towers Monorail.
  • 2 Splash Landings Hotel, +44 1538 704600. Home of Alton Towers Water-park. A Caribbean-themed four-star hotel just a minutes walk from the Alton Towers Monorail.
  • CBeebies Land Hotel. A four-star hotel with rooms and entertainment themed to CBeebies.
  • Enchanted Village Woodland Lodges and Treehouses. (Enchanted Village). Four-star lodges and treehouses with a quirky theme.
  • Stargazing Pods. 4-star camping cabins located next to the Enchanted Village. Communal toilets, showers, and telescopes.

There are many hotels and restaurants in the surrounding Derbyshire and Staffordshire area. Ashbourne, a historic marketplace town, is nearby and has a number of hotels and B&Bs.

Cope Edit

Facilities include:

  • Baby change facilities: There are 9 baby-changing facilities located within the toilets around the theme park.
  • Medical centre: There is a First Aid Centre between the Teachers Lounge and the Skyride Station on Towers Street.
  • Cash machines: There are several cash points around the park, but the only free ATM services are on Towers Street.
  • Smoking areas: Designated smoking areas are provided across the resort, including at Alton Towers Hotel and Splash Landings Hotel. Smoking is not permitted outside of these areas, including the use of e-cigarettes.

Stay safe Edit

All rides, have posted safety instructions which should be observed. Staff members are well trained in first aid. Major incidents are incredibly rare, the operators considering it a professional responsibility to ensure a safe experience, despite the thrills.

In summer and around Halloween time the place becomes overcrowded, so beware of pickpockets. Other crime is rare and Alton Towers remains an incredibly safe place to visit.

If you have young children and they get lost, please refer to the Resort First Aid centre next to Towers Street.

Go next Edit

This city travel guide to Alton Towers is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.