Alton Towers, which is owned by Merlin Entertainments, is generally considered by roller-coaster enthusiasts to hold its own with any such park in the world.
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, Cloud Cuckoo 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 two hotels - the Alton Towers Hotel and the newer Splash Landings Hotel, which is also associated with a spectacular water park.
- Fees, ☏ . Adult £56 (€33 if purchased online at least 5 days in advance), child 3-11 £48 (£27.50 in advance); admission to Alton Towers Dungeon (10 and up) £5 extra; a 2-day pass is £10 more.
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
You will need to be at either:
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.
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.
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.
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
Also you can use the cable car (skyride) to get between the park entrance and the pirate themed area known as Mutiny Bay, Forbidden Valley which is an alien themed area and fountain square, for the towers, Cloud Cuckoo Land (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.
- The maze.
- 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).
There are 10 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 that uses virtual reality to help simulate the rider travelling through space.
- 2 Nemesis, Forbidden Valley. A inverted rollercoaster which twists and turns.
- 3 Oblivion, X-Sector. The world's first dive coaster with a 55-m vertical drop and the third fastest overall in the UK.
- 4 Rita, Dark Forest. Touted as the "Queen of Speed", this rollercoaster boasts a high acceleration of 0 to 100 km/h in 2½ seconds.
- 5 Enterprise, X-Sector. A ride similar to a ferris wheel, but at a much higher speed.
- 6 The Blade, Forbidden Valley.
- 7 TH13TEEN (Thirteen), Dark Forest. The first freefall drop coaster (5 m), it's designed to induce psychological horror among its riders.
- 8 The Smiler, X-Sector.
- 9 Wicker Man, Mutiny Bay. A family/thrill wooden coaster inspired by the popular film, it is the United Kingdom's first in 22 years.
Other rides worth a go are the following:
- 10 Spinball Whizzer, Adventure Land.
- 11 Duel – The Haunted House Strikes Back!, Gloomy Wood.
- 12 Runaway Mine Train, Katanga Canyon. A western-theme rollercoaster and the oldest ride the park has in current operation.
- 13 Hex – The Legend of the Towers, The Towers.
- 14 Congo River Rapids, Katanga Canyon. A river rapids ride for those that don't mind getting soaked.
Section within the park aimed at younger visitors.
- 15 Waterpark. A fantastic indoor water park.
- 16 Extraordinary Golf. A crazy golf course.
- 17 Spa, ☏ . If you wish to get pampered by the spa then a booking in advance via either phone or the website.
Various ride photos.
- 1 Towers Trading, Towers Street. Home to one of the UK's biggest gift shops, stocking every single bit of Alton Towers merchandise under the sun!
- Top Dog Days. 2 for 1 vouchers and discounted tickets for entrance to Alton Towers
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. This is all as well as 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 lockers are located throughout the park.
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.
Alton Towers has two on-site hotels for overnight stays.
- 1 The Alton Towers Hotel, ☏ . 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, ☏ . Home of Alton Towers Water-park. A Caribbean-themed three-star hotel just a minutes walk from the Alron Towers Monorail.
- Baby Change Facilities
There are 7 baby changing facilities located within the toilets around the theme park. Should you forget any essentials such as nappies, bottles and dummies (pacifiers), these are stocked at the Towers Trading Store.
- Medical Centre
There is a First Aid Centre between the Towers Family Restaurant and the Skyride Station on Towers Street.
- Cash Machines
There are several cash points located 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 no longer permitted outside of these areas, including the use of e-cigarettes.
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 the place becomes overcrowded, so beware of pickpockets.