Once a stately home owned by the earls of Shrewsbury, Alton Towers has been open to the public since the 1950s. In the 1980s, the pleasure gardens and lake were given an update with the addition of several rides, including the Corkscrew roller coaster, the Pirate Ship, and the Log Flume ride. Many new rides have been added over the years, from the Nemesis, which dangles riders’ feet in the air, to Thirteen, a super-charged ghost train.
The site also includes an indoor water park, a relaxation spa, and several themed hotels, plus individual wooden “Star-Gazing” sleeping pods. Visitors can spend just one day at the theme park or opt for a weekend package that includes access to all the attractions.
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Things to Know Before You Go
The amusement park, water park, and other sections of Alton Towers each require their own tickets.
Skip the line with pre-paid admission packages; some include meals.
The park and hotels are wheelchair accessible, and the resort has a limited number of chairs available to rent.
How to Get There
Alton Towers is located in Staffordshire, in central England, about 45 miles (72 km) from the city of Birmingham, between the M1 and M6 motorways. Public buses run to Alton Towers from the train stations at Stoke-on-Trent and Uttoxeter every day except for Sunday.
When to Get There
The theme park at Alton Towers closes in the winter—from early November until the end of February—but sometimes opens for special events during that period. The waterpark, mini golf, and hotels are open all year round.
Walking in Dovedale and Cycling in Tissington
For more activities in central England, consider the valley of Dovedale, near Ashbourne, in Derbyshire. Keen walkers will enjoy exploring this area of natural beauty close to Alton Towers, which offers riverside walks and hill climbs. Alternatively, head to the nearby Tissington bike trail and explore the surrounding countryside.