Twisting roller coasters greet visitors to Alton Towers, one of England’s largest and most exhilarating theme parks. Situated in Staffordshire, close to Derby and Stoke-on-Trent, the Alton Towers resort also includes a water park, high ropes course, and a crazy golf course. Over the years it’s introduced many theme park firsts, including the world’s first ever dive roller coaster in 1998 and the first ever 14-loop ride in 2013.
There are over 50 roller coasters in Alton Towers, the most famous being Nemesis, Oblivion, Smiler, and Galactica, with the latter a virtual reality flying roller coaster. While the theme park has some water-based rides including the Congo River Rapids, there is also a separate Alton Towers Waterpark that requires an additional entrance ticket. Various themed areas are tailored towards different ages, and the theme park is the second most popular in the UK.
The water park is typically open from March to December while the theme park closes for the season after Halloween. By public transport, there are daily buses from Nottingham, Derby, and Uttoxeter, along with six daily departures from Stoke-on-Trent, the closest city to Alton Towers. The theme park also has a large car park.
Alton Towers was once owned by the Earl of Shrewsbury, who opened his estate for flower shows and garden tours in the mid-19th century. By 1950 the gardens had been superseded by a fairground, but it wasn’t until 1980 that the roller-coaster style theme park opened.