Alton Towers Break – 16-17 August 2010


Hi! Just got back from a two-day break to Alton Towers in Staffordshire. With our Merlin Annual Passes, it’s good to get as much use as we can out of them.

For the last couple of years, we’ve done a similar annual trip, and found discounts to stay in Alton Towers’ on-site hotels. However, this year, we found no such deals, so instead we stayed at ‘The Manor’ in nearby Cheadle, which offered us a four-person bedroom. Dad was not going, as he thinks theme parks are a waste of money, so it was just Mum, Matthew, Harriet, and me – hence this inn suited us perfectly.

We arrived at Alton Towers at 8:30am on Monday, 16 August – with Mum having driven us up through the night. Because we’re annual pass holders, we got to go into the park an hour before the park opened. While not all of the rides are operating at this time, we still got to do one of our favourites – Spinball Whizzer – without ridiculously long queues.


This photo (above) shows me in a blue Superman® T-Shirt (back row, far left) on the Ripsaw ride on Tuesday.

The new rollercoaster this season is ‘Th13teen’, which has a bit of a secret to tell behind it. While it appears like any simple ‘Kiddy-coaster’ from the outside, just as you think the ride is finishing your whole train is dropped down in total darkness, and you do another lap in the dark.

Mum and Harriet knew nothing of the surprise, so me and Matthew said nothing about it. They loved it!

While I must admit that I had my reservations about the accommodation, once we actually arrived and were greeted by a friendly-looking face, it was all very cosy. Rather than hunting for a meal in the town, we ate in the inn’s restaurant. I had a burger and chips, which was really delicious.

In the morning we checked out, after a large and splendid breakfast, and followed the Sat-nav back to the park. However, Mum had accidently pressed the wrong button, and it started taking us home. It was only down to us children that it didn’t blurt “You have reached your destination” as we pulled up on the drive of our house!

Eventually we arrived at the park, though the set-back meant that we weren’t able to run straight to the first rides of the day and beat the queues, as we were a little later than the ‘early-rider’ opening time.

Mutiny Bay_Pirates_Matthew

One of Matthew’s favourite attractions is the Mutiny Bay pirate boats. It is just a glorified waterfight, but provides endless fun as you soak other revellers.

My personal favourite ride is Oblivion. It claims to be “the world’s first vertical-drop rollercoaster”. I really enjoy every ride I ever get on it!

Finally, we walked through Alton Towers’ beautiful gardens.

Alton Towers_Gardens After a great couple of days, we grabbed some food and then started driving back to Maidenhead.

Thanks to Mum for agreeing to take us!

Andrew Burdett

Andrew Burdett is a twenty-something from Maidenhead in Berkshire, working for ITV News.