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Alton Towers Resort

Galactica at Alton Towers.Galactica at Alton Towers.

England's largest themepark offers 500 acres of attractions and rides well spaced out in pretty parkland surrounding a stately old mansion. This Staffordshire gargantuan is an ideal day out for all ages, offering everything from famous rollercoasters for thrill-seekers to CBeebies Land for younger guests.

You can also book a short family break at one of the UK's best-loved themeparks - there's on-site accommodation including the water-themed Splash Landings Hotel, the new-in-2017 CBeebies Land Hotel and the Enchanted Village with its luxury treehouses and woodland lodges. Look out for 2017 breaks including an overnight stay, breakfast and a second day in the themepark for FREE!

See our feature on a family weekend break at Alton Towers.

Best for: All ages

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What to do

Alton Towers has its pick of headline-hitting exhilarating rides, but there are also plenty that aren't nearly as scary, and lots perfect for those with younger children.

With thrill-seekers head for:

Galactica (a reworking of Air), The Smiler, Th13teen, Nemesis and Nemesis Sub-terra, Oblivion, Rita - Queen of Speed, The Blade, Ripsaw, Enterprise.

Take the whole family to try out:

Runaway Mine Train, Sonic Spinball, Congo River Rapids, The Flume, Duel - The Haunted House Strikes Back (ghost train where you can shoot the ghosts!), Haunted Hollow, Hex - The Legend of the Towers, Tea Cup Ride, UG Swinger, Ice Age - The 4D Experience, Sharkbait Reef by Sea Life, Extraordinary Golf, Live Shows, Tree-top Quest, Waterpark.

With young children, don't miss:

CBeebies Land (expanding in 2017 with the addition of the Go Jetters Vroomster Zoon Ride and The Furchester Hotel Show Live), Octonauts Rollercoaster Adventure, Peugeot Driving School, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - The Ride, Berry Bish Bash, Bouncing Bugs, Frog Hopper, Galloper's Carousel, Old MacDonald's Farmyard (check out 'There's something in the dung heap'!), Doodle Doo Derby, Old MacDonald's Tractor Ride, Old MacDonald's Singing Barn, Riverbank Eye Spy.

Note that some rides have height and girth restrictions - see the signs at the entrances to individual rides.

Visit 'Guest Services' for information on 'Parent Queue Share passes' and to get free ID wristbands for the kids, giving you a little extra peace of mind.

Where to stay

The resort itself has three hotels – Splash Landings HotelAlton Towers Hotel and CBeebies Land Hotel - plus a collection of luxury treehouses and woodland lodges in The Enchanted Village. Family deals are usually on offer, comprising hotel and ticket packages.

When

Open late March–early Nov, generally from 9.30am to between 4pm and 7pm, according to season. Get there early to avoid traffic and lengthy queues. Leave the 'big ones' until last to avoid the queues (it's the queues, not the rides, that shut at closing time, giving you a bit of extra time), or invest in Fasttrack passes.

How

Alton Towers Resort
Alton
Staffordshire
ST10 4DB

Alton Towers Resort is easy to get to, with great links for both road and rail. The nearest train stations are Stoke-on-Trent, Derby and Uttoxeter. If you're driving, the resort is between the M1 and the M6.

Eat

There's a huge choice of on-site restaurants and food outlets, plus picnic areas, including the Rollercoaster Restaurant where you can dine below a rollercoaster track and watch your food loop-the-loop before arriving at your table (advance reservations recommended).

Cost

Expect to pay around £135 on a day out for a family of four. Savings may be available if you book in advance online, and there are two-day ticket discounts and short breaks including hotel accommodation.

Related features

Key:
Self-catering
Hotel
Editors favourite
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