Welcome back dear friends. I hope you enjoyed my recent trip to Legoland Windsor I really can’t wait to go back.

Today you join me at the Alton Towers Resort the UKs largest theme park based in rural Staffordshire. Today’s blog takes us away from the hustle and bustle of those frightful roller coasters but looks into the heritage of its past and what to do when you want a quiet day at the resort.

The History of the Towers

Alton Towers was founded on an iron age camp .

Many different buildings were built before the existing Towers. From 1412 till 1924 all the buildings were owned by the same family. The Talbots.

The Legend of the Towers

I guess firstly if you have never been to Alton Towers before and you want a history lesson then a visit to Hex – The Legend of the Towers is your starting point. The story begins with The 15th Earl of Shrewsbury Charles Talbot who has a tale to tell you about. There aren’t any spoilers by reading this but what you see and hear about in this attraction does actually exist.

Wildlife in the Resort

When you travel to the Alton Towers Resort you notice that you can never see anything from the roadway leading up to the resort. Building above the treeline is prohibited, therefore making it a very rural park. Trees are everywhere so if you’re a bird enthusiast a quiet walk in the gardens with your binoculars or telescope may be the ideal day of you.

Water also plays a huge part in the wildlife of the resort. Water flows in from the nearby Staffordshire hills. The lodges around the resort are home to some of the largest carp fish I’ve ever seen in my life. Seeing really is believing. Fishing is prohibited in the resort but you can purchase fish food from the dispensers located around the lodges to feed the fish.

Under the Sea

Nope we aren’t talking Disney’ little mermaid but Aton Towers Resort has it’s very own Sea Life Centre. The Shark Bait Reef is one of 12 Sea Life centres in the UK that is dedicated to the protection of Sea Life around the world. The trained professional staff do a great job of looking after all the animals in the centre and when things don’t go quite right they nurse these wonderful creatures back to full health again.

For a leisurely day the sea life centre is well worth a visit. Come face to face with real life sharks and read some of the amazing artifacts about life beneath the water. Take a walk through the deep sea tunnel and have a go at stroking a starfish.

Final note on this you’ll be very pleased to note that Shark Bait Reef The Alton Towers Resort Sea Life Centre is included in your admission price.

Photo of inside Skeleton Bay

A Royal Tour

Ok so you don’t want a day on frightful rollercoasters but you fancy some of the lighter attractions. Let’s begin at Gangsta Granny – The Ride. Join Ben and his Granny as they set off on a mission to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London. This short ride is based on the story book by David Walliams. My personal experience of this ride is quite sensory orientated with smoke bubbles and smells throughout. I also find it quite loud so if you do have sensory issues you may need to adjust accordingly to suit your needs.

UP! UP! and Away

It’s a real shame that in my opinion one of the best leisure day attractions at the Alton Towers Resort is closed again for the 2024 season, but I’m sure you have all read the signs around the park by now about the huge restoration project to restore the sky ride to its former glory.

There has been a skyride system at the Alton Towers since 1987. It was built by the french manufacturing company POMA. This cable car gondola lift was one of the first cable car systems in the world to work on the detach grip system (simply leaves the cable at a station and rejoins after departing.) You can board the Sky ride at Tower Street, Forbidden Valley or The Dark Forest for a nice leisurely trip up in the clouds with fantastic aerial views of the resort and its beautiful gardens. Whilst inside the gondola take a listen to the onboard commentary that’s provided as this will give an insight as to what you can see below. Again the use of the Sky Ride is included in your admission price.

The SkyRide – Built by POMA

The Towers & Gardens

Located right in the heart of the resort is the Towers and Gardens. The Towers date way back to the 1400s when the Talbot family first moved into the towers. The Earl of Shrewsbury was a  lover of gardening as you’ll see today the Earls amazing work is continued by the ground maintenance staff of the resort. The gardens opened in 1860 and house’ some of the most beautiful kept lawns and shrubs anywhere in the world. It’s the ideal spot for a rest and a family picnic. The gardens also house a conservatory which the Earl used to grow oranges in although today is pretty derelict. There are many other  interesting buildings to look out for. La Refuge, The Prospect Tower, The Choagic Tower and the Famous Pagoda Fountain based on a miniature replica of the To – Ho Pagoda fountain in Canton.

View looking over the gardens. Ideal place for a picnic

One thing to look out for whilst visiting is the beautifully restored stained glass window on the banqueting hall of the main towers. This was granted by the  Staffordshire Moorlands District Council and has now been fully restored and has been part of a 3 year restoration project.

Alton Towers at Scarefest showing the restoration of the Banqueting Hall
Stained Glass Widow

Welcome Peasants!!

Again not a Roller Coaster but another way to spend a bit of time away from the roller coasters is a trip into the Alton Towers Dungeon but hurry before it’s too late. Dig a little deeper into the heritage of rural Staffordshire’ past. You as peasants will be given a fair trial in the courts of Staffordshire before being sentenced to a cruise down the black river and then sentenced to pain torture and humiliation in the deepest depths of the dungeon. Maybe you have the plague? Don’t worry the Doctor is in today on your visit. Finally learn about the story of Molly Lee as told by her son but it may not be what it seems.

“Molly Lee, Molly Lee you can’t catch me”

As with The Royal Tour we mentioned earlier sensory issues may come into effect here so please adjust accordingly to suit your needs.

The Alton Towers Dungeon is an upcharge attraction but worth a visit on a leisurely day at Alton Towers.

Re Live your Childhood

If you’re my age you’ll probably have grown up with the likes of Postman Pat and Thomas the Tank Engine but I think a nice way to have a bit of a relaxing day is to take a walk around Cbeebies land. Take a ride on the Tree top adventure for some nice aerial views of this beautifully decorated themed land complete with audio commentary or take a leisurely boat ride around in the night garden. Oh and don’t forget to say Eh Oh to the Teletubbies if you see them.

Entrance to Cbeebies land. This year it is  celebrating 10 years at the Alton Towers Resort.

Please Remain Seated!!!

Finally let’s take a ride on the Congo River  Rapids of the Catanga Canyon. Ride the waves of the canyon as you sail down the twists and turns of the river in your raft. Are you ready to take on the challenge of the reinstated waterfalls?

Height restrictions do apply to this ride so please check first.

Congo River Rapids
Height Restrictions Apply

Retail Therapy and Food & Drink

After all that why not take a look at some of the shops and dining options that are available on your leisurely day trip to Alton Towers Resort.

Undoubtedly the highlight of shopping at the Alton Towers Resort is The Towers Trading Company store located on Tower Street. Full of ride merchandise if that’s your kind thing but it also has some lovely heritage merchandise as well. The resort is currently selling a wonderful Alton Towers themed colouring book which I recently purchased and am currently in the process of completing. I’ll share the finished product in a future blog. Also there are books available all about the history and heritage of this amazing site dating back to the days of the Earl of Shrewsbury so it’s well worth a visit.

The Catanga Canyon shop is also really nice if you’re a lover of animal plushies like me (Yes I love and adore Pandas) or you’re a collector of stones and other minerals then this shop will be for you.

Food wise for a leisurely day out I would fully recommend a trip to the Woodcutters Restaurant located in Fountain Square. In my opinion this restaurant is great value for money and also has a fully licensed bar available so if you fancy something a little stronger then this is a good option. Those of you who maybe want a lighter option and are maybe watching your figure pizza and pasta has an unlimited salad bar and a selection of pizza and pasta dishes. I think it’s a little expensive for what you get these days but I guess if you are an annual pass holder it’s not too bad.


Well I hope you’ve enjoyed an insight as to what you can do at the Alton Towers Resort on a day that you don’t want to spend the day on frightening roller coasters.

Do I think Merlin is missing a trick with not issuing Heritage & Gardens Only Tickets?

100% yes because horticultural societies may be interested in visiting these beautiful gardens as part of their organisation’s activities.

What I think it should include?

  • Access to the Alton Towers Gardens
  • One Single Fastrack Ticket to Hex – The Legend of the Towers
  • Unlimited access to the Sky Ride for aerial views of the Gardens.
  • A guide book of the gardens and the heritage of Alton Towers
  • Afternoon Tea in the Conservatory (Upcharge for this)

Do I think it would sell?

Probably yes if the word got round. But you have to try these things if you want them to succeed.

Well that my friends concludes today’s blog. I do hope you’ve enjoyed it.

Join me again soon when I’ll be taking a trip to Blackpool to visit Lancashire’ s famous heritage coastline And the famous attractions that you can visit for a leisurely day out.

Until then remember Smile Always 😵‍💫

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