We visited Alton Towers for my daughters 14th birthday. I had a migrain and only had to look at the two hour queue for the new ride, The Wickerman, to need a break!
I left my daughter and her two friends to queue for the bigger rides and spent a very relaxing day exploring the quieter parts of the park. At times it was hard to believe I was in the middle of one of the busiest theme parks in the country because I literally saw no other people. I decided I would tell you about the places I found because whilst the ride access pass at Alton Towers is great for autistic children, it is always useful to know where to escape to if a break is needed. Here are my top five escapes at Alton Towers.
1. The gardens
Wandering through Alton Towers gardens, if it weren’t for the occasional cable car passing way overhead, it would be easy to forget you were in a theme park. The maze of paths and steps takes you down into a valley and back up the other side. There are tunnels of trees, ponds, interesting structures, ducks and landscaped gardens. If you have had enough of the busy theme park and queueing for rides, the gardens can provide a nice break. The gardens have a lot of steps so are not wheelchair or pushchair friendly but if you do still want to see them, you can take the less strenuous route overhead in the cable car.
2. The ruins
The often ignored center piece of Alton Towers is the big hall in the middle. The ride, Hex, is housed in here but if you don’t want to ride you can still escape within the walls and have a peak at the ruins. You can explore some of the inside of the walls and look through the slit windows.
3. The Church
In the center of the ruins is an old church which you can go in. The church used to be where the town of Alton congregated years before Alton Towers existed. It has been preserved, complete with stained glass windows and intricate ceiling. As not many visitors spend time in this part of the park, it is very peaceful and a good place to get away from the crowds.
4. Sea Life
In Mutiny bay you will find a Sea Life centre. This is a great place to escape the rain or spend a calmer time. There are many tanks of fishes, a shark tunnel to walk through and a place where you can touch starfish and shrimps.
The Sea Life center has dim lighting and bright fish tanks and is a great calm down area for animal lovers.
Yes you read that right! There is a Costa in Alton Towers. It is at the far end of the right hand row of shops, as you come from the entrance to the park. If it’s not somewhere to escape for long, at least you can get a decent brew!
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