I didn’t post last night simply because my body was broken! As I was on a course this Tuesday, it allowed me a free teaching session – so I opted to take Friday morning so that Steve and I could go out to play. We went to Alton Towers (for international readers, the UKs foremost theme park), a place I had never been before – and boy did I have fun! The ‘term time’ factor along with the wet weather meant that it was not ridiculously packed and the longest we queued for anything was around 35minutes – which for me is still to long, but much better than the several hours you could queue in the height of summer.
The rides were like nothing else I have encountered before, so fast and furious; they left me breathless – mainly because of the fits of giggles I was spiralled into!
Even though the rides were undoubtedly the most exciting part of the day, I was completely taken by the grounds. I simply had no idea how stunning they were. Initially you drive through the tiny village of Alton – beautifully ‘British’ with chocolate box style houses – which in itself is a pure delight. But Alton Towers is an actual historic building – it was once owned by the Earl of Shrewsbury (I plan to find out more) and the theme park is wrapped around the estate of the most impressive gothic looking building. Sadly, I forgot to take my camera, which is probably just as well considering how wet I became thanks to rain and log flumes! But thankfully, Google is very useful . . .
Even though the building is something of a shell these days, there is still plenty wonderful architecture to transport you back in time to imagine ladies in long cloaks running forlornly around with a candle. Or perhaps a richly dressed rogue galloping his horse around under stormy skies – all terribly romantic and evocative.
But it didn’t stop there. The grounds have lakes and gardens to rival any of the stately homes across the land.
I could have quite happily spent the day wandering the leafy paths of these gorgeous grounds, even in the rain. However, when paying an extortionate price to get in, the day was spent traipsing the vast estate to reach the thrill rides (quite a trek, hence the broken body last night and today). But these were so good that I did not mind missing out on the culture that Alton Towers has to offer. Happy days.