ALTON TOWERS RESORT

BY GEMMA IRELAND

I visited Alton Towers Resort on Sunday, August 3. The entrance queue to the park proved fairly long, and we didn’t embark on out first ride until around 1330hrs.

GEMMA RIDE (2)This was Hex, the best illusion ride I have experienced. We managed to access the ride in good time, which I was pleasantly pleased about. We ventured to the X-Sector, where we discovered The Smiler and Oblivion. Oblivion was one of the bigger rollercoasters, and in my opinion, the most terrifying, as you are dangled 180 feet at an approximate angle of 87 degrees. Air was my favourite ride, as you are titled up and made to feel as though you are flying. It’s a completely different experience compared to other attractions. We then opted to try Nemesis, which is ranked rather highly amongst visitors.

Afterwards, we ventured through the park. It’s a beautiful place with some truly picturesque views. We sat on some benches and stopped for a bit to eat. The prices were pretty reasonable and there were a number of options available, from Mexican to Fish & Chips and Sandwich Bars to Doughnut Stalls. We headed over to Duel following a brief visit to the Sea Life Centre. Duel is a ghost train with a twist. Upon entry, you are given lazer guns and invited to compete with each other. It is an attraction suitable for all ages, with a minimal scare factor.

Finally, we headed over to Thirteen, which was one of the newer attractions. I strongly recommend this ride as it will shock, surprise and excite you. Having now visited, I believe that despite your age, you cannot fail to like an attraction such as this. It welcomes a great day out for groups especially, and I am grateful that I got to experience all it has to offer.

DRAYTON MANOR PARK

BY HARLEY DENHAM

The day commenced with heavy rain, which urged us to purchase a Drayton Manor raincoat from one of the many shops available upon arrival. Drayton Manor’s Thomas Land proved first priority with children in the group. Thomas Land consisted of a selection of 12 character themed rides and a shop, where visitors could purchase clothes branded with Thomas & Friends and much more.

Drayton Manor

Thomas Land is the ideal spot for children who want to enjoy thrill- seeking rides, without being limited by height restrictions. For lunch, we decided to sample the new Fish & Chip shop, which offered the traditional ‘chips in a cone.’ We enjoyed our meal overlooking the river nearby. I would also highly recommend the Grill Inn for anyone seeking traditional “pub grub” fare.

We strolled through the zoo onsite, observing the vast selection of animals from all across the world, including black leopards, monkeys, birds and the like. Drayton Manor recently launched the Air Race in July 2014. Since then, it has ensured to provide special measure to customers, such as sick bags allocated to passengers prior to embarkation, with hoses installed to make sure rides remain clean. An upcoming annual firework spectacular is scheduled to take place on November 1 & 2, with last admission at 1800hrs. Visitors will witness a fantastic display, and are granted access to some of the rides that prove popular every year.

If you’re looking to make it an overnight stay, Drayton Manor Hotel offers 150 bedrooms, including 15 Thomas The Tank Engine themed rooms especially for children. Free coach and minibus parking is available for various group sizes. To book tickets or to find out more visit www.draytonmanor.co.uk or call 0844 472 1960.