Last weekend I went to Alton Towers. I don’t think I will bother to go back.
I wasn’t desperate to go in the first place, but there were teenagers who wanted to go on vomit-inducing rides and then jump around at a concert.
Actually the concert was excellent. Notable that many bands involved ‘sample’ (as the groovy cats say) numerous hits from my yoof.
Not so excellent was getting to Alton Towers. Having left at early o’clock we were 10 minutes away on the A50, in the vicinity of Uttoxeter, when it all slowed to one mile an hour. To cut a slightly long story short, after that hour we went off grid. Not with a sat-nav but a proper old 1999 Collins road atlas. That ladies and gents did the job. We left the tail backs behind and did a B and C-road shuffle and got there in no time.
Talking to locals I found that it had taken them four hours, yes four, to get to the Towers. Indeed the entrance is located in a twee village on normal B roads. Clearly Alton Towers is located in completely the wrong place. Go to Disneyworld and a six lane freeway takes you to the main gate and massive car parks served by frequent shuttle buses do the rest.
Alton Towers park you in fields and expect you to walk on rough terrain for what feels like forever. There is a sort of sky train shuttle thing, but that only makes sense if you are in the concrete parking area which isn't remotely large enough to deal with the overspill.
Clearly Alton Towers has grown beyond the capability of the road planners, local councilors and is constrained by the not-in-my-back yarders; obviously it should be relocated to somewhere else. Some brown-field inner city, ex gas works/nuclear plant location would be ideal. It would guarantee my non-attendance and I could wander around the ruin of Alton Towers at my leisure. (Actually, I did that anyway).
So what did I learn this weekend? That old-fashioned maps still work and that Alton Towers certainly doesn’t. Also that a National Trust sticker in the car window, a tartan rug and flask are imminent.