Believe it or not, the pics above are taken at Alton Towers, the place we took the kids as a treat and this area was the only bit of the park I truly liked.
It’s not the fault of Alton Towers, I have never really liked theme parks, but we took the kids there on the Tuesday of our holiday and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
We arrived late morning. We had left the hotel in good time, but the park is more than an hour’s drive from where we were staying and we drove through some lovely areas en route there. The countryside round about Manchester is lovely and I really enjoyed seeing it and the pretty little towns and villages en route to Alton Towers.
Because of the time of year we went, the theme park wasn’t too busy thankfully. I hate crowds so managed to cope okay with the amount of people who were there…and there were quite a lot of them. We took the monorail from the car park into the entranceway. The kids loved this. Then we arrived and promptly made our way to an area of the park we felt was appropriate for their age…Old Macdonald’s Farm. The kids went on the squirrel nut ride (with us), the tractor ride, the farm animal ride, they pushed buttons, made animatronic farm animals sing and generally had a good old time to themselves.
Then we went to the pirates’ area; the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory area (I liked the lift that made you feel like you were really moving…that was fun); the bit that had the driving school; we wandered about and squealed every time a rollercoaster whizzed by overhead; and we ate ice-cream. We had lunch in the park; we wandered down to the haunted forest bit; we went into more shops that I felt possible and the kids splashed all their holiday money on plastic rubbish. But, hey, they were happy.
Like I said, my favourite bit was the old gardens, which had lots of follys and beautiful areas to sit. The old Alton Towers house was beautiful, but falling apart and it’s a shame that no-one’s trying to restore it. I’d like to think that was something the park will do sometime because the house and gardens must have been magnificent it their day. As we explored the garden, it was lovely to imagine where the original householders would have sat to paint or read or drink Lemonade, and where they would have hosted garden parties with their twinkling lights and live band. Sigh. It was wonderful.
Anyway, by the back of 4pm, I’d about had enough of the noise and mental-ness of the park (and that was it at a quiet time) and everyone else was tired too. We had seen most of the park and decided it was time to head back to our hotel.
The following day, we travelled into Manchester city centre and went to the Museum of Science and Industry (all the images below), which I think was well worth the visit. It’s based in four or five old railway buildings and houses a range of things including old trains, buses, carriages and planes; steam engines; an old station; an exhibition on film and television including animation (hence the pics of Chorlton and the Wheelies – a fave childhood programme – and Wind in the Willows, both pictured below); and lots more. Basically, the museum covers a wide range of subjects from travel and transport to textiles, industry and even sewerage. It’s an interesting place to go and I really enjoyed it.
The kids seemed to like it too, but as usual raced us around the exhibits at breakneck speed.
We lunched in the city centre before jumping in the car back to Denby Park. En route, we stopped off at a local cinema to see the new Despicable Me 2 which was funny. The kids loved it and the boy didn’t do his usual thing of getting up and running around or wanting to go to the toilet about 50 times, which made it a much better experience than it usually is.
Later, after hubby caught a bit of Wimbledon action on our hotel room telly, we went next door to the pub/restaurant and, luckily for them, I forget what it’s called. I say luckily cos it was a bit tired and in need of doing up and the food they served us was verging on burnt offerings. Needless-to-say we will never eat there again.
And so to bed and to the worst sleep of the holiday. Hubby and I were woken around 4am by some idiot on a trail bike racing around the park next door to the hotel. It went on for ages before the guy took off to annoy some other poor people living in another area. We did manage to get back to sleep, but were bleary eyed and tired the next morning.
Anyway, I will tell you what happened the next day in my next blog. This was the thing I really wanted to go to, but was not in Manchester. My dear hubby was lovely enough to detour en route home to Scotland…we went all the way to Newcastle for this thing and I think it was my favourite bit of the whole holiday.