Staffordshire’s biggest tourist attraction is reopening its doors to guests during lockdown – so that they can enjoy the outdoors.
Alton Towers Resort are opening their gardens to visitors to walk through on weekends, whilst continuing to follow strict Covid-19 safety measures.
The gardens will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays starting from November 13, with adult tickets costing just £12 which must be booked in advance.
The historic gardens were laid out over 150 years ago by the 15th Earl of Shrewsbury, Charles Talbot – the man at the centre of the ‘chained oak’ story.
Work began in 1814 to transform the farmland around the main house into one of the largest formal gardens in Britain, when more than 13,000 trees were planted and many features installed including the Pagoda fountain and the fantastic Conservatory, which has undergone a £1.9m restoration in the past few years.
The gardens are lovingly maintained by a team of full-time gardeners, who maintain the planting in keeping with Charles Talbot’s original vision.
James Walker, Marketing Director for Alton Towers said: “We are delighted to re-open our Gardens to the public on the next few weekends and offer guests the chance to enjoy them whilst taking their vital daily exercise.
“The Gardens were greatly enjoyed and appreciated by guests over the summer and we know the grounds are particularly stunning as winter approaches.
“We will continue to limit the number of guests each day, and still have a raft of hygiene and safety measures in place to protect our visitors and employees.
“We recognise how important these tranquil garden and outdoor spaces are for families at this time, not only for physical exercise but their wellbeing, providing a setting where families can enjoy time in the outdoors together.”
There will be restricted opening hours and reduced capacity in the gardens, with guests having their temperature taken on arrival.
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Here are some of the safety measures guests can expect:
1. Restricted number of guests, with everyone is being asked to book in advance online
2. Temperature checks upon arrival
3. Social distancing markers on the plaza and around the resort, with clear walking routes
4. Sale of takeaway food and drinks will be limited to ‘grab and go’ items including hot and cold drinks and snacks. Note that card payments only will be accepted
5. All rides and other attractions remain closed in line with government advice
6. Toilet facilities by admissions and in ‘Mutiny Bay’ will be open for guests
Children’s tickets will be £5, with under threes going free – and Merlin Annual Passholders won’t have to pay an entry fee, but will still need to book online.
Parking will be free, with the gardens open 10am to 3pm, with last entry at 1pm.
For more information, or to book tickets, click here.