When does Alton Towers open? 13 family-friendly attractions within an hour of Stoke-on-Trent that are reopening


After a tough few months of lockdown life and homeschooling, being able to take the kids for a daytrip will be a welcome relief for parents.

Under the Prime Minister’s roadmap out of lockdown, during stage two, on April 12, zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas can reopen, as well as non-essential shops. UK domestic holidays – with your own household – in self-contained accomodation will also be permitted.

This means that outdoor visitor attractions and hospitality businesses will be able to reopen their doors.

We’ve compiled a list of 13 attractions, perfect for a day out – or overnight stay – with the whole family from April 12.

The question is, where are you heading first?

1. Alton Towers

Where? Farley Lane, Alton, Stoke-on-Trent ST10 4DB

Alton Towers is one of the UK’s top theme park resorts, home to world famous rides, overnight accomodation and a tropical indoor waterpark – and it’s right here in Staffordshire!

Whether you’re a thrill seeker keen to experience Oblivion or Nemesis, or you’d rather a leisurely ride on the Congo River Rapids, there’s something for everyone.



Wicker Man ride at Alton Towers

Plus, the theme park’s latest ride – Gangsta Granny – is new for 2021 and opens this spring with the park.

The team behind the theme park are gearing up to welcome guests back on April 12, in line with the latest Government guidance.

They said: “Let the countdown begin!

“In line with the latest Government guidance, we are delighted to confirm that we plan to open Alton Towers Theme Park and selected self-contained accommodation from 12th April 2021.

“In in the interim, we are delighted to confirm that the Alton Towers Gardens will be open every day from March 29th to April 11th for local families to enjoy. Pre-booking will be essential.”

2. Trentham Monkey Forest

Where? Trentham Estate, Stone Rd, Tittensor, Stoke-on-Trent ST12 9HR

Popular with both Stoke-on-Trent visitors and North Staffordshire natives, the monkey forest is home to 140 free-ranging Barbary macaques.



There are so many family fun activities at Trentham Monkey Forest

Situated in an ancient Staffordshire forest, the monkeys exist just as they would in the wild, and it’s the perfect day out for all ages, which will reopen on April 12.

The Monkey Forest team said: “Zoos and Wildlife parks are included in the 12th April Government Roadmap reopening plan.

“So, subject to Government Guidelines; this is the date we hope to be able to welcome visitors back to Monkey Forest.

“We’re not making our tickets live yet in case of change; so please do keep an eye on our social media as we’ll be sure to let you know when tickets are available.”

3. Go Ape

Where? Cannock, Buxton and Delamere

With three local sites to choose from – more if you want to travel slightly further out – Go Ape is the perfect adventurous activity for you and your family.

From tree-to-tree crossings, bouncy nets and even Segways, Go Ape sites have all the adventure boxes ticked. Whether you want to push yourself to your limit or spend some quality time in the trees, you’ll be sure to make memories with the whole family.

The Cannock, Buxton and Delamere site teams are now currently accepting bookings from March 29.

The Cannock team said: “After Mondays announcements we are pleased to be looking forward to a lovely year ahead for all.

“You can keep an eye out on here for our re-opening dates which will soon be confirmed.



Go Ape

“We are currently accepting bookings from March 29, should we have to push this back or if you had a booking with us before our teams will be in contact to reschedule.”

4. Conkers

Where? Rawdon Road, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Derbyshire, DE12 6GA

Conkers is located in the heart of the National Forest in Swadlincote, Derbyshire.

The award-winning attraction is home to a unique mix of indoor and outdoor experiences suitable for the whole family.

The team advises you to bring your wellies to take full advantage of the outdoor trails, which include a barefoot walk, viewing tower, adventure play and an underground adventure.

But indoor they have a 4D cinema experience, simulated tree top walk and 80 interactive exhbitis.

Conkers is hoping to welcome guests back on April 12 – and they have extended all memberships by 95 days.

They said: “Woohoo! Family day out tickets are live for Conkers reopening on April 12!

“At the heart of The National Forest, Conkers is readying to welcome you and the whole family back this season!



Conkers

“We are continuing from our successful operation last year with high standards of COVID Secure Operations and controlled admission numbers for family safety. All Memberships have been extended by 95 days.”

5. Potsy Pamsy Paint a Pot Studio

Where? Potsy Pamsy Paint A Pot Studio, The Hollybush Garden Centre & Aquaria, Warstone Rd, Wolverhampton WV10 7LX

Based in a local garden centre, the studio caters for all ages and abilities, whether you’re an experienced artist or picking up a paintbrush for the very first time.

They also offer hand and footprint keepsakes and cater for parties, fetes and community groups when it is safe to do so.

More locally, you can also paint a plate at the Emma Bridgewater Factory in Hanley, but their reopening plans are still to be confirmed.

Potsy Pamsy said: “I’ll be opening up the booking system later today (February 23) today for prints, clay imprints and casts for appointments from April 12.

“Bookings for in studio painting will be from May 17.”

6. Cannock Chase Trekking Centre

Where? Teddesley Road, Penkridge, Stafford ST19 5RP

Cannock Chase Trekking Centre caters for everyone, from the most experienced rider to complete beginners.

The centre has an extensive selection of horses and ponies suitable for all ages and abilities, whether you fancy a gentle walk through the picturesque landscape or a quicker trek across the fields.

The centre will reopen on March 31, with phone lines being manned from March 29. Cancellations and gift vouchers will be honoured, just call the team on 01785 711177 to rebook.

Need help finding sommat do?

If you’re on Facebook then you can join our What’s On group – called What’s On in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.

Here you’ll find tonnes of ideas to keep you busy and entertained – whatever your age!

It’s our guide to what’s on across our patch covering leisure and lifestyle, events, food and drink.

And, because it’s a group, you can post your own suggestion in it as well!

So why not pop along and join in?

Owner Lisa and her team said: “We are extremely pleased to announce our reopening date.

“Bookings and enquiries phone lines will be manned from March 29.

“It has been another tough few months of lockdown financially taking its toll, but I’ve tried to stay positive and now cannot wait to get back out doing what we all love.

“Looking forward to seeing you all and hope you can come and support us.”

7. Awesome Walls Climbing Centre Stoke

Where? Sefton Road, Stoke-on-Trent ST3 5LW

Awesome Walls Stoke claims to be England’s largest dedicated bouldering centre, comprising of over 900 square metres of bouldering, all made up walls and features of all angles.

Suitable for visits with the family, or birthday parties when it’s safe to do so, the centre also has a large viewing gallery, a climbing shop and a cafe.

The team said: “The news is in… we’ll hopefully be opening on April 12. We can’t wait to see you all again!

“In the meantime, stay safe and stay awesome!”

8. West Midlands Safari Park

Where? Spring Grove, Bewdley, Worcestershire, DY12 1LF

If your animal-loving family fancy a bit of a drive, then this might be the perfect option for you.

The drive-through safari park is home to

Guests with annual passes, e-Gift vouchers and 2021 free return codes will be contacted in due course regarding extensions.

West Midlands Safari Park said: “We’re thrilled to let you know that we will be re-opening the Safari Park from April 12!



Giraffes at West Midlands Safari Park

“Tickets are available to book from our website now – pre-booking is essential!

“The Safari Drive-through, outdoor walk-through exhibits and the Adventure Theme Park will all be re-opening with safety measures in place.

“We can’t wait to see you!”

9. Midland Karting

Where? Wood End Lane, Lichfield, WS13 8NF

With more than 17 years of experience, Midland Karting offers on a fun and safe experience suitable for all ages.

They are able to cater to a variety of events such as children’s parties, corporate hospitality, team building and stag and hen events.

The Midland Karting team said: “It’s been a while, but we wanted to let you know that starting this week – Friday, March 5 – we’ll be re-opening our telephone lines for queries and bookings.

“Lines will only be open on Fridays and Saturdays until further notice, so if you need to speak to us ‘in person’, this is the best way.”



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10. Drayton Manor

Where? Drayton Manor Drive, Tamworth, B78 3TW

Drayton Manor boasts a theme park, zoo and accomodation in the grounds of the former Drayton Manor in Drayton Bassett, Staffordshire. It covers 280 acres, of which 113 acres are in use.

The theme park welcomes approximately 1.5 million people each year and is home to Thomas Land and rides such as Accelerator and ShockWave.

Drayton Manor said: “We’re thrilled to announce that we plan to safely re-open the park with COVID secure measures on Monday 12th April in line with Government guidelines.



Drayton Manor

“We’re so excited to welcome you all back to the park; brighter days are ahead.”

11. Church Farm Tearooms and Children’s Farm

Where? Anslow Gate, Burton-on-Trent DE13 9QT

Church Farm is a family-run business which officially opened in 2018.

The farm and it’s cafe combine a love for food and animals, with visitors encouraged to try the farm’s delicious cafe menu and interact with the animals – who love cuddles!

They said: “Reopening on 12th April. The animals are so happy they will be able to have cuddles and carrots again soon.

“We will reopen the farm and tearooms for a take away service only until we fully reopen in May.”

12. Rudyard Lake Steam Railway

Where? Rudyard Station, Rudyard, Leek ST13 8PF

At Rudyard Lake Steam Railway you can take a picturesque steam train ride by the beautiful Rudyard Lake.

The train gives a scenic three mile round trip along the lake, and offers children’s party packages and the option to learn to drive a steam train – plus there’s a Santa train at Christmas!

It’s the perfect family day out, particularly if the weather is nice, right here in North Staffordshire.



Rudyard Lake
Rudyard Lake Steam Railway

They said: “Further to the recent Government roadmap we are pleased to announce the Railway will reopen on April 12.

“We also launch today (February 28) our 2021 leaflet showing our running days and special events for the year. As always please keep a lookout on Facebook for any updates to our 2021 plans. We look forward to welcoming everyone back!”

13. Gulliver’s World

Where? Camp Road, Warrington, WA5 9YZ

Gulliver’s World has a wide selection of rides, attractions and shows for guests to enjoy every single day – perfect for all the family.

From the wild rides in Western World, to the thrilling rides of Smugglers Wharf, Gulliver’s is a great family day out which is perfect for children from two to 13.

Parking is free, and if you want to extend your visit, there is a selection of accommodation options to choose from, including themed hotel suites, glamping tents, lodges and cabins.

To make the most out of your visit, you could even take advantage of the accommodation on offer at the park.

Gulliver’s World said: “Based on the government’s most recent announcement we are planning to reopen our theme parks on Monday April 12.



Gulliver’s World in Warrington

“If there is any change to this reopening date we’ll of course update you but right now that’s when we’re aiming to safely start 2021 theme park adventures.

“To all of our guests, thank you for your support. Brighter days are on the horizon and we’re looking forward to welcoming you back for some much-needed family adventures.”



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