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Alton Towers Short Break 2023 Review

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As long as I can remember, from the young Stephen who’s first ‘big ride’ was the Corkscrew, back in the day of the toyland tours, mini apple and energizer, I’ve always wanted to stay at Alton Towers.

20 years later, with a wife and a 3 year old, my dream to stay finally came true. Here’s what we thought in our Alton Towers Short Break Review.

Mystical Woodland lodge accommodation

With six accommodation types to choose from there’s something for everyone from the traditionally themed, flying ship containing, Alton towers Hotel, to the Splash landings Hotel with the waterpark and the child themed CBeebies land hotel.

We opted for the mid-priced Enchanted village Woodland lodge. These cosy cabins had the right amount of mature theming for us, while still magical for Munchkin. Our stay included a round of golf and breakfast at the on-resort Crooked Spoon restaurant.

The lodge transported us to a mystical, land with its woodland theme, watched over by forest sprites. With munchkin loving how we could secretly turn their light on and off to imagine them coming and going but never seen. For us, it was clean, comfortable, albeit the longest walk to the park.

The accommodation also comes with an included 9 hole golf pass. While a good themed course of rides past and present, the golf needed a bit of TLC. It looks like it hasn’t been maintained in a long while.


Looking for other theme park short break reviews? Check out our Legoland review here ➡️


Fab kids rides, experiences and shows

I didn’t know what to expect from the children’s Cbeebies Land area, having not visited it since I was a child, but Munchkin was instantly in awe. He got to meet and greet his favourite characters, pretend to be Postman Pat, give Duggee a famous Duggee hug and ride his first rollercoaster guided by the Octonauts. Its safe to say he had an exceptional time from the get go.

Some of the best thrill rides

It wouldn’t be a trip to Alton towers if Daddy didn’t get to sneak away, join the single rider queues and ride some of my old and now new favourite rides. The Smiler didn’t disappoint and the Wickerman is surprisingly thrilling.

Munchkin loved standing by the drop zone of oblivion too, watching the coasters fall and vanish into the smokey pit. Now I’m counting down the days to take him on it.

Quirky dining experiences

There’s an array of restaurants to choose from when you stay. There’s the Crooked Spoon where we had breakfast, a pizza restaurant in the Splash Landings hotel, a Secret garden restaurant in the main Hotel and the rollercoaster restaurant within the park grounds.

We visited the rollercoaster restaurant on our first night. It was so exciting to see out food fly down the tracks, with flashing lights and music to add to the experience. While this provided a fantastic experience, it was let down by how food comes out as its cooked, so my main meal came nearly 10 minutes before Munchkin or Mummys. Anyone with a young child at dinner will know that the child’s dinner should come first. Otherwise the food was delicious and the whole experience was worth a visit.

On our departure day we visited the Secret Garden. This had the biggest portions of delicious home cooked English meals and a lovely finish to our break.

A fantastic pool

For an extra cost, a visit to Splash Landings Pool can be added. This is a fantastic adventure pool with water flying everywhere. Indoor and outdoor pool zones, a fun fast indoor river and a multitude of slides. This was pure noisy swimming pool fun and I’ve never been to a pool like it.

One downside would be the large slide which circles the room had a wait time of 40 minutes. I’ve never seen anything like that in a pool or waterpark before and I certainly didn’t want to waste that long away

Price

A short break at Alton towers like most theme parks doesn’t come cheap. Also if you stay on resort, you have to add park tickets and pool tickets with only breakfast and crazy golf included in the short break price. Overall the one night break, with two park days and one pool visit, came just short of £380. A considerable amount consider we don’t pay much more for 4 nights at Center Parcs, yet I’d definitely spend it again.


Looking for a longer staycation? See our review of Center Parcs here.


Location

Alton Towers is located in Staffordshire between Stoke and Trent and Derby.

Sum up and those all important stars

Even with my high expectations from wanting to stay as a child, the Alton Towers short break did not disappoint. The accomodation, food, and the park itself were superb. The only disappointments were the arrival of meals at the Rollercoaster restaurant, and the mini golf, which looks like its needed love for many years. Overall its a great break we would definitely repeat in the future.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Thanks for reading,

Daddy and Munchkin

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Why Choose A Forest Staycation? Center Parcs Review

Center Parcs has always held a special place in my heart, from countless family holidays with both my family and my wife’s. Naturally we would love to instil that love in Munchkin and Sprout too.

But what is the fuss all about..? Here are my top reasons to consider a forest staycation with our Center Parcs review.

Two parents and their child in the spots center. Center parcs review
Sherwood Forest Winter 2021

There’s multiple locations

You pack your bags, fill the car to the brim and jump in. There’s five UK locations and one in Ireland, so likely one close by to you, though it is nice to try a new site from time to time.

We usually stay local but ventured 4 hours to see the Redwoods of Longleat on our last visit and it was so worth the longer journey, even with a small child in tow.

Longleat Summer 2022

Everything is on site

When you’ve had a wonder you can take your car to the Villa, unpack and relax, knowing everything is on site and you don’t see to see another car, apart from the odd center parcs van, for another few days or a week. Everything is in walking distance, but you can also hire some wheels if you want to travel faster.

There’s an included fantastic pool, multiple restaurants, an on-site supermarket and tons of activities, so you never really need to leave. Over the many holidays we have had I’ve tried nearly every activity, from a relaxing spa day to jumping 10 metres on to a blow up cushion with no harness!

Relaxed, away from normality

You really feel the benefit of nature here. They are all in forests so you can instantly connect with nature. You walk or cycle to the facilities and can breathe in that fresh air and truly relax. You’ll often get visits from swans, squirrels and ducks and if you’re very lucky, may spot a muntjac deer even at your villa door.

If you need more there’s the Aqua Sana; award winning standalone Spa’s with a huge choice of spa experiences and treatments. It’s something I always add to the break to get a bit of chill time with the wifey, away from the kids!

Fantastic pool

What drew me as a child was the pool. Always at tropical temperatures, with mutiple flumes and outdoor rapids and lazy rivers. Then now they’ve added some thrill rides too to keep me coming back. It’s the best pool experience I’ve had in the UK and will keep the kids entertained for hours on end.

Fantastic activities

If you want to try something new, there is something for everyone. There is a huge lake in each location where you can take a boat, try paddle boarding, or take on the aqua park.

For adeneraline, you can then trek in the trees, take on quad biking, jump from a 10 metre tall tower, or get messy in paintball. You can then take it slower with pottery painting, falconry, or a wildlife walk. There’s a creche for children too and many many childrens activities from football school, to arts and crafts to exploring nature.

Super restaurants

When you need a bite to eat there’s a plethora of restaurants including well known companies such as Starbucks, Bella Italia, Cafe Rouge and Las Iguanas as well as their personal offerings like the Pancake House (where everythings either in a pancake or on a waffle), Rajinda Predesh (their Indian) and Forester’s Inn, with a woodland pub feel.

At the Villa there’s a fully equipped kitchen, and food delivery service too.

Perfect family time

With everything easily accessible all you need is you. We have had holidays here with 3 month olds up to 70 years old as it really is a destination for everyone.

Munchkin has been twice in the first year of his life, twice in his second and will go twice in his third year too (the lucky sausage!). Next year we will also be introducing it to Sprout too.

Sum up and those all important stars

Center Parcs always delivers for us, from a couple retreat to a family holiday. Its expensive, but worth every penny and that’s why we revisit year after year. So it deserves the full 5 stars.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

So that’s our Center Parcs review. What’s your favourite UK holiday spot? Let us know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this review, check out our other UK family reviews such as Hobbledown, Camping or Chessington.

Thanks for reading,

Daddy and Munchkin

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