Well, we're back early from Alton Towers.
Suffice to say that it was cut short by pretty abysmal weather on both days. After an early start yesterday we got there in good time, but to cold & grey skies. Given the forecast had said Monday's weather was to be worse, I thought we'd save that day for the water park frolics and head out to the theme park, whilst it wasn't raining....
Ten minutes after checking into our hotel (although the room wasn't ready) we set off for the theme park.. only to see the heavens open. So, we decided to have a look around the hotel and stuff for an hour. With the kids really excited about stopping in a hotel and there being a water park, we finally decided to brave the elements.
We didnt get very far around the place and only really visited the young childrens area; taking in the delights of Farmer McDonald's Tractor ride and the Nutty Squirrel etc. Harry rode a small pig (much to the delight of Jack) and that was about it. We stopped to get a bite to eat and in hindsight, that was a mistake since whilst eating our (pretty crappy) food we got very cold very quick. And even a walk onwards to try and find the Charlie & The chocolate factory ride didn't help... particularly when the queue was so long (80mins) and it was perishing cold. We decided to give the park a break and head back to the hotel and go to the water park instead - at least we'd be warm.
So that's what we did and to be fair, the kids had a great time in "Cariba Creek" - there's a ton of stuff for them to do and they really enjoyed it. At night, we had the buffet at the restaurant (which was ok) and then had an early night. Unfortunately the next day's weather was even worse so we decided to head straight back.
As Hotel's go, I think it's fair to say that it (Splash Landings, Alton Towers) was vastly over-priced and offered lousy value. I really couldn't recommend staying unless you have (a) guaranteed weather and (b) some kind of special value offer to stay there. The kids enjoyed it, but they weren't the ones forking out for it - it's one of the most expensive and feature-lite hotels I think I've ever stayed in - and you'd expect that to be one of it's plus points catering for kids on a theme park complex!
Oh well, my old mate arrives this aft and we're on the town tonight...