Staffordshire has a great choice of popular family days out so you won’t be short of ideas of how to keep your children entertained during the school holidays!
Staffordshire Tourist Attractions
- Alton Towers
- Ash End House Children’s Farm
- Drayton Manor, Thomas Land and Drayton Manor Zoo
- Middleton Hall
- Tamworth SnowDome
Alton Towers, Staffordshire
Alton Towers is the UK’s most popular theme park featuring famous rides such as Nemesis, Oblivion, Air and Rita and is located in Alton, Staffordshire.
With many thrilling rides and attractions suitable for all ages and the unique attraction Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: The Ride, it’s an amazing experience not too be missed. 2009 saw the addition of Cloud Cuckoo Land and the spectacular Sharkbait Reef to explore. Alton Towers is made up of twelve themed lands: Adventure Land, Cred Street, Forbidden Valley, Gloomy Wood, Katanga Canyon, Mutiny Bay, Old MacDonald’s Farmyard, The Gardens, The Towers, Towers Street, UG Land and X-Sector.
Adventure Land is home to the fantastic Spinball Whizzer roller coaster themed around a giant pinball machine. Offering thrills and spills for the whole family you will spin around a twisting track. Travel through the tree-tops on the Squirrel Nutty Ride and for something a bit gentler, kids will love the ball pools, slides, playgrounds and the Beastie children’s coaster in this colourful zone.
Cred Street is features the unique Charlie and the Chocolate Factory : The Ride, taking you on an amazing journey into the world of Willy Wonka. You even soar over the park in the great glass elevator! The Driving School gives children a chance to take to the road and get their very own driving licence, whilst theres a number of other rides including the Frog Hopper mini drop ride, a Gallopers Carousel, the Bouncing Bugs and the Cred Street Theatre and Playground.
Forbidden Valley is a thrill seekers paradise with some amazing adrenaline filled rides. An edge of the earth zone, here you will find the famous and intense Nemesis inverted roller coaster that will push your senses to the limit and Air, the new generation-type roller coasters where riders experience the freedom of flight hanging from beneath the track horizontally. There are more action-packed rides in the form of the swinging ship Blade and the thrilling Top Spin ride Ripsaw.
At Katanga Canyon you go on a wild adventure exploring the dramatic lake and rocky landscape. Rattle through the canyon on the family roller coaster Runaway Mine Train or jump aboard your own raft and splash through the canyon on the Congo River Rapids. If you’re not wet enough then take a ride on The Flume, the UK’s longest water flume with its three exciting drops for an extra soaking!
In UG Land Travel back to the ‘pre-hysteric times’ and head down to the Thunder Rock Rally for the main attraction, Rita – Queen of Speed. The state-of-the-art roller coaster is 18meters high and is extremely fast at 0 to 62mph in 2.5 seconds delivering a massive G-Force of 4.7! The futuristic hi-tech X-Sector is home of the famous Oblivion, the world’s first vertical drop rollercoaster and one of the highlights of a visit to Alton Towers. That’s not all, there are two other amazing thrill rides here, the gravity defying vertical spinning ride Enterprise, and Submission, which will subject you to 90 seconds of relentless spinning and inversion counter rotating 15 metres above the ground.
Other highlights include Old MacDonald’s Farmyard and Mutiny Bay for the younger visitor, and the well known ‘Sky Ride’ for a tour of the park taking you to take you to either the Forbidden Valley or Cred Street. For further Alton Towers details please ask the hotel for further details.
Address: Alton Towers, Alton Staffordshire ST10 4DB
Official Website: www.altontowers.com
Ash End House Children’s Farm, Staffordshire
Ash End House Farm is a small, family owned farm in Middleton, near to Sutton Coldfield and only 2 miles away from Marston Farm Hotel. The farm has been operating as a children’s farm for over 25 years with the aim of providing an enjoyable and educational hands on experience for children of all ages. With lots of friendly animals to see, smell, feed, stroke and hear, a fun filled day for all the family will be had.
Meet different breeds of goat, groom a guinea pig or brush a bunny in the Goat Building. See 10 different breeds of sheep in the Sheep Shed, and in the Pig Passageway view the Orange Tamworth Rare Breed Pigs. In the Cow Corner you will see the rare breed, Doris the Diddy Dexter and have a go milking on Fergie our wooden Friesian Cow. Hop into the Hatchery to “chat to a chick” and have a newly hatched chick on your lap in a basket.
Included in the price, children can feed the animals, sit on a pony and can even hold a newly hatched chick or duckling. Also in spring and summer the children can help bottle feed the lambs and goat kids. On weekends and during school holidays and have a go in the Hay Barn Theatre in either the traditional “Three Little Pigs” Playlet, or newer “Little Red Hen” and “Three Billy Goats Gruff” stories. “Three Little Pigs Story” and “Little Red Hen Story” We have 3 play areas, crazy golf, family games yard and an indoor toddlers tractor and trike barn! New farm shop and farm education centre for 2007.
With many other facilities such as the new Giant Jumping Pillow, a bouncing castle-type-surface that the kids will love and is included in the entry price, three play areas including the new Triangle Field play area and crazy golf. The Farmhouse Kitchen has a large selection of adult and children’s meals whilst the new Farm Shop stocks a large number of toys, souvenirs and local produce. In 2007 the farm education centre was opened, and there is ample free parking space for cars and a coach parking area for group bookings.
Address: Ash End House Children’s Farm, Middleton Lane, Middleton, near Tamworth, Staffordshire B78 2BL
Official Website: www.ashendchildrensfarm.co.uk
Drayton Manor, Staffordshire
Drayton Manor is the UK’s largest family owned theme park and one of the oldest parks in the country. Located near Tamworth, Staffordshire on the A4091 and just 3 miles from the Marston Farm Hotel.
Drayton Manor includes legendary rides such as Shockwave, Stormforce 10 and Apocalypse. Drayton Manor is made up of six main themed lands: Action park, Aerial Park, Fisherman’s Wharf, Pirate Cove, Thomas Land and a Zoo, Farm and Museum.
White-Knuckle Rides at Drayton Manor
The Action and Aerial Park is where the white-knuckle rides are located, catering for the thrill seeking visitors. Highlights include the incredible Shockwave stand-up roller coaster, Splash Canyon Rapids offering white water rafting and the brutal forces of Maelstrom. There’s also the next generation roller coaster G-Force with a vertical lifthill and intense inversions, and in the Aerial Park the tower drop ride Apocalypse, double inverter Pandemonium and the spinning Drunken Barrels. Not to be missed are the spooky mansion The Haunting, a Wild West Shoot Out interactive ride, and a Buffalo Coaster.
Fisherman’s Wharf is a popular water themed zone featuring the legendary thrilling water drop ride Stormforce 10, a tour of the park on the Polperro Express Railway and a traditional Carousel. Pirate Cove on the edge of the lake provides a wealth of swash-buckling attractions for the whole family. At the centre is the breathtaking attraction Excalibur, taking visitors on a quest through time. There is also the Pirate Adventure indoor dark ride, the Jolly Roger rock-n-tug boat and giant a swinging ship The Bounty.
Thomas Land at Drayton Manor
New in 2008 was Thomas Land, occupying 80 acres of the park and promeses fun and adventure for the young and young at heart. It features 12 themed rides such as Cranky Crane Tower Ride, Crazy Bertie Bus, Harold’s Heli Tours, the Troublesome Trucks Rollercoaster, Terence’s Driving School and Diesel’s Locomotion Mayhem. The Thomas train takes children on a five minute enchanting journey through Sodor and even includes a special appearances from the Fat Controller! There is a spectacular indoor play area as well and a shop filled with fantastic Thomas Tank Engine & Friends merchandise.
Drayton Manor Zoo
Drayton Manor Zoo features a wide range of rare and exotic animals, from Tigers and Chimps to Penguins and Parrots and is usually open when the rest of the theme park is closed. With a variety of attractions suitable for all the family and where you can enjoy a day of excitement and adventure, this action park is not to be missed! And where better to stay than the Marston Farm hotel, just 3 miles away from Drayton Manor, it is the ideal Drayton Manor hotel.
Address: Drayton Manor Park Limited, near Tamworth, Staffordshire B78 3TW
Official Website: www.draytonmanor.co.uk
Middleton Hall, Staffordshire
Set in 40 acres of conservation woodland, lakes and gardens, Middleton Hall’s earliest buildings date from c.1300 and other buildings on the estate date from the sixteenth century and the early nineteenth century. Middleton Hall has an interesting architectural history and includes several examples of English domestic architecture from the late thirteenth to the early nineteenth century. The gracious 11 bay Georgian West wing and the impressive 16th century Great Hall (the restoration of which was completed in 1994) are most impressive attractions. Decorating the first floor corridor is a display of 24 framed embroideries, depicting the history of Sutton Coldfield, where the Marston Farm Hotel is located. Made by the Sutton Tapestry Guild, they were given to the Middleton Hall Trust on permanent loan in 1994.
The Middleton Hall Trust is a registered that was founded in 1980 to restore and maintain Middleton Hall for the benefit of the public as a centre for a variety of cultural, conservation and leisure interests. Open to the public, Middleton Hall is available for weddings, conferences and private functions The large grounds are open to the public from Easter to the end of September, except on Saturdays and feature a nine acre lake. Other attractions are the two walled gardens, an old orchard, meadow and woodland path. There is also a Craft Centre, open from Wednesday to Sunday all year round, a souvenir shop and tea room, overlooking the south pool.
Address: Middleton Hall, Middleton B78 2AE
Tamworth SnowDome, Staffordshire
Enjoy real snow, all year round at The SnowDome in Tamworth which provides the ultimate Alpine surface to learn and enjoy skiing and snowboarding. Whether it’s skiing, snowboarding, ice skating or tobogganing, all you need is a sense of adventure! The UK’s premier real snow centre features a 170 metre main indoor slope and the two Snow Academy areas (separate 30 metre and 25 metre teaching slopes), where a wide variety of skiing and snowboarding lessons are held.
Whether you want lessons, or just want to turn up for a go on the slopes or perhaps some tobogganing fun with the family, Tamworth SnowDome welcomes all, with no membership necessary.
Top class tuition from professionally qualified instructors ensures that all ages and abilities are catered for from the complete novice to seasoned expert. No specialist equipment or expensive clothing is required; just bring warm clothes, gloves and a sense of adventure. Imagine racing your family and friends down the snow in steerable toboggans! Or hold on tight for the fastest experience on snow – hurtling down the slope in specially designed inflatable tubes!
The adults will enjoy the range of comprehensive leisure facilities such as a 25m indoor swimming pool, a spacious 4000 square foot gym, luxurious Spa and additional Fitbox workout area. The children will enjoy the UK’s only dedicated children’s snowplay area, the ice skating rink, the UK’s only Ice Track, complete with a ‘mini’ rink for first timers plus the real snow slopes offer a huge range of fun activities. With many monthly events too, there is so much to do at the Tamworth SnowDome and provides a great action-packed day out for the whole family.
Also within the complex there is a selection of bars and restaurants including a Starbucks Coffee lounge. If you are looking for a different and exciting family outing…look no further. So whether it’s a fun packed day on the snow, a family outing on the ice or a dip in the swimming pool, the SnowDome provides fun for all!
Address: The SnowDome, Leisure Island, River Drive, Tamworth, Staffordshire B79 7ND
Official Website: www.snowdome.co.uk