Alton Towers:

A large and expansive amusement park with plenty to offer everyone located just a bit north of Birmingham.

Though it is now a park with numerous rides - rides ranging from water slides to hair-raising rollercoasters to paddle boats - it also has areas for younger children combined with places of interest for those that are finished with the rides.  One can visit interesting sights such as the Manor house which is under renovation; a auto museum (the grounds belonged to a early pioneering auto manufacturer); a model railroad layout; and the beautiful gardens layout.

The time that I managed to bring my camera to Alton Towers I went specifically to wander through the gardens with my young son.  Those people expecting pictures of rides and things along those lines might be disappointed .. this page is primarily of the gardens and grounds.

Overlooking the grounds .. a small portion.
Other things to do ..

Though the Manor itself is currently under renovation a sizeable portion is still open for viewing.

One can wander through and marvel at the size, or sometimes smallness, of the various rooms.  The architecture is something I always find fascinating.

The Manor house.
During World War II the Manor and grounds were used as a hospital.   Unfortunately the Nazi's still managed to drop bombs here and destroyed the Manor.

Considering that the area was known to be connected to auto manufacturing .. the Talbot family owned the grounds .. I suspect the Nazi's bombed it as a precaution.

I haven't done any research yet to see if the Manor or grounds were used by the English as anything other than a hospital.

One of the Manor Towers.
Inside the Manor you will be able to look at a beautiful huge model railroad layout, the trains and activities on the layout lovingly crafted.

Also, close to the Manor, there is a large car museum.   Unfortunately by the time I made it to the museum I had already used up all my film.

(If I ever travel back to England and visit here again I'll try to get some pictures the car museum.)

The Manor house .. from the side.

The Chinese Pagoda.
Originally this area, and manor, were not known as an amusement park or even remotely associated with automobiles.

Rather the main attraction was the entrance to the holdings coming up through a small valley.

At great expense, a beautiful pathway was laid in meandering through the valley and one of the marvels was this Chinese pagoda spraying water.

Though as you wander up along the pathways you'll find other marvels awaiting you ..

Here a small stream flows down through the woods and flowers.

A quiet moment ..
Later, a garden area offering a rest spot for the weary traveler ...

(Two views of the same area as I play with the camera trying to show different impressions.)

Front edge of the garden area
A wider view of the garden front

Another marvel along the pathway is the Conservatory.  Remember, I like buildings.

If I recall correctly this was one of the first, and largest, Conservatory built purely for artistic sakes.

(I really need to find the booklet about Alton Towers to double check this information!)

The Conservatory
Flower pots before the Conservatory.
Unfortunately I did not get the chance to walk inside .. so I was forced to take photos of the area outside.
More of the front area ..
A backed-up view from a terrace ..

Flower beds ..
Okay .. you were probably wondering where the flower gardens are that I keep mentioning.  I did not say "flower" gardens .. I said gardens, which does not necessarily mean flowers.  ;)

But actually there are some flower beds available throughout the whole place, though I did not take too many pictures of these.

And as one walks further along the path you can see the end of the valley ..

Total time to stroll through this portion of the grounds was roughly 3 or 4 hours.  Bear in mind that my son and I stopped to investigate many things that toddlers find interesting (rocks, leaves, sticks, puddles ... ) as well as trying to find nice viewpoints for taking pictures.

The end of the valley ..
The end of the valley .. from the side.

I almost forget to mention .. also inside the Manor is a courtyard area which also has a beautiful garden area.

The area is actually larger than it appears in these pictures making it a pleasant stroll on its own.

One of the statues within the courtyard ..
The Manor courtyard garden

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