Alton Towers theme park has won the ultimate accolade of ‘best theme park of the year’ at the recent awards voted for by members of the public. Dudley News reports that the Staffordshire attraction came out tops from over 170,000 votes, taking away awards across 15 categories.
The competition was organised by Theme Parks-UK, and overall, there were 21 different categories for voters to cast their opinions. The results of the vote were then added to the scores of distinguished judges, including Paul Kelly, Chief Executive of the British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions, and Andy Hine, Chairman of Roller Coaster Club GB.
Family favourite Alton Towers opened in 1980, on the site of a grand historic house and formal gardens which were originally owned by the Earl of Shrewsbury and the Talbot family. The first ride was the Corkscrew, Britain’s first double-loop rollercoaster, installed under the leadership of visionary director John Broome.
Today, the site covers 910 hectares which are split into 10 themed areas, linked by the Skyride cable car system. There are 10 main rollercoasters, and 20 attractions aimed specifically at young children and families.
Another big winner at the awards was Blackpool Pleasure Beach, which was awarded gongs across six categories, including a gold for best value. It also won silver awards for best thrills, best food and drink, best merchandise, and best classic coaster for the Grand National, also scooping bronze for The Big One.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach is one of the oldest amusement parks in the UK, founded in 1896 by William George Bean. He had travelled extensively in America, and was determined to bring new ideas to Blackpool. He built the Noah’s Ark and Sir Hiram Maxim’s Flying Machines, which still survive today.
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