Live updates

Fairytale-inspired tree houses in store at Alton Towers

Thrill-seekers looking for their happily ever after could soon sleep in fairytale-inspired tree houses as part of Alton Towers' expansion.

The resort in Staffordshire is applying to build 10 luxury tree houses and 61 "unique" holiday lodges as part of efforts to increase its foothold in the short-break holiday market, park bosses said.

An artist's impression of the Alton Towers Enchanted Village. Credit: Alton Towers Resorts/PA Wire

Each tree house will sleep up to eight people who can then unwind in a hot tub on the room's outdoor terrace.

An artist's impression depicting how the wooden buildings might look has been released alongside the planning application, showing some of the tree houses sporting turret-like roofs.

The application will now be determined by planners at Staffordshire Moorlands District Council.

  1. Central

Passenger on Alton Towers ride describes 'absolute fear'

A man who says he was a passenger on the Smiler when some of the wheels flew off has told ITV News Central of his "absolute fear".

Kevin Hayes-Heath told ITV News Central that he was in the front row of the carriage and was "bombarded by the fibre bearings which were splitting and breaking up at the highest point of the ride".

An Alton Towers spokesperson has apologised for the ride closure and says an investigation into the incident is ongoing. They say "all of the rides and attractions are expected to meet extremely high standards, technologically, mechanically and in terms of the end experience".

The health and safety of all of our visitors is our absolute priority.

– Alton Towers spokesperson

Advertisement

Alton Towers on Smiler ride health and safety closure

A spokeswoman for Alton Towers has confirmed that the theme park's Smiler rollercoaster ride has been closed after plastic guard wheels came loose and hit front row riders.

These were caught beneath the track in the safety netting, but regrettably several were flicked into the guests sitting in the front row of the train.

As you would expect from the UK's most famous Theme Park, all of the rides and attractions are expected to meet extremely high standards, technologically, mechanically and in terms of the end experience and a full investigation is now on-going to determine when the ride can re-open.

We are of course very sorry for any disappointment the ride's temporary closure is causing but the health and safety of all of our visitors is our absolute priority.

Alton Towers unveils 'world's first' 14-loop roller coaster

What it would look like to ride The Smiler at Alton Towers Credit: ITV Central

Alton Towers has unveiled what it claims is the world's first roller coaster with14 loops.

The Smiler features a 30-metre drop as well as optical illusions and psychological effects "designed to mess with your mind".

Experience riding The Smiler through this first-person video on the ITV Central website.

  1. Central

Alton Towers roller coaster workers pose for classic photo

The workers sat on top of the track in 1930s costume Credit: Alton Towers

Alton Towers Resort has today announced that construction has been completed on its new roller coaster, The Smiler.

To celebrate completion, 10 workers enjoyed their lunch on one of the ride’s highest points, taking inspiration from the iconic ‘New York Girder’ image.

To mark the completion of construction as the site manager, Mike Tubb, officially screwed the last bolt into the attraction.

Advertisement

  1. Central

New Alton Towers ride to create 200 jobs

The unwitting logos for Alton Towers' new ride The Smiler Credit: Alton Towers

Hundreds of sheep have been branded with strange smiley faces as part of Alton Towers' stunt to reveal the name of its new rollercoaster.

'The Smiler' will be the length of ten football fields, featue 30-metre drops and will travel up to 85km per hour.

The new ride is said to create 200 new jobs.

Ros Turner, a farmer from Melton Mowbray said: “Everyone loves a mystery and it was great to be involved in the hoax. It made a nice change from milking cows and ploughing fields!”

Embers alert at Alton Towers during fireworks display

Firefighters have been called to Alton Towers after an incident during the theme park's yearly fireworks display.

A spokesman for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service said two fire engines and a ladder platform had been sent there after embers strayed onto a roof.

We've got a quite small incident at Alton Towers.

It's just some embers in a roof from one of either the fireworks or the bonfire that they've had.

– A spokesman for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service

The spokesman also said that there were no flames or a burning fire at the resort in Alton, Staffordshire, which attracts hundreds to its annual fireworks event every year.