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Alton Towers is a theme park situated in the village of Alton in Staffordshire, England. Its a very large theme park and there is something for everyone there including adults visiting alone and young families.
We visit Alton Towers as often as we can, we live about 6 hours away so do not get to visit it as often as we would like but when we do go we tend to make a weekend of it.
~Entering the park~
The park is easy to find with the sat nav and can be found using the point of interest section. When you get to the park there are different car parks to choose from such as normal (£5 per day) or express parking (£15 a day). If you park in the normal parking a free monorail will transport you to the park. The queues for the monorail can be very long at times but I have never been stuck in one for longer than half an hour.
When you arrive at the actual park there are a lot of ticket booths to buy your tickets from unless you have already pre-booked them and then you go straight to the gate. There are lots of staff around who are willing to help and you can also get children a lost child wristband.
There are lots of different areas to the park and most of the rides are grouped together depending on who they are aimed at. For example Cloud Cuckoo Land is the area for younger families, here there is lots for children to do including rides, a theatre and a driving school.
I am only going to go through a few of the rides for you because if I went through them all I would be here all day! These rides are the faster rides at the park and there are height restrictions for them all:
Oblivion: The first vertical roller coaster in the world. On this ride you sit in rows and creep around a number of corners before coming to the drop where they hang you there for a few seconds before dropping you down into a big black hole. This ride is a huge adrenalin rush and if one of my favourite rides at the park. The height restriction is 1.4m.
Th13teen: This is the newest ride at the park and we were lucky enough to go on it on the day of opening. This appears to be a normal rollercoaster and goes down a number of hills. However you are then in for a shock when it stops in a dark shed and it is pitch black. The ride then drops down twice and is very scary. The height restriction is 1.2m.
Rita: This is the parks fastest rollercoaster and goes up to 80mph. After you have got over the rush of the start you go down a few drops very quickly! Its a very good ride. Height restriction is 1.4m.
Nemesis: This rollercoaster does a few loop to loops and through a few dark caves. Its very fast and exciting and another favourite of mine. Height restriction is 1.4m.
Air: This is my favourite ride in the park. For this rollercoaster you feel as though you are flying and you are led down for the majority of the ride, either on your back or your front. Height restriction is 1.4m.
Aswell as these rides there are lots more for the whole family including a ride based around Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a ghost house and an optical illusion ride.
~Food and Drink~
There are lots of places to get food and drink in the park and queues are never too long because there are so many different places to eat. These include Burger King, KFC, hot dogs and a pizza buffet. Prices are quite expensive but not extortionate. For example expect to pay around £4 for a hot dog.
We always love our time at Alton Towers and it is our favourite place to visit. We have been 4 times already this year and we never get bored. It is great for the family and there is plenty to do for everyone. Me and my partner take my daughter who is 12 and my partners niece who is 9 and they both love it as much as we do.
Queuing times can vary and can be anything up to 90 minutes on the main rides. However, we always go to these straight away as soon as the park opens and then you can expect to queue for less than 15 minutes.
We have always found the staff to be more than helpful and never rude. The kids are happy to approach the staff and the staff always show a keen interest in how our day is going which we find really nice.
The park is situated near Stoke and the full postcode is ST10 4DB, I cannot find a full address online.
Opening times vary so it is best to check before you visit but it is usually open something like 10am-6pm daily.
Currently adult tickets cost £38 and child tickets cost £29. However you can save 10% by buying them online first and there are always vouchers floating around for 2 for 1 - these are definitely worth looking out for. You can also buy 2 day tickets or annual passes. We are fortunate enough to have Merlin Passes which allows us free entry to the park.
We really like Alton Towers and will continue to visit. It is pricy but if you look out for a 2 for 1 voucher it justifies the price much more and I can guarantee you will not be disappointed with your day. There is plenty to do here for everyone and there are often groups of adults or young families visiting the park. We wish we lived closer as this really is a brilliant place to visit and we would all recommend it to you!
I came accross these in Tesco the other night and thought i'd buy them to give them a try. They cost £1.80 for a 500 gram box and would last me about a week. The box is mainly Orange in colour with a Green band at the top and bottom saying that the product is whole grain guaranteed. There is the Honey Nut Shredded Wheat logo in the middle of the box shaped like a heart which is suggesting it is good for your heart.
I serve mine with milk and like to leave them a while so they go a little soft because personally I don't like them crunchy. The main taste (in my opinion) is that you get more nut than honey and personally i would like to taste more of the honey. The texture is soft and a little chewy when the milk has soaked in which I liked.
A 40 gram serving contains 151 Calories, 7 grams of sugar, 2.6g fat (0.9g saturates) and 0.0g salt. This is quite low for a breakfast cereal despite them having a sweet taste so I think they are okay as a daily meal.
I really enjoyed these cereals and would recommend them to anyone looking for a breakfast snack. They are really nice tasting and I think they will appeal to most people providing they like honey and nuts. The fact they are whole grain is a real benefit as you know they are doing you some good.
When I was shopping in Tesco the other week I saw this chocolate swiss roll for just 13p. I usually prefer to buy jam swiss rolls but because of the price I was tempted to try this. I am a big fan of chocolate cake so thought I had nothing to lose by trying this. I'm not sure how much it weighs as I have thrown away the packaging but the cake is about 5 inches long and about 2 and a half inches wide. The packaging is mostly clear with the Tesco value logo on it, this meant you could see the product inside easily.
When I took the roll out of the packet I noticed that the cake was a rich brown colour and looked very nice. It looked a lot like more expensive alternatives I had bought in the past. The cake had held together well and I could see the cream in a spiral pattern at the ends of the roll. I cut myself a piece and wasn't expecting it to taste that good but I was really impressed. The cake was moist, soft and had a strong chocolate flavour to it, but this was not too much or false tasting. The cream tasted slightly of vanilla and was thick and smooth. The cream worked really well with the cake and there was just the right amount of cream to cake. I really liked this cake and easily ate half of it before putting the rest away.
Tesco do not give a serving size but from some quick maths I would guess a serving is around 20-25 grams. Each serving contains 80 calories, 6.6 grams of sugar, 2.8 grams of fat, 1.3 grams which saturates and 0.1 grams of salt. As you can see these values for fat and calories are quite low for cake so it is good for a treat.
I really enjoyed this cake and will be buying it again. For 13p it was fantastic value and I would recommend it for anyone to try. Although I usually prefer the jam swiss rolls I think this will be featuring on my shopping list a lot more in the future.
Today we went to the National Seal Sanctuary in Gweek near Helston, in Cornwall. It's in a small village and there are plenty of brown signs directing you there. When you get there, there is a free car park. There were plenty of spaces but if you visited on a weekend or in the school holidays I expect it would be alot busier.
You enter the sanctuary through a small building where you pay your admission. Currently adults are charged £12.95, Children and senior citizens are charged slightly less but I can't remember exactly how much. It is worth picking up a leaflet before you go as these can contain deals. At the moment on the leaflet you get 2 adults and 2 children for £22.
The actual sanctuary is about a 10 minute walk up a gradual hill but you can get a safari bus to the top. When you first reach the top there is the toilets and a refreshment kiosk which was closed at the time of our visit. The toilets were pretty small but there was no queuing and they were very clean.
Next to these was the Seal Hospital which didn't have any seals in on our visit. Inside there was a film playing about a seal that they had rescued and also machines that messure your heart rate and your body weight, these cost 20p each.
You then walk down a steep hill and come to the seals. The first two are very friendly and quite small and we watched them for about ten minutes because they were playful and quite entertaining. We then rushed off to what must have been the main pool. There are 4 larger seals in here 2 black in colour and 2 black and white. I especially thought the black and white ones were beautiful because of their markings. They were doing a talk there at the time we arrived and thats why we rushed over. We learned alot more about the history of the seals including one of them is brain damaged because he was smashed against rocks as a pup. You get a good close up view of all the seals in this pool because they come out of the water alot and are very close to the fence. Joined onto this pool are 4 nursery pools. You can go into a building and get an under water view of these seals. This was really interesting and great fun.
Next to this pool was 2 more pools of seals. These again were larger seals. There are talks about these at particular times of the day. We didn't spend that long looking at these pools because most of the time the seals were underwater and you couldn't see them very well. However, on the way back through we noticed that there was a seperate section where you can view them underwater, this was much clearer than the first underwater viewpoint and we really enjoyed watching them. Next to these pools was a small gift shop and refreshment stand. The refreshment stand was very expensive and they were charging £3 for orange juice! The gift shop had a variety of stock including branded sea life goods and cuddly toys. There was also a play park for children.
Next to this was a hut which contained wildlife that could be found in a rock pool. This had a variety of things in it including limpets, hermit crabs, starfish, sea aneminies, crabs and a green edible crab. We found the green crab very interesting as we had never seen one before.
You then could go and see the otters. This was a 300 metre walk through some woodland. There were 2 otters here who were easy to see. They were called Starsky and Hutch and were quite small. They weren't up to much when we visited but I expect they can be very entertaining at times.
You then walk back through the park and have the opportunity to look around again or leave the park. We had another look, especailly in the main pool and then walked back to reception. There was a slightly larger gift shop here which stocked a number of things including cuddly toys, sweets and glass seal ornaments.
Our visit to the seal sanctuary took about 2 hours. For the price we paid, I think there wasn't a lot in the park. I imagine most of the admission fee's go on the seals however I think there could have been more to do on the park as £12.95 each for a 2 hour visit is quite expensive. The seals all looked happy in their environments however a few of their pools looked quite small, but I do not know how deep the pools were so cannot comment on this.
We did enjoy our afternoon at the seal sanctuary and we would probably go again, but only if we had discount vouchers as it was expensive. The staff were all friendly and polite and I really enjoyed the talks they gave about the seals. I would recommend this park for a half day visit as it was good fun.
I fancied some chocolate last night so me and my girlfriend went to the local Co-op to get some. One of the bars they had was Fairtrade crispy milk chocolate. It was only 89p for 150 grams so i thought I would grab some of that because I thought it was good value for money. The chocolate comes wrapped in gold paper, then this is wrapped with a paper sleeve. On the packaging is a picture of a person who grows the cocoa beans full of chocolate in Ghana. The packaging also tells me the chocolate contains 63% Fairtrade ingredients.
The chocolate is divided into cubes with 4 cubes in a row. It also has a pattern on the top with a line design which makes it look sophisticated. The chocolate is a creamy brown and looks very appetising. When broken into chunks you can see the crispy bits inside the chocolate which is actually crisped rice. The chocolate tastes very creamy and smooth. There is alot of crisped rice in the chocolate which gives it a cruncy texture. The two together compliment each other and give a sweet taste.
Per 1/3 bar (approx. 50 grams) 265 calories, 24 grams of sugar, 15.2 grams of fat (of which saturates 9.5 grams), 0.2 grams of salt.
I thought this chocolate bar was really tasty and was great value for money and would definatly buy this again. I would reccomend this product to my friends and family, especially because it's helping people in the third world.
I came accros these doughnuts in Morrisons today when we were on our way back from Penzanze. They cost 69p for five doughnuts or you can buy two packs for a pound. We picked the Raspberry jam variety. The packaging is more similar to how doughnuts used to be wrapped and instead of being in a paper bag, they are in a cardboard tray covered in clear plastic. The colour sticker on the packaging represents the variety of doughnut for example pink is Raspberry.
The doughnuts are about three inches wide and around a inch and a half tall. They are a golden brown in colour and look very soft. The sugar coating is some what different to your traditional doughnut as it is more powdery and less sticky. When you bite into the doughnut you can see how soft they are, they taste very fresh and moist. There is a fantastic amount of jam inside the doughnut, this tastes rich and fruity and is a deep red in colour. I think the sugary coating on this doughnuts is much better than on other doughnuts because it's less messy and sticky.
There is no nutritional information on the packaging or ingredients, but it does say the jam contains colourings, flavourings and preservatives.
I really think these doughnuts were very tasty and very moreish and wanted to eat more than one. I did think these were good value for money, especially two for a pound and I would definatley buy them again. I really enjoyed the taste of these due to the differnt sugar used.
This week we are on holiday and as always we went shopping before we came to try and save a small fortune! On offer in our local tesco's we found these beans three for a pound. They weigh 420 grams and the packiging is different to the picture above. The packiging on these tins is a shiny silver in colour with their Branston logo at the top with some beans round it like their falling down, and has Baked Beans in big red writing at the bottom.
The beans and sauce are slightly darker in colour than the Heinz variety. The sauce is a rich orange colour and the beans themselves are a darker orange. To heat, you can either use the hob or the microwave. Personally I prefer to heat them up on the hob. Both take around three minutes.
The beans taste rich and the sauce is both tangy and thick. Comparing them to other beans, I prefer them because they taste better. The sauce is a big advantage to me because it tastes really sweet and tangy in your mouth. I also found that the colour of the sauce appelling because it doesn't look artifficial compared to other brands on the market.
Each serving (210 grams) contains 183 calories, 12.4 grams of sugar, 0.8 grams of fat (0.2 saturates) and 1.7 grams of salt. The baked Beans contain Beans (52%), Tomatoes (36%), Water, Sugar, Modified Maize Starch, Salt, Paprika, Ground White Pepper, Flavourings, Spices.
I really like these Beans and would definatley by them again, and enjoyed the taste of them and the texture. I thought they were great value for money at three for a pound. One problem i did find with the tin was that there was no ring pull and istead had to use a tin opener. I recommend these Beans to anyone looking for a quick and easy snack.
I vsited this camp site with my girlfriend and two children which included my daughter, aged 11 and my girlfriends niece, aged 8 back in June this year. I was looking for a campsite quite close to home because we had never been camping in a tent before and especially with the children, therefore if anything went wrong we wouldn't have far to travel home! I found this campsite through the internet (Uk campsite finder). To book a pitch there I simply rang their telephone number on their webpage because I had a few questions I needed to ask them. The woman I spoke to was very helpful and answered all my questions politely.
My booking confirmation arrived through the post about 2 days later which also included a map of where the park was and directions of how to get there. Finding the campsite was very easy and was clearly visable from the main road. On arrival to the campsite and entering the reception area, I was greeted by very helpful staff who directed me to my pitch and gave me a programe of events that was happening on their campsite (swimming pool etc) and their sister site Oakdene, a short walk down the road.
The evening we arrived at the campsite we didn't manage to get to Oakdene, but there was plenty of things for the kids to do at Forest Edge (outside swimming pool, games room, play park and ball park). The ground was soft so was easy to pitch the tent. The toilets and showers were very clean and well maintained. Forest Edge requests quiet after 10.30pm and although the park was busy, it was quiet for the children to sleep.
The next day we visited Oakdene (Which you have free access to if your staying at Forest Edge). This includes indoor and outdoor swimming pools with a water slide indoors. The changing facilities were very clean and tidy with plenty of changing cubicles and lockers. They both had lifeguards on duty. There was a small arcade area with a variety of machines, a kids club and a well stocked shop. In the evening they offer a bar area with entertainment, this was of good standard and the kids enjoyed themselves.
Overall I really liked both of these parks and would definately visit them again. The staff at these parks were very friendly and helpful. The facilities were of a good standard and we really enjoyed the pool at Oakdene. Both these parks felt very secure and didn't worry about leaving the tent and our belongings when we went out anywhere.
For a Friday and Saturday night in June we paid around £25 for a basic pitch. The park is located near Ringwood in Hampshire, in the New Forest.
I drink alot of squash from tesco and always seem to be buying it. Up until yesterday I hadn't tried the tesco value range, but due to money being a bit tight at the moment 47p sounded like a right bargain for 1.5 litres double concentrate. The packaging is like all tesco value products and is mainly white with a blue stripe.
To make the squash you use one part squash to nine parts water, you are advised to use more water for children. When made up the squash is a bright yellow colour. I was actually suprised how nice it tasted when i drank this because it tasted like other named brands rather than the cheaper alternatives. The squash tasted very sweet with a slight tang but it is not bitter. I find it to be very refreshing and a tasty alternative to water and it also quenches your thirst. Because it has no added sugar it will not rot your teeth.
25ml contains 2 calories, 0.2 grams of sugar and trace fat and salt meaning it can be easily enjoyed by those on a diet. I would without a doubt buy this squash again because it is great value for money and tastes good. I would recommend this squash.
I first came across this sauce when my girlfriend made some pasta for my lunch. It came from tesco and cost 36p for 440 grams. I think that this price is very good because it will easily feed a family of four. This sauce comes in a glass jar and the paper label has a picture of the product and a simple title saying Pasta Sauce. It tells me it is a tomato based sauce with mixed herbs.
To cook this sauce you need to put it on the hob for 4 to 5 minutes. You then pour the sauce over cooked pasta. I prefer to mix the sauce with the pasta because I find it coats the pasta better.
The sauce itself is quite thick and is deep red in colour with herbs throughout. It smells of tomatoes which is quite mild and not too strong. I found that it tastes really nice and could taste the mixed herbs which didn't over power the tomato taste. The tomato taste was very sweet and worked well with the pasta. The second time i had this sauce i added sliced sausage which was very nice and went well with the sauce.
Per serving (A quarter of the jar) contains 24 calories, 2 grams of sugar, 0.9 grams of fat (0.4 saturates) and 0.8 grams of salt. This is low fat but high in salt. This sauce contains 46% tomato puree and 5% tomatoes which I believe to quite low for a tomato based sauce.
I really enjoyed this sauce and would quite happily give it to my friends if they came round for dinner. I really think this product is exellent value for money and would recommend it to others as i found this tastes just as good or better than other products.
I bought my milkybar at my local sainsburys for around 35 pence. It does not state how much the bar weighs but this review is for the medium size bar. They also come in multipacks of 5 for around £1.50 and smaller and larger sized bars. The packaging is mainly a creamy yellow colour with a red band. There is a large milkybar logo in blue and a cartoon to the right of the milkybar kid.
The chocolate inside is quite thin with a raised cartoon picture on it which proves popular with children. The chocolate is a creamy white colour and very smooth in apperance. The chocolate tastes very creamy and melts in the mouth and is very smooth and easy to eat. Personally i find it to get rather sickly if more than 1 bar is eaten. Each bar contains 137 calories and 7.9 grams of fat.
I really enjoyed this chocolate and would buy it again. I believe milkybar to be the best quality white chocolate on the market and is very good value for money. It is much creamier and sweeter than milk chocolate so is perfect for the people with a sweet tooth. I would reccomend this to people especially with children as is contains all natural ingredients and is much less messy than milk or dark chocolate!
I have had this phone for about a year now. I paid £60 for it used but it is currently selling on Amazon for £94.99 (new). Mine is silver which is slightly different to the one in the picture. These phones are available on most networks, mine is on o2.
My phone has a sort of brushed silver look. It is very thin and is less than a centimetre thick. The screen is of a fairly good size and measures about 2 inches by 1.5 inches. The buttons are of an oblong shape and are quite raised from the phone itself.
What can the phone be used for?
Walkman-It is of course a walkman phone and can store a number of songs, due to the memory card that comes as standard. This can be used with visualisations. It also has Track Recognition where you play a song to the phone and it will recognise what song it is. I have found this very useful in the past.
Phone Calls-It can of course make phone calls and has a call list which contains your last calls whether they were received, missed or dialled. I find this very useful as it means I can easily call those who I speak to most. Recently my phone has started playing up and whenever I am in a call the other person cannot hear me well, I have to say this is a real negative about the phone.
Texting-The phone can hold a few hundred text messages which is great because it means your not constantly deleting messages. There are folders for inbox, outbox, sent messages, drafts and saved messages. The saved messages section is really good as you can store messages in there that you want to keep and not worry when your deleting messages. Actual texting is fairly easy on the phone but the shape and size of the buttons means that if you text a lot your thumb begins to get sore. It has predictive text and also if you write certain words in sequence a lot it will predict that too which makes texting fast and convenient.
Camera-It also has a 2.0 megapixel camera. This takes clear pictures however you cannot zoom which I find to be very annoying. You can zoom in on the pictures afterwards though as long as they are saved. It also has a video option. The camera can take photos in bursts and frames which is useful and although it doesnt have a flash it does have night mode and it also has a timer.
Organiser-The phone has alarms, a calendar, a tasks and note section, calculator, stopwatch timer and bluetooth.
Games-My phone came with the game quadrapop which is highly addictive!
Overall, I think this phone is ok. I wouldn't recommend purchasing it for the £94.99 that Amazon are currently selling it at as you are likely to be dissapointed. Although the phone is useful it has proven to be slightly unreliable especially where phone calls are concerned. However, the battery life is very good. This phone would be suited to somebody who doesn't use it an awful lot but would like a stylish phone with a number of applications.
Twirls are a sort of 'wrapped' version of the flake. Each bar is smaller in size than the flake however and I believe them to be slighlty different than the quite recent addition to the Cadburys family, the Flake Dipped. Twirls are available primarily in a twin bar like in the picture however they are also available in 'treat size' which is just one bar which is very good for kids or for people dieting who just want a small chocolate fix.
Twirls are available from a number of different stores. My local newsagent is currently selling the standard bar which weighs 43g for 50p. In Tescos you can pick it up for 48p. Alternatively, a multipack of 5 costs £1.59 and an 8 pack is £2.16. The treatsize bag weighs 279g and is £1.94. The packaging is the well known cadburys deep purple colour, with the twirl logo in yellow on the front. The wrapper is made of foil to keep the product fresh.
So onto the chocolate itself, each finger is around 4 inches long and about half a centimetre wide. The chocolate smell hits you as soon as you open the packet and it is a rich creamy brown colour. The first thing you notice when you bite into the twirl is that it is a lot less crumblier than the flake, although it is still a bit crumbly. The taste, like all cadburys chocolate is divine. The chocolate is rich, creamy and melts in the mouth. The design of the bar makes it lighter and more soft than a standard bar of dairy milk.
A twirl currently contains 230 calories, 13.2g of fat (8.2g which saturates) and 24g of sugar. This is for the twin bar pack.
I would recommend this bar to anyone with a sweet tooth. I think it is also good for children as it is less messy but of course, only as a treat due to the high fat content.
Quorn Mince is available from all supermarkets and a number of other food stores. It is a vegetarian version of mince and it is believed to be a healthier alternative due to lower fat. Quorn Mince can be found in the freezer section and costs £1.93 (Asda) for 300g.
In my personal opinion, it does taste different to meat but I think it can actually taste better than the real thing, depending on how it is cooked. It is very easy to cook and can be cooked in a number of different ways including the microwave, the hob and the oven. Detailed cooking guides are printed on the back of the packet.
It can be used in a lot of dishes and can be used just to substitute mince. For example it can be used in cottage pie, spaghetti bolognese and pies. It tastes very good and I have enjoyed it every time I have cooked it.
The packaging is different to the picture shown and is actually an orange coloured bag with a picture of the mince and the quorn logo.
Well I'm sitting here watching the rain out the window and eating a twix so I thought why not review it whilst its fresh in my mind! I am eating one of the two fingered packets, which I bought whilst on special offer in a multipack of 4 for just £1 in my local co-op. However, the 5 twin-finger packs are currently being sold in Tesco for £1.59 or you can buy them on their own (currently 41p in Tescos or 2 for 70p). You can also buy them in multipacks of single bars which are good for snacks or lunchboxes. The come in gold packaging with a picture of the biscuit and Twix written in red.
Twix are of course made by Mars and are a biscuit topped with caramel and then covered in chocolate. The biscuit is shortcake and tastes good, it is solid biscuit which is of good quality and the shortcake tastes creamy. It is an appetising creamy colour and is slightly crumbly. The caramel is my personal favourite part of the twix because it is rich and sticky and a lovely deep brown colour. The chocolate is Mars' high quality chocolate and is thick surrounding the biscuit and the caramel whilst also being very rich and creamy.
Obviously a twix is not going to be very good nutritionally for you, a serving (a finger) contains 142 calories, 14.3g sugar, 6.9g fat (3.9 which saturates) and 0.1g of salt.
I really enjoy Twix's and have done since I was a child. For some reason I always find I enjoy the twin bars more, I dont know why as I'm sure they taste exactly the same. The biscuit, caramel and chocolate are all obviously of a very high quality and the combination of the 3 form a taste explosion in your mouth which is very enjoyable. I would recommend these to absolutely anyone who likes chocolate!