Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Alton Towers - Thirteen new for 2010

Alton Towers have announced that "Thirteen" is the name of their new ride.

Thirteen launches on Saturday 20th March 2010 right at the start of the 2010 theme park season.

Located next to Rita Queen of Speed, Thirteen is a rollercoaster mixing physical and psychological fear - experts are calling it a 'psychoaster'! How exciting a new ride at Alton Towers, we can't wait for it to open!

Take a look at the Alton Towers Theme Park website for all the latest information about Thirteen .

Looking for accommodation? Give us a call!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009


Yesterday was a very sad day indeed at The Malthouse. As you will know if you have stayed with us or looked at our blog we have two cats Flossy and Smudge. However we are sad to report that we now only have one cat. Flossy our elderly cat (aged around 20) had been unwell for a little while and unfortunately she had to be put to sleep yesterday. She had looked pretty frail for a year or two but had still been eating well and enjoying taking life easy in her old age.

Here is a picture of Flossy taken this summer in one of her favorite spots on our front lawn.

Needless to say we are devastated and already miss her terribly. The only good news is that Smudge (our youngster) is taking it all in his stride and still eating for England!

Monday, 7 December 2009

We have been on Holiday

You might wonder why there has not been an update to our blog for a while. This is because we have been away on holiday ourselves! Now we are back home and starting to get back into our usual routine you will hear from us again soon!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

ALTON TOWERS - new ride for 2010

Did you know that Alton Towers are in the process of building a new theme park ride for the 2010 season?

As usual the new ride is a closely guarded secret!

You can register your e-mail address at to get news leading up to the launch of the ride.

All that we know so far is that it will be a world first attraction!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Our visit to Alton Towers

This afternoon we were tourists and went on our annual visit to Alton Towers Theme Park!

We aim to visit the theme park in the spring but usually end up going in the Autumn before the half term holidays start. Today was a perfect day to visit Alton Towers, the sun was shining and the park was quiet so there were no queues for the rides!

We had a lovely afternoon at Alton Towers. To be honest we didn't go on many rides we simply enjoyed a walk around the grounds and had lunch. How lazy is that! It does mean though that we can recommend the fish and chips (near Nemesis), the donuts (near The Flume) and the
hot dogs (near The Towers Restaurant). Not that we like our food much!

Hope you like the pictures that we took. The gardens are spectacular at this time of year.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Alton Towers - Scarefest

Don't forget that Scarefest starts at Alton Towers Theme Park on Saturday 17th October 2009 and runs until Sunday 1st November 2009.

This spooktacular event should not be missed! There's lots of fun for young visitors and lots of frights for those who dare! The theme park rides in the dark are fangtastic!

You can book your tickets online, see for details regarding Scarefest and tickets.
After an exciting day at Alton Towers you'll need to take a rest!
To check availability at our B&B telephone The Malthouse on 01538 703273.

Friday, 25 September 2009


On Monday we had some time off and took a drive to Bakewell in Derbyshire.

Bakewell is a lovely old fashioned market town situated on the river Wye. It's about a 45 minute journey by car from our bed and breakfast in Alton. The drive from The Malthouse to Bakewell is very scenic. We went via Ashbourne (another small town) and then through lots of rolling countryside to reach Bakewell. But if you're feeling adventurous you can go via Dovedale and Tissington in the Peak District National Park. This route will take longer as you will have to go slowly up and down lots of hills, cross cattlegrids, cross a ford (small stream) and avoid the sheep and cattle that roam the roads! Lots of fun though.

Monday is a great day to vist Bakewell as it's usually market day. There is an outdoor market in the town centre with lots of different stalls,plenty of bargains. The indoor cattle market is a short walk away, very interesting (but smelly!) if you have not been to one before. There are also lots of small independent shops in the town and plenty of cafe's selling the famous Bakewell Pudding or Tart.

We can highly recommend the fish and chip shops. We got fish and chips to take away for our lunch and took them next to the river where these are lots of seats (see above photo).
If you have any chips left (unlike us) the ducks love them!

Monday, 14 September 2009


Did you know that there is a Spa at Alton Towers?

If you looking for a break away why not take a two or three nights stay with us at The Malthouse bed and breakfast. Tel 01538 703273 for enquiries.

Spend your first day at Alton Towers Theme Park doing all the fun rides followed by a second day relaxing at the Alton Towers Spa.

For more details see for the theme park or for information regarding the spa.

Thursday, 3 September 2009


Calling all adults!

Now that the kids are starting to head back to school it is a great time to visit Alton Towers Theme Park in Staffordshire.

Malthouse Tip! If you are planning a trip to Alton Towers, a good time to visit is mid week during September or the first couple of weeks in October. Usually the park is much quieter at this time which means that you spend less time queuing!
Don't forget - The Halloween Scarefest at Alton Towers starts on Saturday 17th October this year. See for more details. This event is extremely popular with couples and families. There are trick or treat doors for little kids and lots of frights for 'big kids'. The rides in the dark should not be missed!

After a busy day at Alton Towers you should be staying with us at The Malthouse. We offer bed and breakfast accommodation in Alton village and are just one mile away from Alton Towers. You'll be glad that you don't have far to travel, after a day at the theme park you'll be shattered!

Wednesday, 26 August 2009


There are a wide variety of tourist attractions near our bed and breakfast.
Alton Towers is the closest, just one mile away. But if an action packed day of thrills is not your thing there are plenty of other ways to spend your time.

Last week we took a well earned afternoon off and went to the 57th Annual Dovedale Sheep Dog Trials near Ilam in the Derbyshire Peak District National Park.
To some this may seem an odd way to spend an afternoon off - but not to us!
We don't own a sheepdog or any sheep. So I hear you ask what is the attraction?
Answer - an afternoon of TOTAL relaxation!

The first day of the trials is an afternoon for local competitors, there are three classes.
Nursery - for competitors and dogs that are new to sheep dog trials
Novice - for competitors and dogs with with some experience
Open - for competitors and dogs with experience.
The second day of the trials is open to competitors from outside the area.

We went along on the first day of the trials. The competitors and their dogs are amazing and a joy to watch.

If you plan to visit the area next August and are looking to do something totally different to do the 2010 trials will be held on 17 & 18 August.

Friday, 14 August 2009


The Ramblers Retreat is located in Dimmingsdale about half a mile away from us and Alton Towers. They are open during the day and serve all sorts of yummy things - ice creams, coffee, fantastic cake (we can recommend this!) and meals. You can sit inside or if it's fine weather they have a lovely garden with plenty of seating. See for more information.

Dimmingsdale is in a valley next to the river Churnet. There is an old railway line nearby to walk along and also woodland walks. It is a very peaceful area to take a break. A great place to be on a warm day as the trees give plenty of shade.

If you are arriving to stay at our bed & breakfast and get into Alton earlier than expected you might like to visit the Ramblers Retreat they are in Red Road, Alton. Take care - Red Road is a narrow windy lane with no footpaths. Alternatively if your heading home why rush? A walk followed by coffee and cake will set you up for your journey.

Sunday, 9 August 2009


Alton Towers have 'Scarefest ' at the Theme Park from 17th October until 1st November 20009.
Scarefest is a Halloween celebration that has taken place at the park the last couple of years and has proved to be a big hit with visitors.
There is something to entertain visitors or all ages. There's lots of fun for little ones and plenty of chills and frights for those who dare! Plus the Theme Park rides are open until 9pm. Pumpkin ratings are given for each Halloween attraction so that you can decide what is suitable for your party. Take a look at the Alton Towers website for more information about Scarefest.
Of course after all those frights you'll need to lie down and rest! Telephone us 01538 703273 or e-mail to check our bed and breakfast availability.
Our accommodation is just one mile from Alton Towers, quick to get to after a busy day or scary evening!

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

ALTON TOWERS - Parent & Toddler Special Offer

Do you have a toddler to entertain? Why not spend a day or two at Alton Towers Theme Park?
New for 2009 is Cloud Cuckooland an area with new attractions and plenty of old favorites to keep little ones busy.
At the moment Alton Towers are running a special 'Parent & Toddler Offer'. This offer admits one adult and one child aged under 4 into Alton Towers Theme Park on selected mid-week dates (see website for details) for just £12. The voucher also gives you free parking (usually £5 per day) and a free hot drink.
To take advantage of this offer you need to submit your name, address etc and print a voucher from the Alton Towers website.
When you visit the theme park simply hand the voucher into the cashier.
Our accommodation is one mile away from Alton Towers and is a perfect place to stay while visiting the theme park. To check availability and prices please get in touch by e-mail or telephone.

Friday, 24 July 2009


Bakewell is a lovely market town located in Derbyshire. Each August an agricultural and horticultural show takes place in Bakewell. This year the two day event is on Wednesday 5 and Thursday 6 August. Bakewell Show was established in 1819 and is now the largest agricultural show in Derbyshire. We have been to the show a couple of times in recent years and can highly recommend it.

The show is a great day out for all the family. There are lots of things to see and do: a show ring with everything from horse classes to sheep judging, a dog show, lots of stalls, the sheep show (a must see!), vintage vehicles, and for this year a jousting stunt team "The Knights of the Damned". See for full details.

Our bed & breakfast is located in Alton in the very north of Staffordshire, the Derbyshire boarder is only around 5 miles from us. Bakewell is approximately a one hour drive away. The route we would recommend takes you through some beautiful and countryside. If you're feeling adventurous you could even go via Dovedale in the Peak District, the scenery is marvellous.

If your not in the area when Bakewell show is on you should still consider visiting the town. It is a relaxing place to spend a day, the times goes nowhere! We particularly like to go on a Monday when there is usually a small outdoor market in the town. There are always bargains to be had and usually plenty of delicious Bakewell Puddings (or tarts!) to buy. Also most Monday's there is a cattle market held a couple of minutes walk from the town. This is a very interesting place to visit, if your not into farming you won't have seen anything like it before. It must be the Rolls Royce of cattle markets it's lovely and clean but can be a bit noisy if there are lots of sheep and cattle! There is a nice stretch of river in the town with plenty of ducks and swans. If the weather is kind an hour next to the river with fish & chips is fabulous!

Saturday, 18 July 2009


Did you know that we have two great indoor waterparks nearby?

Alton Towers waterpark is the nearest, just one mile away from us. The waterpark is indoor so it's a great place to be whatever the weather. There are slides, lazy rivers and water features all set in a Caribbean lagoon.

For more information visit

Waterworld Aqua Park is located at Festival Park in Stoke-on-Trent. Waterworld is around 15 miles away from us. Indoor wave pool with flumes and rides for all ages.

Visit for more details.

P.S. Don't forget to bring your cossie and towel!

Monday, 6 July 2009

ALTON TOWERS Sharkbait Reef by Sealife - Local Vet visits injured Stingray

To keep our oldest cat Flossie in the best shape possible we regularly take her to see local vet Julie Grey at Abbeyfield Vet Centre in Rocester. Flossie gets a check up, her claws trimmed and an "old cat cocktail" injection to perk her up.

Last week Flossie was not feeling her best so we took her to see Julie for a manicure and cocktail. We are pleased to report that she is much better, the only down side is that shes eating us out of house and home!

Julie told us about an interesting visit she made recently to Alton Towers Theme Park. She had been requested to accompany zoo vet Sue Thornton to look at an injured stingray at Alton Towers Sharkbait Reef. At feeding time the stingray had been injured by a shark. An operation had been preformed by Sue Thornton to remove the stingrays damaged eye. Julie has provided after care and monitored the stingray during it's recovery. We are pleased to say that the stingray is doing well and back in the main tank at Sharkbait Reef.
If you go to Alton Towers take time to visit the pirate themed aquarium its near Mutiny Bay. This attraction is new for 2009 and our guests are giving it a big thumbs up!

Thursday, 2 July 2009


This photo was taken today in our garden.

Not sure what the weather is doing in your part of the world? The weather in Alton has been fantastic for the last few days. Lets hope it continues!

If you have visited Alton Towers before you will know that there a some fantastic water rides at the theme park. Sometimes our B&B guests will say that they got wet on The Flume or River Rapids - but no complaints at the moment. Not even the saturating water jets on Ripsaw are dampening any ones spirits!
We always suggest that visitors bring a change of clothes, shoes and waterproof clothing with them. But if your planning to visit at the moment you should also bring sunscreen, shorts, hat and sunglasses - you'll need them!
After a busy day you might like to relax and have an evening meal and drinks here at The Malthouse. Our licensed bar is well stocked with plenty of ice cold soft and alcoholic beverages. You can enjoy your drinks in the bar or take them out into the garden if you prefer.
Fingers and toes crossed that the fabulous weather stays with us for a while!

Thursday, 25 June 2009


Meet our cats!

FLOSSIE: We celebrate her birthday in August each year, because we had her from a cat's rescue home during late summer 19 years ago. She's learnt a thing or two - such as how to cross the road. We believe her to be the only cat in Alton practicing the 'Green Cross Code'. She can often be seen looking left, right and left again before venturing across the road to visit "Auntie Carol" who lives opposite us.

Auntie Carol gives her really tasty morsels -fresh salmon was on the menu a little while ago. But horror of horrors - Auntie carol has just had a puppy! The little pooch is named 'Gizmo' and Flossie is not too keen. Will she brave the slathering beast for fancy food? We'll let you know.

SMUDGE: Another foundling we took in during the winter of 2007/2008. Black and white like Flossie but there the similarity ends. He's a bruiser and no mistake. An eating machine who's overtaken his big 'sister' in size. Mind you he has a healthy respect for her. She regularly puts him in his place if he oversteps the mark and dares to tap her tail with his paw or sidles just that bit too close to her. But he watches and learns. We think he's got the idea of checking out the traffic.

He's certainly very frightened of extra loud vehicles. The road sweeper came by a couple of days ago and Smudge ran for cover behind the dustbins. Later a helicopter flew over and he dived under the wheelbarrow so as not to be seen! Whatever will he get up to next!

Thursday, 18 June 2009


Many people visiting Alton Towers are surprised to find that it is located in such a rural area.
They sometimes assume that it is near to Stoke-on-Trent. In reality the theme park is around 15 miles or so away from the city.

The gardens inside Alton Towers Theme Park are beautiful and well worth a visit. Your Theme Park ticket gives you access to the rides of course but also lets you see the gardens. You can walk through them or travel via the Skyride. If you have time do both but if your feet are tired try the Skyride! The views are wonderful and should not be missed.

Alternatively the village of Alton where we live and the surrounding area are a perfect place to relax. There are plenty of lovely walks nearby. We like to take a stroll along the old dissused railway line when we have time. This is a nice flat route (once you get from our house down into the valley!) with a great place to stop off for tea and cake. As you can tell we are not serious walkers! For the more adventurous the Peak District National Park is just 5 miles away from us. This is a breathtaking area to walk or drive through.

Why not extend your visit to us? Returning guests tend to stay for longer each time they come back. Repeat visitors have a busy day or two at the park and then realise that they need to take it easy afterwards!

Thursday, 11 June 2009


This is our first blog
During the summer we usually have plenty to do in our garden. This year to add to the fun we have been having a dry stone wall re-built! The wall surrounds a triangular piece of ground at the front of The Malthouse, it was very old and in need of re-building before it collapsed. We have a picture dating back to the early 1900's that shows the wall. Lets hope it stands for another hundred years or so!
The work was done by a local professional dry stone wall builder. We are delighted by the result but absolutely shattered as we had to tidy up after the builder!
If you have stayed with us before I am sure you will notice the improvement when you next stay with us during your visit to Alton Towers.