Stargazing Pods is Alton Towers Resort’s brand new accommodation that had just opened to the public on the 12th April 2019! These unique and cosy pods are set around a picturesque village where guests can embrace the outdoors and use the telescopes to look at the night sky with easy access to the theme park.
There are a total of 102 Stargazing Pods that are open for 149 days during the season with showers/toilets in a facilities block located on the site. Each pod can sleep up to four people in one double and two single beds. It is a great value choice for your short break where you can recharge your batteries and enjoy another day of fun in the Theme Park with your second day free!
We were so lucky to get invited to attend the opening with their special guest, Mark Thompson, the astronomer and Stargazing LIVE co-host! As it was only a day trip, we managed to pack a backpack each to easily fit in the boot of our car. It took us an hour to reach the location and fortunately the roads were clear and well signed with brown tourist signs.
Once you enter Alton Towers, the Stargazing Pods site is located at car park J, which is towards the end of the road when you drive in, next to the Enchanted Village. When we first arrived at the pods, our first instinct was to walk towards the pods to get to the reception. In fact, the reception is located slightly away from the pods, just before the main entrance. Checking in was quick and simple and we soon made our way to our cosy pod.
Did you know that the pod’s timber is sustainably sourced from European Whitewood from managed forests in Finland under Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) guidelines? This means each piece of timber used in the pods can be traced back to its forest of origin!
These well-made pods have everything you need for a short break. There are plenty of charging points with USB ports on each bedside, which are very useful, especially as we all brought our gadgets along. The free WiFi signal was not great from our pod but its better near the Tipi restaurant. We are able to get a 4G signal via our mobile networks.
There is a small towel rail radiator on the side of the wall to heat the room and a small window to ventilate the pod during the warmer summer days to come. There are coat hooks inside and outside the pod. Also, there is plenty of storage space at the bottom of each bed. The pod is not wheelchair friendly as the floor place is limited. There are multiple options across the Resort’s accommodation.
After relaxing in our pod, we headed towards the Tipi for a drink and live entertainment. It does get cold in the Tipi but there are plenty of blankets around the benches available for guests to use. As mentioned earlier, the Stargazing Pods are situated next to the Enchanted Village, so The Crooked Spoon restaurant is within easy reach. There is also a small young children’s play area and shop, which is very handy especially if you need a snack! The outdoor open area and the pods are lit but it is worth bringing a torch or you could use your mobile to illuminate your path too.
Later in the evening, we were all gathered around at the open area for a chat with Mark Thompson who showed us how to spot constellations in the night sky above and shared his top 5 tips to get us all gazing up:
- Get the gear – the secret is to use a torch that gives off a dim red light
- Get a star chart – stargazing apps can show you the night sky from your location, any time of year, day or night
- Look Up – armed with your torch and star chart you can look up and start learning your way around the night sky
- Join a stargazing gang – a fun way to boost your new hobby and make lots of new friends
- Buy a telescope or binoculars – take it to the next level for the best way to view the moon and stars
Then Sir Algenon got the proceedings underway with the opening ceremony which culminated with a stunning fireworks display! We all had fun and enjoyed the night thoroughly! We then retreated back to our pod to rest for another exciting day ahead in Alton Towers.
Both my children enjoyed the stay and loved the stargazing experience. It was a chilly night and we didn’t make much use of the telescope but we will be heeding Mark Thompson’s advise to look up more to appreciate our beautiful calm sky! Both my husband and I had a good nights’ sleep especially as the double bed is so spacious that we could easily have had a young child sleeping with us and topped by their fresh comfortable duvet and bed linen. We are not the tallest of people and it was ideal for us but for taller people, the double bed might be too short for them. We all enjoyed the clean and cosy pod and it is definitely a great experience!
The price for the Stargazing Pod starts from just £88 for up to four people and it does include a breakfast bap and hot drink which can be collected from the Pods reception and towel bundle can be hired if you forget to bring one! We then checked out just before 10am to start our fun day at the theme park!
Alton Towers Resort has 5 types of themed accommodation: Alton Towers Hotel, Splash Landings Hotel, Enchanted Village, CBeebies Land Hotel and Stargazing Pods. To book your stay at the Stargazing Pods, visit www.altontowers.com.
Disclosure: We were invited and received the samples for the purposes of writing this review, however, all thoughts and opinions remain our own. Images used with permission.