ALTON Towers’ historic gardens are being thrown open to the public for the second time as part of a national event.
The stately home’s gardens are opening as part of the National Garden Scheme (NGS) Gardens Open For Charity event, which last year raised £2.6 million.
The resort’s gardens were one of the first in Staffordshire to open for the NGS in 1932, but since then they have only been available to visitors paying full price to visit the Alton Towers theme park, or staying at its hotels.
Alton Towers rejoined the NGS last year to help celebrate its 85th anniversary, having been started in 1927 by the Queen's Nursing Institute to raise funds to support district nurses, which it was responsible for until the introduction of the NHS in 1948.
An Alton Towers spokesman said: “Last year's opening was very successful.
“We had between 150 to 200 people attend the open gardens event and raised around £600.
“We are looking to double that this year.
“We had some very good feedback from visitors and this year we are holding it a little later in June than we did last year, which is a good time for the gardens and hopefully the weather will be better.
“We have also changed the opening hours to an earlier time so visitors can access some of the theme park restaurants.
“Entry is via the hotel and we will also have self-guide tour books.”
Entry will be granted for one day only on Friday, June 14, from 3.30pm until 6pm, via a one-mile woodland walk from the Alton Towers Hotel.
Admission is £4 for adults and children go free.
For information contact 01538 703344.
Along with Alton Towers, several other local gardens are also opening for the event to raise money for the NGS charities.
They include: Biddulph Grange Gardens, Grange Road, Biddulph, ST8 7SD, owned by the National Trust, is open on Saturday, June 15, from 11am until 5.30pm. Contact 01782 517999 or visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk for information. Admission is £7 for adults, £3.50 for children.
Brooklyn, Gratton Lane, Endon, ST9 9AA, owned by Janet and Steve Howell is open on Sunday, June 30, from noon until 5pm. Admission £3 for adults, children free.
Colour Mill, Winkhill, ST13 7PR, owned by Bob and Jackie Pakes, is open on Sunday, July 7, and Thursday, August 22, from 1.30pm until 5.30pm. Visitors are also welcome by appointment between July and September. Contact 01538 308680 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://colourmill.webplus.net to book or for information. Admission £3 for adults, children free.
Moorfield, Post Lane, Endon, ST9 9DU, owned by Ian and June Sellers, is open on Sunday, July 14, from 1.30pm until 5pm. Visitors are also welcome by appointment between June and August, contact 01782 504096. Entry £3 for adults, children free.