I spent the weekend at Alton Towers – the theme park is closed for their winter maintenance, but we were at the Splash Landings Hotel which has an indoor water park attached.
“We” were British Naturism, running their 7th Alton Towers weekend (Friday evening through to Sunday lunchtime), although it’s the first one I’ve been to. It was pretty much sold out, with approaching 400 naturists staying.
Strangely, Alton Towers don’t allow their name to be used in advertising the event, and it can only be marketed to BN members – so they’re happy to take our money (what’s known as the buff pound) but not to be publicly associated with naturists. Would their regular clientele be completely freaked out?

The waterpark was great fun, with a couple of good water slides – one of them was long, fast and dark. A real blast!
As well as various activities (yoga, tai-chi, paper plane making, a portrait photography workshop (not by me) and evening musical entertainment) there was also a guided tour of the gardens. If you’ve been to the theme park but not seen the gardens, you’ve missed something – they’re really impressive. The tour was clothes-optional, but it was only about 7 degrees on Saturday. However, that didn’t stop some intrepid souls in stripping off. The lack of wind meant it didn’t feel as cold as if could have.
It was strange walking through empty car parks and a deserted theme park, and it was a shame we didn’t get to see more of the rides as photographing then could have been fun.

The highlight of the gardens for me were the conservatories – the sort of decaying building that I love photographing, and they work so well in my favourite punchy black and white.