Alton Towers

British theme parks are on a roll(ercoaster)

The Sheriff of Nottingham once (allegedly) outlawed Robin Hood for the forcible redistribution of wealth; now Nottinghamshire County Council intends to spend £13m using his name to enrich the local area. The Council has announced plans to build an amusement park in Sherwood Forest, Discover Robin Hood, which it hopes will attract major investment.

The Big Six: Waterpark holidays

If Walt Disney World Florida feels, well, a world away, then stay closer to home at Splash Landings, located within Alton Towers theme park. It has a Caribbean motif and contains its own waterpark, with lazy river, "Bubbly Wubbly Pool" and the Master Blaster wet rollercoaster. During the summer holidays, the waterpark runs two sessions per day, from 10am-3pm and from 4pm-9pm, so an overnight stay means you'll make the most of it.

Five-star style: Get some inspiration from a hotbed of new trends -

Artful clutter, a super-size bed and a deep free-standing bath – elements which, one might think, could give a good hotel a "homely" air. Not according to Patrick Goff, who ran an award-winning hotel design practice for 25 years before setting up, an online industry resource: "When a designer talks about a hotel being 'homely'," he says, "he's lying. He's talking about a kind of theatrical, Disneyland 'homely' – not what you actually get at home."

More headlines

Alton Towers goes super Sonic

While some stars become the face of a fragrance line or launch high-end restaurants, Sonic has gone one better by becoming the spokeshedgehog for the Alton Towers’ ride, the Spinball Whizzer.

Why we can't resist perkonomics

Ever paid a premium to jump a check-in queue, or speak to a personal banker? You may think you're beating the system – but are you really? Tim Walker investigates