By any standards this ride is a masterpiece. It is not often that any attraction in the UK is beyond criticism but it is hard to find fault here. The only sadness is that Nemesis has been in situ since 1994 and is still the best ride on offer at Alton Towers and arguably in the entire nation.

Necessity is the mother of invention and never more so than in the case of this roller coaster. Development at Alton Towers is hampered by draconian planning restrictions and rides cannot be constructed above the tree line. When you can’t go up the only alternative is to go down and so an enormous canyon was excavated to accommodate the ride. It is this canyon which provides the unique experience of Nemesis and the striking looks which mark it out from the crowd.


Nemesis is a B&M inverted coaster with multiple tight turns and inversions on a circuit that delivers intense thrills and drama from start to finish. After exiting the station the train climbs the first lift hill and then swoops down through the trees into a rapid series of manoeuvres before sweeping around the edges of the canyon and diving into a 360 degree loop. Nemesis is a full throttle experience and with the backdrop of the canyon there is drama from the minute you enter the queue line until you arrive back at the station after your ride.




The canyon looks sinister with red water running down the hillside and as the queue snakes around the canyon and the track, guests have a thrilling close up encounter with Nemesis before they arrive at the station to board the ride. Apart from a serious jolt on the lift hill the transit is reasonably smooth and there is not too much head banging on the circuit to endure. Those pearl earrings won’t stab you on the way round and not too many brain cells are killed off!

Roller coasters do not have to be the highest or the fastest to really deliver. It is a combination of the elements they do possess which makes the difference and Nemesis is a case in point. It is relatively short of stature and certainly not the quickest machine and yet the excellence of the layout and the extraordinary theming and landscaping combine to produce a unique experience which has really stood the test of time.

19 years on this is still the ride to beat. I now digging canyons is expensive but with the success of this coaster and its enduring popularity I marvel that the excavators are not out in force creating more rides like this one.


Article by Sally Stacey