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Nemesis at Alton Towers

Key information

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Your rating: None Average: 4 (788 votes)


Forbidden Valley

Roller coaster

Opening Date:
Mar 19, 1994

The opening of Nemesis in 1994 marked a change in direction for Alton Towers, kicking off its transformation into a haven for thrill-seekers and the UK's most popular theme park. Located in the Forbidden Valley area of the park, it was the first Bolliger & Mabillard inverted rollercoaster to open in Europe. It has since become one of the world's most highly-regarded coasters, regularly featuring in "top 10" lists put together by enthusiasts.

Due to the strict height restrictions imposed by planning authorities on Alton Towers, designer John Wardley opted to build much of Nemesis deep into a giant hole in the ground. The ride's storyline (which has rarely been referred to since it opened) is based around an alien that was discovered when the site was excavated, before being pinned into place by the steel coaster. Rivers of "blood" continue to flow down the inside of the pit, and the station is loosely themed as the monster itself.

Upon leaving the station, the train climbs to the top of Nemesis' lift hill, which peaks just below the tree line. It then turns 90 degrees and descends into the valley below, hitting a top speed of 50mph. Following the first drop are a barrel roll, downwards helix and inline twist, leading up to an intense vertical loop. The ride finishes with a further barrel roll before returning to the station.

More information about Nemesis:

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Upcoming refurbishments, rehabs and closures

We are not aware of any scheduled refurbishment periods for Nemesis. Do you know of any upcoming "rehabs" that we're missing? If so - please contact us so that we can keep the list up-to-date.

Photos of Nemesis

Reviews of Nemesis:

Nearly 2 decades later, it is still the king of inverted coasters
Submitted by sirusstest
on Friday, November 01, 2013 18:03

It's hard to think that Nemesis was one of the first inverted coasters built by B&M yet it still remains the best. Its genius use of terrain, tight inversions and of course deep narrative create an unforgettable experience. The saving grace of British theme parks, may the Nemesis legend live on!

Alton's Flagship Ride: never gets old
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified)
on Monday, July 01, 2013 18:56

Nemesis has always been great but on my last visit it surprised my how intense and amazing it was. The front row seat feels so fast and the leg chopper effects are awesome. It feels like it is twice the speed that it is. As well as this the scenery makes the experience even greater - the river of blood and alien expand the experience; the music is great too. Overall the proximity to the scenery and the intense rush make this a fantastic coaster. Maybe not Alton's best but still a contender.

Nemesis - Still the greatest
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified)
on Sunday, April 03, 2011 19:03

What can be said about this ride that hasn't already been said?

From the back story of archeaologists unearthing a creature so fast and deadly that they had to tie it down to a track to the 4.5g of force thrown at riders around the fierce bends, this is possibly the greatest and best loved suspended coaster in the world.

Due to height restirctions in place at Alton Towers, John Wardley and the crew from Bollinger and Mabillard had to think long and hard about how SW1 was going to be constructed. Along comes a back-story of an archealogical dig and a trench in which Nemesis will be housed is formed.

This ride was always going to be good, Nemesis Inferno at Thorpe Park proves that this type of ride is good, but due to the constant near-misses with the ground, fences and the station itself, it feels so much faster than the advertised 50mph and keeps all other suspended coasters out of its league.

I love this ride for everything that it has to offer and it will take something special to knock it off of its perch as the greatest suspended coaster on the planet.


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