There are so many things to do in Staffordshire, but here are the top 10.
Get lost in a garden
There’s something new to see around every corner at Biddulph Grange Garden, from an Egyptian court to the memorable China Garden with its pagoda, bridges and gilded water buffalo. See if you can find the giant stone frog at this masterpiece of Victorian horticultural design.
Walk with the animals
Trentham Monkey Forest is the unlikely home of 140 free-roaming Barbary macaques who wander around as if oblivious to the human interlopers watching them. If you visit in late spring look out for tiny black-haired babies clinging to their monkey parents’ chests.
Crack the code at Shugborough
Even Bletchley Park’s finest code-breakers couldn’t solve the puzzle of the mysterious Shepherd’s Monument on the Shugborough Estate. Explore the Georgian mansion house, working farm, walled garden and 900 acres of parkland while you try to figure it out.
Attend Lichfield Cathedral
With its three spires, Lichfield is one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the land. Make time to attend a Choral Evensong service, which take place every day except Saturday, for a truly unforgettable and transcendent experience.
Step back in time
The home of Burleigh Pottery and the BBC’s Great Pottery Throw Down, Middleport Pottery is a hub for contemporary crafts as well as a historic factory complete with a Grade 2-listed bottle kiln. Book a tour in advance and see pottery being made using the same methods as in the 1880s.
Remember the fallen
You’ll be humbled and uplifted by a visit to National Memorial Arboretum, the UK’s national centre for remembrance, which pays tribute to the armed forces, emergency services, national charities and civilian organisations. A two-minute silence is held every day in the Millennium Chapel.
Wrap up at Tamworth Snowdome
Even in the height of summer you’ll need your woollies on because there’s winter fun for all the family on real snow, including skiing, tobogganing and skating.
Watch out for royal ghosts
It’s said that Mary, Queen of Scots, who was imprisoned at Tutbury Castle, is among a number of ghosts haunting this atmospheric ruin. You might also spot a spectral man in a suit of armour or a little boy and girl.
Try an oatcake
Not to be confused with its dry biscuity Scottish namesake, the humble oatcake is a true Staffordshire delicacy. It’s best described as a savoury pancake but it’s so much more than that. Tickle your tastebuds with traditional favourites cheese, bacon, sausage or a combination of the three, and prepare to be astonished.
See the world-famous hoard
Items from the world-famous Staffordshire Hoard are on display at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery in Hanley, and other treasures include a collection of 667 cow-shaped cream jugs and Ozzy the Owl, a 17th-century slipware jug discovered on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow in 1990.
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