There’s a lot of history in these parts of Staffordshire. Whether you’re travelling by train or driving in from the M6, you can see Stafford Castle before you arrive into town. It’s one of many excellent historic buildings you can see during your stay. There are plenty of photo opportunities, too. Take the Elizabethan Ancient High House in the town centre, for example. Fascinatingly, it’s the largest timber-framed town house in the country. It’s now a museum offering fascinating insight into the history of Stafford; well worth checking out if you have a spare hour or two. If you have a little longer, then we’ve collected together some of the top activities and attractions from the surrounding area, just waiting for you to visit.
Activities in Stafford
It’s a 40-minute drive from our Stafford hotels, but Alton Towers is absolutely worth spending the time to visit. It’s widely considered the best theme parks in the country, and one of the most popular in Europe. It’s built a reputation for being one of the most innovative theme parks on the planet, with a history of world-first roller coasters being one reason why more than two million people visit Alton Towers each year. It’s definitely a full-day trip; there are more than 900 acres of rides and attractions for you to delve into. They’re spread across ten themed areas tailored to appeal to different ages and interests. Plus, to help you cram as many rides into your day as possible, Alton Towers even has its own monorail and gondolas conveniently connecting areas of the park.
If you fancy a walk on the wild side, dust off your hiking boots, get out the waterproofs, whip up a packed lunch, and explore the Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Again, regardless of whether you’re staying at our Stafford North (Hurricane) hotel or Stafford North (Spitfire) hotel, this day out is a bit of a drive away – 25 minutes, to be precise – but it’s worth it when you see how spectacular this former Royal Forest can be on a sunny day. In total it covers more than 25 square miles, don’t worry there are plenty of waymarked paths to help you maintain your bearings, as well as visitor centres and museums if you want to find out more about the area, its beautiful scenery, and the fascinating wildlife that can be seen. Dark tourists may be interested in past reports of werewolf, UFO and Bigfoot sightings in Cannock Chase, although we can’t promise anything more than a wild goose chase.
On the edge of Cannock Chase you’ll find another of the county’s top attractions, Shugborough Hall. The impressive Georgian mansion house is a National Trust property, so you know it’s well looked after and will provide a fascinating insights into the estate’s rich history, including royal visits and the Anson aristocratic family who lived here for three centuries.
Shugborough is the UK’s only ‘complete working historic estate’. It’s rare to find an estate – particularly of such splendour – with all of its major buildings intact. It means there’s plenty for you to see during your visit, such as the model farm which dates back to the turn of the 19th century, a fully working watermill, and England’s only log-fired brewery to still produce beer commercially, which has been operated by local legends Titanic Brewery for over a decade. As if that wasn’t enough, the grounds and walled garden are absolutely stunning, providing serene walks when the weather’s dry, and adding even more reason to make the 20-minute trip to Shugborough Hall.
If you fancy a fun day out for the whole family, Amerton Farm should be right up your street. Young’uns will love the chance to feed farmyard animals such as goats, sheep, cows, rabbits, horses, chickens and pigs. There are also more exotic options such as reindeer and alpacas. There’s plenty for mums and dads, too. The 3,000 square foot gift centre is full of great shopping options including homeware, clothing, and accessories. Plus, the food hall is chock-a-block with local produce – the jams and chutneys make for great gifts (if you can resist eating them for yourself).
So far we’ve pointed you toward attractions outside of the town centre. They’re great for days out, but if you just have an hour or two to kill, then you can’t go wrong with a walk around Victoria Park. It’s the most popular green space in Stafford and is full of attractions, particularly for children who can enjoy the sand pit, water fountains, climbing frames and skate park. On the other hand, older visitors can enjoy the exotic plants in the glass house, visit the bird aviary, or simply feed the ducks at the lake.