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Touring Staffordshire

Staffordshire and pottery are synonymous, and the town of Stoke-on-Trent, actually made up of six different towns, is where it all happens. This centre of the ceramic industry plays host to Spode, Wedgwood, Royal Doulton and other makes. Aynsley, Staffordshire enamels, and Moorcroft are among the factories with tours, demonstrations and shops.

Stoke's museums include the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, home to the world's finest collection of Staffordshire pottery; Gladstone working pottery museum, a museum allowing visitors to see how 19th century potters worked; the Etruria industrial museum, a scheduled ancient monument with working steam engine; and Ford Green hall, a 17th century house and period garden. The rooms are furnished with original and reproduction textiles, ceramics and furniture. Visitors can try on costumes.

The town of Tutbury was once home to an iron age hillfort and a medieval castle. Visit the 11th century priory church (with later additions) and the castle ruins, which served as one of the prisons for Mary Queen of Scots. There's more to see on a town walk with 34 listed buildings.

Lichfield is an historic market town with a cathedral. The most notable feature of the cathedral of St. Mary and St. Chad is its 258-foot high central spire. Combined with its two other spires, the nickname 'Ladies of the Vale' has been applied to them. The cathedral is actually the third one on the site; the first being built in AD 700. Inside the cathedral are the 8th century Lichfield gospels, a Victorian tile floor, carved stonework, and a collection of modern silver. The town has a heritage centre with displays and av presentations.

Beer lovers will want to journey to Burton upon Trent where the National Brewery Centre is located beside Britain's biggest brewery. Here is the museum of brewing, shire horses, and museum micro-brewery supported by the brewing history of Burton, featuring several galleries, an authentic cooperage, a collection of vintage vehicles, a working stationary steam engine and beer gift shop.

Staffordshire is home to a number of stately homes and interesting gardens. Chillington Hall has been home to the Gifford family for 800 years. Its 1100 acres of park and woodland are designated a conservation area.

Shugborough Hall by Barbara Ballard Shugborough is the 18th century home of royal photographer Lord Lichfield. You can visit the restored kitchens, brewhouse, private rooms, and photographic collection as well as walk in the grounds and visit the farm.

Moseley Old Hall is an Elizabethan house with later alterations. Charles II hid here in a priest's hole after the battle of Worcester (1651). The story of his escape is told in an exhibition in the barn.

Wightwick Manor courtesy Tim Marshall geograph org Wightwick Manor is for William Morris fans. The Arts and Crafts interior is full of original William Morris wallpapers and fabrics, pre-Raphaelite paintings, Kempe glass, and de Morgan ware. The garden mimics the style and character of the house.

Biddulph Grange gardens by Barbara Ballard Biddulph Grange gardens are unusual. They were designed in the mid-19th century as a series of connected rooms. James Bateman, who owned the gardens, designed them to set off his plant collection. One is reminiscent of an Egyptian court while another copies the great wall of China. In addition there's a pinetum, a fernery, and a rock garden.

Staffordshire has a ruined castle, Stafford, originally a motte and bailey castle. The stone keep was destroyed during the Civil War. There's a visitor centre, av presentation, medieval herb garden, and shop. Tamworth castle, built in Norman times, is in better condition with 15 rooms to explore.

For families who like theme parks there's Alton Towers set in 500 countryside acres. Fishing fans head for Isaac Walton's cottage. The author of the Compleat Angler left his thatched cottage and 17th century room displays to the public.

Staffordshire Attractions

For opening times and full details of attractions see the Attractions section of our website.

Alton Towers
Tel. 0 8705 20 40 60

Ancient High House
Greengate St, Stafford
Tel. 0 1785 619 131

Biddulph Grange Gardens
Biddulph, Stoke-on-Trent
Tel. 0 1782 517 999

Castle Ring
Cannock Chase, near Cannock Wood
Tel. NA

Chillington Hall
Codsall Wood, Wolverhampton
Tel. 0 1902 850 236
Web: Chillington Hall

Dorothy Clive Garden
Off the A51, between Market Drayton and Stoke-on-Trent
Tel. 0 1630 647 237
Web: Dorothy Clive Garden

Fradley Junction
Airewas, Burton upon Trent
Tel. 0 1827 252 000

Izaak (Isaac) Walton's Cottage
Worston Lane, Shallowford, near Stone
Tel: 0 1785 760 278 (May-Aug), 0 1785 619 619 (Sep-April)

Wall, near Lichfield
Tel. 0 1543 480 768

Lichfield Cathedral
19A the Close, Lichfield
Tel. 0 1543 306 100
Web: Lichfield Cathedral

Monkey Forest
Trentham Estate
Stone Road, Trentham, ST4 8AY
Tel. 0 1782 659 845
Web: Monkey Forest

Moseley Old Hall
Moseley Old Hall Lane, Fordhouses, Wolverhampton
Tel. 0 1902 782 808

National Brewery Centre
Horninglow Street
Burton upon Trent, DE14 1NG
Tel. 0 1283 532 880
Web: National Brewery Centre

National Forest Adventure Farm
Postern House Farm, Tatenhill
Burton on Trent, DE13 9SJ
Tel. 01812 333 315
Web: National Forest Adventure Farm

Shugborough Working Historic Estate and House
Shugborough, Milford, near Stafford
Tel. 0 1889 881 388
Web: Shugborough

Stafford Castle and Visitor Centre
Newport Road, Stafford
Tel. 0 1785 257 698

Staffordshire Enamels
Weston Coyney Road, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent
Tel. 0 1782 599 948

Stoke Museums
1. Potteries Museum and Art Gallery
Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent
2. Gladstone Pottery Museum
Uttoxeter Road, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent
Tel. 0 1782 319 232
3. Etruscan Bone and Flint Mill
junction of the Trent and Mersey and Caldon canals
4. Ford Green Hall
Ford Green road, from the B5057
Tel. 0 1782 232 323 for all Stoke Museums

Stoke Potteries
1. Moorcroft
Sandbach Road Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent
Tel. 0 1782 214 345
Web: Moorcroft
2. Royal Doulton
Royal Doulton Visitor Centre, Nile Street, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent
Tel. 0 1782 292 434
Web: Royal Doulton
3. Spode
Church Street, Stoke
Tel. 0 1782 744 011
Web: Spode
4. Wedgwood
Wedgwood Museum and Visitor Centre, Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent
Tel. 0 1782 204 218
Web: Wedgwood Museum and Visitor Centre

Tamworth Castle
The Holloway, Ladybank, Tamworth
Tel. 0 1827 709 629 (info line)

Trentham Gardens
Stone Road, Trentham, Stoke on Trent
Tel. 0 1782 657 341
Web: Trentham Estate

Tutbury Castle
Tutbury, off the A50
Tel. 0 1283 812 129

Tutbury Georgian Crystal factory
Silk Mill Lane, Tutbury, Burton upon Trent
Tel. 0 1283 814 534

Uttoxeter Heritage Centre
34-36 Carter St, Uttoxeter
Tel. 0 1889 567 176
Open: Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat

Whitmore Hall
Whitmore, Newcastle-under-Lyme
Tel. 0 1782 680 478

Wightwick Manor
Wightwick Bank, Wolverhampton
Tel. 0 1902 761 400

Staffordshire Tourist Information Centres

Burton upon Trent TIC
National Brewery Centre
Horninglow St, Burton upon Trent, DE11 9DG
Tel. 0 1283 508 111

Cannock TIC
The Museum of Cannock Chase
The Valley Heritage Centre
Valley Road, Hednesford, Cannock
Tel. 0 1543 877 666

Kinver TIC
c/o Just Petals, 33 High St, Kinver
Tel/Fax. 0 1384 877 756

Leek TIC
1 Market Place, Leek
Tel. 0 1538 483 741

Lichfield TIC
Donegal House, Bore St, Lichfield
Tel. 0 1543 308 209

Newcastle-under-Lyme TIC
Newcastle Library, Ironmarket, Newcastle-under-Lyme
Tel. 0 1782 297 313

Stafford TIC
Market Street, Stafford
Tel. 0 1785 619 619

Quadrant Rd, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent
Tel. 0 1782 236 000

Tamworth TIC
29 Market St, Tamworth
Tel. 0 1827 709 581

Photos by Barbara Ballard and
Wightwick Manor photo courtesy Tim Marshall at Geograph Britain and Ireland

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