Before pottery helped transform this traditional region into its present-day appearance, a monarch hid in a tree here during Britain’s short republic period.
Canals and bottle kilns dot the intriguing and eclectic landscape of Staffordshire County. Its countryside features rolling forests, while pottery plants reveal something about the region’s industrial development.
The county’s largest city is Stoke-on-Trent, known for its pottery factories, thriving soccer team and the singer Robbie Williams. Visit Stoke Minster in the city’s center, before exploring six suburban towns that merged to form the city. For a flavor of Stoke-on-Trent, watch a game at the bet365 Stadium, previously known as Britannia Stadium, and taste Staffordshire oatcakes.
Learn of Stoke-on-Trent’s penchant for pottery at the Gladstone Pottery Museum in Longton, stopping off at nearby attractions of Longton Park and the Longton Exchange. Arrive in southern Stoke-on-Trent’s Trentham Gardens to see the remnants of Trentham Hall looming over the Italian Gardens and a lake.
Move southeast to Lichfield for the county’s only cathedral. The majestic Lichfield Cathedral is renowned for its Herkenrode stained glass and a medieval fresco. Visit the Erasmus Darwin House to find out about Charles Darwin’s poet and abolitionist grandfather. Mix old and new with visits to the Wall Roman Site alongside the Midland Karting and Delta Force Paintball Lichfield.
Between the two cities is the county town of Stafford. Hilltop remains of the Stafford Castle showcase Norman ingenuity, while the Stafford Gatehouse Theatre recalls the Victorians. Browse fresh produce, jewelry and flowers in the town center’s Stafford Indoor Market. Nearby Boscobel House is 17th-century countryside estate where Charles II famously took refuge in a tree to escape parliamentary troops.
Include a visit to Alton Towers, Britain’s biggest theme park. Test your nerves on Oblivion and Nemesis. Stay overnight at the water park hotel.
Staffordshire County lies in England’s West Midlands region, sandwiched by the provinces of Cheshire, Leicestershire and Shropshire, among others. Arrive at the airports of Manchester or Birmingham.