Staffordshire

Staffordshire is a mixture of high hills and moorlands – where you can find Britain’s highest village and industrial lowlands where you can explore the history of the pottery industry – known as the world’s ceramic capital.

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Staffordshire Overview

Welcome to Staffordshire

Staffordshire is a rural landlocked county in the west Midlands bordered by Cheshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Shropshire and Warwickshire and West Midlands.

Staffordshire has a population of around 1,200,000 people. The county town is Stafford with other populations at Stoke-on-Trent, Tamworth, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Burton-upon-Trent and the smaller cathedral city of Lichfield.

The landscape of Staffordshire includes parts of the National Forest and Peak District National Park as well as the area of outstanding natural beauty that is the Cannock Hills. Staffordshire lays claim to the highest village in Britain – Flash in the Staffordshire Moorlands stands at 423m above sea level.


History

Staffordshire has a long history of coal mining and the county has an extensive network of canals to support industry in the region. Staffordshire’s history will be forever entwined with the pottery industry and many of the manufacturers operate tourist attractions.

Country boundaries have changed many times over the years with various towns and regions being given over to neighbouring counties – to the point that some of the lines are very blurred! Only the football teams of Stoke City – who can forget the Stanley Matthews FA Cup Final, Port Vale and Burton Albion remain in the county as West Bromwich, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Walsall have ended up in the surrounding counties.


Places to Visit in Staffordshire

Staffordshire and the six towns that are known as the Potteries were the Ceramic Capital of the World have a great choice of days out for all the family. World of Wedgwood tells the story of pottery where you can undertake a factory tour, visit the museum that celebrates 250 years of pottery – the collection is a UNESCO protected treasure and then get involved at the master craft studio and decorating studio. Elsewhere you can discover more about the region’s pottery industry at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Middleport Pottery and the Emma Bridgwater Factory where you can decorate your own pottery and take a factory tour. The Moorcroft Heritage centre allows you to enter one of the old beehive brick kilns.

Those interested in military history can visit the RAF Museum at Cosford and the National Memorial Arboretum an impressive and poignant location home to the Armed Forces Memorial with acres of woodland to explore. A trip to Stafford Castle is worthwhile to discover over 900 years of history at one of the best Norman castles in the country. Thrill seekers are spoilt for choice – head to Alton Towers and take on the roller coasters, enjoy the entertainment and themed attractions or visit Drayton Manor to take in their range of rides and excitement. Other destinations include Foxfield Steam Railway and the National Brewery Centre at Burton upon Trent, whilst a visit to Trentham Estate gives visitors the opportunity to combine a number of attractions including gardens, shopping village and the Monkey Forest.

A visit to Lichfield will provide the opportunity to tour Lichfield Cathedral, see the nearby Erasmus House – where the grandfather of Charles Darwin lived or visit the Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum.

Staffordshire has a number of stately homes open to the public to visit. Shugborough Hall is a country house where you can also access a number of estate buildings including a water mill and dairy – and participate in tasting some of the samples! The magnificent Weston Park stands in over 1,000 acres of grounds designed by Capability Brown, whilst inside there is a stunning art collection in the state rooms. Newcastle-under-Lyme is home to Whitmore Hall that dates back to the 17th century. Biddulph Grange and its gardens, Moseley Old Hall, and the stunning Sandon Hall are all in the region.

Staffordshire’s famous names include Josiah Wedgwood of Wedgwood pottery, Samuel Johnson, TV presenter Anthea Turner, darts legend Phil Taylor and pop superstar Robbie Williams.
Staffordshire has a large range of annual events including county celebration, Staffordshire Day, Lichfield Festival, Stone Food & Drink Festival, Newcastle-under-Lyme’s Homecoming Festival, the Midlands Grand National, Weston’s V Festival and Abbots Bromley Horn Dance.

Staffordshire’s famous food includes Staffordshire Cheese – which goes well with Branston Pickle, also from the county, Lobby, a boiled pudding and Staffordshire Yeomanry Pudding, thought to have been developed at the time of the Boer War.


Getting There

Staffordshire is readily accessible by road – the M6, including the tool road, bisects the county which is also linked to the M42.

By rail, there is a direct service from London Euston and the region is well served by the West Coast Mainline and regular connections to Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham.



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