What to see and do

Castle, farm yard, marina, racecourse, forest adventure, stately home, art gallery, monkey forest, shopping centre... Get inspiration for a great day out in Stafford and the surrounding areas - whatever the weather! 

Simply use the attraction finder and browse the list below to plan your visit.

For transport information and a selection of walks around Stafford and the surrounding areas please take a look at the 'useful links' section of the website.

If you are a local attraction and would like to be featured on this website go to the 'Contact Us' page where there are details of Visit Stafford membership - from as little as £30 a year.

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Alleyne's Sports Centre
The indoor facilities include a 25m six-lane swimming pool, a four badminton court sports hall, two glass-backed squash courts, a state-of-the-art coach education suite and a small meeting room. The outside facilities comprise of a full sized synthetic pitch, a range of grass pitches, and tennis courts.All of the sports facilities have individual changing accommodation. There is a diverse programme of activities to suit all ages and tastes that is continually being reviewed and developed.

Open Monday to Friday 7.15am to 9.30pm, Saturday and Sunday 8am to 4.30pm.
Ancient High House
"Four hundred years of history are waiting to be discovered within the walls of England's largest timber framed town house"  

Step inside and embark on a journey from Elizabethan days through the turbulent Civil War era to the more refined Edwardian period. With hands on activities, children's games and quizzes there's something for all the family, as well as an exciting range of events and workshops throughout the year. An interesting programme of displays by regional artists takes place in two gallery spaces and a changing history exhibition gives you the opportunity to view a range of artefacts not generally on public display. 

There is a school and group tour programme and occasional themed tours, talks and workshops to support the history exhibitions.

The ground floor shop offers a wide range of gifts, local crafts, souvenirs, traditional toys, local crafts and local history books. Visit Staffordshire Gifts http://www.staffordshiregifts.org.uk/categories/ancient-high-house.php to buy online.

Open Tuesday to Saturday 10am - 4pm. FREE admission, with the exception of some events and workshops.

Aston Marina
Set in idyllic scenery, Aston Marina is one of the Trent & Mersey canals newest highlights. On the side of the picturesque marina lies a farm shop and bistro open to all. The shop, containing a renowned deli and quality butchery, also stocks premium produce from local farmers and small businesses suitable for everyone. Meanwhile, the bistro, offering quality meals at breakfast, lunch and dinner gives visitors a chance to enjoy themselves either indoors or by the waterside in one of Stone's most recognised restaurants.
Big Local App Stafford
The Big Local App is a really useful, smartphone app bringing together local businesses, local news, events and information, making it a must-have app for members of the local community. 

Visit Stafford's mini app can be found under the Tourist Information button on the home page.

Big Local App for iPhone® and iPod touch® is available to download now for free from the App Store. Visit the iTunes store from your computer, or mobile device to download now! Big Local App for AndroidT is available at market.android.com
Bowman Antiques
Explore over 300 stalls and discover thousands of antiques and collectable items at the Antiques Fairs held at the County Showground throughout the year.

Admission £5 adults, £3 concessions (accompanied under 16 year olds FREE).
British Wildlife Rescue Centre
The Centre is open to the public and boasts an enjoyable and educational display of British birds and animals housed in large aviaries and enclosures with living conditions that are as natural as possible. The centre is suitable for animal lovers of all ages - school and group visits are welcomed.

British Wildlife Rescue Centre is a self-funding charitable organisation; its prime aim is to rescue sick, injured and orphaned wildlife then to rehabilitate and release back to the wild. There are however, because of the nature of their injuries, wildlife that would not survive in the wild. These, together with other specimens that were bred in captivity form the core of the facility. 

The centre also takes many small pets and exotic creatures that were abandoned by previous owners; these are housed or lodged and can be seen at the centre until homes can be found.

Broad Eye Windmill

The 200 year old Broad Eye Windmill is one of Stafford's most distinctive buildings. Built in 1796 using stone reclaimed from the early Shire Hall this magnificent romantic building has seen many changes during it's long history.


Canalside Farm Shop & Cafe
Canalside Farm, Shop and Café is located on the side of the picturesque Trent and Mersey Canal near Stafford. There are some beautiful canal and country side paths on our doorstep, as well as the opportunity to visit Shugborough Hall, a stunning Stately Home, only a 10 minute walk away. Open 7 days a week all year round, why not visit us and pick up a picnic, treat yourself to a delicious full English Breakfast, participate in one of our exciting seasonal events or 'pick your own' strawberries and raspberries during the season!
Chasewater Innovation Centre
An environmentally friendly visitor and conferencing centre situated at a prime location at the entrance to Chasewater Country park and Reservoir. Leisure pursuits within the country park include, walking, cycling, angling, bird watching, sailing, water skiing, crazy golf, boating, pedal go-kart track and a heritage steam railway. The country park is also recognised by Natural England as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its unique and varied ecological habitat.
Come Into Play
Come Into Play is a totally unique play experience with a bespoke purpose built timber structure and three separate play areas for all ages. There's fun for all with a completely padded area for new-borns and under-twos and rope bridges, towers to climb, tunnels to crawl through, slides to race down, a nest swing to sway on and ball cannons to blast for the more adventurous!
Eccleshall
Nestling in the beautiful Sow Valley, the historical town of Eccleshall is well worth a visit, with an assortment of shops, restaurants and public houses, as well as the farmers market every fourth Saturday of the month.
Family Fun Farm Adventure at Lower Drayton Farm
Get the kids out into the great outdoors at Lower Drayton Farm - burn off steam on the adventure play area with its zip wire 'death slide' and assault course, meet lots of friendly animals, take a stroll around the woodland trail and enjoy a fun and educational trailer ride to learn all about farming and its links with nature.
 
Open weekends from April - October plus most school holidays (please check the website or telephone before your visit to check exact dates and times). Admission: £4.50 adults, £2.50 children, grandparents go free every day! (Farm trailer ride & some seasonal activities may be subject to additional charge).
Get Walking Stafford
Get Walking Keep Walking Stafford covers walking routes around local community centres and churches.

These walking routes will provide you with short walks that are suitable for individuals and families.

Visit the website and download the walking routes.
Go Ape

The UK's No.1 Forest Adventure at Cannock...

The classic and original Go Ape experience. Fly down zip-wires, leap off the Tarzan Swing and tackle crossings whilst enjoying some of Britain's most breathtaking scenery.

Get off-road and explore the great outdoors on the latest all-terrain segways. From two legs to two wheels - for the ultimate forest experience on a rugged all-terrain Segway. It's a totally unique way to tackle the trails in the forest.

Everyone has the Go Ape spirit just waiting to be unleashed!

Guildhall Shopping Centre
The Guildhall Shopping Centre is located in the heart of the county town of Stafford, lying 26 miles north of Birmingham between Junctions 13 and 14 of the M6 thus providing excellent links to all parts of the country.

The Centre comprises a total of approximately 157,000 square ft (14,585 sq metres) of gross lettable retail area and incorporates Stafford's Market Hall which has a gross lettable area of approximately 23,000sq ft (2,137 sq metres). Malls and common areas of the shopping centre measure approximately 9,687 sq ft (900 sq metres).

The Centre was officially opened by HRH The Princess Royal on 10th June 1991.

The multi-storey car park is made up of 5 levels providing 255 car parking spaces (including 6 disabled spaces and 8 parent and child spaces) and provides instant access to the shopping malls.

The Guildhall was originally developed and owned by the Standard Life Assurance Company and the architects for the scheme were Fitch Benoy. Standard Life sold the Guildhall Shopping Centre to Tops Estates in March 2000 and it was subsequently sold to Land Securities in December 2004, then to Glanmore Properties in September 2005.  Finally it was sold to Edinburgh House in September 2014.

Edinburgh House purchased and took over the day to day management of the scheme in February 2016.

Ingestre Hall
"Ingestre Hall is a hidden gem"

A magnificent 16th Century Rose Brick Jacobean Mansion House and former home to the Earl of Shrewsbury. Set in 27 acres of Staffordshire countryside with Capability Brown landscaped gardens surrounding the house. Offering wedding and function hire and educational  'arts' programmes on a residential basis.


Ingestre Orangery

Ingestre Orangery was built c1770 and stands in the grounds of Ingestre Hall. In 1960 Ingestre Hall estate was purchased from the Earl of Shrewsbury and used as a residential arts by West Bromwich Council, now known as Sandwell Council. The Orangery has been unused for many years and needs to be restored. The Friends of Ingestre Orangery aim to restore the Orangery in the grounds of Ingestre Hall to its former glory and a sustainable use by the community.

Izaak Walton's Cottage
"This charming 16th Century thatched cottage was once owned by Izaak Walton, the celebrated author of the Compleat Angler, and has witnessed over three hundred years of rural life"

Nestled in beautiful countryside, between Stafford and Eccleshall, its tranquil environment is perfect for a quiet, rewarding afternoon, and will be of interest to anglers and non anglers alike. It offers a marvellous insight into the history of fishing and the literary talent of Stafford's famous son. 

Enjoy the Medieval herb and rose gardens and picnic in the heart of Staffordshire's countryside.

There is an events programme in the summer months and a school and group programme available on request. The ground floor shop has a range of gifts, souvenirs and local arts and crafts.

Please call before visiting to check seasonal opening hours. FREE admission with the exception of some events.
Littywood Manor Private Meeting Rooms
Two Private meeting rooms in a listed Manor House located in rural Staffordshire just 4 miles from Stafford town centre with easy access to M6 road and rail links.
Mill Meece Pumping Station
"Take a step back in time and experience the sight, sound and smell of two powerful steam engines" 

Mill Meece Pumping Station has supplied water to the communities of Stoke and Newcastle since 1914. The Gentle Giants were replaced by electric pumps in 1979, but these horizontal steam engines have been preserved for your enjoyment. Also come along and enjoy one of many rally events held in the grounds of the station. 

Open for static viewing most Sundays 1pm to 5pm.
In Steam event days 11am to 5pm. Adults £4.50, children/senior citizens £3.50, children under 5 years old FREE.

Refreshments in steam, picnic area. Disabled access and toilets. Sorry no dogs allowed in buildings.
Moddershall Oaks Country Spa Retreat
Moddershall Oaks is set in 72 acres of private woodland and parkland providing a beautifully tranquil setting, while natural light and breath-taking views provide a relaxing feel from the inside. Wander along our woodland trail in 'school house wood', a quiet stroll and you might spot our resident wildlife.Feed the fish in our lake to the front of the property (try to spot our giant catfish!). For the more active, play tennis at the woods edge or cycle into the village of Moddershall for a scenic look at the local area.


National Memorial Arboretum
"Where our nation remembers"

The National Memorial Arboretum is the UK's year-round centre of Remembrance; a spiritually uplifting place which honours the fallen, recognises service and sacrifice, and fosters pride in our country.

Sited in the heart of the Nation, with 50,000 maturing trees and over 280 memorials, it is a beautiful and lasting tribute to those who serve their country, die in conflict or have a special reason for being remembered.


Royal Air Force Museum Cosford
The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford houses one of the largest aviation collections in the UK.  70 historic aircraft are displayed in three wartime hangars and within the National Cold War Exhibition. 

A major feature of this unique exhibition is Britain's three post-war V-Bombers the Vulcan, Victor and Valiant and a number of these aircraft are suspended in flying attitudes.

The Museum is home to the TSR2 and the world's oldest Spitfire, plus a number of smaller unique exhibitions such as the Lucky Mascots exhibition and the RAF Boy Entrants permanent exhibition and the interactive area of Fun 'n' Flight.

The Visitor Centre is home to the new Refuel Restaurant serving hot and cold meals and snacks.  The Checkpoint Charlie Café serving light snacks and drinks and the well stocked Museum Shop are both located within The National Cold War Exhibition.

Throughout the year there is a wide range of exciting events taking place at the Museum.  For further information on forthcoming events in 2012, please contact the Museum on 01902 376200 or visit their website.

The museum is open daily from 10am - 6pm (last admission 5pm). Entry to the museum is FREE.

Sandon Hall
"Staffordshire's Premier Country House Venue"

Sandon Hall, ancestral home of the Earls of Harrowby, sits astride high ground overlooking the Trent valley amidst 400 acres of rolling parkland. Completed in 1854, the imposing Hall, with its 50-acre formal gardens, is a grand, yet tranquil, setting. It is the ideal location for an array of functions, from weddings and parties to conferences and outdoor events. With all events hired on an exclusive basis and with high-quality service at all times, any event at Sandon Hall will live long in the memory.
Shire Hall Gallery

"An exciting and innovative contemporary visual art gallery"

It hosts a diverse programme of lively and family friendly temporary art and craft exhibitions throughout the year and has a registered craft shop stocking quality one-off work by British designer-makers. 

The gallery has a regular programme of activities and events ranging from art for the under fives through to master classes with professional artists. Admission to the Gallery is FREE.

Open Monday, Wednesday to Saturday from 9.30am - 5pm, Tuesday from 10am - 5pm and Sunday 1pm - 4pm.

Shugborough Estate
"Journey through the historic estate of Shugborough and experience the nation's best 'upstairs downstairs' experience" 

Set in 900 acres of stunning parkland and riverside gardens with elegant mansion House, working Victorian Servants' Quarters, Georgian farm, dairy & mill and restored walled garden, which are brought to life by costumed living history characters who share their lives and powerful stories from the past with visitors. Explore Lord Lichfield's private rooms and hear the stories of one of the nation's grandest families, with NEW Shugborough Revisited.
St Mary The Virgin Church
The present church was built by Walter Chetwynd to a design attributed to Sir Christopher Wren. This is backed up by the existence of a drawing by Sir Christopher Wren labelled Mr Chetwynd's Tower, now in a collection of Wren drawings in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Walter Chetwynd was a friend of Sir Christopher Wren and both were members of the Royal Society.
St. Chad's Church
"In the heart of the County Town St Chad's is a real gem."  

It dates from the 12th Century and is full of atmosphere and mysterious carvings - beaked heads, green men and an inscription that may reveal its founder.  

Sympathetically restored by the Victorians, the architect Gilbert Scott, was inspired to design its wonderful west end and Hardmans of Birmingham created the window in the side chapel.  An example of their work from the twenty first century depicting St Chad is also over the west door. 

Knowledgeable stewards will guide you around if you wish.
Stafford Castle & Visitor Centre
Uncover the secrets of the site through Norman times, the medieval period, the English Civil War, right up to the present day. Explore over 26 acres which includes the Keep (open during visitor centre opening hours), inner bailey, outer bailey, woodland, herb garden and visitor centre. 

There is an exciting programme of events throughout the year, ranging from historical occasions to family fun days. 
FREE entry with the exception of some events.
Stafford Cheese and Ale Festival
The Stafford Cheese & Ale Festival will take place in the beautiful Market Square, in the heart of the County Town, on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th June 2017.
 
The festival has had a phenomenal four years, surpassing everyone's expectations, last year just over 45,000 people visited the town over the 2 days and local businesses reported excellent increases in trade.
 
Due to the festivals huge success, for the fourth year we are once again running the event over 2 days.
 
This event is held in the heart of the town centre in large marquees, and as well as food and drink exhibitors, we have a cookery theatre, alfresco bar and entertainment.

Stafford Gatehouse Theatre
Stafford Gatehouse Theatre is an accessible, thriving venue, which offers a wide range of modern facilities in the heart of Stafford.  It houses the town's Visitor Information Centre and a coffee shop offering freshly baked cakes. 

Throughout its season the theatre welcomes a variety of touring professional shows, amateur productions and some of the biggest names on the British comedy circuit. It is also home to Stafford's only official comedy club which is hosted in its MET Studio. Stafford Gatehouse Theatre produces a professional pantomime each Christmas and one of Europe's largest open air Shakespeare festivals.

Stafford Leisure Centre
Stafford Leisure Centre boasts an impressive eight lane 25-metre swimming pool, a teaching pool with state of the art moveable floor, an Easyline gym circuit for gentle workouts housed in its own private studio, a multi-purpose fitness studio, Bodytonic beauty suite and massage, squash courts, a four-court sports hall, plus a training suite available for a range of courses and room hire.

Stafford Riverway Link (Community Interest Company)
Objective: The restoration of the historic river (Sow and Penk) and canal waterway (originally opened in 1816 and navigable until the 1920's) linking the county town of Stafford to the national waterway network at Baswich (Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal)  for the benefit of the community, boaters and tourism, bringing boats back into the middle of  town. 



Stafford's History & Haunts Tours
Take a guided tour around Stafford town centre to discover some of the historic and haunting facts. 

Two tours available, Stafford's History or Haunts. Group bookings, £3.70 per person for one tour or £5.40 per person for a combined tour. 
Staffordshire County Showground
The Showground is a multi-purpose venue hosting a variety of international and national events all year round as well as balls, banquets, conferences and product launches. With a wide variety of exhibition halls ranging in size from 7800 square metres to 1000 square metres as well as conference suites that can accommodate up to 750 delegates or 500 diners, the Showground has the capacity to host events large and small.

The exhibition halls and conference suites are complimented by a range of bars and restaurants, ample free parking and a wide variety of outdoor facilities including a 600 seat grandstand, camping and caravan facilities as well as a bandstand.

Situated in 70 acres of the very best Staffordshire countryside and close to the motorway network as well as the West Coast main railway line the Showground is in a prime location.

Full access and facilities for disabled visitors.
Staffordshire Wildlife Trust - The Wolseley Centre
The Wolseley Centre is the headquarters of Staffordshire Wildlife Trust - the county's leading nature conservation charity. Set in 26 acres of landscaped gardens, the grounds were once the ancestral home of the Wolseley family, now managed with wildlife in mind, yet still catering for people of all ages and mobility. Why not try a self guided circular nature walk alongside the Stafford Brook and River Trent, explore our woodland and wetland habitats or spend a while relaxing in our wildlife and sensory gardens? Children's interactive trails, visitor displays, gift shop and refreshments, there is everything for a great day out!
Stone Food & Drink Festival

Taking place the first weekend of October every year, Staffordshire's biggest gastronomic gathering offers something for foodies of all ages.

From midday Friday right through to Sunday evening there will be plenty to keep the whole family entertained on the main Westbridge Park site, the festival Farmers' Market graces the High Street on Friday and Saturday and the town's pubs, restaurants and hotels also get involved with special festival offers and events that range from cook-offs to themed meals.


The Amerton Railway
The 1897 Bagnall steam locomotive "Isabel" is our jewel in the crown - remembered by many from her time displayed on a plinth outside Stafford station. "Isabel" is in steam to pull passenger trains on our one mile railway most Sundays and Bank Holidays from March to October, and for our Santa Specials in December. 

We also run one of our other diesel or steam engines on Saturdays and during school holidays. For our timetable and fares please visit our website.
The Barbanell Conference Centre
Owned by the Spiritualists' National Union, a religious charity, the Centre is easily accessible by road or rail being 20 minutes walk from the main railway station and located on the A34. The Centre is an excellent venue to hold those important meetings, team building exercises or a private celebration. The Centre is fully accessible for people with disabilities.
The Bear Grill
Where once the traditional burger was seen purely as a fast food option, gourmet bear grill burgers are knocking tradition on the head. The Bear Grill menus offer an extensive range of freshly prepared burgers to suit all tastes and appetites.

Our doors are open Monday to Saturday from 11am to 11pm.
Food Service Monday to Thursday from 11am to 3pm and 5pm to 9pm, Friday and Saturday 11am to 9.30pm.
the gallery @ Ridware Arts
"The working studio gallery of Deborah Walker RI, which offers a unique insight into not only finished artwork but also how it is made" 

'the gallery' hosts a continually changing selection of paintings by Deb, alongside paintings, original prints, ceramics, sculpture, photography, jewellery and glass by invited artists and makers. In a world of mass production the gallery has a passion for the individual and unique, with a direct link to the artist or maker. 

Whether an art lover or artist, a visit gives a stimulating experience in one of Staffordshire's most beautiful rural areas.

'the gallery' is part of Ridware Arts which offers a continuous programme of recreational classes and workshops in a variety of media in a friendly and relaxed setting. It is also home to Hunter Frames, where Ian Hunter offers a bespoke picture framing service, specialising in works on paper.  

Open Thursday to Saturday from 10am - 4pm throughout the year. At other times please telephone or email, because if we're in, we're open!

The Stafford Jazz Society
Weekly live jazz concerts 9 months of the year featuring professional UK and International touring bands. Good-time jazz at its happy-sounding, foot-tapping best. Styles range from Traditional, New Orleans, Dixieland, Swing, Mainstream, Big Band to Jazz Violin. 
The T Room
Cosy family run tea room located a short stroll from Milford Common, opposite the Cricket Club. We are based inside Highfield Equestrian. Sandwiches, drinks, snacks and delicious cakes available to eat in or we can make it to go. Open daily from 10am until 3.45pm
The Trentham Estate
"Something for everyone"

Enjoy a great day out at Trentham. Visit the award-winning Trentham Gardens, for shopping and eating out, peace and quiet, fun and action! Indulge yourself at Trentham Shopping Village with shops, cafés, restaurants and the vast Trentham Garden Centre, it's perfect for shopping. Walk with 140 barbary macaques at the Monkey Forest or take a high rope adventure at Aerial Extreme. Stay over at the Premier Inn hotel. Bring your friends and family to this central location - near Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.
Trentham Monkey Forest

Take a walk on the wild side - a truly unique adventure!

The only place in the UK where you can actually walk amongst 140 Barbary macaques roaming free in 60 acres of beautiful English forest. You will be mesmerised as you watch the monkeys playing in the trees and on the ground and don't be surprised if they stroll on the path straight in front of you - there are no bars or barriers here and visitors become totally engrossed in the monkeys lives. 

We usually have between 6-10 tiny new arrivals ear year and we're sure you'll have great fun finding them being carried and groomed by their mothers or other members of the group.  The fantastic setting allows the macaques to display natural behaviours as they would in the wild. Our guides are always at hand to explain their antics as they occur before your very eyes and ensure you catch our hourly feeding talks taking place in the forest.

Westbridge Park Fitness Centre
A modern fitness gym and studio facility in Stone offering great value 'Momentum' gym membership and a wide range of fitness classes, from as little as £29 per month. Westbridge membership also allows access to Stafford Leisure Centre's facilities.
Wolseley Wine Loft
Wolseley Wine Loft offers a delectable selection of over 100 wines; all hand-picked for their exceptional quality and value.

Alongside a diverse range of red, white, rose and sparking wines you'll find sherries, ports, selected spirits and beers from local Staffordshire breweries. Snacks, chocolates and some fantastic cards and gifts are also available. Meanwhile, if you are looking to host a wedding, event or party why not ask about our bar service - we offer options to suit a range of requirements.
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