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MONDAY, 12TH SEPTEMBER 2011
Staffordshire Tourist Attractions

Steeped in the history of a bygone industrial era, the North Midlands 'Shire' is one of England's finest counties of contrast.  The industrial power-house cities that have made their mark on British economic history, have not shrunken from the decline of industries such as coal - Stoke now considered one of the most contemporary and culturally influential cities in the U.K. Staffordshire is best known for it's affiliation with pottery and fine china production - revered names such as Spode, are still manufactured today.

Conversely, Staffordshire's remarkably beautiful rural personality yields a plethora of intriguing attractions, both old and new. Theme parks such as Alton Towers and Drayton Manor offer families excitement, freedom and adventure within the grounds of stunning Gothic manor ruins, while National Trust owned Toothill Wood sets the scene for walking and hiking trails, mountain biking, and family outings. Medieval ruins of distinction litter Staffordshire's rural quarters, allowing for exploration, discovery and absorption, of some truly captivating history.

Pints of Beer - flckr - Simon CocksThe National Brewery Centre, Burton-On-Trent
The dwindling number of English breweries is a stark contrast to a hundred years ago, when it was common to find 5-10 within just one town. The National Brewery Centre, situated within one of Staffordshire's largest beer producing towns invites visitors to watch, learn and get involved with beer production, utilising the same traditional methods of the 19th and 20th Centuries. Dressed in period costume, the Brewery Centre's staff add to the authenticity of the museum experience - many going about the daily grind that would have been commonplace upon Burton's streets less than a Century ago. Highlights include the holographic 'Pepper's Ghost' stage show, ale tasting, and shire horse stables. www.nationalbrewerycentre.co.uk

 

Lichfield Cathedral - flckr - chelmsfordblueLichfield Cathedral, Lichfield
Thought to be one of the oldest places of Christian worship in England, Lichfield Cathedral stands as the 'Mother Church' of the region's Diocese, with  a 1,300 year old presence over the town. Lichfield is the burial place of St. Chad, the first bishop of the Diocese, and creator of the world-renowned St. Chad Gospels, now exhibited permanently within the Cathedral. The 'Ladies of the Vale' (three towers) are exemplary of medieval architectural excellence, yet it is Lichfield's seven Herkendroke Glass windows that many make the pilgrimage to see. Cascading light into the splendid Lady Chapel, the seven windows are regarded the finest examples of unrestored   16th Century Flemish glass-work in the world. www.lichfield-cathedral.org

 

Peacock - flckr - BLcarnutBlackbrook Zoological Park, Winkhill
Situated within the Eastern moorlands of Staffordshire; Blackbrook Zoological Park is a day out with a difference. Each species has a corner to call home, and while the snakes and spiders may not be the most alluring of exhibits; Penguin World, Lemur Lodge and Pelican Cove all make for fantastic starting points to an animal-tastic experience. Blackbrook's rare Warty Pig Dewey, is a character you cannot fail to fall in love with! www.blackbrookzoo.co.uk

 

 

 

Biddulph Grange in Bloom - flckr - Sue Hasker - Away Biddulph Grange Gardens, Biddulph
A small slice of paradise within the heart of Stoke-on-Trent, Biddulph Grange Gardens are representative of the many Victorian gems scattered throughout the county. Created by artistic and scientific visionary James Bateman, the Grange gardens of today have altered only marginally since their inception, with the inclusion of a herbaceous kitchen garden'. Take a 'tour of the world' through interconnecting compartment gardens of spectacular beauty, that include the Great Wall of China, Egyptian Pyramids and full-size ornate Asian Temple. England's oldest larch can be found within the grounds of Biddulph Grange house, or while the Grange too is open daily to visitors. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-biddulphgrangegarden

 

 

POSTED BY: LISA
AT 18:24

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