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Stafford

discover the top things to see and do in Stafford

If you’re looking for a relaxing day out without compromising on things to do, then look no further. Stafford is the pretty county town in the heart of the Staffordshire countryside, midway between Stoke-on-Trent and Birmingham. If history’s your thing, check out the famous Stafford Castle with a 900 year history, or the historic architecture of the Ancient High House. Other top things to do include Trentham Monkey Forest, the picturesque Aston Marina, or simply wandering through the quaint streets of this idyllic town.

Best things to do this week in Stafford

TICKETED

1 Sleeping Beauty

Summer pantomime? Yes, it's a thing, and all the necessary ingredients for a successful show have been put together by Creative Stage Production, who have been busy rehearsing since May. Ian Hill plays Dame Dolly as the wicked Maleficent casts a spell on the beautiful Princess Aurora. Boo... hiss...

When: Aug 23-26, 7pm, mats Aug 24-26, 2pm
Where: Gatehouse Theatre, Eastgate Street, Stafford, Staffordshire. ST16 2LT
Contact: +44 (0)1785 254653
More Details: www.facebook.com/CreativeStageProductions

A common garden frog at the UK's first hotel for frogs in Redhall walled garden in Edinburgh, as a National CSV Action Earth campaign kicks off - which sees 900 grants given to make community environment improvements. FREE EVENT

2 Pond Dipping Session

You are never too old to pond dip! Staffordshire Wildlife provides the nets, trays, ID guides and a grown-up to help identify creatures scooped out of the ponds at the Centre. All you need to add is old clothes that might get a bit wet, and the kids, for a carefree and memorable family day out.

When: Aug 25, 1pm-2pm & 2pm-3pm
Where: Staffordshire Wildlife Trust The Wolseley Centre, Wolseley Bridge, Stafford, Staffordshire. ST17 0WT
Contact: +44 (0)1889 880100
More Details: www.staffs-wildlife.org.uk/events/2017/05/30/wildfamilies-drop-pond-dipping-session?instance=12

TICKETED

3 Amerton Railway

Staffordshire Narrow Gauge Railway Society operates vintage steam and diesel locomotives on a circular line through beautiful countryside next to Amerton Farm and Craft Centre. Enthusiasts run a scheduled timetable on selected dates throughout the year, with the Booking Office doubling as a souvenir shop and Shed tours also sometimes available.

When: From Feb 18, diesel service May 6, 13, 20, 30 & 31, Jun 1-3, 10, 17, Jul 1, 8, 15, 22, 26-29, 31, Aug 1-5, 7-12, 14-19, 21-25, 29-31, Sep 1 & 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, Oct 7, 14, 21, 23-28, 11.30am-4pm, steam trains Apr 29 & 30, May 1, 7, 14, 21, 27-29, Jun 4, 11, 18, Jul 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, Aug 6, 13, 20, 26-28, Sep 3, 10, 17, 24, Oct 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 11.30am-4pm, slightly longer operation Bank Hols and weekends, ends Oct 29
Where: Amerton Farm & Craft Centre, Amerton, Stafford, Staffordshire. ST18 0LA
Contact: +44 (0)1889 270294
More Details: www.amertonrailway.co.uk

FREE EVENT

4 The Splendour Of Ancient Egypt

Rare artefacts combined with new research help to unravel some secrets of a bygone civilisation in this informative exhibition, which opens just in time to stimulate bored minds during the school holidays. Statuary, exquisite jewellery and religious amulets are shown alongside domestic artefacts, bringing the past into vivid focus.

When: From Jun 27, Tue-Sat 10am-4pm, ends Sep 9
Where: The Ancient High House, Greengate Street, Stafford, Staffordshire. ST16 2HS
Contact: +44 (0)1785 619130
More Details: www.staffordmuseums.co.uk/exhibitions

BOSCOBEL HOUSE Priest hole with hatch open TICKETED

5 English Heritage: Boscobel House And The Royal Oak

The picturesque, timber-framed house is most notable as the hiding place (pictured right) of Charles II in 1651 as he attempted to avoid capture by Cromwell following the Battle of Worcester. Enjoy the rich history of the house, which has many fascinating secrets as well as a 17th-century knot garden and 19th-century farm machinery.

When: Apr 1-Oct 31, Wed-Sun 10am-5pm, Nov 1-Mar 2018, Sat & Sun 10am-4pm, closed Dec 24-26, Jan 1, last adm 1 hour before closing, ends Mar 29 2018
Where: English Heritage: Boscobel House And The Royal Oak, Boscobel Lane, Bishops Wood, Stafford. ST19 9AR
Contact: +44 (0)1902 850244
More Details: www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/boscobel-house-and-the-royal-oak

FREE EVENT

6 Doxey Marshes

This wetland oasis is near the centre of Stafford yet manages to be one of the country's best bird-watching sites. Over 200 species have been recorded and over 80 breeding specimens. There are two hides, a pond-dipping platform and a wax-rubbing trail. Otters, harvest mice and water shrews have also been spotted.

When: Mon-Sun dawn-dusk
Where: Doxey Marshes, Stafford. ST16 1JR
More Details: www.staffs-wildlife.org.uk/reserves/doxey-marshes

The east front of the house on the Shugborough Estate, Staffordshire. TICKETED

7 National Trust: Shugborough Estate

The ancestral home of the Earls of Lichfield has been reopened under the auspices of the National Trust. Explore the ground-floor rooms of the house, the servants' quarters, the walled garden, a Victorian kitchen, Park Farm and a series of estate walks across 900 acres of Grade I listed parkland.

When: Mon-Sun 11am-4pm, house, 10am-5pm, grounds, 10am-4.30pm, Park Farm Cafe, ongoing
Where: National Trust: Shugborough Estate, Milford, Stafford, Staffordshire. ST17 0XB
Contact: +44 (0)1889 881388
More Details: www.shugborough.org.uk

TICKETED

8 Animal Zone

The Animal Zone, at South Staffordshire College's Rodbaston Campus, is home to around 750 animals from meerkats to monkeys, rabbits to alpacas. It's first and foremost an educational facility where students prepare for careers in animal care, but it's open to the public and offers a variety of experiences from Animal Encounters to craft sessions.

When: Sat & Sun 10am-4pm, plus every day during term breaks, ongoing
Where: South Staffordshire College, Rodbaston, Penkridge, Stafford. ST19 5PH
More Details: www.southstaffs.ac.uk/animal-zone

TICKETED

9 Stafford Castle

The stunning Grade II listed building is an early example of a 14th century keep, later redesigned in a Gothic Revival style. Built by William the Conqueror, the castle's 900 years of history never fail to impress. You can follow the castle trail, explore the ruins and take in the splendour of views from the hill top, with plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy.

When: Jan-Mar, Nov & Dec, Sat & Sun 11am-4pm, Apr-Oct, Wed-Sun, Bank Hol Mons 11am-4pm
Where: Stafford Castle, Newport Road, Stafford, Staffordshire. ST16 1DJ
Contact: +44 (0)1785 257698
More Details: www.staffordmuseums.co.uk/museums/stafford-castle

Ben, a Bengal Eagle Owl, at the start of an open weekend at his home Secret World Wildlife Rescue in East Huntspill near Highbridge, Somerset. TICKETED

10 The Owl Experience And Bird Of Prey Rescue Sanctuary

Located at Red Lion Farm, the rescue centre is a sanctuary for birds of all sizes and allows visitors to learn about its efforts and meet some of the feathered residents. These include Misty and Texa the European Eagle Owls (the largest species of owl on the planet), and Spud the Little Owl.

When: Tue-Sat 10.30am-4pm, Sun 11am-4pm, ongoing
Where: Red Lion Farm, Church Eaton Road, Haughton, Stafford, Staffordshire. ST18 9JG
Contact: +44 (0)1785 780587
More Details: www.facebook.com/TheOwlExperience

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If you’re looking for a relaxing day out without compromising on things to do, then look no further. Stafford is the pretty county town in the heart of the Staffordshire countryside, midway between Stoke-on-Trent and Birmingham. If history’s your thing, check out the famous Stafford Castle with a 900 year history, or the historic architecture of the Ancient High House. Other top things to do include Trentham Monkey Forest, the picturesque Aston Marina, or simply wandering through the quaint streets of this idyllic town.