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Top 15 Things to do in Staffordshire (other than Alton Towers)

When you think of Staffordshire, what comes to mind? We’re going to hazard a guess that Alton Towers popped into your head.

While this theme park is absolutely worth a visit, it’s not the only hotspot in the county. There are endless other days out in Staffordshire that locals and tourists should know about, too! From wandering around tranquil estates to meeting exotic animals up close, Staffordshire is home to a whole host of unique activities.

Planning a trip or simply filling in some empty weekends? We’re on hand to help. Here are the top 15 things to do in Staffordshire you need to know. Scroll now to dive in.

Things to do in Staffordshire

  • Ilam Park
  • Peak Wildlife Park
  • Drayton Manor Theme Park
  • Tamworth Castle
  • Trentham Estate
  • SnowDome
  • Tittesworth Reservoir
  • The Roaches
  • Churnet Valley Railway
  • Shugborough Estate
  • Staffordshire Regiment Museum
  • Stafford Castle
  • Waterworld Water Park
  • Gladstone Pottery Museum
  • Rudyard Lake

Things to do in Staffordshire

1. Ilam Park

If you consider yourself a nature lover or a keen walker, Ilam Park should be on your radar. This is one of the best outdoor places to visit in Staffordshire, especially if you’re in the mood for some diverse greenery.

You’ll find open space, panoramic views, and gentle riverside walks within this parkland. One notable trail all ramblers will enjoy is the route from Ilam Park to the Dovedale stepping stones. This journey takes approximately an hour and is considered “moderately challenging.” But you’ll be able to see sweeping views and unique wildlife on the journey, which makes it worth it in our books.

Just remember to bring sturdy shoes!

Things to do in Staffordshire

2. Peak Wildlife Park

Did you know you can see exotic animals in Staffordshire? Uh-huh, this country is home to the impressive Peak Wildlife Park, a wildlife attraction in the Staffordshire Moorlands’ centre.

Here you can meet a wide range of animals, including penguins, lemurs, and wallabies. Guests can also attend keeper talks and feeding sessions. You can also experience walkthrough exhibits, perfect for a day out with young children.

Peak Wildlife Park is committed to raising awareness for conservation, sustainability, and preserving biodiversity. So, not only will your day out be filled with cute animals, but you’ll be learning how to protect them. It’s never too early to learn about conservation!

3. Drayton Manor Theme Park

Move over Alton Towers. Drayton Manor is the theme park you should attend on your Staffordshire trip.

As the UK’s fourth largest theme park, Drayton Manor is home to over 50 rides, a 15-acre zoo, and even a 4-star hotel. Plus, it’s home to Europe’s first and only Thomas Land. Everything you need for a memorable holiday in one spot.

The park has rides for all ages. You can taste big thrills with “Shockwave” and “Stormforce 10,” or you can enjoy family-friendly rides designed for young guests. Don’t forget to visit the new “Vikings” area, a themed area of the park dedicated to the mystery and action of the Viking gods. A young thrill-seeker’s dream.

There’s plenty of Cheap Hotels near Drayon Manor (if you want to have a budget Theme Park break) we list them all here.

4. Tamworth Castle

History buffs, listen up! Tamworth Castle is a historical site you need to visit while in Staffordshire. Only just outside Birmingham, this castle transports you back in time without taking you far from the metropolitan hub.

The castle offers 15 furnished rooms, exciting information displays, and the chance to see undisrupted 360 views from the building’s tower. Set aside your fear of heights for this one because the view is worth climbing!

Over the years, Tamworth Castle has been home to the Normans, Tudors, Victorians, and Saxons. And today, you can make your mark on history with an educational visit.

5. Trentham Estate

Are you looking for some serenity? Forget the theme parks. Trentham Estate has the peace and quiet you’re seeking.

Trentham Estate is a magnificent 725-acre estate with quaint shops, sprawling gardens, and a monkey forest. That’s right — a monkey forest! Here you can meet the local Barbary monkeys in person and watch them swing through the trees from the pathway. There’s also a monkey-themed play area for any cheeky monkeys visiting the park.

Other attractions include the manicured Italian Gardens, adventure and play areas, wildlife trails, treetop adventures, and a garden centre. Fun-filled stops for all ages and abilities. Unsurprisingly, Trentham Estate is an award-winning site, so make sure you have this day out on your list.

6. SnowDome

Whether you’re a skiing novice or a certified snow bunny, book a visit to Staffordshire’s SnowDome. This leisure centre offers ice and snow experiences, even when it’s warm and sunny outside.

Popular activities at the SnowDome include:

  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Ice skating
  • Climbing walls
  • Sledging
  • Snow-filled fun in the Snow Park!
  • Swimming

Don’t worry if you’re new to winter spots. The SnowDome offers lessons for beginners and refresher courses for anyone with experience. You can also purchase lift passes to skip the queues and get on with the skiing.

This is a must-visit if you want to chill out while breaking a sweat. Booking ahead on the weekends or during school holidays is recommended, as it can get pretty busy.

7. Tittesworth Reservoir

If you have the pleasure of visiting Staffordshire during the summer, make the most of the rays and head to the Tittesworth Reservoir.

This reservoir has supplied nearby settlements with clean water since the 1850s, making it a community staple. However, it’s not just a functional asset. The area is stunning and surrounded by lush green views. Locals and visitors alike enjoy the surrounding walking trails, picnics, and getting active in the nearby scenery

There’s also a Visitor Centre and a Waterview Restaurant where you can take in the views while eating some local grub. Sometimes there are even events on here, so check their website ahead of your visit for the latest low-down.

Plus, there’s no entry fee! You don’t need to splurge to enjoy this county. Free days out in Staffordshire are plentiful.

8. The Roaches

Beautiful scenery is a must on any hike. So, if you plan to traverse Staffordshire by foot, add The Roaches to your schedule. This is a Peak District favourite located above the Tittesworth Reservoir, so look out for this sight on your travels.

The Roaches is home to rugged rocky views, steep ridges, and countryside landscapes. Hikers and climbers from worldwide visit to access these challenging trails and the 395 hectare site. Dogs are allowed here, but they must be on a lead at all times.

Once you’ve scaled the trails, you can sit back and enjoy the local nature. Top sights include grazing animals, heather-covered hillsides, and rare wildlife habitats. Remember to pack a picnic!

Fun Fact: On a very clear day, you can see Mt. Snowdon in Wales.

9. Churnet Valley Railway

One of the best ways to take in the Staffordshire landscapes is by steam train. And yes, you can still find steam trains in this area! The Churnet Valley Railway offers a one-of-a-kind ride through the Peak District outskirts and Staffordshire Moorlands that you can’t miss.

The railway has various onsite locomotives, and it’s a paradise for any train enthusiast. Some resident trains include diesel, steam, coaching stock, NSR locomotives, and BR trains.

Visitors can even experience a meal on the train with a pre-booked dining experience. Ideal for celebrations or a romantic evening. The company also hosts unique events, such as breakfast trains, murder mystery events, and beer sampling sessions — so consider these if you’re looking for unusual things to do in Staffordshire.

10. Shugborough Estate

You can’t go wrong with a National Trust day out, and Shugborough Estate is one of their best offerings. This stately home offers gardens, architecture, landscape views, and much more. Great for outdoorsy visitors and historical fans.

Favourite features of the estate include:

  • The Georgian mansion.
  • The walled garden with an arboretum.
  • The working model farm.
  • Europe’s widest yew tree.
  • The Explorers’ Wood play area.

You can also enjoy food and drink facilities, and yes, there’s a gift shop!

Want to take your trip to the next level? Shugborough Estate frequently hosts theatre events, allowing you to watch classics in a classic environment.

11. Staffordshire Regiment Museum

Museums are a must on any trip, and if you’re visiting Staffordshire, the Regiment Museum is one to consider. This museum is focused on the history and story of the Staffordshire Regiment and its Lichfield antecedents from 1705.

Inside the museum, you can browse over 10,000 artefacts, including the Mercian Regiment archive. There’s also a range of armoured vehicles, outside exhibits, and educational information dotted around the site.

However, this museum is best known for its “Coltman Trench,” a World War 1 replica trench constructed on the museum grounds. Guests can adventure into the trench, and once a year, the museum holds the popular “Night in the Trenches” event. Here, guests can pay their respects to WW1 soldiers and admire the trench in the evening.

12. Stafford Castle

Stafford Castle is a symbolic piece of history every visitor needs to see. This old castle sits on top of a hill, providing breathtaking landscape views from below and extensive views of the 26-acre site from the inside. To experience the castle best, you need to see both!

This castle dates back to 1100 AD when it was created by the Normans. Amazingly, the castle is still in good condition today, and you can explore without paying an admission fee.

Visitors can also explore the Visitor Centre to learn more about the castle’s history. This centre includes interactive exhibits for children and a film narrated by Robert Hardy.

13. Waterworld Water Park

Need to keep the kids entertained for a few hours? The Waterworld Water Park is here to help. This indoor and outdoor water park is designed for hours of action and fun for children of all ages — and adults if you fancy taking a dip!

The water park has numerous slides, rides, and areas to keep families busy. And don’t worry! There are options for all thrill levels. You can also enjoy rapids, pools, and the brand new “tornado alley.”

Alongside rides and splash zones, Waterworld offers a tropical restaurant with mains, desserts, and drinks. You can also chill in their spa zone, work out in their gym, or challenge your friends to an adventure mini-golf session. There’s never a dull moment in this leisure complex.

14. Gladstone Pottery Museum

Pottery is a beautiful craft, and it’s even better when you’re looking at expert exhibits. If this catches your attention, your Staffordshire trip should include the Gladstone Pottery Museum.

This museum provides a glimpse into the development and history of Britain’s pottery industry. From the growth of the pottery trade in the 1770s to the present day, this museum allows you to walk through history while learning about significant facts and secrets.

You’ll find old pottery factory buildings at the museum, carefully curated exhibitions, interactive child-friendly fun, and you can book guided tours to hear an expert’s opinion of the history. You can even take a virtual museum tour online, so check this out before you visit.

15. Rudyard Lake

The list of beautiful places in Staffordshire is infinite, but Rudyard Lake is up there with the best of them. This 2.5-mile lake is surrounded by native wildlife and dense woodland as far as the eye can see. You’ll want to have your camera on hand for this visit.

But taking photos isn’t the only activity on offer here. You can also enjoy boating, canoeing, fishing, trip boats, rowing, cycling, walking, stand-up paddle boarding, and a host of other outdoor activities. Don’t forget to book tickets online to reserve your space!

Rudyard Lake has been central to Staffordshire since the early 11th century. It was initially transformed into a reservoir, but officials didn’t want the local people to miss out on the beauty of the area. In the early 1900s, it was opened as a commercial lake, and it still is today.

Final Thoughts on Days Out in Staffordshire…

Staffordshire is a magical place with activities for everyone. Whether you’re an avid rambler, seeking historical secrets, or an adrenaline-seeker, there are things to do in Staffordshire for anyone and everyone.

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