Activities ranging from tailored walks at the National Memorial Arboretum to visiting the stunning Potteries there is something for everyone and a vast amount of exciting history to explore.
Here are our top five places to visit this summer for a culture burst.
Cannock Chase WW1 Camps
The Cannock Chase Camps are a site of historical interest where troops were based throughout the Great War, here you can see archaeological remains and a reconstructed war hut. The two large camps were known as Brocton Camp and Rugeley Camp and would have held up to 40,000 men at one time and probably trained upwards of 500,000 men during 1914-18.
Cannock Chase also serves as a reminder of the loss of life with the graveyards of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade and the German soldiers who died in the UK during the World War I. This year Cannock Chase is commemorating the centenary and remembering those who were lost.
The Staffordshire Hoard
The Staffordshire Hoard is the largest and most valuable collection of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver metalwork ever discovered in one place. It was found in a field near Lichfield in July 2009 and consists of over 3,500 items ranging from intricate jewellery to belt buckles and decorations dating back to the 7th or 8th centuries.
For a chance to view these fantastic items you can visit the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent, Lichfield Cathedral ,Tamworth Castle or the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
Discover the world’s best collection of Staffordshire ceramics at Wedgwood, Emma Bridgewater and Moorcroft. With museums, guided tours and workshops for children and adults there is the chance to learn about the history of these stunning pieces and to get stuck in and create something bespoke. With over 25 factory shops plus visitor centres around Stoke-on-Trent, you can pick up ware from Portmeirion, Spode, Burleigh, Royal Doulton, Aynsley, Churchill and other world famous names. Entry prices vary.
For a chance to view the greatest Staffordshire ceramics then a trip to The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, is calling. A display of the finest earthenware, a World War II Spitfire that won the war, decorative arts and natural history, as well as the Staffordshire Hoard awaits you at this fascinating museum. Free entry.
National Memorial Arboretum
The National Memorial Arboretum (NMA), set in 150 acres of parkland, in the heart of the National Forest, has more than 200 dedicated memorials for those who have fallen. It is a stunning living tribute to all those who have served, and continue to serve, our nation in different ways.
To commemorate World War I, the Arboretum is offering several walks around the site. A discovery trail to enable young visitors to understand more about the events that took place during the war. The Shot at Dawn Trail, a unique and more detailed onsite walk for history enthusiasts. Plus the Poppy Field Trail which passes through the Arboretum’s woodland avenues and alongside the River Tame. Also available to families are World War 1 weekends and on Tuesday 22nd July there will be an evening outdoor cinemas screening of War Horse.
In the NMA chapel every day a two minute silence takes place to remember all of those who lost their lives in the two wars.
Shugborough Historic Working Estate
Shugborough Historic Working Estate is set in a stunning 900 acre park with an impressive manor house. You can visit the Georgian Park Farm which holds regular demonstrations from living history characters in the mill and dairy including a dairymaid, scullery maid, miller and many other authentically dressed farm staff. There are also lots of animals to meet as well as ‘hands-on’ learning opportunities for children.
At the manor house, welcome guides will greet you and share the stimulating stories that lie behind the superb collections of porcelain and French furniture. You can also walk in the footsteps of some of the most influential politicians, industrialists and gentry that Britain has seen.
Visitors can enjoy the breathtaking walled garden which is known across the country for its revolutionary gardening techniques and fascinating concepts in greenhouse study, growth and garden design.