Why not come and stay for the weekend and visit Staffordshire? Camping is included on all ticket types with weekend tickets valid from Thursday 16th September through to Monday 20th September. which gives you the opportunity to explore Staffordshire as well as attend an amazing festival
Stafford and surrounding area
Historically Stafford Town is thought to be founded in about 700 AD by a Mercian prince called Bertelin with Stafford Castle originally built in 1090 overlooking the town. Richard II was paraded through the town’s streets as a prisoner in 1399, by troops loyal to Henry Bolingbroke (the future Henry IV).When James I visited Stafford, he was said to be so impressed by the town’s Shire Hall and other buildings that he called it ‘Little London’. Charles I visited Stafford shortly after the out-break of the English Civil War. He stayed for three days at the Ancient High House the largest timber framed Tudor house in the UK
St Chad’s Church dating back into the 12th century. The main part of the church is richly decorated. Carvings in the church’s archways and pillars may have been made by a group of stonemasons from the Middle East who came to England during the Crusades.
The Shugborough Hall country estate is 4 miles (6.4 km) outside town. It previously belonged to the Earls of Lichfield, and is now owned by the National Trust and maintained by the leaseholder, Staffordshire County Council. The 19th century Sandon Hall is 5 miles (8.0 km) northeast of Stafford. It is set in 400 acres (1.6 km2) of parkland, and is the seat of the Earl of Harrowby. Weston Hall stands 5 miles (8.0 km) east of Stafford, in the Trent valley, with a large park and it was once part of the Chartley estate. It is believed that the main part of the hall was built around 1550
Victoria Park, opened in 1908, is a 13 acre Edwardian riverside park with a play park, bowling green, bird cages and greenhouses recently has been regenerated with Lottery Funding
Other places of interest in the area include; Wedgwood, The Black Country Living Museum, Cannock Chase, The Monkey Forest, Gladstone Pottery Museum, Izzak Walton Cottage, German Military Cemetery, The National Memorial Arboretum Alrewas near Lichfield, Drayton Manor Park, West Midlands Safari Park, Alton Towers
Lichfield Cathedral is close by with Warwick Castle and Stratford upon Avon an hour’s drive away
It’s a journey of just under a mile to Wolseley Bridge where there’s a shop, pub, garden centre and Indian restaurant
Little Haywood is just under 2 miles away and Great Haywood is just under 3 miles Stafford 8 miles, Rugeley 3 miles and Cannock 9 miles,
The Red Lion Main Road Little Haywood ST18 0TS
You’ll great a warm welcome from Rob and his team at this traditional village Public House selling real ales, snacks and rolls. Open fire, beer garden, bar and lounge also dog friendly. Landlord Rob
The Clifford Arms Main Road Great Haywood ST18 0SR
Judy and the crew at the Clifford Arms run a fantastic village pub in lovely Great Haywood. Recognised by CAMRA and Cask Marque accredited. Awarded the TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence 2015 https://www.facebook.com/thecliffordarms
The Lamb & Flag Main Road Little Haywood ST18 0TU
Jackie and her team run a friendly local pub with six Rotating cask ales, quality beer, cider and spirits
Wolseley Arms Wolseley Bridge Stafford ST17 0XS
In its picturesque surroundings provide the perfect backdrop for savouring the hearty, seasonal pub-food, and the carefully nurtured cask ales. https://www.facebook.com/wolseleyarms
Shimla Palace Cromwell House Wolseley Bridge Stafford ST17 0XS
Serving Bangladeshi and Indian food https://www.shimlapalace.com/
Wolseley Bridge Garden Centre and Restaurant ST17 0YA
Saracens Head Stafford Road Weston ST17 0HT
The Saracens Head at Weston, the home of famous Llamas. Serving contemporary gastropub food, in custom-designed surroundings. Plus, takeaway meals, Pizzas, and Sunday Roasts
The Woolpack The Green Weston ST18 0JH
Great village pub and restaurant
The Bank House Hixon ST18 0QF
A 16th Century freehouse situated in the small village of Hixon. The Bank House boasts a friendly country pub environment offering a variety of real ales and wines and features both indoor and outdoor seating. https://www.facebook.com/thebankhousehixon
The Barley Mow 28 Main Road Milford Stafford ST17 0UW
Greene King Pub & Grill they’ve built their menu around quality char-grilled steak, chicken, fish, vegetarian dishes and burgers, plus a choice of pub classics https://www.facebook.com/BarleyMowMilford/
Canalside Farm Shop and Cafe Mill Lane Great Haywood ST180RQ
A family run Pick Your Own Farm, Shop and Cafe located at the side of the Trent and Mersey Canal in Great Haywood – a beautiful part of Staffordshire.
We are committed to sourcing high quality, food and drink from farms and producers within a 30 mile radius of our home, whilst continuing to produce our own fruit, garden vegetables and bedding plants right here on the Farm.
Open all year round, our Farm Shop offers a wide range of tasty products for all dietary needs; our Cafe serves home cooked seasonal meals from ‘field to plate; our seasonal Plant Centre sells beautiful plants and hanging baskets lovingly nurtured in our own glass house; and we offer ‘Pick Your Own’ strawberries, raspberries and blackberries during summertime and pumpkins for Halloween!
We have some lovely walks and cycle rides which start and finish on our farm, plus host a range of family events throughout the year from murder mystery suppers to creative nature based workshop
Bridge 76 Emporium Lock Cottage Hoo Mill Lane Great Haywood ST18 0RG
Owned and run by Sharon and Martin. They have a small friendly cafe set in tranquil surroundings serving Chameleon Coffee, single origin beans from around the world which are freshly roasted at Hoo Mill Lock. On a weekend they have a selection of artisan bakes including bread, cakes and pies.
Sharon and Martin have a small shop where they sell hand crafted locally produced products including pottery, jewellery, their ‘home grown’ Alpaca yarn and packets of freshly roasted coffee for you to enjoy when you get home.
Whilst you are in the area why not arrange a meet and greet with their small Alpaca herd who will be really pleased to meet you. They also have Alpaca adoption packages
Little Haywood is cited in the Domesday Book of 1086. Although originally a small village its name is derived from the Old English “haeg wadu,” meaning an enclosure in woodland.It lies beside a main arterial highway, the A51 (linking the Midlands with Liverpool
Saint Mary’s Abbey
The most prominent building in Little Haywood is Saint Mary’s Abbey, Colwich. This Roman Catholic abbey is home to a community of enclosed Benedictine nuns and although part of the neighbouring Colwich parish, the abbey and its grounds lie alongside the road that runs through Little Haywood.
The Abbey Church of Saint Mary used to cover a large amount of Little Haywood and it has been said that there are tunnels leading from the abbey to Lichfield Cathedral, 10 miles (16 km) away, and to Shugborough Hall, a little over 1 mile (1.6 km) away in the opposite direction. Within the village, on land owned by Shugborough Hall, there is evidence of small-scale stone quarrying in the area known to locals as “the cliffs”.
J. R. R. Tolkien
The village was home to the newly married Edith Tolkien, wife of author J. R. R. Tolkien, from March 1916 to February 1917. Tolkien stayed with his wife in Cottage 1, Gipsy Green, on the Teddesley Park Estate, near the village during the winter of 1916, whilst recuperating from trench fever. The surrounding landscape was said to be an inspiration for his early literary works about Middle-earth.. At the cottage he began work on what would become The Silmarillion. The village of Norbury lies about 14 miles (23 km) away and may relate to the “Norbury of the Kings” that appears in The Lord of the Rings.
Great Haywood on the River Trent, where the Trent is met by its tributary, the River Sow. The village is also the site of a significant junction of the English inland canal network, Haywood Junction, where the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal meets the Trent and Mersey Canal. The waters around the village are widely regarded by guidebooks as some of the most attractive on the network.
St. Stephen’s Church was designed by Thomas Trubshaw, and became the centre of a parish in 1854. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th Earl of Lichfield and other members of the Anson family of Shugborough Hall are buried in the churchyard of St Stephen’s.
St. John the Baptist’s Catholic church was originally built in Tixall, about three miles (5 km) away, as a private chapel to Tixall Hall, which was owned by the Aston family. When the estate was sold to Earl Talbot, the church was dismantled and rebuilt with a few alterations in Great Haywood. The marks made on the blocks to allow reassembly can still be seen inside the church.
There was originally a mill and a brewery in the village, but both have been closed down and demolished, commemorated by the names of the roads where they once stood (Mill Lane and Brewery Lane). Following a fatal automobile accident in 1905, the mill pond was drained and the road straightened.
Samuel Peploe Wood (1827–1873) was an English sculptor and painter who was born in the village. He undertook work on many Staffordshire buildings, including the reredos at All Angels’ Church, Colwich; corbels and bosses at St. Stephen’s Church, Great Haywood and an oak lectern for Stowe by Lichfield.
The Stone to Colwich railway line passes through Great Haywood, and the village was served by a railway station which was opened by the North Staffordshire Railway on 6 June 1887 and closed in 1957. The Great Haywood bypass opened 24 April 1964.
In August 2002 advertisements were placed in the national press for a “hermit” to take up residence on the Great Haywood Cliffs above the nearby Shugborough estate, ancestral home of Lord Lichfield. Fifty-five people applied, and Ansuman Biswas was chosen as hermit. Shugborough also serves as the headquarters of Staffordshire’s arts management team.
Great Haywood is the site of Essex Bridge, one of the largest surviving packhorse bridges in the country which stands over the River Trent near Shugborough Hall. It borders Cannock Chase, designated an area of outstanding natural beauty since 1958.
Shugborough Hall (mentioned above)
Shugborough Hall was the ancestral home of the Ansons, earls of Lichfield, four miles (6 km) NW by W of Rugeley. The estate was purchased by William Anson in the early 17th century and is now in the care of the National Trust.
St Michael and All Angels serves as the parish church of Colwich and belongs to the Diocese of Lichfield. It is a grade II* listed building and the centre of the old parish of Colwich, which was reduced in size twice when the parish of Hixon was established in 1848 and again when the parish of Great Haywood was formed in 1854. The exact date when the church was first built is unknown, but from the style of the architecture it may have been sometime in the late 14th century. A major renovation was carried out by the Victorians between 1852 and 1857. The church has a fine set of choir stalls and a reredos of angels by local sculptor Samuel Peploe Wood.
Inside the church are many tombs, wall tablets and other memorials connected with the landed gentry in the parish, including the Wolseley Baronets and the Ansons of Shugborough Hall, earls of Lichfield, many of whom are buried in the church. A tablet commemorates Field Marshal Garnet Wolseley, 1st Viscount Wolseley, KP, GCB, OM, GCMG, VD, PC (1833–1913), buried in the crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral, London. The Anson family vault is located underneath the organ loft, formerly the private gallery of the owners of Shugborough Hall. It is accessed through an upright door that is normally concealed behind the panelling of the choir stalls, and neither visible nor accessible to the public. The vault itself is a small, almost square room. Inside there are three niches for coffins opposite the access door, and twelve openings for coffins in each side wall. 15 bodies are currently interred here, including the 1st Earl of Lichfield, Admiral Lord Anson, and his wife. After 1854, when the parish of Great Haywood was formed, the Earls of Lichfield and other Ansons of Shugborough Hall were buried there at St Stephen’s Church until the 5th Earl decided to return to the vault at St Michael and All Angels and whose lead-lined coffin was placed there after his death in 2005. In the churchyard is the grave of Adelbert Anson, first Bishop of Qu’Appelle, and also a large and elaborate memorial cross carved in 1866 by Samuel Peploe Wood to his brother, painter Thomas Peploe Wood and other members of his family.
The village is noted for Saint Mary’s Abbey, a community of Roman Catholic nuns of the English Benedictine Congregation founded in 1623 at Cambrai in the Spanish Netherlands. In 1836 the community, having been expelled from France during the French Revolution, finally settled at The Mount, Colwich, where they established the present house, raised to the rank of an abbey in 1928.
The Wolseley Centre, south-east of the village, is the headquarters of the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. There is a visitor centre, and a nature reserve of 26 acres (11 ha). The site of the nature reserve was formerly the grounds of Wolseley Hall, demolished in 1966. The estate was the home of the Wolseley family from the 11th century.
Though the current house dates back to the mid-18th century, circa 1750, parts of it are older. There has long been a structure on the site and Bishton was mentioned in the Domesday book of 1086.
The house with its ivy-clad façade, 17 bedrooms, three principal front rooms, library, servants’ quarters, orangery, parterre filled with roses and Temple Garden featuring one of the best Doric screens in the country, combine to create quintessential old English grandeur.
Rugeley is an industrial and market town in Cannock Chase Distric It lies on the north-eastern edge of Cannock Chase next to the River Trent, is listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. This name is thought to be derived from ‘Ridge lee’, or ‘the hill over the field’. In the mediaeval period, it thrived on iron workings and was also a site of glass manufacturing. During the Industrial Revolution the economy of Rugeley benefited from the construction of the Trent and Mersey Canal and then from it becoming a junction on the railway network.
Rugeley was considered royal land and Cannock Chase was considered a royal forest. In 1189, Rugeley was sold to the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry by King Richard I the Lionheart. Rugeley was still relatively small at this point.
1259, Rugeley had grown significantly enough to be granted the right to hold a weekly market. To this day there is a weekly outdoor market held in the town.
In 1709 Rugeley was hit with two disasters. One was a fire that ravaged the town (the town had been hit by a fire sixty years prior to this too, making this the second such disaster) and the other was when the Rising Brook which runs through the town broke its banks and flooded the town. Not a good year, and could have easily seen Rugeley disappear from the map.
Rugeley was an agricultural community for hundreds of years and held regular sheep, cattle and horse fairs. This reached its peak in the mid 19th century and lasting until the 1930s. The Rugeley annual horse fair was known internationally and attracted trade from far and away. To this day there is a main road in Rugeley town centre called Horsefair honouring this, as well as another street honouring the sheep fair.
Cannock Chase is located between Cannock, Lichfield, Rugeley and Stafford. It comprises a mixture of natural deciduous woodland, coniferous plantations, open heath land and the remains of early industry, such as coal mining. Cannock Chase was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1958 and is the smallest area so designated in mainland Britain, covering 68 km2 (26 sq miles)
Despite being relatively small in area, the chase provides a remarkable range of landscape and wildlife, including a herd of around 800 fallow deer and a number of rare and endangered birds, not least migrant nightjars. A feeding station at the Marquis Drive Visitors’ Centre, sponsored by the West Midland Bird Club, attracts many species, including brambling, yellowhammer and bullfinch
There are also accessible trails to enable people to experience the health benefits of Cannock Chase, there are many unmarked public paths, cross mountain biking is also popular
On the Chase’s north-eastern edge can be found Shugbrough Hall, ancestral home of the Earls of Lichfield. At its southern edge are the remains of Castle Ring, an Iron Age hill fort, which is the highest point on the Chase. Several glacial erratic boulders are also found on the Chase, remnants of glaciation. One is mounted on a plinth.
The Chase has several war memorials, including German and Commonwealth war cemeteries.
Free camping on site with all tickets, so bring along a tent. camper van or caravan
Dogs welcome but must be kept on a lead at all times
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