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Sandwiched between the Peak District and the north of Birmingham, Staffordshire is a pleasing mix of both suburban and rural life.
Its industrial past shaped the landscape but has largely given way to scenic canalside walks where you can spot herons, kingfishers and otters, and wildlife havens such as Chasewater near Burntwood, which was once littered with workings from local coalmines.
For thrill seekers, the county is best known for Alton Towers, as well as Drayton Manor Theme Park. There's also the SnowDome in Tamworth, which offers indoor winter pursuits on real snow.
Staffordshire is known as the creative county, and there is a plethora of galleries, like the Shire Hall in Stafford, as well as theatre groups and local art ‘hubs' which promote activities for families.
The county has a rich history. The Staffordshire Hoard – the largest cache of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found in the UK – was discovered near Lichfield, itself an ancient cathedral city. A Roman road, now the A5, runs through the middle of the county and stretches into Shropshire, with remnants of its extraordinary past along the way.
The county's contribution to industry is also well noted, with the National Brewing Centre in Burton and the Royal Airforce Museum in Cosford. Staffordshire boasts some breath-taking scenery; as well as the Peak District National Park across the north of the county there is the stunning Cannock Chase with 30,000 acres of forest and heathland.
Take a look at our local listings for many more suggestions on planning your next trip.