Places to visit, attractions, heritage and things of interest in Staffordshire, in the English Midlands.

National Memorial Arboretum revisited

Armed Forces Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum

The National Memorial Arboretum is a year-round centre of remembrance and needs to be revisited.  Not only should a first visit be mandatory, but also it is one of those places that gives more each time you go.  It changes with the seasons of course, but also as trees mature and new memorials are added.  […]

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Shugborough Hall, Staffordshire (rear view)

A complete working historic estate of 900 acres in rural Staffordshire, Shugborough has everything an aristocratic country pile should have – imposing Georgian mansion, parkland, formal gardens, a walled garden, farm (including labourers’ houses, watermill, workshops and rare breeds), river walks, monuments, servants’ quarters, stables, a brewery…enough to please most day trippers, and even keep

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Ladies of the Vale

Lichfield Cathedral, Staffordshire

There are few things more agreeable than pootling around and about a medieval cathedral.  I found Lichfield’s reflected in the Minster Pool, a small reservoir which has been used by the city since the 11th century.  You’d think it couldn’t get any better, wouldn’t you?  Then you wander up the Cathedral Close, past Erasmus Darwin’s

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Cannock Chase War Cemetery

Cross of Sacrifice, Cannock Chase, military cemetery

The Cross of Sacrifice instantly identifies a Commonwealth War Graves cemetery.  Beautifully tended, as they all are, the information panel tells you that this one contains 383 burials from the First World War, 97 Commonwealth – mainly New Zealanders – and 286 Germans.  There are also three burials from the Second World War. Shortly after

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Deutsche Soldatenfriedhof, Cannock Chase

German Military Cemetery at Cannock Chase

Almost 5,000 German and Austrian war dead, 2,143 from the First World War and 2,797 from the Second, lie in peace in Cannock Chase, an area of outstanding natural beauty in rural Staffordshire.  Some died trying to kill our parents or grandparents from the skies; others were washed ashore from ships; and some were prisoners

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Rose Garden & the Cockleshell Heroes

Rose Garden, Southsea, Portsmouth

Once upon a time, long, long ago, my parents took me to the Rex Cinema for a birthday treat.  It was a double bill of Reach for the Sky, the wartime story of RAF fighter pilot Douglas Bader, and The Cockleshell Heroes.  Having been brought up on feats of derring-do, it felt like being a

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A bit about the West Midlands

Cannock Chase, Staffordshire.

Including the counties of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands and Worcestershire. Just to confuse the unwary, the English West Midlands is a region that also includes a county called the West Midlands.  The West Midlands (county) is largely urban and includes Britain’s second city, Birmingham – so it’s in the West Midlands twice.  Don’t

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