08:40 Thursday 02 May 2013

Top ten places to visit in Staffordshire over the Bank Holiday weekend

Written byLeah Cassady

With the bank holiday right around the corner let’s take a look at what’s on in Staffordshire to keep you, your friends and family or children entertained. Including videos...

Whether you’re a bit of a thrill seeker, love to be outdoors or simply want to enrich your culture, here’s a list of the top ten places to visit in and around Staffordshire over the May Day Bank holiday weekend.

Roaches Gate, The Roaches

This scenic peak district area is holding a family fun day and best of all, it’s free. On Saturday May 4th, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is inviting families to join them to celebrate the beginning of their 125-year lease of the Roaches.

A host of activities will be on offer during the day, between 11am - 4pm, including making peregrine kites, bushcraft survival skills and examining the miniature world of bugs in the undergrowth. Guided walks will also be taking place on the day and free roadside parking is available. For more information, call the Trust on 01889 880100 or visit their website.

Go Ape, Cannock Chase

Another adrenaline pumping attraction, enjoy the day in the tree tops and swinging down zip wires! I recently went and loved every minute of it. It’s great fun and there were people of all ages enjoying the challenge. Don’t forget they also have a Segway course! Visit their website for more information or click here to read my previous review and below is a video of me and my friend Mark enjoying the day out.

Blackbrook Zoo

They have everything from Penguins and Pig to Lemurs and Meerkats. During your day out you can watch all the animals do their thing, you may also be lucky enough to catch them at feeding time. Feel free to ask the keeps anything you’d like. The zoo has a shop full of souvenirs and gifts along with fish tanks and great views of several exhibits. For more information see their website.

Monkey Forest

Barbary macaque monkey eating breakfast in Trentham Monkey ForestHaving lived in the area for over four years, it took me a while to get around to going to the Monkey forest and I wish I’d done it sooner. The 140 free-roaming Barbary macaque monkeys each have their own personality, and it was great to hear all about them from the guides dotted around the park.

It’s not often you get to walk in the company of free-roaming animals, yes you see them in zoos but there is something so different about them being right there in front of you or sitting next to you on a bench. for more information visit their website, or to read my review of feeding the monkeys breakfast click here.

Wedgwood Visitor Centre

Pottery is something Staffordshire is famous for, so why not learn a little more about it at the Wedgewood visitor centre. Having visited the centre late last year, my favourite part was the craft skills area. It’s great to look around the shop and the surprisingly extensive museum but the craft centre was fantastic.

You get to see people at work, how they make the pottery and paint it, you can ask questions and even have a hands on experience yourself with the finish product making its way to your door. Visit their website for more information or to read about my experience at the Wedgwood Visitor Centre by clicking here.

Josiah Statue outside Wedgwood

Trentham Gardens

Enjoy the great outdoors and beautiful gardens as well as some of the many features hidden away in the grounds of the gardens, like the playground, barefoot walk, maze, boat and train rides or if you’re feeling up to it, hire a rowing boat.

Stroll around the gardens, run wild in the woodlands, brave the barefoot, walk, steam or set sail along the lakeside, hide and seek in the maze, enjoy adventure play. for more information take a look at their website.

Uttoxeter Racecourse

To celebrate the bank holiday the racecourse is holding a family fun day on Saturday, May 4th. They’ve promised loads of activities and entertainment for children throughout the afternoon, as well as seven jump races for the adults to enjoy and children under 18 go free. See their website for more information about this event.

National Forest Adventure Farm

The farm has lots of animals to see and pet from pigs, sheep, cows, Shetland ponies, donkeys and goats to more unusual animals like reindeer, alpaca and chipmunks! If you’re lucky you may even get to bottle feed the lambs.

If animals aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other activities to try including pedal Go-karts, a sand pit, a mini assault course and Farmyard Crazy Golf. You can also dig for bones in their Fossil Pit, get wet in the challenge of the Wild West Water Splash-Out and take a Tractor and Trailer ride. If the weather is against you, they also have a huge indoor playbarn and a large restaurant which serves locally sourced food. See their website for more information.

Alton Towers

With such a huge attraction only a stones throw away, why not head down and spend the day on an adrenaline high. With the new ride, The Smiler, opening towards the end of May, get down this weekend and enjoy the theme park before the mad rush.

Remember, they’re not only a Theme Park, they also have a big Water Park which is perfect for sunny days. Check out their website for more information.

Whatever you get up to this Bank Holiday, we're sure you'll find something great to do in Staffordshire. But if you're still stuck for ideas, why not take a look at the rest of our Out and About section or scroll through our event listings in our What's On section which have over 1000 events!

Don’t forget Mr Fips' Wonder Circus is in Stafford until Monday 6th May 2013 so you could still catch a show over the bank holiday weekend. We paid them a visit this week and took the video below, click here to read our full article.

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