WE HAVE all seen the images on television of holidaymakers queueing up outside passport offices, desperately trying to renew them before they set off on their dream summer holiday, but with many families still struggling to make ends meet, do we really need to go that far to have fun?
Staffordshire County Council is reminding people that they do not have to go far to enjoy themselves as part of a well-earned break, with plenty of activities and events taking place throughout the county.
Cabinet member for the economy, Mark Winnington, says that families should look to avoid the hassle of waiting in line at an airport and explore that Staffordshire has to offer instead. After all, the money spent will be reinvested to keep the county’s economy thriving.
Staffordshire is continuing to develop itself as a major tourist destination within the UK, offering something to cater for all ages and tastes. As well as well-known attractions such as Alton Towers, the county is also home to picturesque countryside and historic buildings, such as Lichfield Cathedral and Tamworth Castle.
It is also important to remember that many attractions lie on East Staffordshire’s doorstep, with the National Memorial Arboretum putting on a number of events to mark one hundred years since the start of the First World War.
On a similar war theme, the National Brewery Centre in Burton will again host its annual Vintage Years Festival, capturing the spirit of the 1940s and 50s with costumes, music and vehicles from the era, allowing older visitors to rekindle memories of their younger years and also educate today’s generation about how different live was during that era.
Graeme Whitehead, group manager at Destination Staffordshire, says that there are many hidden treasures throughout the county that even its own residents know little about. He told the Mail: “I think that it’s about discovering what’s on your doorstep, and a lot of people, including those that have lived here all their lives, don’t realise the amazing things that Staffordshire has to offer.
“There’s so many hidden treasures within the county to discover, such as the rock houses ar Kinver, which I would encourage anyone to visit. It’s amazing to think that people were still living in them just 30 to 40 years ago and is a fantastic day out.”
Graeme says that many of the best things in Staffordshire are also either inexpensive, or completely free to visitors, meaning that families will not have to spend huge sums of money to enjoy them.
He added: “You’ve just got to look at the National Forest, which is right on our doorstep. I can’t think of many better things than spending time outside when the weather is nice. There’s not many better places to be.
“The new National Forest Way is something that just has to be explored by anyone living in the area that hasn’t already done so. There’s plenty of different walks to do and it’s so enjoyable. When you add to that the pottery museums in Stoke-on-Trent, the hub of a global industry, then there really isn’t much that can compare to the diversity that Staffordshire has to offer its visitors.”
So perhaps if you are yet to plan how to spend this summer, it might be worth considering staying local and having a look at what is just around the corner.