We have rounded up a selection of stately homes and gardens in Staffordshire where you can take the family, create an educational experience for a class or simply enjoy a day out.
Stately homes and gardens are beautiful places to visit and spend time with friends or family. Built by aristocratic families over the centuries, resulting in mansions with remarkable architecture and lavish décor. Every corner of these homes has beautiful art and antiques comparable to the collections found in the best museums. Here are three stately homes and gardens to visit in Staffordshire.
At Shugborough Estate, you can explore a historic Georgian mansion and its beautiful 900 acres of parklands and woodlands. Your kids will love the on-site Park Farm. They can learn about farming and meet farm animals like Longhorn cows, Southdown sheep, Tamworth pigs, and Dorking chickens. There is an adventure playground, Explorer’s Wood, which is complete with a zip wire! This is the perfect destination for a beautiful day outdoors. Here is a selection of family-friendly things to do at the Shugborough Estate.
Shugborough Hall is located near Great Haywood, Staffordshire, on the edge of Cannock Chase. The estate was formerly owned by the Bishops of Lichfield but passed through several hands before being purchased in 1624 by William Anson, a local lawyer and ancestor of the Earls of Lichfield. The Anson family owned the estate for three centuries until the death of the 4th Earl of Lichfield in 1960, after which it was allocated to the National Trust in lieu of death duties and leased to Staffordshire County Council. Management of the estate was later returned to the National Trust in 2016.
Visitors are welcome to explore the grounds and mansion house, which are open to the public. The attraction is known as “The Complete Working Historic Estate”, including a working model farm museum from 1805 that features a working watermill, kitchens, a dairy, a tea room, and rare breeds of farm animals. The estate’s brewery, restored in 1990, is England’s only log-fired brewery that produces beer commercially. Since 2007, the brewhouse has been a working exhibit operated by Titanic Brewery and previously used only on special occasions. Additionally, the private apartments have housed an exhibition of the work of Patrick Lichfield since 2011. Visitors can view his cameras and lighting gear set up in a recreation of his studio. There is a gallery of some of his most famous photographic subjects.
Trentham Gardens is a gorgeous place for a day out. You can explore the stunning gardens, take a lakeside walk, and let kids go wild on many activities. There is an adventure playground and Treetop Adventure. For more adventure, walk with 140 Barbary macaques at Trentham Monkey Forest. Afterwards, you can visit the shopping village, grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants or check out the award-winning Trentham Garden Centre.
Trentham gardens and lake
The Trentham Estate has some of the finest contemporary gardens in Britain. The renowned designer and multi-Chelsea gold-medal winner Tom Stuart-Smith led the imaginative revival of the famous Italian Gardens. The Rivers of Grass and the adjacent Floral Labyrinth are east of the Italian Gardens. Trentham Gardens has won many awards, including the Enjoy Staffordshire Tourism Gold Award, Countryfile Garden of The Year, Horticulture Week Custodian Awards, and a Gold Accolade by Visit England. At the heart of Trentham Gardens is the mile-long Trentham Lake. It is dotted with small islands and teems with an array of wildlife. The circular lakeside walk offers views of the River Trent, ancient wildflower meadows and woodlands, a cascading weir, and nature trails.
Discover the fairies
As you stroll around the mile-long lake, through the woodlands and garden, keep looking for the enchanting fairies that call this place their home. It’s no secret that these mystical creatures reside at the bottom of the garden, and Trentham Gardens is no exception to this magical tradition. Follow the fairy trail and get some fantastic photos.
Boscobel House is a must-visit destination for families with children who love dramatic adventure stories. Head back to the 17th century, where you will discover Britain’s intriguing and frightening history. This historic house, run by English Heritage, is a timber-framed hunting lodge that has been beautifully preserved.
Boscobel’s Garden is a lovely example of a 17th-century garden. With its characteristic box hedging and plants like peonies and artemisias, it’s a perfect representation of what parterre gardens were like in that era. Check out the grass maze – a 28-metre-long willow tunnel that winds through a nearby field. This tunnel is a perfect spot for kids to play. Once you’ve explored the Garden and maze, stroll around the farmyard. For a bit of fun, Boscobel House offers a play area and trail that’s perfect for kids. They can experience the thrill of hiding in replica priest holes and then explore the climbing frame, slide, and swing. And while they play, parents can relax next door in the cafe with a hot drink and cake.
Boscobel House’s history
This historic Grade II* listed building is located in the parish of Boscobel in Shropshire. It has served as a farmhouse, a hunting lodge, and a holiday home. However, it is most renowned for its involvement in the escape of Charles II after the Battle of Worcester in 1651. For a unique experience, peek into the priest hole where Charles II hid and planned his next move during the Civil War. You can also learn about his visit and take a short walk to see the descendant of the famous oak tree, where he hid for a day while Cromwell’s soldiers searched for him.
Staffordshire boasts some of the UK’s most beautiful and historically significant stately homes and gardens. From the grandeur of Shugborough Estate to the tranquil beauty of Trentham Estate. Let us know in the comments if you visit one of our suggestions!