Hidden Gems in Staffordshire
Today on the blog I have a guest post from the lovely Charlie over at Our Altered Life. Charlie gives us the low-down on Staffordshire. Another place I am not that familiar with! Take it away Charlie!
Insider Info About Staffordshire!
My granddad was a long distance lorry driver and always said that you could stop and ask anyone for directions but a Stokie would jump in with you and show you the way. We are a friendly bunch and if ever you find yourself in Stoke-on-Trent, trying the oatcakes is an absolute must!
SOT is just one part of North Staffordshire where I live and while we do have some well known attractions to visit such as Alton Towers, The Monkey Forest and Trentham Gardens, these aren’t the places I visit with my family regularly due to the admission prices (they are both incredible places to visit though and well worth checking out). But for today I wanted to share 3 hidden gems that you might not be so familiar with but are definitely worth visiting with your family if you find yourself guided here by a friendly stokie!
Grab a Bite to Eat!
For food try High Lane Oatcakes (rated 4.5 on TripAdvisor). Ok so let me start by saying that oatcakes are not the same as biscuits! (That’s Scotland) Oatcakes are a savoury pancake made with oatmeal, flour and yeast. Ideally they are covered with grated cheese and grilled (just on the side with the cheese) and then various fillings such as sausage, bacon, mushrooms or beans can be added. Its then rolled up and enjoyed. Oh my days! Oatcakes are the best! HOWEVER, some places make them quite thick and you can feel that you are chewing a disc of leather so if you are venturing to stoke I advise you visit Robbie Williams favourite place for oatcakes which is High Lane Oatcakes. If you cant make it all the way then ensure that the oatcakes are very thin! You won’t regret tasting an oatcake. In fact, I’ve talked myself into buying half a dozen now. Deeeeeelicious!
Take a Stroll
For a walk head to Knypersley Reservoir (rated 4.5 on TripAdvisor). If you want to burn off the cheese fest from the oatcakes then I can highly recommend Knypersley Reservoir. Built in 1827, this reservoir feeds the Caldon Canal and is really beautiful at any time of the year. You can simply stroll around the reservoir (there is a smaller walk which takes about 40 minutes and a longer one which takes about 1 hour 15) an enjoy the peace. There are benches to rest on to take in the beautiful views too.
Alternatively you can park at Greenway Bank Country Park which is just above the reservoir where there are toilets and small outdoor cafe, then walk down through the Arboretum and from there on to the Reservoir itself. There is also the ruins of a hidden castle which you can’t explore but can admire and a gorgeous waterfall if you go off the beaten track. I am fortunate enough to live just 5 minutes away and feel very lucky to have this place on my doorstep (I’d say you could pop round for a cup of tea but I think that could be dangerous if a few people end up reading this review!)
Learn or Try Something New
For some history and creativity try Middleport Pottery (rated 4.5 on TripAdvisor). You really can’t visit the home of the pottery industry without visiting a museum which pays tribute to the rich history of the area.
Middleport pottery is a working museum with informative displays and the chance to stand inside a bottle kiln. There are often tours on and lots of activities to keep the whole family happy. The tea room is lovely with great food and the staff are always lovely.
You can eat inside or enjoy your food outside at the side of the canal on a lovely day. I take my boys for a visit about 3 times a year and we love it every time. While you are there you can also visit the factory shop and purchase some of the stunning Burleigh pottery collection. I am saving up for a full set and can’t wait to have it! It really is a gem and I recommend it to everyone.
So there we have it, 3 hidden gems of North Staffordshire. I could have also mentioned Mow Cop Castle and Biddulph Grange Gardens (National trust) so do check them out too if ever you are near. And if you do get lost on your travels and have to ask for directions, don’t forget that Stokies are a friendly bunch and you just might have one more along for the ride. You have been warned! Enjoy
So there we go for Staffordshire. More hidden gems revealed!