Warm nostalgia awaits this winter, as a countywide transformation sees Staffordshire become a Christmas wonderland. With family days out, magical activities, ye olde markets and the chance to find that special gift for that special someone, there’s something for everyone in Staffordshire this Christmastime.
Trentham Estate becomes ‘Santa’s Wonderland’ from 12th November, with the Christmas Lights switch on marking the beginning of the festive season. Wooden chalets will be selling mulled wine, Christmas gifts, decorations, local produce and cooking hog roasts, and visitors can also try their hand at skating on the real Ice Rink in its beautiful lakeside setting.With an array of seasonal activities taking place throughout December, from the Santa experience to tap dancing turkeys and rodeo reindeers, Trentham will provide everyone with the perfect opportunity to get in to the festive spirit. (trentham.co.uk)
Everyone knows that Christmastime can test even the jolliest of shoppers, but the chaos can be turned into a treat at Staffordshire’s wonderful Christmas markets. On 4th December Leek steps back in time and becomes a nineteenth-century Dickensian town, complete with strolling costumed entertainers, outdoor stalls, and cafes and pubs offering traditional fayre. On the 11th and 12th December visit Lichfield for their Christmas Festival Weekend with hot chocolate and mulled wine being served on the Market Square, which can be sipped whilst enjoying free entertainment including dancing, drama and carol singing. Sunday sees the arrival of Lichfield Christmas Fayre with shopping and crafts, as well as special activities and Santa’s Grotto for mini merrymakers.
Even if all the shopping is out of the way, there is still plenty to do in Staffordshire to bring in the Yuletide season. Children of all ages can have a ‘Magical Christmas’ at Drayton Manor Theme Park with a visit to Thomas Land, which will become a winter wonderland from 27th November to 2nd January. Expect thousands of decorations and lights, snow machines releasing bursts of snow three times a day, and The Fat Controller performing musical numbers at regular intervals! The fantastic 4D Cinema will also be showing a special Christmas film ‘Sleigh Ride’ for a truly magical Christmas experience. (draytonmanor.co.uk)
Make it a white Christmas throughout November and December, and hitch a ride on a sledge or slide on foot through the magical Winter Wonderland at Tamworth’s SnowDome where real snow is, of course, guaranteed. Even Santa himself will be there, along with real reindeer and a festive Wonderland show. (snowdome.co.uk)
For a touch of romance this festive season, head over to Shugborough Estate where hundreds of candles and fresh flowers will bring a sparkle to the Christmas evenings between the 1st and 4th December, with Victorian costumed characters, from cooks to footmen, telling stories of Christmases past. Add to this beautiful backdrop brass bands, carol singers, snow showers, and a large gift and food marquee and visitors are sure of a truly wonderful way to begin the season of goodwill. (shugborough.org.uk)
And what about the most important part of any Christmas day: the turkey and trimmings? Aspiring masterchefs should attend a brand new event for 2010 at Weston Park’s Granary Grill, where Head Chef, Guy Day, will host a series of question and answer sessions to address guests’ Christmas culinary conundrums. Taking place between 16th and 18th November, the sessions include samples, recipe cards to take home and a fabulous two-course lunch. If, after this, you’re feeling inspired to get creative in the kitchen, the Granary Farm Shop will provide you with all the locally produced goodies you could possibly want to create the perfect Christmas feast. (weston-park.com)
Finally - don’t forget the tree! At Birches Valley Forest Centre in Cannock Chase, soak up the Christmas spirit and real pine aroma with thousands of fresh Christmas trees available to buy, as well as traditional festive decorations, from 28th November to 19th December. (cannock-chase.co.uk)
We always buy our tree from here on the 1st weekend in December ... so pop along as you might meet me!!
Celebrate the season of goodwill to all and visit Staffordshire this Yuletide for some truly terrific events; just make sure you come home with everything you need for a truly magical Christmas, including a big dose of Christmas cheer!
Enjoy Card holders should check for discounts at attractions this winter by visiting enjoystaffordshire.co.uk/enjoycard
I have an enjoy Staffordshire card .. its pretty handy :)