This county is home to the capital of ceramics, Stoke-on-Trent with factory tours, a ceramics trail and factory shops. The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery has the world’s largest collection of Staffordshire ceramics as well as gold items on display from the Staffordshire Hoard, the largest discovery of Anglo-Saxon gold found to date.
To the north is the beautiful Staffordshire section of the Peak District with rocky limestone outcrops and deep valleys tempting rock-climbers as well as walkers and cyclists. Market towns include Leek and Cheadle, where the stunning St Giles’ Catholic Church was lavishly designed in Gothic Revival style by architect Augustus Pugin. Known as ‘Pugin’s Gem’ it’s definitely worth a visit, a contrast to the simple country village churches and those decorated with friezes such as All Saints in the 7th century village of Claverley in Shropshire.
Hop on board the Churnet Valley Railway or the Leek & Rudyard Steam Railway, navigate a narrowboat on the Caldon canal and see intricate floral Well Dressing decorations in villages in the area in summer.