With new attractions opening and big anniversaries to celebrate in 2018, Staffordshire will be a hive of activity - here are 10 ways to experience the buzz.

Enjoy brand new theme park attractions

The brand new rollercoaster at Alton Towers Resort, codenamed Secret Weapon 8, will be with us in Spring 2018.

We don't know much about it yet, but if the park's other recent additions, like Galactica, the world's first virtual reality rollercoaster, are anything to go by, we can expect this to be pretty special.

Check out www.thewelcoming.co.uk for more info.

Meanwhile, there are big changes at one of the UK's favourite waterparks too! 

By Autumn 2018, there will be new rides and attractions at Stoke-on-Trent's Waterworld, along with a trampoline park and two indoor adventure golf courses, as part of a £10m expansion of the complex.

Thank the RAF for 100 years of service

2018 marks the centenary of the Royal Air Force and there will be events across the UK to commemorate.

At the RAF Museum Cosford on the Staffordshire-Shropshire border, the 100 Years Festival is a family event to celebrate the contribution of the RAF through the decades, since its formation in November 1917.

And a new display will explore the Force's past present and future. 

At the National Memorial Arboretum, near Lichfield, a series of talks, events and family activities will celebrate the RAF's significant role, and a new RAF memorial will also be unveiled. 

Commemorate the centenary of the end of World War One

The National Memorial Arboretum will also be marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One.

Starting in August, a series of events, talks and activites will give you the chance to learn about and pay tribute to our fallen heroes.

Also in August, Middleport Pottery, Stoke-on-Trent, will host the Weeping Window poppy display, part of the iconic Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation displayed at the Tower of London in 2014.

Weeping Window comes to The Potteries, where thousands of the ceramic poppies were made, for six weeks as part of a national programme organised by 14-18 Tour. 

Immerse yourself in our natural beauty

If you need an excuse to sample our captivating countryside, there are plenty to choose from in 2018.

In September it will be 60 years since Cannock Chase became the UK's smallest mainland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Celebrate with a walk across the stepping stones at Seven Sisters, brave one of the challenging mountain bike courses, or take in a chart-topping act at the summer Forest Live gigs. 

In East Staffordshire, a new 18 hole championship golf course offering stunning panoramic views, will open next door to JCB's headquarters in Rocester.

Celebrate our ground-breaking historical figures

There will be a huge party in Newcastle-under-Lyme in 2018 as the town celebrates its most famous son, Philip Astley.

A year-long programme dedicated to the creator of the modern circus will include exhibitions, festivals and arts spectaculars to mark the 250th anniversary of his birth. 

And a short drive away in Stafford, Izaak Walton's 425th birthday will be one to catch.

The author of The Compleat Angler - the most reprinted book in the English language apart from The Bible - was born in the county town.

Izaak Walton's Cottage is packed with period 17th Century furnishings and rooms dedicated to his works and the history of angling - perfect for any fishing fans.

Make 2018 the year for a visit to Staffordshire - you deserve it!

So with thrilling new rides, tributes to military heroes, eye-opening history and heritage, and wonderful countryside to explore, there are loads of reasons to visit Staffordshire in 2018!

Keep an eye on our What's On page for news of events throughout the year.

Related

Alton Towers Resort
Theme Park
Wooden coaster tech on Wicker Man

Alton Towers Resort is Britain’s Greatest Escape and home to the UK’s favourite theme park with endless family fun and ground-breaking rollercoasters.

Waterworld
Aqua Park
Safely down the ride

Water World is an Aqua Park built around a wave pool with slides, rides, flumes and features available. There is plenty to do for all ages, weak and strong swimmers and open all year round

Royal Air Force Museum
Museum - Military
Neptune Iscape

Royal Air Force Museum Cosford has a collection of 70 historic aircraft and the National Cold War Exhibition. Includes restaurant, shop hands on gallery, simulator and 4D experience.

Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Forest or Woodland
Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Welcome to Cannock Chase - central England's woodland jewel, packed with things to see and do. Take time to explore, walk, ride, trek, run. Come on your own, bring the family but most of all bring an open mind and visit the real outdoors!

Izaak Walton's Cottage
Historic House
Izaak Walton Cottage from the road

Thatched timber framed 16th century cottage bequeathed to the people of Staford by the celebrated author Izaak Walton. it is home to a small angling museum, herb garden and tea room. Also a venue for small exclusive weddings.

Middleport Pottery
Pottery Visitor Centre
Middleport Pottery Exterior

Middleport Pottery, home of Burleigh, is an exciting visitor destination in the heart of Burslem, the Mother Town of the Potteries. World famous Burleigh pottery has been created here using traditional methods since 1889.

National Memorial Arboretum
Arboretum
National Memorial Arboretum

The National Memorial Arboretum is the UK's year-round centre of Remembrance. The 150 acre site, located in Staffordshire, features over 330 thought-provoking memorials for both military and civilian associations in  more than 150-acres of maturing woodland and gardens.