5 Reasons to Visit South Staffordshire
One of the most rural districts in the county, South Staffordshire is packed with stunning beauty spots, eye-opening history and delicious locally-grown produce.
There are loads of great reasons to visit South Staffordshire, including some surprising Royal connections, remarkable stately homes and other places to live, and award-winning restaurants.
Here are five to get you started...
This majestic stately home features beautiful gardens, mouth-watering menus, and a packed programme of festivals, exhibitions and sporting events.
One of the sites of the annual V Festival, Weston Park also welcomes the Great British Food Festival, Camper Jam, and the Spring Horse Trials every year.
The Granary Art Gallery hosts fascinating exhibitions, while there is a huge range of locally-sourced treats on offer at the Granary Grill restaurant.
But no visit is complete without a stroll around Capability Brown's historic parklands, including the stunning Temple of Diana and Paine's Bridge.
Moseley Old Hall
There are some stunning gardens too at Moseley Old Hall, a National Trust property with a surprising Royal secret.
The Elizabethan farmhouse became a hideaway for King Charles II as he fled from Cromwell's soldiers after the Battle of Worcester in 1651, narrowly escaping their clutches by hiding in a priest hole in a bedroom.
He then stayed for two more nights, planning his getaway to France, where he stayed for nine years before returning to claim the throne in 1660.
Why not learn more about this amazing story, exploring the bedroom and priest hole, before relaxing with a brew and a cake in the lovely tea room?
There are more properties with unusual histories at Kinver Edge, at the very southern tip of Staffordshire.
Known as The Rockhouses, they were carved into the sandstone cliffs in the 1700s and became trogolodyte cave dwellings, complete with bedrooms and separate living areas.
They were inhabited as recently as the 1960s, but are now maintained by the National Trust. Regular tours are available.
You could combine your visit with a walk around the country park at Kinver Edge, which offers some stunning panoramic views and wildlife including buzzards, adders and lizards.
Cannock Chase Trekking Centre
On the fringes of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Cannock Chase Trekking Centre gives you the chance to soak in more of Staffordshire's glorious views, this time on horseback.
The centre offers regular pony treks across the Chase, with all-day rides including a stop for lunch at one of the great country pubs nearby!
There are also introductory treks for beginners, and evening treks in the summer months providing an unusual way to relax after a tough day at work.
After you've worked up an appetite, sample a delicious homemade cake in the new coffee shop and watch the magnificent horses return to the stables.
Halfpenny Green Vineyards
Another of South Staffordshire's secrets is the Halfpenny Green Vineyards, where more than 50,000 bottles of wine are produced every year.
Discover 30 acres of vines on a guided tour, before exploring the winery and tasting some of the award-winning wines.
Unwind with a bite to eat in the restaurant or tea room, explore the local produce in the shop and deli - including a huge range of gins - or browse the craft village, home to 15 independent retailers.
Or why not take the family to the Wild Zoological Park, where you can enjoy VIP experiences and daily keeper shows featuring the crocs and meerkats?
Other things to see and do in South Staffordshire
Meet 750 animals from around the world at Rodbaston Animal Zone, with animal encounters, meet the keeper sessions and more to enjoy.
Browse stalls at the traditional Penkridge Market, combining regular traders with artisan craft stalls to create a vibrant event every Wednesday and Saturday.
And choose from the mouth-watering options at The Moat House Acton Trussell, Restaurant of the Year at the 2016 NFU Mutual Enjoy Staffordshire Tourism Awards.
How to get here
If you're coming by road, South Staffordshire is well-connected to the M6 and M54 motorways, which both run through the district.
By rail, the main stations are in Penkridge and Codsall, which are served by regular services from Birmingham New Street.