5 Reasons to Visit Stone
It's hard to resist the charms of the picturesque Staffordshire town of Stone.
A bustling market hub since 1251, when it was granted a market charter by Henry III, the streets of Stone regularly hum with the sound of bargain hunters browsing stalls and independent shops.
And the town is also developing a reputation as a fantastic foodie destination, with a diverse choice of menus from around the world to savour, and plenty of locally-brewed ales to sup.
Here are five reasons to choose Stone for your next short break or day trip.
Visit Staffordshire's biggest food festival
Held every October in Stone's Westbridge Park, the Stone Food & Drink Festival attracts more than 20,000 foodies into the town each year.
This year's event, featuring cookery demonstrations, talks, tastings, free kids' cookery classes, live music and even circus skills workshops, takes place from Friday 6th to Sunday 8th October.
The whole town comes alive for the week before the festival too, with afternoon tea narrowboat cruises, themed nights in numerous restaurants, and a real ale trail taking in 15 pubs!
Spring into action at FlipOut
You can literally bounce off the walls at FlipOut, Staffordshire's original and best trampoline centre!
With foam pits, tower jumps, tumble tracks, stunt box zones and over 100 trampolines, it's a great day out for children of all ages.
Why not try your hand at wall-running, or a few slam dunks in the basketball section?
There are also weekly autism awareness sessions, trampoline skills training for children, and Flip Fit classes for anyone looking for a fun way to exercise.
Revitalise at a top spa
Relax and rejuvenate with someone special at the award-winning Moddershall Oaks Country Spa Retreat.
Escape to the stunning Staffordshire countryside and re-energise with one of the soothing spa packages, or treat yourself to a pamper party in The Snug beauty salon.
Indulge in gourmet dining at the Lakelands Restaurant, one of the best in the county, famed for mouth-watering menus and great service.
And the 10 luxury suites give you the perfect excuse to extend your stay a little longer!
Take your pick of bustling markets
Sample some of Staffordshire's finest produce at Stone farmers market, held on the first Saturday of every month.
There are more than 50 stalls to browse, offering tantalising jams, chocolates and cakes, alongside savoury delights including pies, cheeses, and breads, and even locally-produced wines.
Fans of artisan products should explore the monthly Crafts and Collectables Market, held on the third Saturday, while there are themed markets throughout the year and weekly town markets on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Welcoming inns & great ales
Venture about five miles outside Stone to the village of Sandon and you'll discover one of Staffordshire's finest inns, The Dog & Doublet.
Relax with a tasty local ale in front of a roaring fire or on the terrace, and indulge in some freshly cooked pub grub, in a traditional inn dating back to 1906 and retaining many of the building's original features.
Close to the Trent & Mersey Canal, it's a great spot for walking, with local routes including the 7 mile Sandon Park and Canal Trail created by iFootpath.
Other things to see and do in Stone
Head for Oatcakes & Milkshakes for a taste of the famous local delicacy, the North Staffordshire oatcake, and wash it down with a Monster Shake or one of their other decadent beverages.
If real ales are more your thing, take a behind-the-scenes tour at Lymestone Brewery and quench your thirst with one of their cask beers like Abdominal Stoneman or Lymestone Cowboy.
Enjoy classics from the musicals at a Sandon Hall live show, drop anchor for afternoon tea and a waterside wander at Aston Marina, or take a stroll or bike ride along the peaceful Trent & Mersey Canal.
How to get here
Stone is easily accessible by road - the M6, A34 and A51 all run close or through the town. The nearest M6 junction is 14.
Regular train services connecting Stone to London, Birmingham and Manchester on the West Coast Mainline also stop at the town's train station.