If you're looking for an unforgettable day out which won't break the bank, Staffordshire is full of them!

Some of our top attractions are free to enter, and we have acres of beautiful open spaces which are perfect if you need some fresh air (or to burn off some energy).

Here are eight free things to do in Staffordshire:

National Memorial Arboretum

One of the jewels in Staffordshire's crown, the National Memorial Arboretum in Lichfield offers a fabulous day out whether you are looking for activities for the kids or somewhere to reflect.

Younger visitors will love the self-guided Stick Man Trail, and the two play areas, while Commonwealth ARboretum is a brand new augmented reality trail focussing on the diverse countries of the Commonwealth. iPads are available to borrow if you need one.

Take some time out with a stroll around the huge grounds, home to more than 25000 trees as well as the 400 thought-provoking memorials. Dogs on leads are welcome too, although they aren't allowed on the Armed Forces Memorial or in the children's play areas.

The Arboretum is free to enter but there is a charge for parking - £4 in advance or £6 on the day.

If you would like to visit using public transport, the 812 service operates between Burton and Lichfield. The closest bus stops are in the village of Alrewas, approximately 30 minutes away on foot.

Potteries Museum & Art Gallery

Delve into Staffordshire's rich history at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent.

Visit the new Spitfire Gallery, which opened last year, and explore the links between the iconic World War 2 fighter plane and the county - designer Reginald Mitchell was born in Butt Lane, Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Journey back even further in time for a look at The Staffordshire Hoard - the largest-ever discovery of Anglo-Saxon treasure, which dates back to the 7th and 8th centuries - or the huge Staffordshire ceramics collection, said to be the greatest in the world.

There's no on-site visitor parking, but there is a large public car park at John Street across the road. Charges range from £1.40 for an hour to £4.40 for four hours.

If you're travelling by public transport, The Potteries Museum is well-served - it's on a number of bus routes and the city centre bus station is only a five-minute walk away.

Cannock Chase

The UK's smallest mainland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Cannock Chase may lack the scale of some AONBs but it more than makes up for it with things to do and historical interest.

For younger visitors there's a new Pedal and Play Trail designed specifically for bikers aged 3-11, while the self-led Gruffalo Spotters Trail (pictured) and Superworm Trail really bring Julia Donaldson's much-loved characters to life.

Renowned for its mountain-bike trails, Cannock Chase will host the mountain-biking events at the 2022 Commonwealth Games this August, on brand new trails which will be open to the public after the competition.

This fascinating corner of Staffordshire also has a long history, first as a military training camp during World War 1, and then as a coal mine from the late 1940s to the early 1990s. Unearth it all at The Great War Hut and the Museum of Cannock Chase.

While there are two train stations approximately two miles away (Rugeley Trent Valley and Rugeley Town), most visitors come by car. There is a large car park at Birches Valley (WS15 2UQ), with prices starting at £3 per hour.

Peak District National Park

Did you know 20% of the Peak District National Park is in Staffordshire?

An idyllic destination with plenty to explore, the UK's first National Park is a perfect day out if you're on a tight budget. Highlights include The Roaches, Dovedale, the Manifold Valley (pictured), Thor's Cave, Lud's Church and Three Shires Head.

From walking to cycling, rock-climbing, or just enjoying a picnic, or a road trip through stunning villages like Longnor, Butterton and Flash (the highest village in the UK), there is so much to do in the Peak District National Park!

The Roaches can be reached by public transport from Stoke-on-Trent and Buxton, thanks to the 16 bus, but apart from that it's not easy to reach the Peak District National Park unless you're in the car.

If you're travelling by car, there is parking at Ilam Park for Dovedale (£4.50 for four hours, £6 for the day), Alstonefield for the Manifold Valley/Thor's Cave (free), and Tittesworth Water for The Roaches (£3 for two hours, £5 for the day).

There is limited parking for Lud's Church and Three Shires Head at Gradbach Car Park.

The Wolseley Centre

With its 26 acres of accessible pathways, natural sculptures and wildlife-friendly gardens, The Wolseley Centre, in Wolseley Bridge, Stafford, is a brilliant day out for any nature lover.

The headquarters of the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, the charity which protects the county's wildlife and wild places, is an urban oasis packed with kingfishers, dragonflies, herons, ducks and many more species of flora and fauna.

The centre hosts events all-year round, some of which are free, and the Trust also organises others around the county, including the Wildfamilies Self-Led Trail at Dosthill Park, Tamworth, the Wildfamilies Drop-in at Westport Lake, Stoke-on-Trent, and the bat walk in Whittington, Lichfield - all of which are free.

There is a large car park at The Wolseley Centre, which is free (donations appreciated), and if you prefer public transport, the 825 bus route from Stafford to Rugeley is ideal.

The National Forest

Walkers of all abilities can find a free day out in The National Forest, a 200 square mile environmental regeneration project covering huge swathes of Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire.

Once an industrial heartland, the landscape has been transformed into farmland, forests and woodland, and is now home to more than nine million trees, as well as annual events like the National Forest Walking Festival in May.

Tackle the nine-mile Needwood Circular and see the towering trees of Needwood Forest, the bluebells and wild garlic of Jackson's Bank, and the picturesque village of Newborough.

Or you could try the Silver Circuit Walk, an eight-mile route starting and finishing at Barton Marina, taking in points of interest like Sinai Park House, and Tatenhill Lock on the Trent & Mersey Canal. 

If you're using public transport, Jackson's Bank, the starting point for the Needwood Circular, is not on a bus route, but Barton Marina, for the Silver Circuit Walk, is - the 12 linking Burton and Lichfield.

By car, you can park for free at both Jackson's Bank and Barton Marina.

Image: National Forest Company and Jacqui Rock

World of Wedgwood

Discover the V&A Wedgwood Collection, described as one of the world's most significant industrial collections, on a visit to World of Wedgwood.

This enlightening museum takes you on a journey through over 260 years of ceramic production, with 165,000 items documenting Wedgwood's rise to becoming the globally-renowned brand it is today.

Learn about Josiah Wedgwood's role in the abolition of slavery, his family connections to naturalist Charles Darwin and composer Vaughan Williams, and what it was like to work in the Wedgwood factory.

Enjoy the free family trail through the collection, before a stroll through the picturesque Hem Heath Woods, or along the Trent & Mersey Canal, which was financed by Wedgwood to help transport his wares from Staffordshire to Liverpool and around the world. 

Local bus services operate near World of Wedgwood. The 100 bus route, by D&G Bus, stops on Barlaston Old Road, about 10mins walk away, while there are regular services along Longton Road, approximately half an hour's walk through the woods or along the canal.

If you're travelling by car, there is a large free car park adjacent to World of Wedgwood.

Lichfield Cathedral

No round-up of brilliant free days out in Staffordshire would be complete without a mention of the magnificent Lichfield Cathedral.

The only medieval cathedral in the UK with three spires, it's an architectural wonder dating back more than 1000 years.

It's home to treasures like the 8th Century St Chad's Gospels, and the beautiful Herkenrode Glass, while there are regular services to help you reflect and worship.

There are free events in and around the cathedral throughout the year, including the Lichfield Food Festival, and combining your visit with a trip to the Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum, dedicated to one of Lichfield's favourite sons, is also worthwhile.

Lichfield is well-served by public transport, with two train stations - Lichfield Trent Valley and Lichfield City - within a half hour walk, and regular bus services into the city from across Staffordshire, Birmingham and the West Midlands.

If you're travelling by car, there are a number of city centre car parks within walking distance.

More free things to do in Staffordshire

In our historic, vibrant and beautiful county we have plenty of other options if you're looking for free days out.

Try the Brampton Museum in Newcastle-under-Lyme and discover how a Staffordshire man, Philip Astley, created the modern circus. Visit our Museums & Galleries page to find out more.

Immerse yourself in nature at reserves like Middleton Lakes in Tamworth, or our country parks including Baggeridge Country Park in South Staffordshire. Our Countryside section has everything you need to know about our rural destinations.

There are tons of free events, like Newcastle-under-Lyme's Lymelight Festival, and the Lichfield Food Festival, throughout the year - keep an eye on our What's On section for details.

Our libraries offer a world of discovery and regular events too. There is more information about things to do in libraries on the Staffordshire County Council website. 


National Memorial 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 nearly 400 thought-provoking memorials for both military and civilian associations.

The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery
The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery

Discover the world famous Staffordshire Hoard along with the history of the Potteries, including the world's greatest collection of Staffordshire Ceramics. See a Spitfire and all sorts of art and craft.

Cannock Chase Forest
Forest or Woodland
Image shows a family enjoying a summer walk

Cannock Chase Forest at Birches Valley is an excellent starting point for an exhilarating woodland adventure on Cannock Chase. From the Midland’s best mountain bike trails or leisurely woodland walks, get the kids to let off some steam on one of the adventure play areas or take in the scenery up high from the platforms of Go Ape. Cannock Chase Forest has something for all the family.

Manifold Valley
Viewpoint/Beauty Spot
Walking with a dog in the Manifold Valley, Peak District, Staffordshire.

A deep limestone valley of steeply wooded slopes and towering rock pinnacles, perfect for walks and cycling, particularly along the accessible Manifold Track.

Wolseley Centre
Visitor Centre
View across the River Trent

Wolseley Centre is a friendly award winning, welcoming visitor centre and headquarters for SWTwhich is set in 26 acres of beautiful grounds where you can explore interesting features and wildlife-friendly display gardens.

The National Forest
Forest or Woodland
Servants Bridge in the National Forest- photo by Philip Thorne.

The National Forest is England's most ambitious environmental project. In the Heart of England, across parts of Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire more than 200 sq miles are being transformed to create a new forest.

World of Wedgwood
Pottery Visitor Centre
World of Wedgwood, Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent

The World of Wedgwood, a unique visitor experience celebrating the very best of British industrial and design heritage. Experience Wedgwood for the day through shopping, food and visitor tours.

Lichfield Cathedral
Outside Lichfield Cathedral

Lichfield Cathedral is a treasured landmark in the heart of the country that prides itself in offering a warm welcome to all our visitors.