A town packed with history, in a borough of stunning views. There are many reasons to visit Newcastle-under-Lyme, from beautiful gardens and landscapes, to ground-breaking culture and heritage - not to mention bargains galore!

Here are five of the best things to do in Newcastle-under-Lyme, put together with the help of Staffordshire influencer Sonya Farrell.

1. New Vic Theatre

Image shows a packed house for a production at the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme, StaffordshireThe New Vic Theatre is a must visit!

One of Staffordshire’s cultural gems, the New Vic was Europe’s first purpose-built theatre-in-the-round when it opened in 1986, and is one of only 11 theatres of its kind in the UK.

It’s renowned for exciting, critically-acclaimed productions, and its innovative work with New Vic Borderlines helps disadvantaged groups, young people at risk of offending, and adults with learning difficulties develop positive attitudes and build self-worth.

There’s a packed programme of theatre, poetry, live music and stand-up comedy, and highlights for 2024 include Lemn Sissay, The Bluetones, Jacqui Dankworth, Ballet Cymru, and a spectacular reimagining of The Princess of the Pea.

2. Dorothy Clive Garden

Image shows three generations of the same family enjoying the colours of the Dorothy Clive Garden, Newcastle-under-Lyme, StaffordshireYou'll find peace and tranquility at the Dorothy Clive Garden, a pretty 12-acre hillside garden on the Staffordshire-Shropshire border.

Take the short drive from Newcastle-under-Lyme town centre and you will be rewarded with colourful displays all-year round, with beautiful seasonal borders and collections of rhododendrons, azaleas, hydrangeas and much more.

Perhaps the most romantic spot in Staffordshire, this intimate garden was designed by Colonel Harry Clive for his wife, Dorothy, to give her interesting walks as she fought Parkinson's disease.

She passed away in 1942, but the Colonel continued to look after and develop the garden in her memory, until 1958, when management was entrusted to The Willoughbridge Garden Trust, who still maintain it to this day.

3. Castle Artisan Market

Image shows a beautiful day for browsing the stalls at Castle Artisan Market, Newcastle-under-Lyme, StaffordshireCastle Artisan Market is a monthly event in Newcastle-under-Lyme town centre, on the third Sunday of every month.

A great way to spend a relaxing Sunday and shop local, the market is held on the high street, with a varied selection of hot food vans, craft makers, artists and artisans of all types, in traditional green and white canopied stalls.

It's a place where you can celebrate small businesses and makers from Staffordshire and beyond, and you'll also find an exciting mix of live music to accompany your stroll.

Castle Artisan Market is organised by Castle Artisan Events, who run markets across North Staffordshire and South Cheshire, including similar monthly events at Middleport Pottery and Stoke-on-Trent City Centre.

4. Brampton Museum

Image shows an educational talk in progress at The Brampton Museum, Newcastle-under-Lyme, StaffordshireLess than half a mile from Newcastle-under-Lyme town centre is a hidden gem - The Brampton Museum.

Staffordshire's Small Visitor Attraction of the Year, this unique building is steeped in history, full of educational artefacts, and fascinating exhibitions in the recently-refurbished Jim Wain Courtyard Gallery.

Inside the museum, there is always something to catch your eye and take you back in time - especially the fantastic Victorian Street upstairs.

There is a year-round programme of talks, film showings, and budget-friendly family arts and crafts activities - plus free parking and beautiful gardens next door!

By Sonya Farrell. For more news on places to visit in Newcastle, follow Sonya on TwitterFacebook or Instagram, visit her website www.babababoon.co.uk, or subscribe to her regular newsletter at https://www.babababoon.co.uk/newsletter/

5. Apedale Valley Light Railway

Image shows a train driver and his passengers on one of the heritage trains at Apedale Valley Light Railway, Newcastle-under-Lyme, StaffordshireFor another journey back in time, a train ride on the steam and diesel locomotives of Apedale Valley Light Railway will delight visitors young and old.

Jump on board for a 15 minute round trip through the beautiful Apedale Community Country Park, the landscaped and restored site of a former coal mine.

There are events all-year round, including Easter Egg Hunts and Halloween and Santa Specials, as well as the chance to try your hand at engine driving. 

After your train ride, head for the neighbouring Apedale Heritage Centre, for an insight into the working life of a miner - with underground mine tours available for the adventurous.

Or you could explore the 184 hectares of the country park, on the many tracks through woodland, meadows and pools, and spot some of the wildlife which now calls this wonderful site home.

More Things to Do in Newcastle-under-Lyme

This is only the beginning when it comes to things to do in Newcastle under Lyme!

Explore the life of the Father of the Modern Circus, Philip Astley, at the brand new Philip Astley Centre, or enjoy spectacular acrobatics, circus skills workshops, street theatre and more in The Homecoming, the annual celebration of Astley's legacy.

And there's great shopping at Affinity Staffordshire, which is home to over 40 top brands and discounts of up to 60%!

There's plenty more on food & drink, events, accommodation and attractions in our Newcastle-under-Lyme section at https://www.enjoystaffordshire.com/ideas-and-inspiration/explore-our-destinations/newcastle-under-lyme


New Vic Theatre
New Vic Theatre

A world famous theatre-in-the-round presenting plays, musicals, concerts, and more. Facilities include a restaurant, bars, and onsite parking.

Dorothy Clive Garden
Laburnhum Walk and Arch

Covering a total of 12 acres with woodland, waterfall, spring bulbs, rhododendrons, fabulous borders, alpine scree and gravel garden. Delicious food served in the tea room with views of 3 counties.

Brampton Museum
Outside the Brampton Museum, Staffordshire

Brampton Museum consists of a number of galleries featuring collections telling the story of Newcastle-under-Lyme and its people from the Roman invasion onwards.

Apedale Valley Light Railway
Steam Railway
Stanhope engine

There is something for everyone at Apedale Valley Light Railway. Young and old will enjoy a great value trip on a narrow gauge steam or diesel train alongside the Apedale Community Country Park.

Affinity Staffordshire
Retail / Outlet Village
Affinity Staffordshire shopping centre, exterior view. Image courtesy Jonathan Hipkiss, Birmingham Mail

With over 40 great stores offering up to 60% off including Nike Clearance, M&S and Clarks Outlets, you'll find a fantastic range of fashion and footwear, plus gifts, homeware and accessories all at amazingly low prices.