This is the season of short breaks, taking a bit of time off or planning a weekend in the New Year. Life gets a little hectic as the Christmas season approaches and we want to plan treats and time out for the family. You may know that I will be recommending Staffordshire, but I thought I would be more specific and offer 3 great things to do in 3 days (when Alton Towers is shut) while staying here in North Staffordshire.
1. A day of steam and excitement...a visit to the Churnet Valley Railway is a treat for all ages and they really do offer a quality and authentic service. Often you see these holiday railways offe
ring special days and themes, but somehow they feel a little flat. The Churnet Valley have great staff, really cater brilliantly for children and the scenery as you travel on the train is second to none. As they have a great and varied timetable there will be something to suit most family m
embers. There are music evenings, ghost trains and of course Santa! Just 15 minutes from Rowan House
2. Trentham Estate...this is really a day out with an unlimited list of opportunities. Not just about gardens (although fabulous throughout the year), but also about shopping, local food, eating out and live music. There are family and wheelchair friendly walks and trips on the lake. Kids of all ages will love the Monkey Forest too which really is fun, interesting and exciting. This award winning destination is just 30 minutes from Rowan House and your visit really can last all day!
3. Dimmingsdale for a walk! Dimmingsdale is really a magical dingley dell in the Churnet Valley with steep woodland on each side. Walking distance from Rowan House this is the ideal walk for all the family. Firstly, you can take the dog and secondly you can use a buggy (although expect mud!). Not only that but you can chose a flat path or a more exciting steep path to suit all abilities. There is a beautiful stream (see pic) for Pooh sticks, paddling and fun and there are a couple of lovely waterfalls. Autumn and spring are particularly spectacular as the sun casts a dapply shade onto your path. This is the ideal Sunday walk after brunch and you can treat yourself at the award winning Ramblers Retreat on the way home. Serving big home made lunches or huge slices of gateaux and hot chocolate of the Gods - you really can't go wrong.
So there you are - how and why to spend a fabulous short break in Staffordshire. Less expensive than the Peak District National Park, beautiful, peaceful and just 3o minutes from the M6 or the M1! Naturally there is so much more I may well have another 3 in 3 next week...