Recreate the enchantment of a by-gone era this Christmas with a visit to Staffordshire for traditional festive celebrations. Stately homes, picturesque market towns and historic churches will be hosting Christmas themed events for all ages. If you live in the vicinity here are some cracking suggestions given to us by the local tourist board.
Victorian Candlelit Evenings at Shugborough Estate
Hundreds of candles and fresh flowers will bring a sparkle to the Victorian Candlelit Evenings at the Mansion House and working Servants’ Quarters at Shugborough Estate from 3 to 6 December. Magical snow showers, reindeers, carol singers and stilt walkers will help recreate the sights and smells of an authentic Victorian Christmas at the historic family Estate. Tickets for the Victorian Candlelit Evenings cost £10 for adults and £5 for children.
Christmas Reindeer Parade at The National Arboreturm
‘Elfee Okee’, ‘Christmas Carriage’ and ‘Jingle Jangle’ will be leading the lantern lit, Christmas Reindeer Parade at The National Arboretum in Alrewas, near Lichfield on 7 December. Visitors are invited to light their route with lanterns for this magical afternoon, which also sees the opening of Santa’s grotto and a children’s fun fair. A traditional open air Christmas concert will also be taking place on 19 December. Tickets are free and hymn sheets are available to download from the National Arboretum website.
Medieval Christmas at Litchfield Cathedral
This Christmas, discover Lichfield as it would have been in medieval times – by candlelight. Historic Lichfield Cathedral, the only medieval English cathedral with three spires, will be offering guided candlelit tours of this spectacular gothic building from 22 November to 23 December and 27 December to 4 January. Tickets cost £10 each.
Christmas Family Day at Museum of Cannock Chase
There is something for young and old at the Museum of Cannock Chase for their Christmas Family Day on 7 December including Christmas Carols with the Salvation Army Band, Snow Queen puppet shows, Christmas storytelling sessions and a special Wartime Christmas in the 1940s Room. Santa and his Elf will be in the Coal Mine, and there will also be festive games with Cannock Chase Council play rangers.
Real Christmas Trees from Birches Valley Forest Centre
Over at the Birches Valley Forest Centre in Cannock Chase, real Christmas trees will be available to buy. Head over and soak up the atmosphere with thousands of fresh Christmas trees available to buy as well as traditional festive decorations. The centre will be open daily until the 22 December.
Winter Wonderland at SnowDome
Enjoy a game of snowballs, hitch a ride on a sledge and have fun sliding about as you wander through the snowy Christmas landscape at Tamworth’s SnowDome magical Winter Wonderland. Real snow is, of course, guaranteed as is real reindeer and a festive Winter Wonderland show. Open from 28 November – 31 December, Santa will also be bringing children’s favourite, Sooty to entertain guests. Tickets are £16.95 per person.
Carols by the Lake at Rudyard Lake
Throngs of brass bands and a chorus of carol singers will be bringing to life the ‘gem of the Staffordshire Moorlands’, Rudyard Lake on 19 December. The lake will be illuminated with hundreds of lights whilst a traditional brass band perform festive favourites. The ‘Carols by the Lake’ event starts and 6.30pm and entry is free of charge.
Christmas Steam Trains at Churnet Valley Railway
Visitors are cordially invited aboard the Majestic Vintage Steam Trains at the Churnet Valley Railway to take a journey through the beautiful and unspoilt, Churnet Valley. The trains will be departing from Moorland stations at Cheddleton, known for its grade II listed Victorian station and Froghall, featuring Victorian style tea rooms. Onboard the trains, Father Christmas will be presenting gifts for children whilst adults will be able to enjoy mince pies and a glass of sherry. Tickets cost £10 for adults and £7 for children.
New Year Walks at Weston Park
Why not walk off the festive indulgences with a New Years Walk through Weston Park’s grounds on 4 January 2009. The 350-year old Estate, which has hosted everyone from international politicians to royalty, is renowned for its charm and family atmosphere. Head Gardener, Martin Gee will take guests on a three and a half mile walk around the Estate to explore medieval parkland and winter woodland. After walking up an appetite a three course Sunday lunch will be served in the Stables Bistro Restaurant. Tickets cost £27.50 per person for adults and £15.00 for children.
For more information about Christmas events in Staffordshire visit www.enjoystaffordshire.com