"Stafford - The Midlands" Stafford by zizkov

Stafford Travel Guide: 22 reviews and 99 photos

An Unscheduled Stop

Stafford, it is fair to say, is somewhere which I had no intention of visiting. I was on my way to Bath and beyond: however my car had different ideas. And judging by my experiences with Stafford garages, it may be the worst place in the country, carwise, to have a breakdown.

However, I decided I might as well see what Stafford has to offer, which luckily was a bit more than first impressions suggested.

The unique feature is the Ancient High House, the tallest half-timbered house still standing in England. It is a little forlorn on the modern High St, with some crappy shops at ground level, but inside, it is quite a construction.

There is also what's left of England's largest motte and bailey castle - the 'castle' itself is the crumbling remnants of a reconstruction - a project crying out for a bit of purpose and imagination.

Quaint back streets

There are a few (ok very few) parts of Stafford which have escaped 'improvement' which can give you a flavour of the history of the town. These are, of course, about a hundred times more attractive then any of the modern centre.

Another thing: Stafford, although (or possibly because) the centre is pedestrianised, has a chronic traffic problem. Despite the application of enormo-roundabouts and ringways, traffic can be be backed up for one, maybe two miles on the approaches during peak times.

St Mary's Church

Also in the historic quarter (more of a historic one-sixtyfourth) is the very old St Mary's Church, with some lovely gardens, with benches to enjoy the view. One thing I will say in Stafford's favour, it is very big in the Britain in Bloom stakes, with floral displays in abundance (and a lovely riverside park). Not quite enough to hide the whole town, however.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Vestiges of history
  • Cons:Anything modern, and the traffic
  • In a nutshell:Unfulfilled potential
  • Last visit to Stafford: Aug 2006
  • Intro Written Sep 18, 2006
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Comments (4)

  • Jul 23, 2007 at 2:56 PM

    great to see another persons view, stafford is a great place but neglected by the council could be so much better from north to south :D good to see that you took some nice pictures too

  • mvtouring's Profile Photo
    Feb 8, 2007 at 9:36 PM

    Sometimes the path we want to take is not the one intended to take and that is when we discover the little jewels ;-)

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Oct 25, 2006 at 10:38 AM

    Sorry to hear you had a breakdown of your car, but at least you got to see something of Stafford. Great photos and tips!

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Oct 24, 2006 at 1:27 PM

    Nice little page about this English gem .... I especially like your flowery photos of the Victoria Park. :-)

zizkov

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