Here are some suggestions for things to do besides the scientific programme,
listed approximately from near to farther afield (please see the links on the
travel info page for public transport connections);
for more information about the Shires of Stafford, Chester, and Shrop please
visit their tourist information websites:
Trentham Monkey Forest
- walk among 140 free-roaming Barbary monkeys in their beautiful forest. Watch
them play, groom and nurture their babies without the confinement of a cage.
This is fun for all ages, and presents fantastic photo opportunities!
- not just a swimming pool! Located on festival Park, other things to do
include an Odeon cinema, a marina with narrow-boats, shops and restaurants,
Stoke Ski Centre
- ... a dry-slope ski paradise!
Gladstone Pottery Museum
- Stoke-on-Trent is famous for its potteries. The Gladstone museum features a
well-preserved factory with some of the few remaining bottle ovens, showing
the work and lives of the factory workers. It also hosts a curious toilet
Wedgwood Visitor Centre
- perhaps the most famous of all potteries is Wedgwood. Its visitor centre
offers tours of the factory seeing all aspects of the process take place for
real. You can even have a go at it yourself! It has shops (check also the
"seconds" for great discounts!) and a restaurant.
Little Moreton Hall
- magnificent Tudor-style timber-framed moated manor house, with delightful
garden and ducks. (note: you can buy a combination ticket with Biddulph Grange
Biddulph Grange Gardens
- splendid Victorian garden bursting with colour and exotica. (note: you can
buy a combination ticket with Little Moreton Hall)
Churnet Valley Steam Railway (and more!)
- take a vintage steam locomotive journey through the Churnet Valley. This is
not just for fans of trains: besides the trip back into Victorian times, there
are stunning pre-Raphaelite windows in the St.Edwards church in Cheddleton,
designed by William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones, a Flint Mill museum (free
admission), a nature reserve, typical narrow boats that cruise the Caldon
Canal, and some quintessentially British tea rooms.
Jodrell Bank Observatory
- visit the 51-year old Lovell Telescope, with 76 metres diametre a truly
awesome sight and one of the most powerful radio telescopes in the world.
- enormous theme park. If you like this sort of thing, you mustn't miss it!
- Britain's first national park offers great opportunities for nature lovers
and keen hikers. Why not rent a bicycle and enjoy the level cyclepaths, or hone
your climbing skills on the rock cliffs and boulders. The pretty village of
Castleton is set in a beautiful landscape, overlooked by the ruins of Peveril
Castle, whilst Chatsworth House is a palace to impress.
- the ancient town of Chester is one of the most interesting towns of Britain.
The largely medieval walls follow the original roman layout, and roman remains
such as the amphitheatre can still be seen. The town is also well known for its
unique medieval rows of two-tiered timber-framed shops that line its pedestrian
streets, and it boasts a castle and a large cathedral. Nearby are Chester Zoo
and the Blue Planet Aquarium (see below).
- one of the top zoos in the world, Chester Zoo hosts giraffes, elephants, a
variety of big cats and monkeys, meerkats, amphibians, birds, and much more.
Blue Planet Aquarium
- walk through a glass tunnel and be surrounded by sharks and manta rays.
Marvel about the colourful world of tropical fish and coral and tiny frogs.
Shrewsbury and surroundings
- the attractive medieval town of Shrewsbury is a pleasant place to wander
around. Charles Darwin was born and educated here. Nearby are the roman ruins
of Wroxeter. The surrounding hills are loft with idyllic priories and romantic
abbeys, and the castles of Stokesay and Ludlow are not far to the South.
Llangollen and surroundings
- the Welsh town of Llangollen has a rich history and plenty to see and do. A
steep, but not very long hike up the neigbouring outcrop gets you to Castell
Dinas Bran, the ruins of a medieval castle on the site of a prehistoric
settlement, with spectacular views all around. Few places beat this one for a
picnic! Not far from Llangollen, the ruins of Valle Crucis Abbey are extensive,
inspiring and tremendously scenic.