South West Region
Much of the Staffordshire Moorlands are a ‘hidden gem’ – with fewer visitors than the more well known parts of the Peak District. This is surprising because the scenery is no less dramatic, the villages just as pretty and the walking outstanding. The beauty of Dovedale is renowned, but don’t miss a cycle ride along the Manifold Valley, perhaps stopping at the National Trust’s tearooms at picturesque Wetton Mill along the way. Nor the wooded Churnet Valley with its heritage steam railway, although families may know this better as the home of Alton Towers, Britain’s biggest theme park. The gritstone ‘Roaches’ are one of the areas most prominent features, plus the serene waters of Tittesworth reservoir and Rudyard lake. Ashbourne and Leek offer enjoyable shopping, with traditional market squares, cobbled streets and a wealth of antique shops as well as specialist food and fashion shops. A little further south lie the Potteries with their factory shops selling pottery and fine china at bargain prices.
Ashbourne Tourist Information Centre, 13 Market Place, Ashbourne
Leek Tourist Information Centre, 1 Market Place, Leek