Today, I thought it would have been a good idea to have a small road trip (or better a “bus” trip) to Stafford. I spotted some good places on the internet the days before my trip that seemed to be worth a visit. And they were. I went for a very relaxed day with very few things on my to-visit list, as I didn’t want to go home more tired than when I left.
So, back to our visits, the bus to Stafford left me really close to the city centre. Nice and small, it was full of local, charity and coffee shops. People walking around, having their breakfasts at the local Costa or doing some shopping. A quick window-shopping through the high street, near the theatre, the college and other main building, put me in the mood for one of those relaxed walks as tourists do. For once, I was in no rush, enjoying the town (unfortunately the local market was not there that day 😥 ).
After the high street, the Victoria Park was my next stop. And it was absolutely stunning. The ducks swimming here and there in the canal, people feeding them, children playing, cyclists coming out from the near forest, grandpas playing pétanque… just the perfect location for a quite lunch at the riverbank.
Next and last stop of my day? Stafford castle at just 30mins walk from Victoria park and Railway station. Easy to find, easy to discover. There are signs everywhere, leading you to the very top of the hill, where the castle has been built. At the entrance gate, on the left, a Medieval garden has been created, with lots of herbs and plants, perfectly well-finished and watered by the wise hand of the gardeners. Peace reigns in this place and you feel it everywhere. How can I visit the castle, then? Well, easy. You follow the 15 signs and panels spreaded all around the castle and in the forest just underneath the main hill and you will discover the history of the castle itself, the villagers, the day-to-day life and local animals. Squirrels running freely from one tree to the other. Pure and simple happiness. Back to our 15 panels. If you carefully follow them, you will start a gentle climb to the highest hill where the castle is. If you feel lazy, then go for the main path, but the suspence will blow away in few seconds.
From the castle, the view is stunning. Forget of the tall trees in front of you and the near counties are all there under your feet. Stafford, Stoke, Cheshire, Shropshire all the local towns etc. Once you reached the top, you can also enter the ruins of the castle and have a look around, think about living in the castle at those times, the banquets, the music, the daily life. Impressive.
If you are around, it is a MUST to visit. Cheers 🙂