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North Staffordshire is not the first place you'd think of as a major tourist area, but it is. If you haven't visited, you really should. From the Peak District to the Potteries, from Alton Towers to Trentham Gardens, indoor entertainment and outdoor adventure, there is something for everyone. 

Tourist and visitor information

Visit England has a page dedicated to things to do in Staffordshire, many of them in the North of the county so it is a good place to start.

See Visit Leek for places of interest in and around Leek.

Bored? Try Staffordshire county council's suggestions for things to do or see Enjoy Staffordshire and the great outdoors.

Fancy a walk in the park? Here is a list of Staffordshire Moorland district parks, with location and information about each one and here is another from Staffordshire County council, which manages some beautiful country parks including Greenway Bank and Rudyard Lake.

Of course there is also the City of Stoke on Trent, centre of "The Potteries" which offers theatres, museums, leisure and recreation activities and shopping. You might be surprised. See Visit Stoke.

And if you like walking and you promise to take care and not drop litter or pick the flowers or let your dog chase the squirels you can always try one of our own local walks.

Must eat: Oatcakes

Elizabeth Cooper in oatcake bakeryElizabeth Cooper in her oatcake bakery c1955

Anyone visiting North Stafforshire has to try the the famous North Staffordshire oatcake, which any North Staffs exile will go to great lengths to import, to where ever in the world.

My maternal grandparents owned and ran an oatcake bakery. After my grandfather's death my grandma and uncle continued the business until she retired. My dad also worked for her at weekends and I went along to help when I was a schoolgirl. So OK, I have two reasons to be biased - location and family history - but they are delicious. Try one and see!!! Even if you have coeliac disease like me you can even get them gluten free (in some places and if you eat them fresh straight from the hot plate or grilled with cheese they are pretty good, although I do still envy anyone who can eat the genuine article). 

See Martin Wainwright of the Guardian on the trail of the North Staffs oatcake.

 

Learn the lingo

The North Staffordshire dialect and its small local variations has a long history but is now in danger of dying out. The people of "The Potteries" don't speak Brum or Scouse. There is a distinct local dialect and this project explains more about it and includes a short film with lots of local accent and a few examples of dialect (set cookies to include features).  There used to be some good recordings available from the BBC but they have been archived, which is a pity, but you can still try reading it and learning a bit of the Potteries vocab.

Just like Ladymoor Gate, North Staffordshire is on a border: between the West Midlands and the North West regions. Officially part of the Midlands it is often overlooked by mainstream media, but to get a flavour of the community, including some close neighbours in South Cheshire (North West), try visiting The Sentinel newspaper (but beware the noisy advertisements).

Weather from WeatherUnderground

 

Andy Chestnut treeRooted to the Spot

Magazine style section with articles inspired by Brexit. To say I am not a fan of Brexit is putting it far too mildly, but I am taking some Brexiters at their word and trying to draw comfort from the tribal homeland and look optimistically for the things that "can make us great again" or where we can "take back control". 

Connecting with nature and contemplating my family's history in the area is helping, but then again I enjoyed those things before, and while now they provide solace from the bereavement like affect of Brexit they are not improved by it. I hadn't actually lost them.

Expanding on the theme of Out and About, adding in the liberation of retirement (my personal Work Exit), a move which will definitely leave me with less money, and chronicling my attempts to develop new income streams provides a (loose) parallel to the current challenges of the country. So far I think I have made more tangible progress than HMG, but I seriously hope they get their act together soon and leave the messing about to me.