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North Staffordshire is one of the world's top destinations in the world for cottage holidays. If you haven't visited, you really should.

 

Tourist and visitor information

Tourist Net UK North Staffordshire and the Staffordshire Moorlands gives general tourist information and a list of attractions, museums, zoos, wildlife and country parks

See Leek On-line 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.

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.

 

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 people of "The Potteries" don't speak Brum or Scouse. There is a distinct local dialect. See if you can undertand it. You can listen to here at BBC Radio Stoke and, if that is too difficult,  try reading it

Just like Ladymoor Gate, North Stafforshire 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 noisey adverstisements).

 

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.

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