The City of Lichfield lies between Birmingham and Burton-On-Trent, in the heart of the Staffordshire countryside. The City Centre is not a very large area, but is filled with things to see and do.
For the history buffs out there, there is the birthplace of Doctor Samuel Johnson to peruse. This building on the corner of Market Square is a shrine to the man who compiled the first dictionary, and the museum is a treasure of Lichfield's heritage. There are waxwork models depicting how he lived in the house, and a little shop to buy a souvenir or two of your visit. There is also the magnificent Lichfield Cathedral to visit which is only one of two cathedrals in the country that has three spires (does anyone know where the other one is??). The Cathedral has some magnificent architecture surrounding the front on the outside, and plenty to look at on the inside too. There is a little shop inside the front where you can purchase guidebooks and other gifts.
For those wanting a little bit of peace and quiet, there is Beacon Park on the edge of the centre, which is home to gardens, play parks, crazy golf, pitch and putt, fountains, and is also home to a statue of the Captain of the Titanic!!
In the centre itself, there are plenty of shops, pubs and café's to keep you entertained, and if you are staying for food, I would suggest a walk down Bird Street, which is home to Italian, Spanish, Indian, Thai and fast food restaurants as well as café's and popular bars such as Lloyds.
Also worth a look is the historic and aptly named 'Tudor Row' which has been preserves since the Tudor times. It is a little pedestrianised alley which is so narrow in places that it is difficult to pass other people!! This alley is home to sweet little shops and café's and you can imagine how we used to live all those years ago.
On a night time visit, as well as the numerous pubs and restaurants that there are to choose from, there is also the Lichfield Garrick Theatre. This is home to Lichfield Operatics Society and the fantastic Lichfield Garrick Youth Theatre, as well as many national tours from comedians and plays. Every July, there is the 'Lichfield Festival' where many famous faces come to the city to host shows and do talks. This event finishes with a 'proms in the park' night and a firework display, held in Beacon Park, which if the weather is good, can be a fantastic night for all the family.
If you're in the area and you don't fancy walking around a big busy city like Birmingham, and you like quaint little towns, then the city of Lichfield is definitely worth a visit.
When I lived in Walsall in the West Midlands I often used to visit the lovely little city of Lichfield in Staffordshire. It is well worth a visit whether you fancy shopping, sightseeing or just chilling out and absorbing the atmosphere.
Lichfield is a relatively small, but historical city with a beautiful cathedral and some fantastic architecture. It is situated north west of Birmingham on the road between Walsall and Burton upon Trent.
The main attraction is St Chad's Cathedral which stands on the site of the original cathedral built in honour of St Chad in AD 700. It has three spires, know locally as The Ladies of the Vale, which can be seen from miles away. Work began on the present building in 1195 and continued with some interruptions until 1338. Whenever I visit Lichfield I love to walk round the cathedral. It is always welcoming and very peaceful. I love to just sit and look around and have a little word with The Boss! It has a spectacular font with elaborate carvings of saints and kings and the windows of the Lady Chapel are one of the cathedral's finest treasures.
There is a shop inside the cathedral that sells all sorts of gifts, both religious and otherwise, in aid of the cathedral funds. There is also a teashop opposite the side entrance, which serves drinks, snacks and light meals, again with proceeds going to the cathedral.
The area around the cathedral is very pretty with walks alongside Minster Pool and Stowe Pool. The walk along the north bank of Stowe Pool was apparently Dr Johnson's favourite walk and the view of the cathedral from here is superb. It is also a lovely place to sit and feed the ducks or just relax and watch the world go by.
Dr Samuel Johnson, who published the Dictionary of the English Language in 1755, was born in Lichfield in 1709 in a house on the corner of Breadmarket Street. The house has remained virtually unchanged since the 18th century and is now a museum with eight rooms dedicated to the life of Dr Johnson and his life, work and friends, both in Lichfield and in London. There are also two libraries of books and manuscripts, some of which actually belonged to Dr Johnson.
Further down Breadmarket Street is the birthplace of Elias Ashmole who was a 17th century antiquarian scholar. His collection of rarities was the foundation for the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford University.
There are many more old buildings in Lichfield so it is well worth having a good walk round maybe with a decent guidebook so that you don't miss anything. I have a book called The Book of Town Walks and Lichfield is one of the places featured in it. Although I had been visiting Lichfield regularly for most of my life when we only lived a short distance away, when I did the walk as described in this book I discovered so many things that I had never noticed before.
Bishop Smyth founded St Johns Hospital with its eight huge Tudor chimneys in 1495, on the site of a Norman hospital. Opposite the Friary School there are remains of an old Franciscan Friary church dating back to the 13th century, which have been incorporated into a small garden.
Opposite the 18th century Angel Croft Hotel is the house of Erasmus Darwin, which was built around 1760. He was a local doctor and also an inventor and botanist.
There is also a large park and gardens on the edge of the city centre, with beautiful flowerbeds, tennis courts and a bowling green. I remember being taken to this park as a child as there was a play area with swings and roundabouts etc, but there were also two old traction engines that we could climb on as well. I used to love to go there!
Lichfield has a good shopping centre with many of the main stores represented here, together with a street market and a host of small individual shops. I always find that this is a great place to visit for that unusual present. They even have a teddy bear shop, but it's best that I don't go in there too often!
In May each year there is a festival called the Lichfield Bower and the whole place is filled with stalls, fairground rides, street entertainers and they also have regular displays
of Morris Dancing too.
There are lots of nice pubs, teashops and restaurants, so refreshments for the sightseer or shopper is never far away.
As I said at the start of the review, when I lived in the Midlands, I was a regular visitor to Lichfield and I never tired of the place.