“ Address: Milford / Staffordshire / ST17 0XB „
Shugborough is a stately home in the Staffordshire countryside near local area of natural beauty Cannock Chase.
The Shugborough estate comprises the park farm for the children, a butter making parlour, a museum, the house itself featuring guides dressed in traditional dress, a lovely tea room/café, an ice cream parlour, a national trust shop, a tower and beautiful gardens and walks. The estate also hosts special events at certain times of year, most notably Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas.
This is a place I've been heading since I was a little girl, living in fairly close vicinity to this stately home and farm. When I was young, we used to go to Shugborough Park Farm, the section specially designed for children featuring a small café, a great play area and various farm animals to feed, hold and look at including horses, pigs, chickens and bunnies (awww!) This makes for a great educational day for the children in teaching them all about farm animals and letting them get hands on in the butter making display and the museum. This is a particularly pleasant visit if it's a sunny day as the farm area has a courtyard where it is possible to sit outside and a variety of pens outside to walk around and look at the animals.
They recently re did some of the play area so it is great fun for all ages and I recall having a fantastic time there with my little brother and my cousins when I was younger! There is ample parking space this end of the estate.
There is a recently built area featuring traditional crafts such as pottery and wood burning, and a beautiful walled garden. These craft shops allow you to try your hand at different crafts or watch the craftsman and then get one to take home with you. I acquired a lovely wooden goblet last time I was there!
The main stately home is an imposing building featured in the Shugborough logo. They do special events here such as weddings I believe, and during the open season you can explore the house including the Lord Lichfield's private quarters telling the story of one of the grandest families of England.
The theme is Victorian and the museum features working Victorian servants quarters, displays of traditional dress and all the kinds of things I devoured as a history hungry kid. It is great to see books of the era brought to life.
The tea room features a choice of delicious lunchtime snacks including soups, sandwiches & jacket potatoes and a choice of tasty desserts and refreshing drinks. This café is reasonably priced and it's lovely to sit outside when it's hot. This also features good wheelchair access. There is an ice cream parlour with little ice cream tubs and the usual Walls selection sold in the summer months.
This end of the estate also has a car park and for those who prefer not to walk to the other end, there is a little train which runs past daily.
Shugborough could easily keep kids entertained for a number of hours as there is quite a lot to do.
It is a nice location to get the family out and moving as from one end of the estate to another it is quite a walk! This walk is suitable for the disabled too and everywhere has wheelchair access so it is very wheelchair friendly.
--Pricing and where to buy tickets--
Season passes are available or you can pay on a one off basis to get in if you don't live in the area. The season passes are quite good value for money - these are £25 for the season each and members enjoy an array of discounts - for more info on this see their website. Here are the rates for a day, so it is fairly pricey but you can make a day of it, and I'd say it's worth getting a season pass if you're going to be going more than once! It is also worth buying in advance to make savings and you can do this by phoning or booking online. If you want to buy on the day, at each gate there is a ticket stand.
Adult - £15 (£12.50 in advance)
Concession - £12 (£10.50 in advance)
Child - £9 (£7.50 in advance)
Family: 2 Adults & up to 3 children - £37.50 (£31 in advance)
Family: 1 Adult & 1 child - £19 (£15.50 in advance)
Under 5yrs - FREE
National Trust members will enjoy a discount on tickets too, and will get half price tickets. Tesco vouchers are accepted on standard day passes.
Their website is over at www.shugborough.org.uk if you would like some more information.
Shugborough is accessible from Milford or Haywood. The Milford entrance is a one way road through a forest though perfectly tarmacked and suitable for any car. This road features speed bumps and leads to the main carpark by the park farm.
The Haywood entrance is a walkway, so you can choose to park in limited parking in Haywood and walk through over the bridge over the river, though parking should never be a problem unless there is a large event on such as the fireworks when it gets horrendously gridlocked, so if you go for the fireworks I would deeply consider going by foot or bike.
We always cycled to Shugborough, being fairly local, and it is accessible along the canal and then there are places to lock your bike.
In conclusion, it is a great day out for the family, with loads to do but is quite pricey. The season tickets are good value if you live in the area and you should definitely give it a visit if you are a National Trust member. There are lovely things to eat and great walks and this working estate caters for all the family!
In December 2008 we visited Shrugborough Hall for a Christmas fair and had a wonderful evening. We walked around the stalls listening to carol singers and savouring the aroma of the hot chestnuts, burgers, hot potatoes etc. The house was open and lit up by candlelight and the Christmas trees were on display. I really wanted to go in, but the queue was much to long and I didn't have a chair with me; as I can't stand for too long it was not for me to wait in that queue, so my husband promised to take me back for a visit in the summer. We also went back last Christmas 2009 arriving really early this time, but still didn't beat the rush and the queue for the candlelit house was still too long, forever the optimist I will have to try and get there even earlier next year.
With us visiting local sights for our main two week holiday last summer, the visit came much earlier that we expected, and we set off towards Staffordshire for our day trip; we also picked one of the few really nice days of our two week break to go.
As this was our second visit we were wise to our sat nav and this time we followed it and it got us there really easy with no problems. On our first visit we forced it to take us the way my husband thought it would be quicker and we ended up coming in from the other side and the post code sent us to an industrial estate it took us quite a while in the dark to actually locate the entrance (lesson learnt).
We arrived early in the morning and parked fairly close to the entrance in the disabled parking section. (I have to point out that this is a different area it seems to where we parked for the Christmas evening, possibly because you see more with your day ticket and are restricted with the Christmas event one).
We went to the admission desk, which is located in the gift shop and advised the lady that we had reserved a motorised scooter to get me about on our trip. She kindly went on to inform me that I would not be able to take in into the house, but if I had difficulty when I got there, wheelchairs are provided inside to help you and see if you cannot manage the stairs; it may be prudent to mention that you have to enter the Manor House via a staircase as well. After purchasing our tickets and buying the guide book she took us outside and explained my electric wheelchair to me, and left us to it after explaining we have to bring it back to the same spot on our return. With me seated we set off towards the walled gardens and had a little drive around, fortunately it doesn't go that fast so my hubby didn't need to run to keep up with me.
The walled garden was built around 1805/06 and had revolutionary brick walls which were actually hollow inside and they had intermittent furnaces, these sent hot air all around the gardens to produce a mild micro-climate for the more tender plants, fruits and vegetables. They had staff in costume working the plots and you could even buy some of the fruit and vegetables, oh and plants which they produce.
There was a head gardener's house and other buildings next to the walled garden, some are used for craft rooms, there was only one open at the time of our visit which was one for making candles; they were only too happy to give you a demonstration and sell you some of their wares.
After leaving the gardens we came out onto the road which runs through the estate, it was only a short walk to entrance that leads you to the working farm. There you see a sign that says 'All the persons you meet in costume today think they lived in the 1800s they believe that eight pints of beer a day and £21.00 a year is a good wage. Please ask them about their lives, but remember they do not know anything about the 21st century, so please spare them any questions that assume such knowledge'. I looked at this sign and my excitement grew; I do enjoy it when the properties are not only dressed for the time period but the staff are too, and here they interact as well, much more fun.
We looked around the farm house first, which has fully 'dressed' rooms for the period, with some of the furniture being on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum. When you entered the kitchen the 'cook' was there in her period costume baking bread and biscuits, there was even a plate of recently cooked biscuits for you to try. The range she was using is actually a replica of the original one which would have been there; she went on to tell you how they cooked during the 1800s and she kindly offered us one of the biscuits she had baked.
On the way out of the kitchen was a photocopy selection (on A4 paper) of Shugborough Park Farm favourite recipes for 50p or £1 I can't remember exactly, but I did buy one to remember my visit and maybe even try the odd recipe; there are 17 recipes in all including one for my favourite hot cross buns. We both really enjoyed looking around the building, although I think I found it more interesting than my poor hubby.
After looking around the farm house I got back onto my electric wheelchair and off we went around the farm yard; this is great for both young and old, if you like architecture look out for the decorative brickwork in the eaves of the building. You can see displays of farm machinery and some farm animals, it was here that a young calf opened its eyes ready for me to take it's photo, she looked so cute.
There is also a working Mill here, I didn't get to see all over it as my legs ached a bit and I still had the Mansion to do, so hubby did the gentlemanly thing and looked for me taking pictures so I could see what I had missed. We took our time and enjoyed it very much and then went on our way across the meadow towards the servants' quarters and the Mansion, in doing so we passed the 'tower of winds' which is a replica water clock which was once used as a dairy on the ground floor and a gambling den upstairs, this was built in 1765; it was not open to go inside, so we could only look in wonder at the outside of the building.
It is quite a hike from here to the Mansion, but they do offer a mini bus or train ride around the estate, the stop for this is just before the entrance to Palmers farm, so you would have had to double back on yourself after visiting the farm to catch one of them. As I am in this chair today, my husband stayed with me and we made our way across the field, which was very peaceful and picturesque; it appears that more people take the free transport option than enjoying the walk in the sunshine, but it is a very big place and we are only half way through our visit.
We finally arrived at the Mansion House, the Servant Quarters and County Museum; we decided to do the Mansion House first and work backwards. The entrance was down the drive and around the corner; the house looked very majestic and beautiful with a large staircase leading you up to the front door. We parked the wheelchair at the bottom of the steps and my husband helped me up to the main door. The staff watched us and opened the door for us to enter, they offered me the virtual tour, but I declined as I had been conserving my energy specifically for this moment to see the Mansion in all its entirety. I must say at this point although you only get to see part of it as the other part is still lived in, you do get to see a lot of the house. The staff even offered me the use of a manual indoor wheelchair for the downstairs only (as there are no lifts), this too I declined as hubby suffers terrible with his back and at 6ft 2in tall it is a lot of bending to push me in one. So they pointed us in the right direction for us to start our tour and also advised us that the use of cameras was not allowed (surprise, surprise).
The Mansion House was originally built in 1694, but it was extended on a couple of occasions in later years with a new wing in 1748 and again further improvements including a ten columned portico and steps between 1790 and 1806. The hall where you enter has an oval effect with marble columns and curved plasterwork; you will see some lovely sculptures displayed as well.
The state dining room was spectacular with the dining table set ready for the big event; it has been described (from the guidebook) as the finest Rococo interior in England. All I can say is that I was extremely impressed and just wished I could have taken photos of it as the ones in the guide book were a little disappointing. The rooms were everything I would expect from a house of this stature and were all well presented and displayed wonderful period furniture and artwork. Each room having a member of staff at hand to tell you about the history if you want to hear more; the library was amazing so many books and the room next to it was full of wonderful family photos. I did notice a book by Lord Litchfield which I have a copy of at home was on the side 'The World's Most Beautiful Women' I got my copy from Avon when I worked for them as a gift because their make-up was used on some of the models in the book photographed by Lord Litchfield.
Part of the upstairs rooms have been changed to display items like a museum, one of these rooms is showing a display of some of the photographs which Lord Litchfield had taken. Another display here was a model of the Centurion, which was completed in 1747 this has been loaded to the house by the National Maritime Museum; this was a handsome ship.
The house was brilliant but my review would go on forever and I still have more to see yet on our visit; I must mention before we leave the Mansion House that whilst we were inside the house there was a rain shower and one of the members of staff came out with me and wiped the seat of the wheelchair dry for me before I got back on it and continued our visit, I did think that this was a very thoughtful act on his part.
After leaving the house we moved onto look at the Servants' Quarters and the County Museum. The Servants' Quarters is situated next door to the main house and has two large courtyards, the one has a large stone circle in the centre where the household wastes is held and the second one is found under the clock tower and this is the stable yard.
We walked through the coach house and saw a lovely display of coaches which the family have used over the centuries, they were magnificent and in excellent condition, best of all I could take photos for my memory album. Walking through here was like going through another house in its own rights. You go through the kitchen and into the laundry room where there was a member of staff in period costume, who was ironing some cotton gowns with an old fashioned metal iron. It was quite interesting to watch her work and she was happy to answer any questions about her work.
There were a few members of staff in and around this section as you moved from one room to the other; the servants hall with its large wooden table in the centre was actually quite sparsely decorated (as it would be really for the servants), they had tin plates on the table to show you what they would have eaten off, very different from the lavish wares that the main family used.
We got to sample a little beer when we visited the brew house, something for my husband to enjoy; the Anson family at Shugborough took brewing beer very seriously and their cellars were crammed full of barrels of beer. The tour is just never ending after walking around the servants quarters it leads straight into a museum full of displays like an extremely large puppet collection, which is a vast collection of marionettes, shadow puppets and glove puppets which have been on display since their arrival in 1993 (The Abbots Bromley Puppet Museum, the collection is owned by Douglas Hayward). There was also a tailor shop which was once a family run business in a village close by, a pharmacy which is a reconstruction but is filled with items from the Stafford and Leek areas, and a general store.
The museums continue up the stairs with further displays such as a Victorian classroom and a display of fashion and the undergarments that made the ladies dresses expand out. My mind was buzzing taking everything in that we had seen and there was so much to see; after our tour we decided to take a stroll (well a ride in my case) around some of the beautiful gardens and grounds. You could quite easily spend an hour or so strolling peacefully around here, it was quite simply beautiful.
There is a large lake which gave you a peaceful and tranquil feeling, also various monuments which you could look at as you go round. When you buy your ticket you get a map of the halls and gardens and all these monuments are marked on the map with little pictures and descriptions down the side telling you what they are. I have to say we were a little worn out by this time so we just enjoyed the peaceful surroundings before heading back.
Another nice thing about the walk was that you got to see the rear of the house (the lived in part), there was a lovely fountain here which I enjoyed getting a picture of.
As of 2010
You can buy tickets here that last you for 12 months
Adults cost £20.00 for one ticket, but if you buy 2 Adult tickets you get it for £35.00
Children's tickets cost you £11.00 each,
A family ticket will knock you back £45.00 ( this is normally two adults and up to 3 children).
OAP tickets cost £15.00 ea,
They do offer an Adult and Child ticket together for £22.50
All pass holders have to be named so you can't swap them around.
You can buy these over the phone if you have a credit/debit card by ringing 0845 459 8900. These tickets last you for 12 months from the time you purchase them and allow you unlimited access throughout the season; you can book on line as well.
There are more offers and details if you take a look at their web site, I have only given a sample here. www.shugborough.org.uk
You can just buy normal tickets as well and these cost for 2010
Adults - £12.00 (you can get a small discount if you book in advance)
Concession prices - £9.50
Children - £7.00 each child
Family - £30.00
Small family (1 adult and 1 child) - £15.00.
Looking at these prices the season ticket sounds really reasonable because you will definitely enjoy going more than once.
There are different offers on the web site for example if you collect Tesco vouchers or a member of the National Trust etc.
It is open daily between March 19th and 28th October between 1100hrs and 1700hrs.
They also hold special events throughout the year so it is always worth looking at the web site to see what is on offer.
Don't forget to take a look at the website for special events, like the one we attended at Christmas.
Shrugborough hall is to be found in Stafford, it is signposted from Junction 13 of the M6 and you will find the main entrance on Milford Common on the A513 Stafford to Litchfield road, there is a link to a street map on the site if you wish to follow that route.
ST17 0XB is the post code for your sat nav, and on some sat nav's you can even search under attraction.
If you come by train your nearest stations are either Rugeley or Stafford.
There is a bus service available from both the above towns, you catch the 825 which drops you near the hall and you can then enter the estate on foot via the exit road.
Their website is wonderful for useful information about travelling it even gives you travel times from certain parts of the country, for example it is only 2hrs 40mins from London.
I have mentioned that they do cater for disabilities throughout the review, I found it very easy to get around on the motorised scooter(wheelchair), but these are limited, so I would recommend that you book one in advance so they can keep one aside for you.
We did get to use the toilets and they were very clean and accessible. We didn't stop to use the café or restaurant as we were heading to the Golden Orient for a Chinese buffet (I just had to go back after our last visit).
Would you like to know where the word 'Loo' came from, well according to the guide book Lady Louisa Anson, who was the eldest daughter of the 1st Earl, was said to be a surly woman and prone to being very unkind with her words. Her husband Edward King Tenison had a rather large nose and became quite deaf in later life, so Lady Anson would speak on his behalf and spoke quite a lot out of turn and often her comments would be hurtful and cause offence; anyway this led to certain young Dukes referring to her as having a 'potty mouth' and they took her name plate and put it on the door of the W.C. It is believed that there after it was always referred to as the Lady Loo.
I would highly recommend a visit to Shugborough Hall, I really enjoyed it and there is so much to see and do; most definitely excellent value for money. You could easily spend an afternoon here, but it wouldn't take much to stretch that out into a whole day. There was not one part of the visit that we didn't enjoy, even my husband thought it was lovely and has promised to take me back again.
Thank you for reading
While looking for places to go to in the school holidays I stumbled upon a advertisement for Shugborough estate and as it was only 25 minutes from where I live in Lichfield I decided to go, I was unsure if it would be to my 6 year old's taste as like most children he prefers tacky places! However I knew that my partner and I would enjoy it ! And in-fact we all loved it!
What is Shugborough?
Shugborough is a working historic estate based near Stafford. The estate is set out in 5 main areas, the walled garden, Park farm, Parkland monuments and gardens, servants quarters and Museum and the mansion house.
- Walled garden
The walled garden is half a mile from the mansion house, this is due to the gardeners being considered as 'unsightly' and to avoid restricting the view from the house. The walled garden was originally created in 1806 and supplied all the fruit and vegetables on the estate. You can buy some vegetables when you visit the walled garden for £1 a bunch! There are actors in this area who will answer any questions you have about how they performed their job and the tools they would have used. The garden was impressive and my Son was amazed by the 6 foot sun flowers!
Along from the walled garden is the bothies, the bothies provided living accommodation for young unmarried gardeners. These are now used as craft shops, the craft shops are independent but will happily tell you about the craft they do, ie candle making and wood work. My son had a go at candle dipping and rolling for a small nominal charge.
- This is the bit my son enjoyed the most , you first go through the farm house and learn about how food was stored and how the house would have been. The farm bailiff used to live in this house and it is a very grand house for someone of that status. This was made more enjoyable for my son as the farm had a bear hunt on and my son enjoyed dashing from room to room looking for the hidden bears. The staff were very good and stayed in their roles through out even when I told my son that my mother had an 'old fashioned' weighing scale similar to the one in the kitchen, the bailiffs wife stated that they are not old fashioned but the latest invention for them! If you get the chance to, do taste some of the griddle cakes that they place for you to try in the kitchen they are amazing and melt in your mouth! There is a dairy attached to the house and the lady in their happily explained to my son how cheese was made - I was surprised how fascinated my son was! As its school holidays the farm had events on throughout the day and we decided to do the mask making, as few people joined in the staff passed myself and my partner a mask to decorate, to which we had fun pretending to be big kids and letting our imagination go wild with pots and glitter!!
Then on to the fun bit - feeding the animals with the purchased on site feed, my son enjoyed feeding the goats, although beware there are a few wandering around and will follow you!!
Parkland monuments and gardens.
The parkland is stunning and you could have a lovely walk over the estate... however as time was against us on this occasion we didn't take advantage of this. We will be going again though as you can view the out buildings and parkland for just the parking fee of £3 and take your dog with you if you have one.
Servants quarters and museum
This was interesting as it had things that would not of originally been at the park but that were typical of the age, the museum staff gave my son a quiz to fill in as he went around and this was invaluable to keep him interested, He was particularly interested in the medical instruments! The laundry was very interesting and again the staff made it great for my son with demonstrations of the hot rods and irons!
The Mansion House
- The mansion house is absolutely stunning, we bought a children's guide book on our entrance to the estate which became invaluable once we got to the house. The guide book explained about the house in the way a child would understand and had tasks and questions for my son to find the answers to. As a adult viewing the house, it is absolutely beautiful and the furniture and wares were amazing. My partner did not think he would be that interested in the house being a typical man, but I think he was even more enthralled than I was!
As well as those areas I have listed there is a play ground by the farm park this has lots of things for the children to play on and even has a swing and roundabout for wheelchair bound children.
Eating and Drinking?
At the farm park there is a tea room, we had planned to eat in here until we found they only did pre-packed sandwiches, therefore we did a quick exit and made our way up to the Ladywalk tea room at the house. This is exactly what we were looking for! The tearoom serves hot food until 2:30 but then does freshly prepared sandwiches and jacket potatoes, cakes, homemade biscuits etc until 4pm.
The tea room was decorated lovely with flowers on each table and all the staff in old fashioned kitchen made outfits. The hot food looked lovely and there was plenty of choice, but we opted for a sandwich. There was a wide choice of sandwiches but both my partner and I chose the farm house cheddar and chutney baguettes, you could have it on wholemeal or white and a baguette or sandwich, the sandwiches I saw were large doorstep sandwiches!! There were a variety of drinks, soft drinks, ginger beer, beers, wines and hot drinks. My partner also had a chocolate refrigerator cake which didn't even touch the sides so must have been nice! For children there were hot meals with a free piece of fruit for afters or a packed lunch with a freshly made sandwich - a packet of walkers crisps, piece of fruit and a freddo bar.
There are also plenty of areas to picnic should you wish but I do highly recommend the tea room if you are not on a strict budget.
There is also a sweet shop - much to my partners pleasure with old fashioned sweets and also a icecream parlour which we did not partake in.
The best bits?
I found the whole place amazing but I think the was the best bit for children, however the staff really make this attraction what it is, they are fantastic in character and really bring the place to life, I have been to other attractions in the nearby area and this is twice as good as that was and I would recommend it to anyone old or young.
Adults £12, concession £9.50, child £7, under fives are free.
FAMILY (2 Adult & up to 3 children) £30
FAMILY (1 Adult & 1 child)£15
PARKING CHARGE £3.00 per vehicle, fully refunded on purchase of a ticket
is available for £3. Parking charges will apply
SENIOR DISCOUNT DAY ON MONDAYS
Seniors can get a full site ticket for just £5 on Mondays
How to get there?
"Shugborough lies just a few miles from the county town of Stafford and is well signed from Junction 13 of the M6. The main entrance is located at Milford Common on the A513 Stafford to Lichfield Road" Taken from the Shugborough website and not counted in the total word count.
Stafford - 15mins
Lichfield - 25mins
Stoke-on-Trent - 35mins
Wolverhampton - 40mins
Alton Towers - 40mins
Birmingham - 45mins
Derby - 45mins
Warwick - 1hr
Shrewsbury - 1hr
Chester - 1hr 15mins
Manchester - 1hr 20mins
Sheffield - 1hr 30mins
London - 2hrs 40mins
Taken from Shugborough website www.shugborough.org.uk not counted in word count.
Thank you for reading my review - I have tried to give as much information as possible if I have missed anything please don't hesitate to ask. You can get the bus to Shugborough as there are bus stops outside the main drive but I am unsure of the service details but if you put the details in www,travelline.org,uk you will be able to get the direct route.
I can't believe I haven't already reviewed this place. Shugborough Hall is an amazing place to visit at any time of the year and it is always fun. I have been going for years ever since I was little and it is a favourite place to visit for all of my family. I will attempt to get over in this review how fantastic it actually is and then hopefully you will go and visit.
It is located in Stafford and just outside of the centre and there are plenty of signposts so you should be able to find it very easily indeed. It is in the middle of Cannock Chase so even before you drive onto the estate you have great Greenland everywhere and forests to walk through if you fancy it. We always take our dog down there as it has so many different walks and it is also great for cycling through.
So to get to the estate you have to drive down a very long drive indeed. Do not do what we did one year and let my fiancé drop us off at the end of the drive as that was one walk I won't forget in a hurry. It was horrible!!
So what is there to do at the Shugborough Estate? Well on any day when it is open you can go up and take a look around the Hall and the gardens which are huge and beautiful. There is a farm and then there are a few little shops and a cafe. It is basically somewhere you go to walk around and learn about the history of the mansion. I love the Shugborough estate as it is a working estate and you get to go around the mansion and even go to the servant's quarters.
It is very interesting and a lot of the time all of the staff will be in costume which is a lot of fun for everybody.
There is a cost to Shugborough which is £12 for adults and you may have to pay for parking. This does depend on what is on and what you want to do as if you just want to go and take a look it will be free to visit.
What you really go to Shugborough for though is the events and I go to the Christmas markets every year and also the Halloween event which is great. Throughout the year though they do things such as craft fairs which are great to go to. The Christmas fair though is particularly nice as there is a donkey there and hot chestnuts and then lots of little craft stalls. The atmosphere is nice too.
I do often go to craft fairs though which are usually in big marquees and have lots to see, do and buy for adults and children. I remember making kites there when I was little and it was a brilliant day back then and it still is now.
It is so much fun to walk around and I have to say it is definitely worth a visit so if I were you I would try it. It is always a good day and it doesn't matter much about the weather as everything is always good. I have to say I have never had a problem with staff either as they are always very nice.
A great location and a nice historic place to visit.
Thanks for reading.