Spending Time at Foxtwood
Sometimes you want to just relax at your cottage, so here are some ideas of what you can do without using your car. Families love spending time at our property because there’s so much to do!
You will no doubt meet our dogs, Axl and Troy. We have had them for several years now. Axl, we were told he did not cut the mustard as a cattle or sheepdog, so we had to go. How could we resist?
Troy was in training as a sheepdog but had a problem with his back leg, which now looks like it has a mind of its own and sometimes goes in the wrong direction!
Please don’t feed our dogs. They both need to watch their weight. You may prefer to feed bread to the fish of waterfowl. You can go by yourself to see our sheep (if they’re here), and we can take you to see our cows.
We have table football, outside building blocks, table tennis, a skittle table, swing ball, a yard tennis net and a badminton kit. And a family favourite, a decent size trampoline!
Eat outdoors and enjoy the view from the BBQ hut (which can be booked for the evening).
The butchers in nearby Ipstones have excellent meat. Ask Clive for the best methods, times and places to enjoy your outdoor culinary experience. Please take a rubbish bag with you, and if any glass is broken, please let Clive know so he can thoroughly clean it up.
For open water swimmers, you are welcome to try our lake. Do ask us for the best place to get in. We love swimming on a hot day, but feel free to go at any time of year!
Things to do Further Afield
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Newcastle Borough Museum & Gallery
Located in the heart of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, the Newcastle Borough Museum and Gallery is a cultural gem that offers a rich and diverse collection of art, history, and artefacts. Housed in a beautifully restored building, the museum and gallery provide an engaging and educational experience for visitors of all ages, celebrating the heritage and creativity of the local community.
Upon entering the Newcastle Borough Museum, visitors are greeted by various fascinating exhibits that explore the town’s history and surrounding areas. The museum showcases the town’s development over the centuries, from archaeological finds and local industry artefacts to social history displays. Highlights include the Victorian street scene, the replica coal mine, and the fascinating pottery collection that reflects the region’s rich ceramics heritage.
The Gallery at Newcastle Borough Museum is an inspiring space that showcases the work of local and regional artists, both established and emerging. With a rotating programme of exhibitions, the gallery offers a diverse selection of contemporary and traditional art, including paintings, sculptures, and photography. As a result, visitors can appreciate the talent of the local art community while also gaining an insight into the broader cultural landscape of the region.
For families, the Newcastle Borough Museum and Gallery offer interactive and educational activities that cater to children of all ages. With hands-on exhibits, creative workshops, and special events throughout the year, the museum and gallery are committed to making learning fun and accessible for everyone.
After exploring the museum and gallery, visitors can relax and enjoy a light refreshments at the on-site café, which offers a selection of drinks, cakes, and sandwiches. The gift shop is also available for those seeking souvenirs, local crafts, or unique art pieces to take home as a memento of their visit.
Sudbury Hall & Museum of Childhood
In the picturesque village of Sudbury in Derbyshire, Sudbury Hall and the Museum of Childhood is a delightful combination of history, architecture, and nostalgia. Owned by the National Trust, this 17th-century country house offers visitors a fascinating journey through time, showcasing elegant rooms and beautiful gardens alongside a captivating museum dedicated to the history of childhood.
Upon entering Sudbury Hall, visitors will be impressed by the intricate craftsmanship of the woodwork and plaster ceilings and the stunning murals and fine art that adorn the walls. Notable rooms within the house include the Long Gallery, the Great Staircase, and the ornate State Bedroom. Each room offers a glimpse into the lives of the aristocracy, with antique furnishings and remarkable attention to detail.
The gardens at Sudbury Hall are a tranquil retreat, perfect for strolls and relaxation. Visitors can wander through the manicured lawns, explore the charming walled garden, and marvel at the impressive yew hedges that frame the estate. The gardens also provide a picturesque backdrop for picnics and outdoor activities, making Sudbury Hall an ideal destination for families and nature enthusiasts.
The Museum of Childhood, housed in the former service wing of Sudbury Hall, offers a unique experience for visitors of all ages. With interactive displays, artefacts, and toys dating back to the 18th century, the museum explores the history of childhood and how it has evolved. Guests can relive their childhood memories, learn about the lives of Victorian children, and even try their hand at traditional games and activities.
After exploring the hall and museum, visitors can unwind at the on-site Coach House Restaurant, which serves a delightful selection of homemade cakes, light lunches, and hot drinks. The gift shop, located near the entrance, offers a variety of souvenirs, toys, and National Trust merchandise for guests to take home as souvenirs of their visit.
Nestled in the heart of Tamworth, Staffordshire, Tamworth Castle offers a fascinating journey through history, complete with its connection to the remarkable Staffordshire Hoard. This impressive Norman castle boasts over 900 years of stories, from Saxon beginnings to Victorian elegance, providing visitors with a unique glimpse into the past while revealing the incredible treasures found nearby.
Upon entering Tamworth Castle, guests will be captivated by the architecture and atmosphere of this ancient fortress. As you explore the castle’s rooms, you’ll encounter fascinating displays and artefacts showcasing the lives of those who inhabited the castle throughout the centuries. Highlights include the medieval Great Hall, the stunning Tudor chamber, and the elegant Victorian quarters.
The castle grounds provide a picturesque setting for strolls and relaxation, with beautifully maintained gardens, sweeping lawns, and a pleasant riverside walk. The grounds also host various events throughout the year, such as outdoor theatre performances, historical re-enactments, and fun family days, making Tamworth Castle a fantastic destination for all ages.
A visit to Tamworth Castle would not be complete without exploring its connection to the Staffordshire Hoard – the most extensive collection of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver artefacts ever discovered. Unearthed in 2009, this extraordinary treasure has captivated historians and archaeologists, offering new insights into the Anglo-Saxon era. While most of the hoard is displayed at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent, Tamworth Castle houses a special exhibition dedicated to the hoard’s local significance and the fascinating story of its discovery.
After immersing themselves in the history and treasures of Tamworth Castle, visitors can relax at the on-site café, which serves a delightful selection of hot drinks, light meals, and cakes. In addition, the castle gift shop offers a range of souvenirs, local crafts, and books for guests to take home as a memento of their visit.
Biddulph Grange Garden
Tucked away in the picturesque Staffordshire countryside, Biddulph Grange Garden is a breathtaking Victorian garden that invites visitors to embark on a magical journey through diverse landscapes and unique horticultural creations. Owned by the National Trust, this enchanting garden boasts an extraordinary array of plants, architectural features, and themed areas, providing a stunning setting for exploration, relaxation, and inspiration.
As you wander through Biddulph Grange Garden, you’ll be transported to different corners of the world, thanks to the garden’s distinct areas, each designed to evoke a specific country or region. From the tranquil beauty of the Chinese-inspired garden, complete with a pagoda and bridge, to the stunning Dahlia Walk, reminiscent of an Italian terrace, each garden section offers a new and captivating experience.
The creativity and ingenuity of Biddulph Grange Garden are not limited to its thematic areas. Visitors will discover many architectural features, sculptures, and hidden surprises throughout the garden. Highlights include the Cheshire Cottage, the Egyptian Court, and the Stumpery, which showcases the diverse influences and innovative ideas of the garden’s original creators.
Biddulph Grange Garden is a haven for plant enthusiasts, with an impressive collection of rare and exotic species sourced from across the globe. The garden’s plantings change throughout the seasons, ensuring a colourful and ever-evolving display that delights the senses and sparks the imagination.
For families, Biddulph Grange Garden offers various activities and events catering to children of all ages. With interactive trails, workshops, and storytelling sessions, the garden provides an engaging and educational experience that encourages young visitors to connect with nature and develop a love for the outdoors.
After exploring the wonders of Biddulph Grange Garden, guests can enjoy a well-earned break at the on-site café, which serves a delicious selection of homemade cakes, light lunches, and hot and cold drinks. The garden’s gift shop is also a treasure trove of souvenirs, plants, and gardening accessories, providing the perfect opportunity to take a piece of Biddulph Grange home with you.
Cannock Chase Visitor Centre
Located in the beautiful county of Staffordshire, Cannock Chase is a vast area of outstanding natural beauty that offers a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, and anyone seeking a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Spanning over 26 square miles, this stunning landscape boasts a rich tapestry of heathland, woodland, and parkland, providing a diverse habitat for abundant flora and fauna.
As you explore the varied terrain of Cannock Chase, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views, fascinating historical sites, and an array of wildlife sightings. The area is home to various animal species, including deer, foxes, and numerous bird species, making it a prime destination for wildlife spotting and photography. The heathlands are also a haven for rare plants and insects, including several species of heathland butterflies, which thrive in this unique environment.
Cannock Chase offers many recreational opportunities for visitors of all ages and abilities. With miles of footpaths, bridleways, and cycling trails, the area is perfect for walking, horse riding, and mountain biking. There are designated routes for all experiences l, from gentle strolls to challenging hikes and exhilarating off-road biking trails.
For history enthusiasts, Cannock Chase is steeped in fascinating heritage, with a range of sites and landmarks to explore. Discover the remnants of ancient hill forts, the poignant German and Commonwealth war cemeteries, and the mysterious standing stones known as the “Glacial Boulders”. The area’s mining history is also evident, with disused collieries and railways providing a glimpse into the region’s industrial past.
Families visiting Cannock Chase will find plenty of activities and attractions to keep children entertained. evelsIn addition, the area offers several adventure playgrounds, picnic sites, and educational trails, ensuring a fun and engaging experience for younger visitors. Special events and guided walks are also held throughout the year, providing opportunities to learn more about the area’s wildlife, history, and conservation efforts.
After a day of exploring the natural beauty of Cannock Chase, visitors can relax at one of the many local pubs, cafes, or restaurants, which offer a range of delicious refreshments and meals to suit all tastes.
Emma Bridgewater Factory
Nestled in the heart of Stoke-on-Trent, the iconic Emma Bridgewater Factory offers a unique and engaging experience for visitors seeking to explore the rich heritage of British pottery making. Known for its charming and colourful designs, the Emma Bridgewater brand has captured the hearts of pottery enthusiasts worldwide. A visit to the factory provides a fascinating insight into the craftsmanship, creativity, and passion that goes into each piece.
As you embark on a guided factory tour, you’ll be immersed in the bustling atmosphere of a working pottery, witnessing firsthand the intricate processes and skilled craftsmanship involved in creating the brand’s signature ceramics. The tour showcases each production stage, from mould making and casting to decorating and firing, offering a rare glimpse into traditional pottery making.
For those eager to try their hand at pottery decoration, the Emma Bridgewater Factory offers the opportunity to participate in a hands-on experience in the Decorating Studio. Here, visitors can choose from bisque pieces and unleash their creativity using the same techniques and tools employed by the factory’s skilled artisans. So whether you’re a seasoned artist or a complete beginner, this enjoyable activity allows you to take home a personalised souvenir of your visit.
The Emma Bridgewater Factory also caters to younger visitors, with a dedicated children’s play area and pottery painting sessions specifically designed for little ones. These engaging activities ensure the whole family can enjoy a fun and creative day out.
After exploring the factory and flexing your artistic muscles, you can unwind at the on-site café, which serves a delicious range of homemade cakes, light lunches, and hot and cold drinks. The charming atmosphere and beautiful ceramics make for a delightful dining experience. At the same t, the adjoining gift shop offers the perfect opportunity to browse and purchase a wide selection of Emma Bridgewater products.
The Shugborough Estate, located in the picturesque countryside of Staffordshire, is a magnificent and historic destination that offers a captivating experience for visitors of all ages. Set within 900 acres of stunning parkland and gardens, this grand estate boasts many attractions, from the elegant stately home and working farm to the beautiful gardens and fascinating monuments.
At the heart of the Shugborough Estate lies the impressive Shugborough Hall, a splendid example of Georgian architecture that has been the ancestral home of the Earls of Lichfield for over 300 years. As you step inside this magnificent house, you’ll be transported back in time, exploring the sumptuously furnished rooms and gaining a fascinating insight into the lives of its former residents. The hall is also home to an exquisite collection of fine art and antiques and a captivating exhibition on the life and work of the renowned photographer Patrick Lichfield.
Surrounding the stately home, the Shugborough Estate offers a delightful array of formal gardens and parkland to explore. Wander through the tranquil walled garden, with its beautiful flowers, fruit trees, and historic glasshouses, or meander along the picturesque riverside walk, taking in the enchanting views of the surrounding landscape. The estate’s follies and monuments, including the iconic Chinese House and the striking Doric Temple, provide further points of interest and intrigue for visitors.
Visiting the Shugborough Estate’s working farm is a must for those interested in rural history. Here, you can experience traditional farming practices, meet various rare breed animals, and discover the estate’s historic watermill and blacksmith’s forge. Interactive displays and demonstrations ensure an engaging and educational experience for all ages.
The Shugborough Estate also offers a range of visitor facilities, including a welcoming tea room, where you can enjoy a delicious selection of homemade cakes, sandwiches, and hot and cold drinks. The on-site gift shop is the perfect place to pick up a souvenir or gift, with a range of products inspired by the estate’s rich history and beautiful surroundings.
Cheddleton Flint Mill
Situated along the banks of the Caldon Canal in Staffordshire, the Cheddleton Flint Mill offers a unique and insightful glimpse into the area’s rich industrial past. This beautifully preserved water mill complex, featuring two separate mills, provides an engaging and educational experience for visitors interested in learning about the history of milling and the vital role that flint plays in the pottery industry.
As you explore the Cheddleton Flint Mill site, you’ll discover the fascinating processes of grinding flint for use in pottery houseproud. The North Mill, also known as the Flint Mill, showcases the original waterwheel and grinding pan c to grind the flint, while the South Mill, or the Colour Mill, was employed to produce bone ash and colour pigments. The informative displays and hands-on exhibits help bring the mill’s history to life, allowing you to appreciate the ingenuity and hard work that went into operating these vital facilities.
The Cheddleton Flint Mill also features a range of additional attractions that provide further insights into the area’s industrial past. For example, the restored Boatman’s Cottage offers a fascinating look into the families who lived and worked along the canal. At the same time, the nearby railway station, part of the Churnet Valley Railway, allows you to experience the charm of steam travel in a picturesque setting.
The site’s beautiful location along the Caldon Canal offers an environment to enjoy a leisurely walk or picnic. In addition, the towpath provides a perfect opportunity to appreciate the scenic beauty of the Staffordshire countryside while taking in the historic buildings and structures that dot the landscape.
After exploring the Cheddleton Flint Mill and its surroundings, you can relax at the on-site tea room, which serves a delightful range of hot and cold drinks, cakes, and light refreshments. The visitor centre also features a gift shop, where you can find a selection of souvenirs, books, and local crafts that celebrate the mill’s unique heritage.
National Memorial Arboretum
The National Memorial Arboretum is a poignant and evocative living tribute to those who have served, sacrificed, and inspired the nation. Spanning over 150 acres, this awe-inspiring landscape comprises over 25,000 trees and 400 thought-provoking memorials, creating a serene and reflective environment for visitors of all ages.
As you explore the tranquil grounds of the National Memorial Arboretum, you’ll encounter various memorials and monuments honouring individuals, groups, and events from military, civil, and humanitarian history. Each memorial tells a unique and compelling story, offering a powerful insight into the bravery, dedication, and sacrifices of countless men and women throughout history.
One of the most iconic and moving features of the National Memorial Arboretum is the Armed Forces Memorial. This strike commemorates the servicemen and women who have lost their lives since the end of World War II. In addition, t memorial’s walls are inscribed with the names of over 16,000 individuals, providing a deeply personal and emotional reminder of the human cost of conflict.
The National Memorial Arboretum offers ng monument many opportunities for reflection, remembrance, and learning. Visitors can follow a range of self-guided trails, attend guided walks and talks, or participate in special events and activities throughout the year. The site also features an award-winning Remembrance Centre, which houses interactive exhibits and educational resources exploring themes of service, sacrifice, and remembering.
Families visiting the National Memorial Arboretum will find a range of age-appropriate activities and resources designed to engage and inspire younger visitors. Interactive trails, storytelling sessions, and hands-on workshops encourage children to explore the site’s history and significance in a meaningful and accessible way.
After a day of reflection and exploration, visitors can enjoy a well-deserved break at the on-site café, which serves a delicious selection of homemade cakes, light lunches, and hot and cold drinks. The Arboretum’s gift shop is also a treasure trove of souvenirs, books, and commemorative items, allowing you to take a piece of the National Memorial Arboretum home.
Nestled in the heart of Derbyshire, Calke Abbey is a unique and captivating country house that offers a glimpse into the past. Initially built in the early 18th century, the Harpur-Crewe family owned the estate for nearly 300 years. Today, the property is managed by the National Trust and is a testament to the passage of time, providing visitors with a fascinating insight into England’s rich history.
Upon arrival at Calke Abbey, visitors are transported back in time as they explore the house’s atmospheric rooms, filled with original furnishings, intriguing artefacts, and a vast taxidermy collection. The house has been intentionally left in a state of ‘arrested decay,’ with peeling paint, cobwebs, and crumbling walls, creating a haunting and enchanting authentic experience.
The gardens and parkland surrounding Calke Abbey are equally impressive, spanning over 600 acres of stunning natural beauty. Here, visitors can wander through the tranquil walled gardens, stroll along the picturesque tree-lined avenues, or venture into the ancient deer park, home to a herd of fallow and red deer. The grounds also feature a beautifully restored orangery, an 18th-century icehouse, and a vibrant auricula theatre showcasing a colourful array of alpine plants.
Families visiting Calke Abbey will appreciate the numerous activities available for children, including an outdoor adventure playground, natural play areas, and a discovery centre, which provides interactive learning opportunities about the estate’s history and wildlife. The site also hosts various events throughout the year, such as outdoor theatre performances, guided walks, and seasonal workshops.
After a day of exploration, visitors can relax and refuel at the on-site café, which offers a delightful selection of homemade cakes, sandwiches, and hot drinks. For those looking to take a piece of Calke Abbey home, the gift shop provides a range of souvenirs, local crafts, and National Trust merchandise.
Chatsworth House and Gardens
In the heart of the Derbyshire countryside, Chatsworth House & Gardens is a magnificent stately home with elegance and grandeur. Home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, the Cavendish family has owned the estate for over 450 years. Today, Chatsworth is one of the UK’s most popular tourist attractions, offering visitors a unique blend of history, art, and horticulture.
As you step into Chatsworth House, you’ll be struck by its awe-inspiring architecture and opulent interiors. The house boasts more than 30 lavish rooms, each adorned with fine art, sculptures, and priceless antiques, reflecting the family’s passion for collecting. Among the highlights are the Painted Hall, the State Rooms, and the Sculpture Gallery, which houses a world-class collection of classical and contemporary pieces.
The gardens at Chatsworth are equally enchanting, covering over 105 acres of carefully designed landscapes and exquisite floral displays. Visitors can explore the various sections of the gardens, such as the Rock Garden, the Maze, and the Cascade, a stunning water feature with 24 steps. The estate also features a Victorian glasshouse known as the Great Conservatory, home to a vast collection of exotic plants, the newly restored Trout Stream and the picturesque Emperor Fountain.
For families, Chatsworth House & Gardens offers various engaging activities and facilities. The estate features a farmyard and adventure playground, where children can interact with farm animals, take tractor rides, and enjoy the thrilling play equipment. Throughout the year, Chatsworth hosts special events and exhibitions, including the annual Christmas market, outdoor theatre performances, and art installations.
After a day of exploration, visitors can indulge in a delicious meal at one of the on-site eateries, such as the Cavendish Rooms or the Carriage House Restaurant. For souvenirs and gifts, the Chatsworth Estate Farm Shop and Gift Shop offer a range of locally sourced products, artisan crafts, and Chatsworth-inspired items.
If the weather is unexpectedly wet, why not check out some indoor activities in our area?