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West Midlands Travel Diary

Discover West Midlands

The UK's newest designer outlet with over 45 stores ready to welcome you. Located in one of the UK’s areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Cannock Chase is a district in Staffordshire that tempts visitors from near and far.

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Where to shop

In between picking up tasty treats at gourmet farm shops and browsing for souvenirs in the area’s many boutiques and independent stores, a visit to the Designer Outlet should be on any shopping enthusiast’s radar. With big-name brands like Coach, Kate Spade and BOSS, there’s something for everyone with up to 60% off RRP.  

You’ll find the outlet conveniently located with easy access from the M6, M6 TOLL, A5 and A38 motorways. If you’re travelling from Cannock or Birmingham, there are quick and easy routes via train, bus and coach.  

 

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Where to stay 

From 5-star luxury to comfortable budget-friendly options, there are a huge variety of excellent places to stay in the West Midlands. To transport yourself back in time, there’s nothing quite like a stay at Hoar Cross Hall Hotel & Spa. Located a short distance from Bromley Wood, Hoar Cross is an award-winning resort in the heart of Staffordshire boasting a state-of-the-art spa, tailored treatments and fine dining. Lovingly restored to its former grandeur, the decor is quite something. From antique furnishings and period details to sumptuous linens and homely touches, the elegant bedrooms compliment Hoar Cross Hall’s Jacobean architecture and idyllic, sprawling grounds. 

For dramatic scenery and old-world charm, opt for The Moat House in Acton Trussell. Surrounded by beautiful Staffordshire countryside, this Grade II listed Manor House boasts original features, a 2 AA Rosette restaurant and even its own tranquil lake. Only 4 miles from Stafford with easy access to the M6, a stay here will leave you feeling as rested and rejuvenated as can be.  

Close to Birches Valley Forest Centre or the Fairoak Trail for biking and walking adventures, the Cannock South Premier Inn is a great place to stay if you’re visiting with the smallest members of the family. Comfy Hypnos beds and unlimited breakfasts are there to set you up for a day of exploration, while little ones have the option to eat free of charge with an adult breakfast purchase.  

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Where to eat & drink

The West Midlands is known for its diverse and vibrant culture, which means you can enjoy the delights of a new cuisine each day of the week. There are also a large number of AA Rosette winners that make the combination of delicious meals and first-class service seem truly effortless.  

One such restaurant is The Shropshire at Haughton. Here, a warm and welcoming ambience pairs with a truly spectacular A La Carte Menu. From vegetable suppliers to the restaurant’s butcher who rears and butchers his cattle less than twenty miles away, as much of the produce as possible is sourced locally. When the season allows, their head chef sources fresh quails eggs, raspberries and asparagus from local farms in the area.  

If you’re spending the day at the Designer Outlet, take a well deserved break from shopping and dine at some well-known favourites. Refuel at Wagamama, give yourself a boost of energy at Starbucks, or stop for something sweet at Smoothies Plus.  

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Things to do

Cannock Chase Forest is one of the best hidden gems the West Midlands has to offer. From Go Ape and children's play areas to orienteering and dog activity trails, you’ll never be short of things to do in this incredible setting. If you’re visiting from mid-April to late May, you might even be fortunate enough to stumble across one of the stunning bluebell woods. With only a short time to enjoy these beautiful flowers in full bloom, it’s well worth adding a visit to your itinerary.  

Animal lover? As well as bird watching and wildlife spotting, you can walk amongst 140 free-roaming monkeys in one of Staffordshire's most ancient forests, Trentham Monkey Forest, followed by a stroll in the award-winning gardens of the estate. A perfect day out if you’re visiting with your very own little monkeys.  

The West Midlands is also the perfect place to take to two wheels, zip around town and stop by some of the area’s most fascinating landmarks, museums and historic sites. You can’t go wrong with the Abbey Fields Loop from Kenilworth, which takes you directly to William Shakespeare’s birthplace. 

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