Hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected to flock to Staffordshire this Easter as the county gears up for a packed schedule of events.
It comes as the latest figures from VisitEngland show that Staffordshire is in the midst of a tourism boom with almost 25 million people from home and abroad enjoying day or overnight trips to the area.
The number of visitors have helped generate £1.1 billion to the local economy and that is set to be boosted by a busy Easter Bank Holiday weekend. Two of the county’s most popular attractions are now open for the new season with even more fun to be had.
Alton Towers has launched it Octonauts Rollercoaster Adventure as part of the theme park’s CBeebies Land. Families are taken on a trip with Captain Barnacle and includes interactive features during the ride. This is ahead of the spectacular Enchanted Village which is set to open in the coming weeks. It will include 120 fairytale lodges as well as five luxury treehouses.
Drayton Manor Park welcomes in spring with the £2.5 million expansion to the already popular Thomas Land which opens on Wednesday April 8. New characters including Flynn the Fire Engine and the arrival of the two-storey Sodor Airport are just some of the highlights of this new and exciting project.
Sightseers can also take advantage of a vast variety of Easter events being held around Staffordshire. They include an Easter egg hunt at the award-winning Trentham Gardens, which takes place between 9am and 4pm from Good Friday (April 3) to Easter Monday.
Tamworth Castle is also hosting its annual Easter egg hunt between 11.30am and 4pm on Saturday April 4 and Monday April 6. In addition to its magical Easter egg trail, Shugborough Hall will have a stunning display of spring flowers as well as traditional Easter bakery sessions. It will take place between Good Friday and Easter Monday.
The Basil Brush Show comes to Stafford’s Gatehouse Theatre with two performances to wow the children at 11am and 2.30pm on Good Friday. Those who are fans of the railways can visit Chasewater Railway near Brownhills. There people can take in the sights while on board a four mile return trip that guides passengers through Chasewater Country Park.
Alternatively the Transport Show pulls up to Weston Park on Easter Sunday and Monday. As well as hundreds of classic cars and vehicles on show there is a wide range of entertainment and children’s activities for all. Gates open at 10am on both days.
If beer is your sort of thing then to the east of the county the National Brewery Centre in Burton-upon-Trent is hosting its family weekend on Easter Sunday (April 5) and Easter Monday. An Easter egg trail, display of shire horses and a Punch & Judy show will be part of the activities on show at the centre. As the temperatures begin to rise visitors can enjoy the vast and beautiful countryside walks Staffordshire has to offer.
The Roaches in Leek forms part of the Staffordshire Peak District and is the ideal beauty spot to take in what the county’s natrual world has to offer. It is famed for its impressive gritstone and cragg rocks and offers unobstructed panoramic views for miles around.
To the south of the county Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Cannock Chase is a popular destination for people seeking fresh air, peace and exercise. Located between Cannock and Stafford it offers 26 square miles of adventure and tranquility.
Graeme Whitehead, tourism manager for Destination Staffordshire, said: “Tourism is on the rise in Staffordshire and there is so much to do across the county this Easter.
“Whether its family fun, thrill-seeking or simply getting out and exploring the countryside we have it all and we encourage people to come and see just what Staffordshire has to offer.
“With the warm weather set to stick around over the Easter weekend we are expecting an increase in visitors to the area and we look forward to welcoming them all to Staffordshire.”
To find out more about what is going on in Staffordshire this Easter you can find a full list of events at www.enjoystaffordshire.com/easter.