Staffordshire’s cathedral city has so many amazing places to explore – here’s our top 10 reasons to visit Lichfield
Lichfield has a wealth of history still evident today through the spires of the cathedral and the winding streets and museums. But there are plenty of contemporary attractions that make it an appealing day out for all ages. Lichfield is a city where the past easily sits alongside modern day life. Here are our top 10 reasons to visit Lichfield.
1. A Cathedral to be proud of
Lichfield’s three-spired Cathedral is the city’s most famous landmark.
As the only medieval three-spired cathedral in the UK, history buffs will love discovering 1,300 years of history. Go along and take a closer look at the medieval wall painting, the famous Herkenrode stained glass and the Lichfield Angel.
Entry is free, although donations are encouraged, and there’s even a café and a gift shop.
2. Retail therapy
Shopping is something of a treat in Lichfield too. There’s the Three Spires Shopping Centre with high street favourites like Debenhams, WHSmith, Peacocks, Boots, The Entertainer, Argos and Thorntons. Independent retailers and antiques shops, and the Tudor Row shopping arcade offering boutiques, arts and crafts and gift shops.
Visitors can also bag some bargains at the markets on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays in Market Square. The stalls sell everything from jewellery, books, clothes and accessories to food, plants and pet supplies.
And a farmer’s market runs on the first Thursday of each month, where you can pick up local produce, arts and crafts.
Beacon Park offers more than 70 acres of gardens and open space. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely walk around the gardens and discover the history of the site from its many statues and plaques.
Those feeling more energetic can play golf, tennis, basketball, crazy golf or try their hand at skateboarding. And for children there is a play area with a climbing wall and wooden play ship and train.
There is also a boating pool and lots of wildlife to discover in the woodland, as well as a pond-dipping platform and outdoor classroom.
Picnics are popular in the summer, with inflatable fun, pedalos and donkey rides also on offer.
4. Food and drink
Foodies are spoiled for choice in Lichfield as there is such a wide variety of eateries to choose from.
So, whether you’re looking for top-notch restaurants for a banquet or a little cafe for a cuppa and a cake, it has them all. And many of them are award-winning too.
The Tudor of Lichfield is worth a visit as it’s housed in Lichfield House, dating back to the time of Henry Tudor. Plus, the Four Seasons at Swinfen Hall is the only restaurant in Staffordshire to be awarded three rosettes from the AA.
Lichfield is bursting with history and heritage.
You can visit Erasmus Darwin’s former home, which has been been restored with period furnishings, and the Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum.
Less well-known are the remains of the Friary, which once housed a group of monks can still be seen today and are a scheduled Ancient Monument; and the Old Guildhall Prison Cells which include original cells and stories from some of the inmates kept there from 1548 onwards.
6. Festival fun
Festivals are a big part of the community in Lichfield.
There is the annual Shrovetide Fair in February, complete with a traditional ceremony and pancake races. The Lichfield Greenhill Bower takes place on May Bank Holiday Monday.
And in spring and summer the Lichfield Festival takes place in July; the Lichfield Food Festival in August and Lichfield Proms in September.
7. Luxury stays
With so much award-winning accommodation on offer it’s worth going to Lichfield just to experience a stay in one of the many hotels and B&Bs.
Netherstowe House has an award-winning fine dining restaurant and is the only place in Staffordshire to be recommended by the Good Hotel Guide, while the family-owned George Hotel offers 30 speciality gins for its guests.
There are also nearby holiday parks offering caravan stays, such as the Kingfisher Holiday Park and Silver Trees.
8. Arts and more
The arts offering in Lichfield is thriving, with the Garrick Theatre attracting more than 100,000 visitors each year to watch everything from opera and ballet to comedy and drama, not to mention tribute acts and the annual Christmas panto.
Lichfield Arts also supports the development of musicians, performers and artists. Regular concerts and events are held at the Guildhall, a historic building in the middle of Lichfield.
9. The National Memorial Arboretum
The National Memorial Arboretum is a huge remembrance site, featuring more than 350 memorials, representing military organisations, charities and emergency services. The impressive Armed Forces Memorial commemorates men and women who have lost their lives in conflict since the end of the Second World War.
There is also a Remembrance Centre housing displays, a restaurant, shop and garden, as well as woodland.
10. Nearby attractions
There are lots of attractions around Lichfield, including Drayton Manor Theme Park, usually open from March to October.
The nearby Staffordshire Regiment Museum is also worth a visit, featuring vehicles, weapons and memorabilia from the past 300 years.
Visitors can also discover what Roman Britain was like at Letocetum Roman Site and Museum in nearby Wall.