Let’s go to … the National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire

Its new Remembrance Centre has just opened, in time for Armistice Day. But also take time to explore nearby lovely Lichfield and its medieval cathedral

Why go now?
To visit the new Remembrance Centre at the nearby National Memorial Arboretum, which has opened in time for Armistice Day. The centre has three new galleries, a restaurant, cafe and shop, and a cloistered courtyard garden. The woodland contains 30,000 trees and 330 memorials to fallen soldiers and emergency workers (grounds free, centre £7.50, thenma.org.uk).

What else is there to do?

Lichfield Cathedral
Lichfield Cathedral. Photograph: Alamy

Lichfield is a lovely cobbled market town with some interesting sights: a three-spired gothic cathedral, Erasmus Darwin’s house and Samuel Johnson’s birthplace museum. Beacon Park has 70 acres of beautiful gardens, and there is an excellent theatre, named after local Shakespearean actor David Garrick. Drayton Manor children’s theme park is a short drive away.

Anywhere good to eat?
The Wine House, which specialises in wagyu steak and seafood, has just started bottomless lunches: three courses and as many glasses of prosecco/cocktails as you can drink (£25, Friday to Sunday). Pom’s Kitchen & Deli is open from breakfast right through to dinner, and has regular events such as an upcoming beer (they brew their own), wine and food night (11 November, five courses, five beers, five wines for £45pp).

How about a drink?
The Lichfield Real Ale trail comprises 10 great pubs (download it at visitlichfield.co.uk). The trail includes the Whippet, the city’s first micropub, which sources beers from small breweries within 50 miles, serves top-quality pork pies and has free cheese boards on Sundays. Beebohm specialises in world beers and Le Reve is the place to go for cocktails and live music. Look out for Fifth Spire, a new gin distilled in the city.

Anywhere to stay for under £100 a night?

St Johns House, Lichfield
St Johns House Photograph: PR Company Handout

St Johns House, a gorgeous restored 17th-century home and stables, has nine stylish rooms (doubles from £100). The Inn Keeper’s Lodge at the Hedgehog pub has nine basic rooms (doubles from £55).


Rachel Dixon

The GuardianTramp

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