There's Anglo-Saxon gold in them there fields
Kate Simon is the Travel Correspondent of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. She was Travel Editor of The Independent on Sunday from 2005 to 2011. Kate is also the co-founder of Little Black Book Creative (www.lbbcreative.co.uk), which offers editorial services, media relations consultancy and travel-writing training.
Sunday 22 July 2012
The largest and most valuable find ever of Anglo-Saxon treasure takes centre-stage this weekend with the opening of "Staffordshire Hoard: Dark Age Discovery" at The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery (01782 236000; visitstoke.co.uk; admission free) in Stoke-on-Trent.
The exhibition tells the story of the Hoard, estimated to be worth more than £3m, since its 2009 discovery in a field by Terry Herbert and his metal detector. The Staffordshire Saxon makes his first appearance, too. The 9ft-tall (2.74m) cast bronze resin statue, which stands in the museum's lobby, has been dressed and equipped as a warrior at the time of the Hoard, byits creator, artist Andy Edwards.
* Another local statue worth seeing is Perseus With the Head of Medusa, the only copy in existence of the 16th-century original by Benvenuto Cellini, which resides in the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence. This 19th-century version has stood by Capability Brown's lake at the Trentham Estate (01782 657341; trentham.co.uk; admission £8.20) since 1847. But you'll need to be quick to see it in its usual surroundings this summer – the 4m-high sculpture is due to leave for the Royal Academy of Art in London by mid-August for a major autumn exhibition called "Bronze".
* While you're at Trentham, call in at the UK's only Monkey Forest (01782 659845; monkey-forest.com; admission £7.50), where you can mingle with the 140 Barbary macaques that call this 60-acre woodland home. And shake off your shoes at Trentham's Barefoot Trail — a short walk across materials such as mulch, pebbles and mud, inspired by a German wellbeing concept dreamt up in the 19th-century.
* For more spiritual invigoration, step out on the new Two Saints Way (twosaintsway.org), a long-distance footpath connecting the cathedrals at Chester, in neighbouring Cheshire, and Lichfield in Staffordshire.
* Alton Towers (0871 222 3330; altontowers.com; family admission for two adults and up to four children from £19.50 per person) has two new attractions for 2012. Its underground ride Nemesis Sub-Terra promises thrills that will chill, while Ice Age: The 4D Experience is the latest show in the Cloud Cuckoo Land Theatre.
* No trip to Staffordshire would be complete without visiting one of the potteries after which this area is named. Wedgwood Visitor Centre (01782 282986; wedgwoodvisitorcentre.com; admission £10) in Barlaston has just launched a new guided tour of its factory, while the Craft Demonstration Area is the place to see traditional skills in action, such as enamelling and figurine painting.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Emma Watson on Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak: 'Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated is reading the comments'
- 2 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Cee Lo Green: It is only rape if the victim is conscious
- 5 Katie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge: ‘I hate fat people for making me do this’
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
£20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...
£15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...
£30 - 35k + Uncapped Comission (£70k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Business Develop...