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Lichfield is a sizable town (officially a cathedral city) in the county of Staffordshire and to the north of Birmingham.
The centre of Lichfield is a pleasant place to explore, with some attractive Tudor and Georgian buildings to be discovered, and a good selection of shops and cafes. There is also a large park called Beacon Park in the city centre. Markets in Lichfield are held each Tuesday, Friday and Saturday - in the same Market Place where Lichfield markets have been held since the town received its charter in 1161.
Start a visit perhaps by visiting the Lichfield Heritage Centre in Saint Mary's Church (Market Square) to learn of the history of the town - the visit is more interesting when seen in its historical context. You can also climb the church spire to get a view across the Lichfield city rooftops.
Particular highlights in the city centre include the Cathedral (see below) and the Guildhall in Bore Street - the Guildhall dates from the 14th century, although much of what we see today is the result of an 18th century restoration. Inside, the Guildhall has an impressive panelled hall.
Much the best known and most easily recognised monument in the centre of the city is Lichfield Cathedral, renowned in particular for having three spires. In the attractive setting of the Cathedral Close (itself a highlight, surrounded by several lovely buildings) and next to Minster Pool, the 13th century Gothic style cathedral fell into centuries of neglect after great damage cause during the Civil War but has been greatly renovated over the last two hundred years.
The cathedral stands on the site of two earlier cathedrals - one Saxon, and one earlier Norman cathedral of which traces can still be seen. As well as the spires, note in particular the decorative facade and the octagonal Chapter House. The cathedral also contains some fine stained glass brought from Herckenrode Abbey at the beginning of the 19th century, and a sculpture by Francis Chantry called 'The Sleeping Children'
Other Lichfield highlights
Samuel Johnson, the renowned 18th century author, poet and biographer was born in Lichfield in 1709 and his life is now celebrated in a museum created in his house at Breadmarket Street (facing the market) - the Samuel Johnson Museum.
Erasmus Darwin, grandfather to Charles Darwin, was also a reputed scientist, poet and inventor - visit his 18th century home in Cathedral Close at the Erasmus Darwin Museum.
Attractions close to Lichfield
The Drayton Manor Theme park is very popular with children, with special attractions related to Thomas the Tank Engine, a large zoo area and a '4D' cinema experience.
For a nature experience visit the Chasewater Country Park which has lots of water based activities on the lake (boating, waterskiing, fishing) and is a nice place for a stroll and a picnic, or the centre at Conkers (near Moira) which has loads of fun activities for children, including a mini steam railway, and a large woodland area for walks etc.