What to do at the Weekend: Visit Shugborough Hall
Situated a stone’s throw from Cannock Chase, Shugborough Hall is a National Trust owned stately home in Staffordshire set amongst 900 acres of parkland.
Getting to and Parking at Shugborough Hall
Shugborough Hall is located just minutes from both Cannock Chase and Stafford, and near to Great Haywood.
It really is just round the corner from where Tanith lives, so we didn’t have to travel far for this one.
Parking at Shugborough Hall is free and the car park is really big, so parking even on busy days isn’t a massive drama.
Shugborough Hall Opening Times
Shugborough Hall itself opens at 11am and closes at 4.30pm.
It is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays though, so we’d recommend going at the weekend (not so subtle, slightly shameless plug for our blog name there).
The grounds and parkland are open a little earlier, 9am until 6pm, if you just fancy a wander round the estate.
If you are looking to go inside the Lichfield Apartments (which is worth checking out), note that it’s only open Wednesday to Saturday (inclusively).
From the car park, it’s a short walk to the reception cabin where you either pay your entrance fee, or flash your National Trust membership card to the volunteer.
We’ll come onto Shugborough Hall ticket prices a little later in the post.
The Walled Gardens at Shugborough Hall
As you walk in, the Walled Gardens are straight in front of you.
This is home (at the time of writing) to an array of flowers and vegetables.
When we first went to Shugborough in the spring, these were just being planted, so there wasn’t much to see. But luckily, this time around everything was in bloom.
The tall sunflowers around the perimeter of the garden – up against the walls – were a particular favourite of ours.
The hard working honey bees buzzing around them would also agree.
The Farm Exhibition
Through the cafe courtyard and seating area, you will find the farm exhibition.
This stable building is dedicated to telling the story of Shugborough’s farming and horticultural history.
As with most National Trust exhibitions, there are some cool artifacts on display and interesting items to read that enhance your visit to Shugborough.
The Tower of the Winds
As you make your way towards the Shugborough Hall manor house, you’ll pass historic breeds of sheep and cattle.
One of which was particularly friendly and came up to say hello.
We seem to make friends with cows quite easily, as you might remember from our Biddulph Grange Garden post.
Eventually, you’ll notice a two-story white octagonal structure overlooking the parkland.
This is the Tower of the Winds, which resembles the more famous Horologium structure in Athens, Greece and it was constructed in the 18th Century.
Inside the Tower of the Winds
Inside, you’ll find opulently decorated walls clad in marble and beautiful stained glass windows that project coloured shards of light onto the floor.
The last couple of times that we have been, the Tower of the Winds has been pretty quiet – so why not take five minutes out of your day to have a look.
The Shugborough Hall Manor House
At the end of the pathway through the parkland (about a 10 minute walk), you will reach the manor house itself.
As we said previously, it’s not open every day so if you want to go in, make sure you give Mondays and Tuesdays a miss.
From the outside, the striking imposing white columns scream grandeur and wealth.
As so it should, the Anson family who came to own the house and develop it into the manor we see today, were extremely rich.
This was particularly the case for George Anson, who became an admiral and raked in a huge chunk of change upon his return from his voyage around the World.
The naval tradition and Thomas Anson’s eye for the finer things, means that Shugborough Hall is filled with amazing treasures.
The State Dining Room, with its colossal hanging pictures and brilliantly ornate ceiling, is a particular highlight.
There are numerous rooms to explore and items to see, but one of the items we found really cool was a piece of the H.M.S Centurion’s Figure Head mounted to the wall.
It’s cool to think that this fairly unassuming chunk of wood was part of a 16-foot lion figurehead that travelled around the world on the front of an 18th century ship.
Where to get the best photos of Shugborough Hall
For those Instagram photos, we recommend heading to the rear of Shugborough Hall.
There you’ll find a magnificent garden with blooming flowers, busy bees, butterflies and stone statues that you can walk amongst.
You really don’t have to be a skilled photographer to get some nice shots here!
We recommend you head over to the gallery page for this post to see more of the beautiful garden shots.
Directly behind the manor house is a walkway down the River Sow with a crumbling monument at the end.
This is the place to go if you want a really good full width photo of Shugborough Hall itself.
Though, you might have to wait for a few people to pass, but it’ll be worth it.
The Lichfield Apartments
Located to the left of the Shugborough Hall manor are the Lichfield Apartments.
This is the former home of the famous photographer Patrick Lichfield or Lord Lichfield, who inherited Shugborough when his grandfather died.
Although not open every day, it is well worth adding this to your itinerary for the day.
It was closed on the day that we visited unfortunately but we have been in there before (in the days before the blog!)
Lord Lichfield – Royal Photographer
Inside you will find a trove of souvenirs, trinkets, and images from the life of someone who lived as an internationally renowned photographer.
His close relationship with the royal family is evident throughout the apartment, having been the official wedding photographer for Prince Charles and Diana.
Later, Queen Elizabeth hired him as the official photographer for her Golden Jubilee.
The National Trust has also done an excellent job in maintaining the ‘as-is’ feeling to the apartment, down to the half finished bottles of booze still in the bar.
It’s an interesting place! Go check it out.
Is there a Café at Shugborough Hall?
Yes! There are two.
Like many National Trust locations, there is a place to sit and have a coffee or a cuppa and a slice of cake.
The Park Farm Café is located near the entrance and is just opposite the farm exhibition.
The Mansion Tea Room is located just past the Stable House (the building with the big clock and wisteria outside. There’s inside and outside seating available.
If you visit on a warm and sunny day like we did, you’ll find an ice cream shop just next to the fancy Rover car in the courtyard behind the Stable House.
How Much Does Shugborough Hall Cost?
Shugborough Hall ticket prices are £14.30 for adults, £7.15 for children, and a family ticket costs £35.75.
As we usually say with National Trust posts, it’s a little on the expensive side if you are just visiting for a couple of hours.
You’d be hard pushed to spend the day here, which is what we would feel compelled to do if paying the full entrance fee.
As readers of the blog will know, we’d always recommend getting a membership to the National Trust as it works out much more cost effective over the year.