Visit Abbots Bromley: Places to stay, things to do

There's more to this Staffordshire village than winning numerous best-kept awards. Nick Peers takes a trip into the heart of England

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Why go there?
This ancient village dates back to the 10th century, and there are plenty of historic buildings dating back to late medieval times to highlight its rich heritage. One building above all others stands out: the Butter Cross, which is reputed to date back to the 13th or 14th century. Also worth a visit is St Nicholas parish church, which dates back to the 1550s.
Abbots Bromley is  a regular winner of the Staffordshire Best-Kept Village Award, and its status is helped by a large number of listed buildings and Conservation Area status for the village centre. It’s also the perfect launch pad for exploring the local countryside. The Staffordshire Way, a 93-mile long path that traverses the county, passes through Abbots Bromley, and there are a number of circular walks you can take, including one which encircles Bagot’s Forest, the largest surviving piece of Needham Forest, an ancient woodland with royal links back to the 13th century.
The village is also just 1½ miles from Blithfield Reservoir, which is a great place for birdwatching, angling and sailing. You might also want to visit Cannock Chase Country Park, which forms a small part of the wider Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, where you can explore woodland and other habitat.

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Where to stay
Marsh Farm is a bed and breakfast situated a mile north of Abbots Bromley, close to the Staffordshire Way walk. Prices range from £50-70 per night per couple, or £30-35 for single occupancy, and include full English breakfast.

Where to eat
Abbots Bromley boasts a number of pubs that serve food, depending on your tastes and budget. The Goat’s Head (01283 840254) is an old black and white timbered building that dates back to the 1500s, while alternative venues include The Crown (01283 840227) and Royal Oak (01283 840117).
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Tell us a local secret
Phil Drabble, best known for presenting One Man and His Dog, lived just outside Abbots Bromley for 60 years. He purchased 90 acres of the dwindling Needham Forest and turned it into a woodland nature reserve, attaining Site of Special Scientific Interest status. The reserve is now maintained by his former PA, who inherited his estate.

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