Lichfield is a city in Staffordshire, England. Lichfield retains its importance as an ecclesiastical centre, but its industrial and commercial development has been relatively small; the centre of the city thus retains an essentially old-world character, with pockets of historic charm.
One of seven civil parishes with city status in England, Lichfield has a population of 31,000 and is situated 16 miles north of Birmingham and 124 miles northwest of London.
Lichfield is notable for its three-spired cathedral and as the birthplace of Dr. Johnson, the writer of the first authoritative Dictionary of the English Language. A Dictionary of the English Language, one of the most influential dictionaries in the history of the English language, was prepared by Samuel Johnson and published on April 15, 1755.
Lichfield is also the birthplace of Elias Ashmole (23 May 1617 – 18 May 1692). Elias was a celebrated English antiquary, politician, officer of arms, astrologer and student of alchemy. He supported the royalist side during the English Civil War, and at the restoration of Charles II he was rewarded with several lucrative offices. Throughout his life he was an avid collector of curiosities and other artifacts. Many of these he acquired from the traveller, botanist, and collector John Tradescant the Younger. Ashmole donated most of his collection, his antiquarian library and priceless manuscripts to the University of Oxford to create the Ashmolean Museum.
Lichfield is well placed for the main road network being close to the A38, A5 and M6 (Toll) so is easy to get to by car. Parking can be more of an issue as the number of spaces is often not sufficient to cope with demand, especially on Saturdays. However, the city does not usually get busy until mid morning on Saturdays and before Christmas, so early birds do well. Main car parks are as follows:
- Multi-storey car park situated near Lichfield City Station - warning tight spaces;
- The Friary - Large car park, but a little further from the centre;
- Cross Keys - A two-storey car park;
- Off Beacon Street - Large car park at rear of shops, but tends to fill up first
Lichfield has two stations. Both are on the Cross City Line from Birmingham. 1 Lichfield City station is served by four trains an hour, with every other train also serving Lichfield Trent Valley. City Station is adjacent to the centre and is the easiest way for rail travellers to get in to the city. 2 Trent Valley station is really useful because it is also on the West Coast Main Line with direct trains to London, Northampton, Stafford, Stoke-on-Trent and Crewe.
All bus routes into Lichfield call at the Bus Station, which is opposite Lichfield City Rail Station and adjacent to the main shopping areas. Buses serve destinations including Stafford, Rugeley, Tamworth, Cannock, The National Arboretum, Burton upon Trent, Birmingham and local villages.
Lichfield is small enough to be able to get around most of the areas of interest in the centre on foot. There are local buses running on selected routes, but they generally are really of use only to residents.
There are many things to see and do in the centre of Lichfield and in the surrounding area. Within Lichfield, here are the main places to visit:
- 1 Lichfield Cathedral. The world's only Medieval cathedral with three spires, dates back to the 7th century.
- 2 Darwin House. Museum in the former home of physician and poet Erasmus Darwin, grandfather of naturalist Charles Darwin.
- 3 Dr Johnson Birthplace Museum. Inventor of the Dictionary and amongst England's best known literary figures. Dr Johnson was an essayist, poet, biographer, lexicographer and a critic of English Literature. Also considered to be a great wit and prose stylist, he was well known for his aphorisms. The single most quoted English writer after Shakespeare.
- 4 St. Mary's Heritage Centre, Market St, Lichfield WS13 6LG. Housing a Lichfield museum in central Lichfield market square.
- Minster Pool and Stowe Pool
- Dam Street
- Market Place
- Corn Exchange
- Milley's Hospital
- St. Johns without the Bars
- 5 National Memorial Arboretum, Croxall Road, Burton-on-Trent, Derbyshire, DE13 7AR (In the village of Alrewas, 6 miles (9.7 km) up the A38 from Lichfield), ☏ +44 1283 245 100. Daily 10AM-4PM. More than 350 memorials to various regiments, squadrons, ships, services, and conflicts of the British and Allied forces, all set in 150 acres (61 ha) of slowly maturing woodland. Everyone who visits will have a memorial which speaks to them most strongly, but two of the most moving are Shot at Dawn - commemorating all British and Empire soldiers executed for desertion in World War I, and the disturbingly massive Armed Forces Memorial, which records the names of the more than 17,000 British service personnel killed on duty since the end of World War II. Quieter corners of the centre allow for contemplation surrounded by nature. As the site is vast, there is a land train which operates 50 minute tours of the site. Dogs welcome. Free; donations welcome. Land train: adult £6, child 6-16 years £3, child under 6 free. Car parking £6.
- 1 Beacon Park. A huge expanse of recreational parkland.
- 2 Garrick Theatre, Castle Dyke, WS13 6HR, ☏ +44 1543 412121.
- Lichfield International Festival. Well-established major music and arts festival every July with famous international performers at venues throughout Lichfield.
Most of the city's shops are on Bakers Lane.
- 1 Three Spires Shopping Centre, 12 Gresley Row, WS13 6JF, ☏ +44 1543 417413.
Within the city there are many good places to eat out, most are situated on Bird Street. They are typically of high quality and attract customers from outside the city. Recommended restaurants include the following:
- Eastern Eye
- Lal Bagh
- Lime Pickle
- Lee Garden
- Thai Rainbow
- Mama Thai
- Don Paco
- Pizza by Goli
- Ego, New Minster House, Bird Street, ☏ +44 1543 258234. 12:00 - 22:30.
- Cafe Nero
- Cafe One
- Melbourne in Lichfield
- The Lounge
- Numerous pizza, kebab and fish and chip shops
- On Friday nights a mobile fish and chip van drives around much of Lichfield cooking and serving as they go - the food couldn't be fresher!
- 1709: The Brasserie, 3-5 Lombard Street, ☏ +44 1543 257986. A brasserie serving fine British cuisine
- Queens Head, Queen St, +44 1543 410932. Popular and friendly pub just outside of the city centre serving six top quality real ales. There is a huge cheese counter where customers can order cheese, pickles, bread to accompany the beer!
- Earl of Lichfield, Conduit St, +44 1543 251020. Popular city centre pub serving well kept Marston's Pedigree from nearby Burton on Trent.
- The Gatehouse, 1 Bird Street. 08:00 - 00:00. A branch of Lloyds No.1 bars a medium range of JD Wetherspoons Bars.
- Apres, 13 Bird Street. 10:00 - 23:00. A bar and restaurant from the well known chain.
- The Acorn Inn, 16-18 Tamworth St, WS13 6JJ. 08:00 - 11:30. A JD Wetherspoons Bar
- The Scales, 24 Market Street. An old style English pub in the heart of the city centre.
- George IV, 34 Bore Street. An old pub with many live music performances
- The Bowling Green, Friary Road. 11:30 - 23:00. Owned by Ember Inns, a pub and restaurant with a bowling green on the premises.
- Malt, Wade Street. 10:00 - 22:00. Opened in 2010, a restaurant and bar specialising in real ales from local breweries.
- Duke of York, 23-25 Greenhill. 11:00 - 23:00. The oldest inn in Lichfield.
- Best Western George Hotel, Bird Street, ☏ +44 1543 414822, fax: +44 1543 415817. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM.
- Netherstowe House
- 1 Swinfen Hall, The Drive, Swinfen WS14 9RE, ☏ +44 1543 481494, fax: +44 1543 480341, email@example.com. Upscale hotel in grand Georgian manor, great comfort, atmosphere and service. No dogs. B&B double £160.
- St. Johns House, St. John Street, Lichfield. WS13 6PB, ☏ +44 1543 252080. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM. Four beautifully appointed rooms with all facilities. inc. Wi-Fi. £70-110.
- Cathedral Lodge Hotel, Beacon Street, ☏ +44 1543 414500.
As with the rest of the UK, in any emergency call 999 or 112 (from a land-line if you can) and ask for ambulance, fire or police when connected. It is free to call the emergency services from payphones.
Lichfield is a generally safe city with most crime levels well below the national average. Incidents of violent crime and sexual offences are very low. However, as with the rest of the United Kingdom it is advisable to avoid large drunken groups where possible as alcohol-related crime is on the rise throughout the country. It is also advisable to exercise normal security measures.
|Routes through Lichfield|
|Telford ← Cannock ←||W SE||→ Tamworth → Rugby|
|Birmingham ←||SW NE||→ Burton upon Trent → Derby|
|Stafford ← Rugeley ←||NW SE||→ Tamworth|