Searching for a great place to visit with the family this summer? Look no further than The National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, the UK’s year-round centre of remembrance…
NOT only is it a spiritually uplifting place which honours the fallen, recognises service and sacrifice, and fosters pride in our country, it’s also a wonderful venue for families. Within its beautiful wooded landscape, there’s an abundance of wildlife and a dedicated children’s area for all to enjoy. In addition, each Saturday and throughout the school holidays, you can take part in a variety of inspiring craft and discovery activity sessions.
The Arboretum, which is part of The Royal British Legion family of charities, has nearly 300 diverse memorials set within its rich and varied 150-acre landscape, many of which are dedicated to individual people and regiments. Taking centre stage is the iconic Armed Forces Memorial – the UK’s tribute to the 16,000 men and women who have been killed on duty or as a result of terrorist action since 1948.
Names are added annually to the giant Portland stone walls and it’s been designed to allow a shaft of sunlight to fall across its central sculpted wreath at precisely 11am on the eleventh day of the eleventh month – an incredibly poignant sight.
Commemorating and celebrating
The WWI centenary programme includes a family-friendly discovery trail to help you to learn much more about the stories and people behind the WWI memorials. Guided walks also take place each day or you can explore with a ride on the friendly land train service.
The Arboretum is open every day from 9am to 5pm and admission is free. For more information visit www.thenma.org.uk