Stafford is a major midlands junction with connections to London, Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool and Manchester. Its long rail history has seen it get through four station buildings: the first was opened in 1837 by the Grand Junction Railway, while the current Brutalist buildings opened in 1962. Their uncompromising use of raw concrete is balanced by the pleasant green surroundings of Victoria Park, just across the road on the east side the station.
Continue east through the park to reach the town centre, across the River Sow – Stafford is named for its origins as a crossing point on the river. There has been a settlement here since around 700 AD, and the nearby Stafford Castle has almost a millennium of history within its stone walls and grounds. The main shopping and entertainment attractions of the town can be found around Market Square, including the Shire Hall Gallery, the Stafford Gatehouse Theatre and plenty of traditional pubs.