Please use the links below to view full route information including descriptions, elevation profiles, interactive maps and GPS downloads.
You can also view an overview map of all the routes in the using the Staffordshire Walk Map
|Apedale Country Park||2 miles (4 km)||Explore 450 acres of country park in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. There are a number of well maintained footpaths taking you to open meadows, secluded woodland glades and silent pools. Look out for Skylark, lapwing, grey partridge, water vole and Great Crested Newt in Apedale's wetland and ancient woodland. The Newcastle Way walk also passes through the park so you could continue your walk. The adjacent Silverdale Country Park is also a good option if you would like to continue your outing.|
|Aqualate Mere||2 miles (3.5 km)||Enjoy a peaceful walk through this lovely nature reserve near Newport, Staffordshire. In the reserve you'll find well surfaced footpaths taking you through pretty woodland and along the large mere which is the largest natural lake in the West Midlands. The area is great for birdwatching too. Look out for Eurasian curlew and common snipe from one of the bird hides. The reedbed habitat also supports reed warbler and sedge warbler while marsh harrier and osprey have also been seen in the area.|
This walk takes you to the reserve from the village of Forton just north of Newport. You can also reach the reserve by bike using National Cycle Network Route 55 and Regional Route 75.
|Baggeridge Country Park||2 miles (3.5 km)||Enjoy 150 acres of woodland and countryside in this country park near Wolverhampton. The park has four walking trails of varying levels of distance and difficulty. You will visit a number of peaceful water pools and viewpoints with terrific views of the surrounding countryside. There is also a two-mile figure of 8 mountain bike trail suitable for families with older children and beginners. Other attractions include a sensory garden, miniature railway and tea room. The park is located in Sedgley, just a few miles south of Wolverhampton city centre.|
|Bathpool Park||2 miles (3.4 km)||Enjoy a pleasant cycle or walk around Bathpool Park in Kidsgrove, Staffordshire. Follow the tracks/paths around the main lake, the peaceful woodland and several ponds. The park also contains a mountain bike track and exercise points. Bathpool is located just south of Kidsgrove town centre.|
|Beacon Way||16 miles (25 km)||This is the section of the Beacon Way from Sandwell to Chasewater, taking in the nature reserves, canals and woodland around Walsall. |
You start by the restored, Victorian Sandwell Park Farm in West Bromwich and head through the lovely Sandwell Valley Country Park. You continue past Rushall Junction and onto Barr Beacon where there are splendid views of the surrounding countryside. Pleasant waterside sections along the Rushall and Wyrley and Essington Canals lead you to the finish point at Chasewater with its beautiful lake, and heritage Chasewater Railway.
|Belvide Reservoir||4 miles (7 km)||Enjoy a circular walk around Belvide Reservoir in South Staffordshire on this easy route. It's a great place for bird watching with bittern, goldeneye, pochard, shoveller and tufted duck to look out for on the water.|
The reservoir has a car park at the south eastern end, near Shutt Green. You can then pick up footpaths along the southern end of the water before heading north through the countryside to the Shropshire Union Canal. You can then follow the towpath back to Shutt Green.
To extend your walk you could follow the canal south into Wolverhampton or north towards Gnossal Heath. The long distance Staffordshire Way also passes through the area so this is another good option.
|Biddulph Grange Country Park||2 miles (3.5 km)||These beautiful National Trust gardens take you on a global journey from Italy to the pyramids of Egypt, a Victorian vision of China and a re-creation of a Himalayan glen.|
|Birmingham and Fazeley Canal||15 miles (24 km)||Enjoy a walk or cycle along the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal from the city centre of Birmingham to the town of Fazeley in Staffordshire. Along the way there's lots of pretty locks, old bridges, nature reserves and wildlife to look out for.|
You start off at Old Turn Junction near the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham and head through Aston and Tyburn where you pass close to Pype Hayes Park. The large park has 100 acres to explore with a lake, ornamental gardens and woodland. It's just north of the canal at Tyburn and worth a short detour. Just next to the park there is the pretty Plantsbrook Nature Reserve which consists of open water, wetland, woodland and meadow.
You leave the city and head through Minworth and Cudworth before coming to the splendid Kingsbury Water Park. The 600 acre country park is a major highlight on the route. It consists of 15 lakes with miles of good cycling and walking trails to try.
The final section takes you from Kingsbury Water Park to the town of Fazeley near Tamworth. On the way you'll pass Middleton Lakes RSPB reserve with 400 acres to explore. It's a great place for wildlife watching with common pochard, tufted duck and smew to look out for.
At Fazeley you have the option of continuing along the canal towards Whittington and Lichfield. This section passes Hopwas Woods which is good for mountain biking.
National Cycle Network route 535 runs through Aston so this is the best section for those on a bike.
|Blithfield Reservoir||1 miles (2 km)||This large reservoir in the Blithe Valley has three nice colour coded walking trails to try. The blue route shown below starts from the free car park towards the northern end of the lake. It's a short circular walk taking you through the broadleaf and coniferous woodland. The route is accessible and includes a bird hide where you can look out for a wide variety of birds.|
There are also two longer walks to try. The red route includes woodland trails, reservoir views and a boardwalk through wetland with various interesting plants and wildflowers to look out for. The yellow route is the longest and takes you through a wildower meadow and Stansley Wood where there are bluebells in the spring.
Another nice walk along the reservoir can be found at Watery Lane on the eastern side of the water just below the B5013. This takes you right along the water and is suitable for cyclists.
You can see all the three routes marked out on the open street view map link below.
The Staffordshire Way runs past the southern end of the reservoir so there is scope for continuing your walk along this long distance path. If you follow it west you can pick up the Trent and Mersey Canal and head to Shugborough Park near Great Haywood and Little Haywood. Here you will find the 900 acre Shugborough Estate with it's mansion house and delightful gardens.
|Branston Water Park||2 miles (4 km)||Enjoy woodland, wetland and meadow in this lovely park in Burton-Upon-Trent. The park is located a couple of miles from Burton-Upon-Trent town centre - you can follow the Trent and Mersey Canal, to the park all the way.|
|Caldon Canal||6 miles (10 km)||Follow the Caldon Canal through the beautiful River Churnet Valley on this easy walk in Staffordshire.|
The walk starts at the lovely Froghall Wharf where you will find a good sized car park. You then pick up the canal towpath and head to Cheddleton before finishing at Deep Hayes Country Park. Along the way you will pass some attractive woodland which is worth exploring with a small detour. For example the Consall Nature Park is located just to the west of the canal near Consall Forge. It has miles of nice walking trails and is easy to access from the route.
Also of interest is the Churnet Valley Steam Railway which runs alongside the canal. One option would be to catch the train back from Cheddleton to Kingsley & Froghall Station.
The canal runs along some of the prettiest countryside in Staffordshire with views of the River Churnet, pretty locks and arched stone bridges to enjoy. You'll also pass villages and hamlets such as the delightful Consall Forge where you can stop for refreshments at the canalside Black Lion Inn. There's great outdoor seating with views of the canal and the passing steam trains.
The route follows the Staffordshire Way long distance trail so there is scope for continuing your walk towards Leek and Ladderedge Country Park. Deep Hayes Country Park at the end of the walk is also well worth exploring.
|Cannock Chase Country Park||6 miles (10 km)||This huge country park has 3000 acres of cycling and walking trails to explore. The route starts at the park cycle hire centre and takes you to Brindley Heath on woodland trails before returning to the start point. Cannock Chase is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with a large variety of wildlife including 800 fallow deer. The park is located just a few miles from Stafford.|
Several long distance, waymarked trails run through the area including the Two Saints Way, Heart of England Way and the Sabrina Way. These trails are a great way to extend your walking in the area.
|Cheshire Ring Canal Walk||98 miles (158 km)||This nice easy walk follows six historic canals through Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Staffordshire. |
The canal towpaths you will follow include:
The videos below show the sections along the Rochdale Canal in Manchester and along the Peak Forest Canal at Marple.
|Consall Hall Gardens||1 miles (1.5 km)||Explore the beautiful landscaped gardens surrounding Consall Hall near Stoke-on-Trent. The public gardens are open from April until October on the 1st SUNDAY of the month. The gardens contain contain six lakes, follies, summer houses and packhorse bridges. It's a stunning area and perfect for a summer afternoon stroll but check with the website below for opening times and admission.|
Just to the south of the gardens you will find the delightful Consall Nature Park. There are four waymarked nature trails to try so you could easily extend your walk. The Caldon Canal also passes the gardens so you could pick up the towpath to Consall Forge.
|Consall Nature Park||2 miles (4 km)||This lovely nature park near Stoke-on-Trent has four waymarked walking trails to try. All the walks start from the visitor centre which has displays, exhibitions and a shop. In the park you will find two large ponds, streams, easy woodland trails and a more challenging climb to Kingsley Banks where there are wonderful views over the Churnet Valley. The area is also great for wildlife with birds including Redstart, Pied Flycatcher, Woodcock and Tree Pipit. Also look out for grass snakes, butterflies and dragonflies around the peaceful pools. There are also lots of pretty plants and flowers to enjoy such as marsh-marigold, Butterbur and bluebells in the woods.|
At the eastern edge of the park you will find the pretty Caldon Canal. You could extend your walk by following the towpath to Consall Forge where you can stop for refreshments at the canalside Black Lion Inn. Also of interest is the Churnet Valley Steam Railway which runs alongside the canal. The beautiful Consall Hall Gardens lie just to the north and are well worth a visit in the summer months.
|Coventry Canal||38 miles (61 km)||Enjoy waterside cycling and walking along the 38 mile long Coventry Canal towpath. Walkers can follow the whole of the route while cyclists can enjoy lovely sections through Coventry and from Marston Junction to Nuneaton.|
The canal runs from the centre of Coventry to Fradley Juction, passing through Bedworth, Nuneaton, Atherstone, Polesworth and Tamworth.
Highlights along the canal include the vibrant Coventry Canal Basin with its shops, businesses and art gallery. You'll also pass the splendid Hartshill Country Park which has miles of footpaths and wonderful views over the Anker Valley. There's also some wonderful countryside to enjoy and a series of artworks by local artists on the Arts Trail from the Basin to Hawkesbury Junction. At the end of the route at Fradley Junction there is a nature reserve with excellent bird watching opportunities.
The canal links with the Ashby-de-la-Zouch canal just north of Bedworth and with the Trent and Mersyet Canal at the end of the route at Fradley Juction near Lichfield.
|Dane Valley Way||41 miles (66 km)||Follow the River Dane through Derbyshire and Cheshire on this fabulous walk from Buxton to Middlewich.|
Highlights on the route include the wonderful Three Shires Head where the counties of Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire meet. Here you will find pretty waterfalls, pools and an old packhorse bridge. Near here you will pass the fascinating deep mossy chasm of Lud's Church.
The route also passes through the attractive town of Buxton and the delightful Buxton Country Park.
|Deep Hayes Country Park||2 miles (3 km)||Explore 143 acres of woods, meadows, canals and pools in this pretty country park in Cheddleton, Staffordshire. There are a number of waymarked walking trails and a visitor centre where you can find more details. The park is located next to the Caldon Canal so you could follow the towpath into nearby Cheddleton as an extension of the walk. The Staffordshire Way also runs just past the park so this is another option if you have time.|
|Downs Banks||2 miles (3.5 km)||Enjoy a circular walk around this pretty area of woodland and heathland near Stone, in Staffordshire. The area is also known as Barlaston Downs and is run by the National Trust so there is a car park and good walking trails to follow through the area. There is some climbing on the walk but you are rewarded with splendid views over the Staffordshire countryside from the Millennium Viewpoint. There is also a pretty stream with marshland and wildflowers next to it. The route below is designed for walkers but cyclists can follow a waymarked bridleway through the area too.|
If you feel like continuing your walk then you could pick up the Trent and Mersey Canal which runs through Barlaston. You could follow it towards Trentham and visit the lovely Trentham Gardens.
|Greenway Bank Country Park||2 miles (3.2 km)||Enjoy a short waterside walk around Knypersley Reservoir in this country park near Biddulph. In the park you will find quiet woodland and the Serpentine Pool. There are also lawns and shrubberies, which are ablaze with colour from rhododendrons, azaleas and daffodils in the spring months. The park is located just south of Biddulph.|
|Gritstone Trail||35 miles (56 km)||This beautiful, challenging walk runs through the Peak District from Disley to Kidsgrove.|
The walk begins at the train station at Disley and soon comes to the wonderful Lyme Park (video below) with its mansion house and Medieval deer park. You continue south passing the town of Bollington before climbing to the unusual structure of White Nancy and crossing the Saddle of Kerridge. From the elevated position above Bollington you can enjoy splendid views across the Cheshire Plain, the mountains of North Wales to the west, the hills of Shropshire to the south and the Pennines to the north and east. The route continues to the lovely Tegg's Nose Country Park via Tower Hill. The views are truly dramatic from this former quarry site.
The next section takes you on towards Rushton Bank before climbing the Bosley Cloud - at 1,125 ft it's a challenging section but the views of Congleton, Macclesfield and Greater Manchester are magnificent.
The path continues to Mow Cop with its ruined castle, before you join the Macclesfield Canal and then the Trent and Mersey Canal taking you to Kidsgrove.
|Hanchurch Woods||10 miles (16.5 km)||These woods near Trentham have three nice waymarked trails to try. The walks are colour coded and include the Green Walk, Red Walk and Blue Walk. The route below takes you around all three routes in a 10 mile, figure of eight walk. There's some moderate climbs and great views over the area from the high points. You can pick up all the trails from the car park off Drayton Road, about a mile west of the village of Hanchurch.|
The red section of the route climbs through Harley Thorns woods with fantastic views over Cannock Chase AONB to the Wrekin hill in Shropshire.
The green section heads towards the village of Hanchurch, passing the pretty Hanchurch Pools on the way. The series of ponds lead to the village where you will find a Model Farm, Hanchurch Manor and a 17th century farmhouse and medieval schoolhouse. You'll also pass through the edge of Swynnerton Old Park and Hanchurch Heath.
The long Blue Walk takes you south towards the village of Swynnerton, passing local caves and climbing to a high point of over 700ft. From here there are splendid views all the way to the Welsh Hills. Swynnerton is a very pretty village and nice place to stop for refreshments before continuing your walk. From the village you head north through farmland towards Beech, before returning to the car park.
To extend your walking in the area then look no further than the lovely Trentham Gardens. Here you will find 300 acres of landscaped parkland, gardens and woodland with a fabulous lake. The long distance Two Saints Way also passes the woods. You could pick up the trail and follow it to the Trent and Mersey Canal.
This route is designed for walkers but the woods are also popular with mountain bikers. There's 6 miles of mountain bike singletrack and other shorter tracks to try.
|Hanley Forest Park||1 miles (2 km)||This large park in Stoke-on-Trent has some nice walking and cycling paths to try. In the park you'll find woodland trails and a large lake. There's also a small hill with nice views over the city and surrounding countryside.|
There's a good sized car park off Chell Street. From here you can pick up the trails around the lake and past the children's play area. North of the lake you can climb to the viewpoint before enjoying refreshments at the lakeside snack bar.
To continue your exercise in the area you could head to the nearby Park Hall Country Park. This large park has miles of trail which are great for dog walking and cycling.
|Heart of England Way||101 miles (163 km)||Follow the Heart of England Way through the Midlands of England. The walk starts from Milford Common on Cannock Chase and heads through Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Gloucestershire before finisihing at Bourton on the Water in the Cotswolds. |
Major towns and cities on the route include
|Highgate Common||3 miles (4.5 km)||This walk follows the numerous trails on Highate Common - a designated country park and local nature reserve near Wolverhampton. Here you will find 320 acres of lowland heath covered with heather, broom and gorse. There are also areas of woodland, with silver birch, pendunculate oak and coniferous plantation. Also look out for a variety of wildlife including lizards, Slow Worms, Grass Snakes, Rabbits, Bush-crickets, moths, beetles, flies, and Dragonflies.|
If you would like to continue your walk then the Staffordshire Way is a good option as it runs right through the park. The park is located a few miles south west of the city of Wolverhampton.
|Hopwas Woods||2 miles (3 km)||Enjoy walking and cycling trails in these woods near Tamworth. There's 385 acres of ancient woodland to explore with the Coventry Canal running through the eastern edge of the forest. For mountain bikers there are opportunites for some fun off road cycling with natural single track, dirt tracks and some short steep descents.|
You can gain access to the woods from the village of Hopwas by following the canal into the woods and then picking up the bridleways.
If you head south along the canal you can pick up the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal and head towards Tamworth and Birmingham to extend you outing.
|Ilam Park||1 miles (2 km)||Ilam Country Park is a delightful open space owned by the National Trust. It is situated on the River Manifold about five miles north west of Ashbourne in the Staffordshire and Derbyshire Peak District. Highlights in the park include Ilam Hall and gardens, Bunster Hill, Hinkley Wood, a Visitor Centre, tea-room and shop. The park is perfect for a short riverside stroll in one of the prettiest areas in England. |
It's easy to extend your walk in this beautiful area by heading to the nearby Dovedale. You can follow a footpath east for about 1 mile to reach the River Dove and the famous Dovedale Stepping Stones.
|Kingsford Country Park||4 miles (7 km)||Explore 200 acres of woodland and heathland in this Worcestershire based park. Terrain in the park consists of hills and cliffs, with sandy paths crossing the area. The park has 4 waymarked trails of varying lenghts to explore. The route below also visits the National Trust owned Kinver Edge. This woodland sandstone ridge offers dramatic views across surrounding counties and miles of heathland walking.|
Kingsford park is located about four miles west of Stourbridge, and four miles north of Kidderminster. There are three great options for continuing your walk through this lovely part of England. The Staffordshire Way, the North Worcestershire Path, and the Worcestershire Way all run past the park.
|Kinver Edge||2 miles (4 km)||This National Trust owned woodland escarpment has miles of good walking trails to try. It's excellent walking country with lovely heathland, woodland trails and magnificent views over the surrounding Staffordshire and Worcestershire countryside. The sandstone ridge also includes an Iron Age Hill Fort and fascinating red sandstone formations. You can stop and admire the views from a number of seats dotted along the ridge top path.|
This circular walk around the site starts from the parking area off Compton Road next to the Holy Austin Rock. You then follow a nice way marked trail along Kinver Edge to Nanny's Rock. You can actually explore this fascinating sandstone rock house with its five empty rooms and the 'devil's' chimney.
Just after Nanny's Rock the path heads north east through some pretty bluebell woods before returning to Holy Austin Rock House. This rock house has been restored by the National Trust so you can see how it would have looked when people lived in them. The houses are carved right into the rock and were inhabited right up until the 1960s.
The area is great for wildlife watching with highlights including green hairstreak butterflies, willow warbler and cuckoo. It's also great for flora with yellow gorse and lovely purple heather in the late summer months.
The long distance Staffordshire Way, Worcestershire Way and North Worcestershire Path all pass the site. You can easily pick up any of these trails to extend your walking in the area. Heading south will take you through Kingsford Country Park to Drakelow where there is a small multivallate Iron Age hillfort. Continuing along the Worcestershire Way will take you to Shatterford Lakes Wildlife Sanctuary, Eymore Wood and Trimpley Reservoir.
Heading north from the edge along the Staffordshire Way will take you to Enville. Cookley village on the River Stour can be also be easily reached by descending along the North Worcestershire Path. These are all nice places to visit if you feel like stretching your legs further.
For cyclists National Cycle Network Route 54 passes through Cookley just to the east of the site. If you are coming from Kidderminster you could follow the route north to Cookley and then follow country lanes east to each Kinver Edge.
|Ladderedge Country Park||1 miles (1 km)||Explore 70 acres of wetland, meadows and woodlands on this short circular walk in Leek. The park has good footpaths with views of the River Churnet and the Peak District.|
The Staffordshire Way runs through the park so you could follow it a mile south to Deep Hayes Country Park if you wanted to extend your exercise. The Caldon Canal and Rudyard Lake are also very nearby. You could follow the Canal Feeder north for about two miles to reach Rudyard Lake. This is a lovely waterside walk which starts in Ladderedge Country Park.
|Limestone Way||46 miles (74 km)||Travel through the beautiful Peak District National Park on this walk through Derbyshire and into Staffordshire.
The walk starts at Castleton, passing through the scenic Cave Dale and past the remains of Peverill Castle. You continue south through the stunning Monk's Dale and Miller's Dale, where you cross the River Wye. The next stage takes you through Flagg, Monyash and Youlgreave, where you join the River Bradford for a pleasant waterside stretch before heading on to Brassington, Parwich and Tissington. Here you will find the splendid 17th century Tissington Hall and gardens which are well worth a visit.
From Tissington you continue through Thorpe, crossing the River Dove and then following it to the finish point at Rocester.
|Lud's Church||3 miles (5 km)||This walk visits the fascinating deep chasm of Lud's Church on the edge of the Staffordshire Peak District. It's a lovely place for a walk with nice views of the Dane Valley and woodland trails through Forest Wood and Gradbach Wood near the chasm.|
You can start the walk from the car park off Gradbach Mill Lane, about a mile to the east of the cave. From here you can pick up the Dane Valley Way and follow the River Dane to the chasm. The Millstone Grit geological formation is covered in moss and has an unusual atmospheric feel to it. It's 100 metres (328ft) long and 18 metres (59 ft) deep so you can walk along for quite a way between the tall mossy rocks.
After exploring Lud's church you can explore the surrounding woodland before crossing Black Brook and returning to the car park along the riverside path.
This area of the White Peak is great for walkers so there's lots of options for extending your walk. You could continue west along the Dane Valley Way and visit nearby Danebridge.
From the same car park you can visit Three Shires Head. The beautiful area is where the counties of Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire meet. There's lots of pretty waterfalls and a wonderful grade II listed packhorse bridge over the River Dane.
Just to the south of Lud's Church you will find The Roaches. The elevated rocky ridge, includes fascinating rock formations and wonderful views of the surrounding countrsyide.
|Manifold Way||8 miles (13 km)||Follow the River Manifold and the River Hamps along the Manifold Way on this splendid shared walking and cycling path through the Peak District. The path runs from Waterhouses to Hulme End along a former railway line with beauitful Peak District Scenery to enjoy.|
The path passes Beeston Tor, Wetton Mill and the wonderful Thor's Cave which is well worth exploring. Inside you will find fascinating rock formations and mineral colours with wonderful views over the Manifold Valley.
At the southern end of the route in Waterhouses you will find the Manifold Cycle Centre where you can hire bikes for your outing.
|Millennium Way||41 miles (66 km)||Travel across the width of Staffordshire and visit Stafford, Colwich, Rugeley, Yoxall and Barton Under Needwood on this splendid walk. Much of the walk follows the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal and the Trent & Mersey Canal making for a pleasant and fairly easy waterside walk.|
|Monarch's Way||615 miles (990 km)||This incredible 615-mile walk approximates the escape route taken by King Charles II in 1651 after being defeated in the Battle of Worcester. |
The Monarch's Way starts at Worcester then travels north to Boscobel and then south to Stratford upon Avon. It then continues south through the Cotswolds to Stow on the Wold before turning south west towards Bristol via Cirencester. The route then heads south through the Mendip Hills to Wells and then on through Somerset towards Yeovil and then south west to Charmouth. You then follow the Dorset coast before turning north again to Yeovil, before heading east across the Downs to Brighton and then onto the finish point at Shoreham-by-Sea.
The walk also takes you through two World Heritage Sites, one National Park and six Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. For those interested in the history of the walk there is ample opportunity to learn and discover more with a series of museums and historical sites dotted throughout the route.
The walk is waymarked with a picture of the ship The Surprise, the Prince of Wales crown and the Royal Oak tree at Boscobel House.
The route has been split into two separate gpx files. The first includes the section from Worcester to Bridport via the Midlands and Somerset. The second runs from Sandford Orcas to the finish point at Shoreham-By-Sea.
Monarch's Way GPS 1 (right click save as)
Monarch's Way GPS 2 (right click save as)
|Mow Cop||1 miles (1.5 km)||Visit Mow Cop Castle and the Old Man of Mow on this short circular walk on the Cheshire–Staffordshire border. The castle sits in an elevated position above the village with wonderful views over the surrounding Staffordshire countryside and the Cheshire Plain. The 18th century folly is a well know landmark positioned 355m above sea level and visible for miles around. The walk also visits the Old Man of Mow - an interesting 65ft rock formation just to the north of the castle. Near here is a triangulation pillar and more great views to enjoy.|
Mow Cop is on the Gritstone Trail so you can extend your walk by continuing along this long distance trail.
|National Memorial Arboretum||5 miles (8 km)||This peaceful circular walk takes you through the National Memorial Arboretum and its surrounding countryside in Alrewas, near Lichfield in Staffordshire. There are 30,000 trees in the 150 acre Arboretum, forming a unique living tribute to those who have served and continue to serve our country. There are also over 300 thought-provoking memorials, each with a story to tell. |
This walk starts in the Arboretum car park and takes you through the grounds to Wychnor Viaduct on the River Trent. You will pass the pretty Croxall Lakes Nature Reserve. The reserve consists of two large lakes which attract various wildfowl and waders during the autumn months. It's a pretty area with reedbeds and the River flowing through it. Look out for otters and short-eared owls during winter.
From the nature reserve you continue to Catholme and Wynchnor Bridges where you pick up the Trent and Mersey Canal. A nice waterside section along the towpath takes you into Alrewas before returning to the finish point at the car park.
You can virtually explore the National Memorial Arboretum using the google street view link below.
|Newcastle Way||25 miles (40 km)||Starting at Mow Cop, follow the Newcastle Way through Staffordshire to Market Drayton. You will pass through rough Moorland scenery around Mow Cop, rich farming country near Madeley before heading along the sandstone ridges of Maer and Ashley and then across the wide open spaces of Blore Heath to Almington. There are some challenging climbs with views to the west of the Shropshire Hills and south as far as Cannock Chase.|
|Park Hall Country Park||2 miles (4 km)||Enjoy a cycle or walk in this large country park in Stoke-on-Trent. The park is popular with dog walkers with its nice woodland areas and two ponds. From the high points in the park there are good views over the city. You can extend your exercise by visiting the nearby Hanley Forest Park where there are more cycling and walking paths to try.|
|Royal Shrovetide Football Challenge||19 miles (31 km)||This walk celebrates the Royal Shrovetide Football Match which occurs annually on Shrove Tuesday in the town of Ashbourne. The game is played on a 3 mile long pitch and takes place over two days.|
The walk starts and ends in Ashbourne and follows waymarked tracks and country lanes through Kniveton, Tissington, Thorpe and Mapleton. The route includes a delightful waterside section along the River Dove from Thorpe to Church Mayfield.
Attractions on the route include the beautiful Jacobean Mansion at Tissington Hall. The mansion is set in lovely grounds and offers fabulous views of the Peak District.
|Rudyard Lake||4 miles (7 km)||Enjoy a cycle or walk around this large lake in the Staffordshire Moorlands. Cyclists can cycle the whole of the route apart from a section around the north western area where you need to dismount while crossing private property. The route starts and ends at the visitor centre at the southern end of the lake. It follows good paths along the shoreline and through several long woodland sections, making use of the Staffordshire Way along the western side of the water. |
The lake is a great area for wildlife spotting. Look out for Snipe, Redwind and Goldeneye Drake on the water.
If you'd like to continue your exercise then you could head to the nearby Tittesworth Reservoir for more waterside walking trails.
|Sabrina Way||203 miles (327 km)||This route is part of the National Bridleroute Network and primarily designed for horse riders but can be used by walkers and cyclists also. The trail starts at the deer park at Great Barrington and heads north to Hartington. The route passes through the Cotswolds, the Malvern Hills, the Wyre Forest and Cannock Chase Forest, before finishing in the Derbyshire Peak District. For cyclists a mountain bike or hybrid is advised.|
The route is waymarked with a blue arrow.
|Shropshire Union Canal||66 miles (106 km)||Travel from the ourskirts of Wolverhampton to Ellesmere Port on this long distance waterside walk along the Shropshire Union Canal.|
The route starts at Autherley Junction in the Oxley area of Wolverhampton. You follow the canal north into the countryside, passing Pendeford Mill Nature Reserve where there are good bird watching opportunities.
You continue north to Brewood and Wheaton Aston before passing Belvide Reservoir. The canal enters Shropshire, passing Market Drayton before entering Cheshire where you pass Audlem with views of the River Weaver.
The route then passes through Nantiwch and Chester before finishing at Ellesmere Port where you join with the Manchester Ship Canal and the River Mersey.
The canal also links with the Llangollen Canal and the Montgomery Canal which run into Wales.
|Shugborough Park||4 miles (6.5 km)||This circular walk uses public footpaths and the Staffordshire Way to take you around Shugborough Park in Great Haywood. You also have the option of exploring the 900 acre Shugborough Estate with it's mansion house and delightful gardens. This does require and entry fee though.|
The walk starts from the car park at Milford, passing Milford Common and heading to Shugborough Hall. You return with a lovely waterside section along the River Sow.
The Trent and Mersey Canal passes along the northern edge of the park so there is scope for continuing your walk through the beautiful Trent Valley along this waterway. You are also right on the edge of the Cannock Chase AONB so you could extend your outing by exploring miles of woodland trails. The Two Saints Way runs right through the area to Lichfield so this is a good way of extending your walk.
|Silverdale Country Park||2 miles (3 km)||This pretty country park is located in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. It has safe, family cycle paths and well maintained walking trails taking you around the open grassland landscape. There is a large pond which attracts great crested newts, a plateau with lovely views of the surrounding countryside, farm meadows, wilidlife conservation areas and woodland areas.|
The Newcastle Way walk runs past the park so you could continue your walk along this long distance path. The adjacent Apedale Country Park is also a good option if you would like to continue your outing.
|Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal||46 miles (74 km)||Follow the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal from Stourport-on-Severn to Great Haywood on this easy waterside walking and cycling route. The walk starts at Stourport-on-Severn by the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal Basin near to the River Severn. You then head north to Kidderminster with views of the River Stour as you go. You continue to Kinver where you could deviate from the path to visit the splendid Kingsford Country Park and Kinver Edge,. The large area of woodland and heathland has miles of walking trails with wonderful views across the region.|
The next section takes you through Wolverhampton, passing the National Trust owned Wightwick Manor Gardens and Valley Park Nature Reserve.
You continue to Stafford before the final stretch to Great Haywood Junction, passing the beautiful Shugborough Park on the way. The 900 acre estate is well worth visiting with its expansive parkland and stunning gardens. At Great Haywood the canal links with the Trent and Mersey Canal. You could extend your walk into the Trent Valley and the Cannock Chase AONB.
The whole of the route is open for walkers while cyclists can enjoy a super section from Stourport to Kidderminster along National Cycle Network Route 54. It's an excellent choice for a safe, waterside cycle.
|Staffordshire Way||95 miles (153 km)||Travel through Staffordshire, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Worcestershire and enjoy canals, lakes, country parks and a series of pretty towns and villages.|
|Stourbridge Canal||3 miles (5.5 km)||Enjoy an easy waterside walk along this pretty canal in the West Midlands. The walk starts in the town of Stourbridge in the West Midlands and heads to Stourton Bridge in Staffordshire. Here the canal links with the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. There's lots of pretty locks and some lovely countryside as you make your way into Staffordshire.|
|The Roaches||3 miles (5.5 km)||This walk is one of the most popular in the Peak District and a favourite for many. It runs along an elevated rocky ridge, with fascinating rock formations and wonderful views of the surrounding countrsyide and the nearby Tittesworth Reservoir. Ridge walking is always a joy but this one is something special. Highlights include a series of weathered gritstone boulders and the mystical Doxy Pool. The pool is said to be inhabited by a malicious water spirit which drags victims into the depths. |
If you'd like to continue you walking in the area then there is a super circular route around Tittesworth Reservoir just over a mile from the start of the Roaches walk.
Just off the northern top of this route you will find the fascinating deep rocky chasm of Lud's Church. The geologically fascinating area is well worth a short detour if you have time.
Also nearby is the wonderful Three Shires Head where the counties of Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire meet. The area includes a series of pretty waterfalls on the River Dane.
|Thor's Cave||2 miles (2.5 km)||This walk takes you to the stunning natural cavern of Thor's Cave in the Manifold Valley area of the Peak District. There is a good footpath through the countryside from the nearby village of Wetton which takes you to the cave. Once there you can enter the cave and enjoy the fascinating rock formations and mineral colours. It's a magical place with interesting nooks and crannies to explore. There are also great views of the Manifold Valley through the cave entrance. You can return to Wetton along the same path and then enjoy refreshments at the 18th century Royal Oak Inn. It's also nice to have a stroll around Wetton Village with its little cottages, village green and church which has a 14th century tower. |
The River Manifold and the Manifold Way run right past the caves so an alternative route would be to start from Waterhouses and follow the lovely riverside path to the cave. If you'd like to cycle to the cave you can hire bikes from the Manifold Valley Cycle Centre and follow the Manifold Way to the cave.
If you'd like to extend your walking in the area then you could visit the nearby Dovedale where you will find a lovely walking path along the River Dove to the famous stepping stones.
|Three Shires Head||4 miles (6 km)||Explore this beautiful section of the Dane Valley and enjoy rivers, old stone bridges and waterfalls on this lovely walk in the Peak District.|
Three Shires Head is a point on Axe Edge Moor where the counties of Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire meet. Here you will find a Grade II-listed packhorse bridge over the River Dane. The bridge is thought to have been constructed in the 18th century. It's a delightful area with a number of small waterfalls and the surrounding Peak District scenery to enjoy.
The walk begins from a parking area in Gradbach a couple of miles south of Three Shires Head. You then follow the Dane Valley Way and other footpaths to the bridge and the river. Here you will also find Panniers Pool, a popular place for a paddle or swim in the summer months.
An alternative route would be to come from Buxton and follow the Dane Valley Way across Axe Edge Moor to the bridge. This is a much longer walk but does pass through the pretty Buxton Country Park on the way.
To extend your walking in the area you could visit the fascinating Lud's Church. The deep chasm is located just to the west of the start point of this walk.
Just to the south you can climb to The Roaches. The elevated rocky ridge, includes fascinating rock formations and wonderful views of the surrounding countrsyide. It is one of the most popular walks in the Peak District.
|Tittesworth Reservoir||4 miles (7 km)||Enjoy a circular walk around this lovely reservoir on the edge of the Peak District. There are waterside sections along the shoreline, woodland trails and fantastic views of the nearby Hen Cloud and The Roaches. The walk starts and ends at the visitor centre at the northern end of Tittesworth Water. Here you will find a cafe, an interactive exhibition, and picnic areas overlooking the River Churnet. |
If you'd like to continue your walking you could climb to The Roaches for one of the best ridge walks in the country. A few miles to the east you'll find Rudyard Lake which has great waterside walking and cycling trails.
|Trent and Mersey Canal||95 miles (153 km)||Follow the Trent and Mersey Canal through Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire on this long distance waterside walk. |
The route start at Shardlow near Long Eaton in Derbyshire and heads through Weston-on-Trent and Willington to Burton-Upon-Trent where you will pass the lovely Branston Water Park with its woodland, wetland and meadow. You continue to Alrewas where you will pass the National Memorial Arboretum. The Arboretum contains over 50,000 trees with nearly 300 memorials for the armed forces, civilian organisations and voluntary bodies who have played a part in serving the country.
The next stage takes you through Handsacre to Rugeley where you will pass the wonderful Cannock Chase Country Park. It's worth taking a short detour to explore the Cannock Chase AONB with miles of woodland walking and cycling trails, lakes, ponds and wildlife including deer and various birds to look out for.
You continue through the beautiful Trent Valley passing the National Trust Owned Shugborough Hall at Great Haywood. It is worth a visit with a grand hall, museum, kitchen garden, model farm and extensive parkland with follies, woodland and a Chinese House with two Chinese-style bridges.
The route continues through Weston to Stone before coming to the outskirts of Stoke-on-Trent where you will pass the splendid Trentham Gardens. Also in Stoke you will pass Westport Lake which is worth a small detour.
You continue north to Kidsgrove where you will find the Grade II* listed Rode Hall, surrounded by parkland and formal gardens. The hall and gardens are open to the public from April to September and are well worth a small detour from the canal.
The canal continues through Cheshire to Sandbach where you will pass close to the Watch Lane Flash Nature Reserve. Onward to Middlewhich and Northwhich where you will pass Marbury Country Park. It's a delightful area with magnificent Lime avenues, an Arboretum and the delightful Budworth Mere.
The final section takes you to Runcorn passing Barnton and Weaverham with views of the River Weaver. You finish near Runcorn where the Trent and Mersey Canal links with the Bridgewater Canal.
You can walk along the towpath for the whole route while cyclists can enjoy a long section through Stoke-on-Trent and a shorter section between Weston-on-Trent and Swarkstone.
|Trentham Gardens||2 miles (4 km)||This circular walk in Staffordshire takes you around the beautiful Trentham Gardens and Trentham Lake. There's 300 acres of landscaped parkland, gardens and woodland to explore on a series of good footpaths. Features in the park include a Floral Labyrinth, Secret Garden, Japanese Garden and Italian Gardens. It's great for wildlife with a deer park, monkey forest and heronry by the large lake. There's also a lakeside boardwalk, a maze and a miniature railway to try. The estate is located just outside Stoke-on-Trent. You can use the google street view link below to virtually explore the estate!|
If you would like to continue your walking in the area then you could pick up the Trent and Mersey Canal just to the east of the estate. Just to the west you will find Swynnerton Old Park and Hanchurch Woods with miles of woodland walking trails and the pretty Hanchurch Pools. There's also some nice climbs to try on Hanchurch Hills with fantastic views over Cranborne Chase to the hills of Wales.
The long distance Two Saints Way also passes the park. You could pick up the trail and follow it to the Trent and Mersey Canal.
|Trimpley Reservoir||2 miles (3.5 km)||This circular walk on the edge of the Wyre Forest visits Eymore Wood and Trimpley Reservoir. There's nice woodland trails and a path along the reservoir to enjoy.|
You can park at the Eymore Wood car park to start your walk. Then follow footpaths south to the two reservoirs. Here you cross the Severn Valley Railway before picking up the Severn Way which runs between the reservoir and the river. The path heads along the river towards Upper Arley before cutting back across the woods to the car park.
The river and reservoir are great for wildlife watching with kingfishers, grey herons and goosanders to look out for on the water. Pheasants, cuckoos and woodpeckers can be seen in Eymore Wood.
The Worcestershire Way long distance footpath passes through the wood so you could pick this up to extend your walk. Following it north east will take you to Kingsford Country Park and Kinver Edge.
Following the Severn Way north will take you to the lovely Arley Arboretum.
|Two Saints Way||92 miles (148 km)||Travel through Cheshire and Staffordshire on this wonderful long distance walking trail. The 92 mile pilgrimage route runs from Chester to Lichfield, passing through Nantwich, Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford. It is named after the saints St Werburgh and St Chad, Saxon saints who brought Christianity from Northumbria to the ancient kingdom of Mercia in the seventh century. It runs between St Werburgh's shrine at Chester to St Chad's shrine at Lichfield. The route is typically completed in the following four sections:|
Chester to Nantwich
The route starts at Chester Cathedral and heads through the town, passing the Roman amphitheatre and the pilgrim church of St John's. You then pick up the Shropshire Union Canal passing along the towpath on the Baker Way. You'll pass Waverton, Beeston Castle, Bunbury, the River Gowy, Barbridge and Hurleston Reservoir before arriving at St Mary's Church in the market town of Nantwich.
Nantwich to Stoke-on-Trent
You leave Nantwich, heading south along the River Weaver, before turning east towards the village of Wynbunbury and the Wynbunbury Moss Nature Reserve. You continue through Weston, Barthomley and Newcastle-under-Lyme where you skirt the edge of the pretty Apedale Country Park. The last section takes you through Stoke-on-Trent, passing Westport Lake before coming to the halfway point of the trail at Stoke Minster, with its Saxon preaching cross.
Stoke-on-Trent to Stafford
You leave Stoke, heading south towards the beautiful Trentham Gardens with a section along the Trent and Mersey Canal. You continue through the lovely Trent Valley passing Tittensor Chase, Stone and Hopton before coming into Stafford. There's some nice sections along the River Trent on this leg of the journey. You finish at St Chad's, the oldest church in the county town of Stafford.
Stafford to Lichfield
The route then follows the River Sow out of Stafford, joining the Heart of England Way at Milford where you pass Shugborough Park and cross the Cannock Chase AONB. It's a lovely section, passing through Cannock Chase Country Park where you will visit the Katyn Memorial and Castle Ring hill fort. The final section takes you through farmland around Chorley before reaching Lichfield and the pilgrim sites at the cathedral and St Chad's Well.
|Westport Lake||1 miles (2 km)||Enjoy an easy circular walk around this pretty lake in Stoke-on-Trent. There is a good footpath running for about 1 mile around the lake. It's a great area for wildlife watching with tufted duck, kingfisher and great crested grebes to look out for around the lake and conservation area. It's a lovely area with attractive woodland around the pretty lake and a nice relaxed feel to the place. The lake also has good facilities with a cafe, visitor centre, free car park and picnic tables. |
Cyclists can easily reach the lake by following National Cycle Network Route 5 from Kidsgrove or Stoke-on-Trent.
If you would like to extend your walk then you can pick up the Trent and Mersey Canal which runs just to the east of the lake.