A Staffordshire walk that explores some of the highlights of the northern part of Cannock Chase AONB. The route includes heathland, a section of canal and a walk through Shugborough Park.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D/A) The start is the off road car park at grid ref. SJ973208 signed as the Cutting car park. This is reached by turning off the A513 at Milford common and taking the road south to Brocton. After passing Sister Dora's rest home on the left, turn half left off the road onto a gravel track. You can park on the right in a few metres from the road. After parking continue along this gravel track soon entering a deep cutting. This was formerly a railway track that led up to the POW camp higher on Cannock Chase. As a child I knew it as as the German Cutting and this name survives today. Once through the cutting the main track continues and starts to bear right. At this point turn left down another gravel track. There is a signpost at the junction.
(1) Follow this track until you reach the next junction. Turn right and continue walking with a boundary fence on your left. Quite soon you reach some stepping stones on your left. You are now in the Sherbrook Valley with the stream of the same name. Cross the stream and follow the gravel path. This undulates a little and leads to a car parking area at Seven Springs. As a kid I tried to count all the springs but never reached seven! Bear left as soon as you reach this parking area and locate the gravel track leading north to the main road (A513).
(2) Cross the main road with care and take the minor road opposite. This leads across an attractive bridge over the River Trent and onto the village of Little Haywood. Go under the railway (the West Coast main line from Euston to Glasgow) to reach a canal. The steps down to the towpath are on the right of the road and after dropping down to the canal you need to go under the bridge and follow the canal with the water on your right. Follow the Grand Union Canal to reach its junction with the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. This is a busy spot in season with narrow boats heading off in all directions.
(3) After enjoying the 'action' return along the canal to the first bridge. Leave the canal and climb up to the overbridge. Turn south to almost immediately cross the Essex Bridge over the River Trent (grid ref. SJ995225). Once across this bridge you are in Shugborough Park and using the Staffordshire Way. You have to pay to visit the House and Gardens but this route enables you to enjoy the park and the outside of the house. Keep straight ahead on a wide path. This leads to a tarmac road. Continue straight ahead passing the farm on your right and a visitor centre (with toilets) on your left. The road crosses the railway, bears sharply right and then left to reach the main A513.
(4) Turn right along the main road. At the first track, bear right and follow this initially keeping a wire fence on your right. This track leads up to a water reservoir (grid ref. SJ980210). Continue past this concrete structure keeping it on your right to pick up a path that descends with a wall on your right back to the main road (grid ref. SJ976209). Turn right along the road but don't cross it yet. Soon you will reach a road junction and the back entrance to Shugborough Park. With GREAT care cross the main road here.
(5) Walk along the grass verge for approximately 50 metres and reaching flatter ground bear half left across grass towards a car park (grid ref. SJ973209). Before reaching the car park take one of the many paths on your left. You will climb a little and soon see Sister Dora rest home. Keeping this on your right, follow the gravel track past the front of the rest home. This track leads down to the track on which you started the walk. Your transport should be visible a short way along on your left(D/A).
D/A : mi 0 - alt. mi 0 - Car park
1 : mi 0.31 - alt. mi 0.31 - Turn left down
2 : mi 2.16 - alt. mi 2.16 - Cross the main road
3 : mi 3.79 - alt. mi 3.79 - Return along the canal
4 : mi 5.03 - alt. mi 5.03 - Turn right
5 : mi 5.88 - alt. mi 5.88 - Cross the main road
D/A : mi 6.28 - alt. mi 6.28
This pleasant route explores many of the features of the northern part of Cannock Chase. The route was devised for some friends visiting Staffordshire for the first time and tries to show off the as much of the area in an interesting walk.
Hikideas and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Number of opinions : 1
Description quality : 3.00/4
Routemap quality : 3.00/4
Walk interest : 3.00/4
Global average : 3.00/4
Date of walk : 27/11/17
Description quality : Good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Good
We modified it a bit, by continuing along the Trent & Mersey Canal to Great Hayward, for a ice cream at the farm shop, then continued along the Staff & Worc canal to Milford Bridge, then back to the car.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.