The Staffordshire Way
Ninety-two miles long, this long-distance path enables ramblers to walk the length of the county, all on public rights of way, and lets walkers observe much of the natural beauty the area has to offer.
Running snakily from Kinver on the southern tip of the county, then crossing the M6 to head west to Uttoxeter, before twisting again to get to Mow Cop in the north, the Staffordshire Way is the path that runs up and down the county.
Its distinctive signpost marker is very familiar to walkers in the county. The yellow logo (blue for a bridle-way) incorporates the famous Stafford Knot, and is a welcome sight for the any rambler who might have got lost!
However, surprisingly, it is not that old. The route was only developed by Staffordshire County Council between 1977 and 1983. The Ramblers' Association now also takes an active interest; and actually helped re-survey the path in 1995.
Why walk it? Well, it has been developed not just to get you through the county while crossing as few roads as possible, but also give as much variation in views as any rambler could want.
There are the gritstone hills of the north; the ancient open land of Cannock Chase, the forested slopes of the Churnet Valley ("Staffordshire's Rhineland"), the dramatic sandstone ridge of Kinver Edge with its long views, the pastoral River Trent valley, the rustic Caldon Canal, and the landscaped stretches of Weston, Chillington, & Enville ("Parkland Staffordshire”).
And, for those that enjoy a story with their walking, there is history too.
There are old hill forts, signs of Roman settlements, medieval sunken or ‘green’ lanes, and mills from the Industrial Revolution – all these are passed. One even walks along some disused railway lines, which have now been turned over to nature.
On the way you'll see more identifiable sights - Mow Cop Castle, the dam wall at Blithfield Reservoir, and the famous old ‘packhorse road’ across the Essex Bridge at Shugborough Hall, as well as the dazzling JCB Complex layout at Rocester.
But the Staffordshire Way is just one of many long-distance paths across the UK – in fact the fifty mile section between Rushton Spencer and Cannock Chase is now part of a pan-European path, 'E2'.
So, The Staffordshire Way connects with the Worcestershire Way in the south, and with the Heart of England Way in mid-Staffordshire.
Many guides will show you short walks that criss-cross the Way, but there are a few, produced by Staffordshire County Council, that will take you along the whole route if you wish to walk the lot.
We've found a few links that we think will help you enjoy the Staffordshire Way in all its aspects. If you have any other ideas for links – please let us know, by using the messageboard below – and good walking!
last updated: 01/07/2009 at 17:59
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