Who’s feeling adventurous this summer? Staffordshire has a world of adventures waiting for you and here’s 5 to get you started
A landlocked West Midlands county just a stone’s throw away from the Peak District, Staffordshire is an active person’s paradise. Whether it’s tackling the miles of rolling hills, or challenging yourself with a mountain climb, there are new adventures waiting to be discovered around every corner.
And, as research from AITO published in the Independent goes to show, Brits are becoming more active on holiday, so there’s never been a better time to trade in your beach clothes for some sportswear and head out on an adventure holiday in our very own Staffordshire.
1. The Roaches
Adorned by gritstone edges and rugged rocks, this prominent rocky edge sits above Leek and the Tittesworth Reservoir. With lower ground surprises like Lud’s Church — an infamous miniature gorge — greeting you from the get-go, there’s so much to take in. The 8.6-mile route incorporates unusual landscapes and rock formations, and finally some stunning panoramic scenery from the top of the mountains, so there’s enjoyment to be found in all parts of the climb.
But, with so many different trails to take to reach The Roaches, it can be difficult to plan your trip. So, why not let an expert handle it? Follow routes designed with you in mind, like these Peak District walking holidays from walking holiday specialists Macs Adventure, to ensure you get to soak up all the area has to offer!
2. Cannock Chase
As Britain’s smallest Area of Outstanding Beauty, it’s amazing to see how much has been condensed into this tiny stretch. One highlight is Follow the Dog, the first dedicated mountain bike track in the Midlands. This 6.7-mile-long trail combines tight and twisting sections as well as a fast flowing singletrack, making it suitable for competent riders.
And the fun doesn’t stop there. The end of the former trail marks the start of the second one, The Monkey Trail. Falling between 7-14 miles depending on the distance you choose to go, this trail incorporates rock gardens and jumps, as well as large climbs and impressive descents, meaning it’s great for experienced riders. For more information on both of the Cannock Chase trails, visit ChaseTrails’ guide to cross country MTB trails.
3. Manifold Valley
Remote and rural, this hilly 10-mile walk is one of the natural world’s great wonders. Classified as a challenging walk and typically taking the average person 5 hours to complete, it’s important to note the terrain varies throughout, with ascending sections, stiles and uneven ground present — so watch out what’s underfoot! Must-sees on this trail include Thor’s cave, a riskily positioned cavern, as well as the Boil Holes, where subterranean waters from the River Manifold and River Hamps emerge.
4. Way for the Millennium
An impressive 65 kilometres long, this trail spans the length and width of Staffordshire, running from Newport to Burton upon Trent. Following public footpaths, a disused railway line, canal towpaths and access-granted paths, the Way for the Millennium was made with easy accessibility in mind. Omitting any steep hills or severely uneven terrains, it’s a treat for the whole family. Visitor guides, like this guide to Staffordshire’s Way for the Millenium from The Walking English Man, can tell you everything you’ll need to know.
5. Hopwas Woods
Popular for both cycling and walking, these woods are sometimes used for army training due to their variety of challenging terrains. Stretching across 385 acres of ancient woodland, it’s not rare to spot a troop of mountain bikers heading there for some off-road cycling. With natural single tracks, dirt tracks and steep descents, it’s perfect for those who are looking for a challenge.
Staffordshire is the perfect place if you’re looking for a challenging outdoor adventure. With trails for all experience levels set amid stunning scenery, this county has so much to offer, so why not explore it this summer?