Our members took on the challenge of walking the entire length of the Staffordshire Way in one day between them to raise funds for MacMillan Cancer Support. In completing the challenge, with the support of many sponsors, we managed to raise over £500, a figure which we’re hoping to increase with some matched funding from workplace sponsorship.
Mow Cop to Kingsley
Steve H took on the top end of the route, covering just over 28 miles.
The Staffordshire Way begins at Mow Cop, and shares a route with the Gritstone Way for the first few miles, switching periodically into Cheshire as it does. There’s a climb up onto the Cloud (1,100ft) with excellent views.
Steve’s long stint then continued via Ryecroft Gate and Rudyard, with it’s famous lake. For a while the path takes in the towpath of the historic Caldon Canal, and also stretches of the River Churnet, before Steve’s stop in Kingsley. Take a look at some of the pictures he took on the way by clicking on the image shown.
Kingsley to Uttoxeter
Andy & Neil continued the route from Kingsley; this was the last section completed as Andy had to work during the day! This section of the route covers a lot of grassy farmlands, and has some important nature trails and interesting history. Together they completed a section of around 7 miles before handing over to Stuart.
Stuart took in the section from Alton (where the Towers are!) towards what was the Roman City of Rocester but is now a picturesque village. From here the route continues to Uttoxeter, at points following the magnificent River Dove. Stuart’s route covered just over 8 miles.
Uttoxeter to Abbotts Bromley
Steve & Sonia took on this section of the route, a 7 mile stretch which begins in the town of Uttoxeter, whose two medieval fires mean there are no complete buildings prior to around 1600, and down through the remains of what was once the Royal Needwood Forest. In the 13th century this stretched from Abbots Bromley to Burton-on-Trent, but it’s much less extensive today.
Crossing Bagots Park the farming changes from traditional fields to more modern mass farming methods – a contrast with large 100 acre fields – before returning to the more picturesque traditional fields later on the route down to Abbotts Bromley, which is roughly the half way point of the Staffordshire Way.
Abbots Bromley to Colton
Helen, Troy, Zach and Chloe took on the next three and a bit miles, from Abbots Bromley to Colton. This part of the route takes in Blithfield Reservoir, Staffordshire’s largest expanse of water.
In 1953 the River Blithe was dammed and part of Blithfield Park inundated to create the reservoir’s 800 acres, which impound 4,000 million gallons of water. Anything up to 20 million gallons are drawn off daily. Blithfield is an important wildfowl refuge and is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
After the climb from Blithfield, the route descends to the village of Colton, with the towers of Rugeley Power station often in view.
Colton to Bednall
Roger and Pete picked up the route along the canals and over Cannock Chase from Colton a total of around 11 miles, and (like others) can recommend one or two of the hostelries on the route!
Highlights along the way included the Shugborough Estate, with it’s carefully designed canal bridges, and excellent views. It also passes the famous glacial boulder, and takes in some picturesque stepping stones. We were lucky that the weather was at its best to enjoy it all!
Bednall to Penkridge
Helen & Troy (this time without the kids) filled in this slot, taking their total route coverage to just over 7 miles.
Bednall, Bedehala in Domesday, is a quiet little village south of which lies Teddesley Park. From here the route crosses to the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal, a chance to take in some more of the work of James Bridley, one of the canals’ great engineers.
The final section of this part follows the canal to Penkridge, a stretch where the M6 is very close in parts, and provides an interesting contrast to the peace and tranquility the canal brings.
Penkridge to Kinver Edge
Steve A took on the remainder of the southern part of the route (starting at Kinver and travelling upwards). An early start was rewarded with some lovely sunshine breaking through over Kinver Edge, but it was unfortunately too early to take in the Cat in Enville which didn’t open until lunchtime.
The route took in several towns and villages, farmland, woodland and canals and rivers, as well as crossing the M54.
Between us we covered well over 95 miles, and we’ve raised over £500 for Macmillan Cancer Support.