The Staffordshire Way – a forgotten treasure?
The 1960s and 70s were something of a golden era for long-distance walkers. Dozens of new routes were plotted, published, and promoted, one of which was the Staffordshire Way.
The route from north to south starts at Mow Cop Castle near Leek and traverses Congleton Edge to The Cloud near the Peak District boundary before joining the towpath of the Caldon Canal, the Churnet Valley and River Dove towards Uttoxeter. From there it follows the Trent and Mersey Canal towards Shugborough Hall.
Cannock Chase and Highgate Common are both visited before finally reaching the sandstone escarpment of Kinver Edge some 95 miles or so from the start.
In so many ways the path highlights the varied beauty of Staffordshire and should be a great selling point for visitors to the county and for residents looking to explore further afield.
Sadly, in recent years the route has been somewhat forgotten, and the only published guide has been out of print for nearly 25 years. There is little online material to help plan a walk, while in places the waymarking has sadly become lost and the path overgrown.
CPRE Staffordshire is hoping to help breathe new life into the Staffordshire Way and is looking for volunteers to help. Among the things we are exploring is resurveying and health checking the route, the possibility of refreshing the online and printed guides, and promoting the way as one or more great days out in the countryside. Covid-permitting, we would like to run events on the path, which could include sponsored walks and photography competitions.
We will be advertising a formal Staffordshire Way volunteering role in the next couple of months. In the meantime, if you would like to get involved or simply find out more, please email Sue Kneill-Boxley.