Cannock Chase is one of the smallest AONBs and because of the proximity of large conurbations and rich mineral reserves is also one of the most threatened. 'The Chase' was once a medieval royal hunting forest and despite its proximity to areas of high density population it remains surprisingly remote.
Located on the north western edge of the Birmingham and West Midlands, Cannock Chase is an area of high sandstone heather and bracken heathland with birch woodland and extensive pine plantations. The valleys are secluded and the whole area is rimmed by a gentler landscape of fine parklands, cultivated farmland and attractive villages.
Wild deer still roam the Chase and are a common sight when out walking. Much of the area including heathland, woodland and valley wetland habitats, are protected as Sites of Special Scientific Interest. The heaths are the largest surviving example of this habitat in the Midlands and support some interesting species of wildlife including the nightjar, adders and lizards.
The Chase saw construction of Prisoner of War Camps and today two Cemeteries (Allied and German) contain the graves of the fallen from two World Wars. Other points of interest include Castle Ring, an Iron Age fort, Shugborough Hall (the home of the late Lord Lichfield) and a visitor centre.
The Chase is criss-crossed by many footpaths and bridleways. The opportunities for walking are excellent especially if combined with one of the points of interest detailed above. In addition there are also signed Forestry Commission trails and the Staffordshire Way crosses the north-western part of the AONB. Despite the small scale of the area, when out walking the landscape gives the impression of being larger than it actually is. This helps the Chase accommodate the many people attracted by its scenery without it feeling too overcrowded.
For more information on this area visit the
official web site for Cannock Chase
Regional Walking Guides
A full list of "Where to Walk" Walking Guides can be found at List of Regional Walking Guides.
Cicerone Press offer a range of books and eBooks offering guides to all the popular walking areas and long-distance trails in Britain and overseas. Their illustrated guides feature walks, information and maps to help you make the most of the outdoors. 25% off all printed guides to 30th June 2017. Explore Cicerone's Catalogue
Dark Peak Walks - Guidebook to 40 walks in the Dark Peak area of the Peak District National Park. 35 circular routes for most abilities, from 8km to 19km, around Edale, Marsden, Fairholmes, Baslow and Castleton, including Kinder Scout and Mam Tor, and 5 longer (25km to 45km) routes highlighting the best of the Gritstone Edges, High Moorland and Deep Valleys. More information
Enter the age of digital mapping and enjoy accurate navigation when out walking on the hills and in the countryside. Ordnance Survey's FLASH SALE is offering a wide range of GPS receivers, many with Ordnance Survey 1:25k and 1:50k digital mapping, with substantial reductions of up to £90. Information and prices go to Ordnance Survey GPS Sale
Follow Walking Britain for the latest news.
Convenient 1:25000 OS maps in booklet form covering the National Trails of Britain. More info.
A durable, lightweight, stylish and compact alternative to traditional waterproofs ideal for walkers. More info.
Click for a simple guide of how to start walking. Includes a guide on how to select your walks.