Walk 2917 - printer friendly version
Downs Banks near Barlaston Walk
Author - Lou Johnson
Length - 2.5 miles / 4.1 km
Ascent - 250 feet / 76 metres
Grade - easy
Start - OS grid reference SJ900365
Lat 52.925815 + Long -2.150195
Postcode ST15 8US (approx. location only)
This is an attractive area of National Trust woodland and heath lying just to the north of Stone. You can undertake a basic low level circuit but this route includes some climbing with the added benefit of much improved views.
The start is the small car park (grid ref. SJ900365) just off Washdale Lane. Leave the car park and turn left following a broad level path. After 200 yards, take the clear path on the right by some picnic tables. This path meanders and climbs between trees eventually reaching open ground with good views away to your left. Ahead you will see the Millennium Monument and this is the next objective. Sadly someone had stolen the brass topograph when I walked this route but hopefully this will be replaced. Despite the vandalism, the view remains excellent especially towards the west and north west.
From the monument, descend on a clear path down towards the stream. During the descent you will notice a path slanting upwards to the right on the opposite hillside. This is the next objective on the route. Having reached this path, follow it uphill to reach the crest of a small ridge and a clear path.
Turn left along this path and enjoy the views to either side. The path eventually descends to the stream. Do not cross the stream, instead follow the path downstream. Cross the footbridge and turn left up the Washdale Lane. The entrance to the car park is a short way along this lane on the left.