The southwest of Staffordshire encompasses many changing landscapes, from the busy industrial towns of Stafford and Burton-on-Trent to the peace and quiet of Cannock Chase. Along with the Hednesford Hills, the Chase provides a wonderful open area of woodland and moorland that is one of the county’s great recreational centres. Well-supported by an interesting and informative visitors’ centre, the Chase is a must for anyone visiting this part of Staffordshire. The south east of the county, although lying close to the Black Country – the depressing product of the heavy industrialisation of the 18th and19th centuries – has managed to escape in the main. One legacy of the era and a feature throughout the whole of Staffordshire, however, is the canal network. Built to link Birmingham with the Trent & Mersey Canal, the less well-known Coventry Canal and the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal pass through tiny villages and hamlets and the tow paths provide the opportunity to walk in some unexpectedly scenic countryside.
Extending along the southern edge of the Peak District, the Staffordshire moorlands certainly rival their neighbour in terms of scenic attraction. The undulating pastures of the moorlands, along with the fresh air and ancient weather-worn crags, make this the ideal place to walk, cycle or trek. It is also an area full of character, with charming scattered villages, historic market towns and a wealth of history.
For more free guides in this series, visit the Travel & Holidays pages.