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The Dog and Doublet Sandon Park and Canal Trail

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The Dog and Doublet Sandon Park and Canal Trail
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 12 Sep 2014 Walk rating : Rating:star1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
Staffordshire, Sandon
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
The Dog and Doublet Sandon Park and Canal Trail
Length: 7 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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A 6.5 mile circular pub walk from the Dog and Doublet in Sandon, Staffordshire. The Dog and Doublet is a charming yet stylish gastro inn, providing a warm and friendly ambiance. The walking route explores the adjacent Sandon Park, with magnificent views from the open expanse of parkland, before returning along a peaceful stretch of the Trent and Mersey Canal.

The route has several climbs/descents and follows a mixture of field, parkland and woodland paths which can get quite muddy after rain and in winter. There are a couple of stretches of road walking, including one section along the edge of a fairly busy road and two busy road crossings, so take particular care of traffic at these points. The paths through the parkland are not particularly well-signed so navigation can prove quite tricky. As such, it will be easiest to follow this route on the Android or iPhone App, where you can use the live GPS map to guide you. You will need to negotiate gates, footbridges, steps and 13 stiles, most of which are tall and entirely enclosed with wire fencing so dogs will need a lift over. You are likely to come across sheep/horses in most of the fields and cattle in one field, so take particular care with dogs. Approximate time 3 hours.

Sandon is a small village located on the A51, between Stone and Rugeley, in Staffordshire. The walk starts and finishes at the Dog and Doublet Inn on the junction between the A51 Lichfield Road and the B5066 Sandon Road. Approximate post code ST18 0DJ.

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Walk Sections

Start to Sandon Church
Start to Sandon Church

Start point: 52.8606 lat, -2.0787 long
End point: 52.8627 lat, -2.07 long

Standing with your back to the main entrance of the Dog and Doublet (within the front patio area), turn right and walk across the grass, passing the war memorial on the island across to the left. Here you need to cross over the main A51 road, but please take extreme care as the traffic is very fast moving. Take the small lane ahead, School Lane, between the entrance for Sandon Hall on the right and Seven Stars Cottage on the left.

Follow the quiet lane and, at the T-junction, turn right signed for Sandon Church. You will pass the old school building (now empty) on the right, topped with a bell and elaborate chimneys. A few paces later, as the lane begins to swing left, fork right up the grass track to reach a gate and stile. Cross the stile into a pasture (probably holding sheep). Walk straight across the field, heading for the church tower ahead. Pass through the small wooden gate into the churchyard and keep ahead up the steps, passing to the right of the church.

Sandon Church to Trentham Tower
Sandon Church to Trentham Tower

Start point: 52.8627 lat, -2.07 long
End point: 52.8601 lat, -2.0593 long

Keep straight ahead on this path and leave the churchyard through a white wooden gate. Turn left along the stone track, with the church on the left. Go through another small wooden gate to reach the small parking area alongside the church. Keep ahead for a few more paces and, where the lane bends left, turn right onto the grass. Cross the open rolling parkland, heading directly for the black and white painted house visible ahead.

As you approach the house, cross over the stone vehicle track and take the smaller track ahead. Use the gate alongside the cattle grid and follow the lane which passes to the right of the house. It is worth taking a moment here to understand the history of the estate.

On the right you will be able to see water within the trees. This is an old moat, a scheduled monument, which once surrounded the Erdeswick family manor house from 1338 to the 1600s. The house became home to the First Baron Harrowby in 1776 who had it transformed into Sandon Hall. William Emes was commissioned to create the 50-acre formal gardens and the 400-acre park. When a fire in 1848 destroyed the house, a new hall was built in the Jacobean style elsewhere on the estate. This hall is still a family home and is open to the public just a few days per year. The hall and estate are used as a film and TV location including appearing in an episode of Dalziel and Pascoe.

Continue on the path climbing uphill between areas of open parkland. Just before you reach another property on the left, turn right over a stile to join the signed public footpath across the open parkland. Walk straight ahead, uphill, passing to the left of the large trees in front of you. The path leads you between the handful of large oak trees on the right and the fenced woodland copse on the left. Continue in the same direction as the parkland opens up again and across to the left you will see the imposing Trentham Tower.

Trentham Tower to Gayton Brook
Trentham Tower to Gayton Brook

Start point: 52.8601 lat, -2.0593 long
End point: 52.8533 lat, -2.0392 long

The stone square arched tower with ornate balustrade top is Grade II* listed but is in a state of disrepair and considered to be at risk. Designed by Sir Charles Barry it was once the upper part of a square tower that formed part of Trentham Hall, a few miles north near Stoke-on-Trent. The tower was moved to Sandon Park, stone by stone, when Trentham Hall was demolished in 1910-12.

Continue through the open parkland in the same direction. Once at the brow of the hill you will be rewarded with expansive views across the surrounding hills. The path is not obvious, but keep broadly ahead, staying parallel with the woodland edge over to the right. Soon, where the woodland swings away to the right, begin to veer left, heading just beyond the point where the tree line on the far left boundary ends.

You will emerge down to a T-junction with a stone access track. If you have arrived at the right point, you should see two fields ahead, separated by a hedge (with a gate into the right-hand field and a stile into the left-hand field). Cross the stile into the left-hand field (which may be holding cattle) and walk straight ahead following the hedge on the right. Cross the stile ahead and continue with the hedge on the right through the next small field.

Keep ahead over the stream via the earth bridge and then, in this next field, head diagonally right heading for the right hand corner of the large copse. In this corner, where the woodland copse joins the single line of trees, bear right along the fence line. A little way along you will find a footbridge on the left. Cross this footbridge across Stocking Brook via the pair of stiles.

Walk straight across the centre of this next pasture (likely to be holding both sheep and horses). Pass through an old hedge and then bear right to pass to the right of the large pond in front of you. Cross a stile (alongside a wide metal gate) and go ahead along the grass track with a hedge on the left. Another stile leads you into a smaller rough pasture. Walk at 1 o’clock between the bushes and ignore the path marked off to the right. Keep ahead for a few paces to reach the wooden footbridge across Gayton Brook.

Gayton Brook to A518
Gayton Brook to A518

Start point: 52.8533 lat, -2.0392 long
End point: 52.844 lat, -2.0346 long

After the bridge, walk at about 11 o’clock heading directly for the red brick house visible in the distance. Take time to enjoy the pretty Gayton Brook as it winds to your left. As you approach the fence line ahead, do NOT take the driveway ahead between horse paddocks. Instead, turn left along the fence line and you will reach a marked junction of paths at the fence corner. Turn right here, to follow the fence on the right, with the horse paddocks and house across to the right.

At the end of the pasture, pass through the small wooden gate ahead to enter the churchyard of St Peter’s in Gayton. Keep straight ahead on the path passing to the left of the brick-built church tower. Leave the churchyard via the kissing gate at the front entrance and turn sharp right onto the gravel entrance drive for Moat Farm (there is no footpath sign here but don’t worry, it is the official right of way).

Pass the stables/barn on the left and, immediately after the brick barn, turn left and then right to reach a wide metal gate into paddocks. Enter the paddock via the gate and cross at 2 o’clock to reach a stile. Cross this and walk in the same direction across this next pasture to reach the next stile. Cross this (you may also need to duck under electric fencing here too) and cross the sheep/horse pasture heading for a stile close to the far right-hand corner.

Cross the stile which leads you out to a T-junction with a quiet lane. Cross over and take the stile opposite, signed as a public footpath to Weston. Ignore the first metal gate on the left and, a few paces later, turn left through the second metal gate. Turn immediately right and walk down the length of the open field following the fence on the right. About half way along, fork left to head for a point about five trees in from the right-hand end of the tree line at the bottom. Here you will find a set of steps and stile which lead you out to the grass verge alongside the A518.

A518 to Trent and Mersey Canal
A518 to Trent and Mersey Canal

Start point: 52.844 lat, -2.0346 long
End point: 52.8439 lat, -2.0463 long

Cross over this road with extreme care, but do NOT take the stile opposite, instead turn right along the wide grass verge. Cross over the small side lane and join the left-hand pavement ahead to reach the T-junction with traffic lights. Turn left along the pavement, with the main A51 dual carriageway running on the right. At the next set of traffic lights you need to turn right, crossing over the dual carriageway. There is a designated crossing point here but there are no pedestrian lights, so take particular care and use the timing of the traffic lights to your advantage. Keep straight ahead along the right-hand pavement of the side road opposite, which leads you into the village of Weston.

Keep ahead, crossing the side road Old School Close, and you will pass the Old School House on the right. Further along you will pass St Andrew’s Church on the right and then a large lake also on the right. Follow the road over the canal and take the next road on the right, Boat Lane.

Follow this as it swings left, passing the Coach House on the right. The road leads you over a small stream and on between hedgerows and occasional properties. Further along you will reach the bridge over the canal. Turn left immediately before it to join the grass towpath which runs with the Trent and Mersey Canal on the right.

Trent and Mersey Canal to End
Trent and Mersey Canal to End

Start point: 52.8439 lat, -2.0463 long
End point: 52.8609 lat, -2.0786 long

Follow the canal towpath for some distance. Keep your eyes peeled on this stretch for herons, we saw two fishing for their lunch as we walked. The canal is 94 miles long, was opened in 1777 and was built to link the River Trent in Derbyshire and the River Mersey (via the Bridgewater Canal). You may notice mileposts along the way which show the distances to Preston Brook (where the canal meets the Bridgewater Canal) and to Shardlow (close to where the canal meets the River Trent).

You will pass a small marina on the right (part of the Sandon Estate) and through the hedge on the left you will be able to see the course of the River Trent. Follow the towpath under Salt Bridge (Number 82). Continue for some way until you reach the next bridge (Number 83) with Sandon Lock visible ahead. Pass under the bridge and turn left through the arch in the wall to leave the towpath and meet a T-junction with the road.

NOTE: From here you will be walking along the road edge, take particular care as there is no pavement and the traffic can be fast moving. Turn left along the road edge, going over the canal. Further along the road passes over the railway and shortly afterwards you will come to the Dog and Doublet on the right for some well-earned hospitality.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2014 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


2 responses to "The Dog and Doublet Sandon Park and Canal Trail"

Good walk and pretty much as described. We walked it at its muddiest and wettest conditions in Jan 2016 and it was very challenging in areas and the 7 miles seemed like 10!

By burfandsue on 2016-01-11 21:31:57

Just completed this walk 10/11/16 the walk instructions are spot on and we even added another 2 mile loop at bridge 82 just to make the walk a bit longer, all in all it was a very good walk.

By Sinclair on 2016-11-10 16:03:20

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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5 images to "The Dog and Doublet Sandon Park and Canal Trail"

3614_0Richard1410590482 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
The canal near the end of the walk
3614_1Richard1410590482 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
War memorial at the start of the walk.
3614_2Richard1410590482 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
Dog and Doublet - we had a great lunch
3614_3Richard1410590482 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
The gate to get on to the canal for the last leg of the walk.
3614_4Richard1410590482 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
Inside the Dog and Doublet - fine beer and food. The pub is dog friendly too

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